How to Take Care of Moccasin Slippers

Traditional moccasin styles are unique to each tribe.
... Hemera Technologies/ Images

The modern-minded have no monopoly on stylish shoes. Pretties from the past, like a pair of cute moccasins, can give your everyday trousseau a taste of fashion-forward -- not old-fashioned -- tradition. Like any other leather adornment, these long-established, foot-faring lovelies need a little tenderness to stay soft, supple and stylin'. It's no sweat to keep your tootsies toasty and your moccasins' cultural edge clean -- trick out your back-to-nature kicks for fierce fashion without the fuss.

  • Mild liquid soap
  • Clean cotton cloths
  • Leather cream (optional)
  • Washing machine (optional)
  • Detergent-free soap (optional)
  • Saddle soap
  • Leather conditioner or pure mink oil
  • Wire hanger
  • Wire clippers
  • Pliers

1 Shoe Shampoo

2 Mix a mild liquid soap into water

Mix a mild liquid soap into water. Soak a damp cloth in the water, then rub it across the leather surface of the moccasins in small, circular motions to remove any dirt.

3 Rinse out the cloth

Rinse out the cloth and wipe away the soap residue. Let the moccasins air-dry.

4 Are heavily covered with mud or dirt

Place moccasins that are heavily covered with mud or dirt into a washing machine with 1 teaspoon of detergent-free soap. Set the machine to a gentle cycle. Let the moccasins air-dry before wearing.

5 Work a dab of leather cream

Work a dab of leather cream into deerskin or moosehide moccasins only to further cleanse them. Rub a clean cloth against the surface of the leather in small, circular motions to spread the cream.

6 Shoe Shield

7 Wipe down the moccasins

Wipe down the moccasins with a damp cloth. Work the damp cloth into a container of saddle soap to create a lather, then rub the lather into the leather to soften it. Wipe away the soap with a clean cloth and let the moccasins air-dry completely.

8 Soak the corner

Soak the corner of a clean cotton cloth in leather lotion or pure mink oil. Work the lotion into the moccasins to keep them supple.

9 Cut the sides of a wire garment hanger

Cut the sides of a wire garment hanger to 3 inches from the middle hook with a pair of wire clippers.

10 Clamp a pair

Clamp a pair of pliers over each cut side of the hanger, and curl the wire upward to create hanging hooks.

11 Lace the moccasins

Lace the moccasins up to the second buttons. Hook the top buttons over the curved edges of the hanger and store them in a closet.

  • Never put moccasins in the dryer.
  • Always oil moccasin laces in addition to the leather uppers.
  • If the color has faded in an older pair of moccasins, use cream-based shoe polish to restore it.

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.