How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them – [5 method]

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how to clean the bottom of the shoes to return themBuying shoes is a challenging task for shoe lovers. It’s like, there is an ocean in front of me, and I need to choose just one drop! Holy smoking gun!!

Even after buying one, we change our mind thinking, gosh, the pair at the top right corner was the best! Why on earth, I fall for this pair.

What I have done! I need to change this pair.

But you have already used the new pair you bought weeks back. Don’t worry; I’m here to help you with the best way to clean the bottom of shoes to return them as they are new. Follow me through these 5 steps below to master everything you need to know.

  1. The Mixture of Detergent and Baking Soda
  2. Cleaning the Shoe Sole with Warm Water and Dish Washer Powder
  3. Cleaning the Sole with Nail Polish Remover
  4. Use of Toothpaste to Clean the Soles
  5. Cleaning Shoe Soles with Vinegar

Let’s drive in, shall we?

Ruined your recently bought pair and don’t want it anymore? Don’t worry. I have got your back. These are ways on how to clean bottom of shoes to look new. Unbelievable, right?

Let’s break the shackle and jump into the main course.

Method 1#: The Mixture of Detergent and Baking Soda

how to clean shoes with baking soda
  • Before applying the combinational dose, you need to clean up the bulk and loose dirt from the sole area. You can do it by slapping the shoe sole on the floor. Next, you can use an old toothbrush to clean up the rest of the dirt. The point is, how much you will put effort into this step, the more you will get a cleaner bottom of the boot.
  • Now, take a small plastic pot. In it, put two tablespoons of detergent and one tablespoon of baking soda. Add water into it, drop by drop. Make a consistent paste.
  • Use an old clean toothbrush to apply this paste onto the shoe sole. First, apply all through the soles and bottom of the sole. Then, start scrubbing the sole with the brush, gently.
  • You will see the dirt coming off. Soak the brush into the clean water and repeat the previous step.
  • Take a clean cloth and wipe the paste from the sole.
  • You may use a wet cloth in this step to clean the sole properly.
  • Finally, dry off the sole with a dry cloth. Check if the clean up is up to the mark; if not, repeat these steps once more.

Method 2#: Cleaning the Shoe Sole with Warm Water and Dish Washer Powder:

how to clean shoes with worm water
  • You need to use a bucket where you can put your shoes without any bend or fold.
  • Before proceeding to the next steps, you need to clean up the loose dirt with a clean old toothbrush as much as possible.
  • Fill the bucket with lukewarm water as your sole will only merge into it, but the water won’t touch the shoe sloe’s upper part.
  • Now, add two tablespoons of dishwasher powder or belching powder into the warm water and mix properly.
  • Then, soak the boot sole into the warm water and keep it in the warm water for at least 15 minutes.
  • After the period is over, take out the shoes and mop the shoe soles with a clean cloth to get a sole like a new shoe.

Method 3#: Cleaning the Sole with Nail Polish Remover:

how to clean shoes with nail polish remover
  • Warning! This method will not work if you have colored fabric soles or soles with mud.
  • If you have white soles, you can easily apply this method with nail polish remover. Take a cotton bud, soak in nail polish remover. Apply it onto the sole sides and underneath of the shoe. Scrub the solution properly on the surface where you have applied.
  • Now, remove the nail polish remover by scrubbing a clean cotton ball all over the shoe soles until eliminating residues from the shoe surface.

Method 4#: Use of Toothpaste to Clean the Soles:

how to clean shoes with toothbrush
  • Clean up the loose dirt from the shoe soles with a clean old brush.
  • Now, take white toothpaste onto the brush and apply evenly on the sole with the brush.
  • Apply toothpaste at the bottom of the soles and scrub thoroughly.
  • After scrubbing is done and the dirt will be coming off, clean up the toothpaste with a clean cloth.
  • If you still see any dirt spot on the sole, apply toothpaste on that specific area then scrub properly. After scrubbing is done, wipe out the paste with a clean cloth.

Method 5#: Cleaning Shoe Soles with Vinegar:

how to clean shoes with vinegar
  • First, clean up the loose dirt from the shoe sole.
  • Take an old clean cloth and pour some vinegar onto the cloth.
  • Now, rub the sole until the dirt and stains come off the soles.
  • When you will see its turning clean, wipe off with a wet cloth (water).
  • Let the sole dry naturally

How to Clean Rubber on Shoes?

Cleaning rubber on shoes is comparatively easier than cleaning any other type of shoe soles. Here I will guide you on how to make shoes look unworn in a few simple steps.

