How to Wash Shoes In 8 Simple Steps

Introduction -

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to wash shoes in simple steps. You may be dealing with sneakers, boots, or delicate dress shoes. Keeping them clean is key for hygiene and longevity. In this article, we’ll cover many steps to keep your shoes fresh and clean. It applies to all materials and styles.

Why Wash Your Shoes?

Before we clean, let’s understand why you need to wash your shoes.

  1. Appearance: Clean shoes simply look better. Removing dirt, mud, and stains can make your shoes look fresh and well-maintained.

  2. Durability: Regular cleaning can prolong the life of your shoes. Dirt and debris can cause materials to deteriorate over time, leading to cracks or tears.

  3. Odor Control: Dirty shoes can harbor bacteria, leading to unpleasant odors. Proper cleaning helps eliminate these odors, keeping your shoes smelling fresh.

  4. Hygiene: Especially for athletic shoes, cleaning removes sweat and bacteria, promoting foot health and preventing infections.

Now, let’s get into the step-by-step guide on how to wash shoes, tailored to different materials.

Materials Needed:

  • Mild detergent or soap

  • Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush

  • Water

  • Towel

How to Wash Shoes: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into a step-by-step guide on how to wash shoes effectively:

how to wash shoes

Step 1: Remove Laces and Insoles

Before you start washing your shoes, it’s important to remove the laces and insoles. Take out the laces from the shoes – this will allow for a thorough cleaning without any tangling. Next, remove the insoles from your shoes. This step effectively cleans the entire shoe, making sure not to miss any spots. Now, you’re ready to begin the cleaning process!

Step 2: Brush Off Loose Dirt

Before washing your shoes, it’s a good idea to brush off any loose dirt. Grab a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush and gently scrub the surface of the shoes. This will help remove dirt, mud, or debris that might be stuck on them. By doing this, you’ll ensure a more effective cleaning process when you move on to washing your shoes.

Step 3: Prepare Cleaning Solution

To prepare the cleaning solution for your shoes, you’ll need a few simple ingredients. Grab a bowl and mix a small amount of mild detergent or soap with water. This creates a soapy solution that is gentle on your shoes but effective in cleaning away dirt and stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can damage the material. Once your cleaning solution is ready, you’re all set to start cleaning your shoes!

Step 4: Scrub the Shoes

Now that you have your cleaning solution ready, it’s time to scrub your shoes. Dip your soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush into the soapy solution. Scrub the entire surface of the shoes, paying special attention to areas with visible dirt or stains. The gentle scrubbing action will help lift away grime and restore your shoes to a cleaner state. Take your time with this step to ensure thorough cleaning.

Step 5: Clean the Laces and Insoles

After cleaning the shoes, it’s important to also clean the laces and insoles. You can hand wash the laces with the same soapy solution. Or, you can put them in a mesh laundry bag and wash them in the machine. Scrub any visible dirt or stains on the insoles using the soapy solution and a soft brush. This step ensures that every part of your shoes, including the laces and insoles, is fresh and clean. Once they’re cleaned, rinse them to remove any soap residue.

Step 6: Rinse Thoroughly

Once you’ve finished scrubbing your shoes, it’s time to rinse them. Use clean water to rinse away the soapy residue from the shoes. You can do this by either running them under a gentle stream of water or using a clean damp cloth to wipe them down. Make sure to remove all traces of soap to prevent any residue from drying on the shoes. Taking this step is crucial for fully cleaning your shoes. It ensures they look fresh and free from any buildup of cleaning products.

Step 7: Air Dry

After rinsing your shoes, it is important to allow them to air dry completely. Stuff your shoes with paper towels or a dry towel to help them keep their shape and absorb excess water. Place them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Letting your shoes air dry is best. It preserves their shape and material. Avoid using a dryer or heater, as the heat can damage our shoes. Drying times may vary by material. Be patient and ensure that they are dry completely before wearing them again.

Step 8: Reassemble

Once your shoes are completely dry, it’s time to reassemble them. Reinsert the clean and dry insoles back into the shoes. Then, rethread the laces through the eyelets. Ensure that you secure them and spread them. Take your time to lace them up, ensuring a comfortable fit. Double-check that everything is in place before wearing your freshly cleaned shoes. Now that you have reassembled your shoes, you can wear them and enjoy them!

General Tips for Washing Shoes:

  • Read the Label: Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care recommendations.

  • Use Gentle Products: Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage shoe materials.

  • Air Dry: Allow shoes to air dry naturally to prevent damage from heat.

  • Stuff with Towels: When drying, stuff shoes with towels or paper to help them keep their shape.

  • Regular Maintenance: Clean your shoes regularly to prevent dirt buildup.


You must learn how to wash shoes well in the whole article. It is key for keeping them looking good and lasting long. Follow the tips in this guide, they will help you keep your footwear looking and smelling fresh for years to come. Remember to choose the right cleaning steps. Base it on the material and type of shoes. This will prevent damage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How often should I wash my shoes?

  • Regular cleaning depends on usage and exposure to dirt and moisture. Aim to clean shoes every few weeks or as needed.

2. Can I wash my shoes in the washing machine?

  • Yes, but only certain types of shoes are machine washable. Always check manufacturer instructions and use a gentle cycle with mild detergent.

3. Can I dry my shoes in the sun?

  • Direct sunlight can cause fading and damage to some shoe materials. It’s best to air-dry shoes indoors or in a shaded area.

4. Should I use bleach to clean white shoes?

  • Bleach can damage shoe materials and discolor them. Instead, opt for gentle cleaners specifically formulated for white shoes.

5. How can I prevent shoes from losing their shape?

  • Store shoes in a cool, dry place with shoe trees or stuffing to maintain their shape when not in use.

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