Monday, May 11, 2009

How to care for satin shoes

Behold the hairspray method from the vogue forums. On the thread, Nightlily says:

"Before you wear them... spray them with a few coats (over the course of a few days, so they dry thoroughly inbetween) with a strong hold HAIRSPRAY!
Apparently it sort of creates a protective shield over them. I can't say that it stopped them flaking entirely, but I believe it certainly helped! I used a super super sticky/thick hairspray called "Membrane Gas" from Fudge. Didn't smell great, but it sure did the trick! The shoes I were treating were bright red, and bright gold... and neither were adversely affected."


Having the shoes drycleaned is also mentioned. And on the forum, Miranese says:

"I always spray satin shoes with a waterproofer while they're still new. I wait 24 hours then re-spray. I find that this helps keep the dirt at bay. If they do get dirty, I use baby wipes to clean the surface.

However, there is not much you can do in case of rain. No amount of waterproofing will protect them in the long run."


At Le Chateau (ooh la la) there is the following advice:

Use a Nylon Stocking to clean the surface.
● Slip a nylon stocking onto your hand

● Gently rub the dirty spots in a circular motion

You can use the same procedure on all your stained satin clutches to remove dust and dirt. So simple and so great!


Sounds good to me. The only aerosol hairspray I had in the house was John Frieda's Moisture Barrier. So I used that.

On the left is the shoe without spray. On the right is the shoe just after spraying it.




Day 2 - I sprayed the shoes 2 days in a row, letting them dry 24 hours in between. Today I sprayed on Kiwi Protect All as a final protectant. They are now darker than the original color, but I love them. I don't know if the satin quality or color will determine whether hair spray darkens the item. Or perhaps using the right hairspray will ensure that the color doesn't change. I admit that I sprayed up close and could have probably been 6" or more back. That might have been a factor in color change.

I liked this experience. Esp since the shoes were only $12.99. I cannot imagine doing these to a pair of J Crew flats at $98-$150/pop. I would feel awful if the color changed.
In the comments of this post, Francesca adds...Here's a tip I picked up at the purseforum.com where I used to lurk until my obsession shifted to Crew:I use a waterproofing spray called Vectra Spray. It's a non-aerosol pump that sprays very finely and doesn't change the color or texture. I've used it on very expensive, ultrasoft handbag leather as well as fabric shoes and it works great. Also spray it on my white jeans after a laundering to keep them looking clean longer -- it really does repel liquids & stains -- I'm on my 5th wearing of these jeans and they're still smudge-free."
When I looked for Vectra Spray, I came across another recommention by Apple. It looks like the Apple Rain & Stain Formula might be good on satin. However, it's specifically recommended for leather so I'd email to ask before using.

12 comments

  1. Excellent advice - but I think the key, like you said, is that you were doing this with the Payless flats. I would be way nervous doing this with $100 satin flats. But I will now add fabric ballet flats back to my shopping list since I now have a great way to protect them - thanks!!

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  2. Thanks so much for the reminder to protect our delicate shoes. I wish I had thought to put a protectant on some beautiful calf hair leopard print wedges and ballet flats I had. Sigh...

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  3. Thanks for the tips gigi! And I must say those Payless flats are totally adorable - I may just have to make my way over there. . .

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  4. Thanks for the tip. in the past, i have shied away from satin shoes for fear that they would be ruined. I may try it now that i have read this post. thanks

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  5. Thanks Gigi, good tips. :D I used the water protectant stuff on my uber expensive brown suede boots before, and can wear them even in the rain; they're years old and still looking fab. The suede didn't change color; the satin must be much less forgiving, being a more delicate & absorbent fabric. I didn't know that about the hairspray - in art school, they used to tell us that we could use that stuff as an alternative to more expensive fixative (in a pinch) for our charcoal drawings, but there was still the problem of the color change. Never thought to use it on shoes. ;)

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  6. Here's a tip I picked up at the purseforum.com where I used to lurk until my obsession shifted to Crew:

    I use a waterproofing spray called Vectra Spray. It's a non-aerosol pump that sprays very finely and doesn't change the color or texture. I've used it on very expensive, ultrasoft handbag leather as well as fabric shoes and it works great. Also spray it on my white jeans after a laundering to keep them looking clean longer -- it really does repel liquids & stains -- I'm on my 5th wearing of these jeans and they're still smudge-free.

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  7. Thanks for chiming in. I might try another brand of hairspray on a future pair of cheapies, but it sounds like I need to invest in Vectra Spray per Francesca. Thanks for that! I'm adding it to the main post.

    DianaDraw - I thought about using something like Krylon clear finish, but I thought that'd be a bit risky. I guess the best experiment would be to get a cheap piece of satin fabric and try a few options.

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  8. Gigi -- I checked vectraspray.com's website and noticed it's a bit confusing as to what I was referring to. I have a 16 oz can of the Formula 16 Vectra non-aerosol can but I've had it so long I don't remember what I paid for it. I use it on leather, suede & fabric shoes as well as the white jeans.

    I don't know if you can get it anywhere else, I bought direct from their website. Hope you find something that works for you!

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  9. Francesca - Thanks for that. I think I or anyone else who purchases should read before clicking, kwim? I LOVE the idea of using it on jeans. G-E-N-I-U-S!!!!

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  10. TY for the tips...but I continue to wonder why people spend lots of $$ on 'spensive JC satin flats when they are so easy to ruin!

    I read an article recently online about which fashion items are worth splurging on, and which should be bought on the cheap, and satin ballet flats were one of the cheapies.

    That being said...JC flats are really pretty.

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  11. Anon@2:22 PM - I agree -- low price for satin flats. They can't last more than a season.

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