  • Take a clean, old toothbrush. Clean off loose dirt from the outer surface of the soles. For the bottom of the shoe sole, you can use pointy substances to knuckle up the dirt.
  • Now, take a tub in which shoes can stay firmly, without any bend or curve.
  • Fill the tub with lukewarm water up to the shoe sole height. For example, if your sole height is 1.2 inches, fill the water into the tub up to 1-inch height. You should be careful about the water not entering into the inner sole or upper sole area.
  • Add two tablespoons of detergent and two tablespoons of baking soda into the water. This quantity if applicable for 2 liters of water. If you take too much water into the tub (if your tub is more oversized in length) to need to adjust the chemical quantity according to the amount of water. Mix it to attain homogeneity.
  • Soak the rubber sole into the water and keep like that for 10 minutes.
  • Take the shoes off the water, rub off the sole surface with a brush and emphasize the areas where you will find stubborn stains.
  • Again, soak the rubber shoe soles in the water for another ten minutes.
  • Take off the shoes and wipe off the water and other residues with a dry, clean cloth.
  • If you see stains in some specific areas, then retake the clean old toothbrush and put some toothpaste on it. Now, rub the area with the brush and paste.
  • Clean off the paste with a wet cloth or warm water.
  • Dry of the shoes naturally, Ta-Da! I don’t need the Nobel prize, duh!
You can watch these videos for the more cool info.

3 Ways: How to Get Grass Stains Off Bottom of Shoes?

Do I have magnets for stains with my shoes? Whenever you wear a new pair of shoes or white shoes, stains from grass, mud, or other extra-terrestrial sources will attack your shoes.

Now, you are here to remove stains from the bottom of the shoes, and I will provide tips on how to clean bottom of shoes to get a brand new and shiny look.  

  • Alcohol Rubbing Pad: It is an efficient method to get rid of grass stain on shoes. Rub alcohol pad on the soles’ staining areas, and in no time, you will get a spot-free shoe sole.
  • Using Vinegar: Vinegar is one of the most effective cleansers and can clean up the dirt from the shoe bottom. Take a clean cloth and pour two or three tablespoons of vinegar on it. Now, use the wet portion of the cloth to rub the discolored area of the shoe bottom. You can repeat the procedure if the stain is too persistent. Wipe off with a dry cloth.
  • Each and Peroxide Mixture: A heavyweight combination to fight against stubborn shoe stains. Take three tablespoons of bleach and two tablespoons of peroxide mixture and a half cup of water. Mix the cleaning solution properly.

Now take a sponge or brush to apply throughout the sole. After applying, leave it for 30 minutes or so. Its time to wipe out the cleaning solution with a damp cloth. Repeat the whole procedure two more times to get shoes as clean as it has never been worn before.

Why You Should Never Wear Your Shoes Inside?

It might be common practice to wear shoes inside the house, but is it truly beneficial to your health? The answer is No.

There are multiple reasons for these; you should never wear your shoes inside the house. Reasons are a bacterial infestation, chemical hazards, microscopic critters, wellness of your feet, and so on. Let’s talk a bit to give you a more exact concept on this issue.

  • Bacterial & Viral Infestation: According to Dr. Jyotu Sandhu, shoe soles can carry bacterial and viral particles, even this pandemic season [1]. Show soles can be the greatest medium for transferring pathological bacteria and viruses. A study showed that around 40% of shoes in a specific community carried toxic Clostridium difficile [2]. I hope this is enough to give you cause not to wear shoes inside the home.
  • Chemical Hazards: Different toxic chemicals can attach to the shoe, it can not only harm your shoe soles but also, if it comes in contact with your skin, may cause potential irritation.
  • Microscopic Critters: Tiny bugs and mud mites can be as lethal as a virus. To stay away from this, always avoid using outside shoes in the home.
  • Health benefit: Bare feet are highly beneficial for health. It can help you to relax and also ensures proper blood circulation.

How to Clean White Rubber shoe soles?

White rubber shoe soles are very prone to staining, and people always seek solutions on how to keep the bottom of your shoes clean. Here is the process:

  • Take a cup and add two tablespoons of detergent and belching powder in it. Add half a cup of water and mix properly.
  • Apply this solution with a clean cloth or old brush in white rubber shoe soles.
  • Rub for 5 to 10 minutes and wash off with a wet cloth.
  • Repeat the process two or three times.


Here, I have described different home-based recipes on how to clean the bottom of shoes to return them. Using these methods, you will surely get a brand-new shoe as it usually comes right out of the shoe box. And, yes, don’t wear outside shoes at home, it’s not healthy.


  • Alam, M.J., Anu, A., Walk, S.T. and Garey, K.W. (2014) Investigation of potentially pathogenic Clostridium difficile contamination in household environs. Anaerobe 27, 31–33.

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