How to Clean Used Shoes

To clean used shoes, start by removing any dirt or debris using a soft brush or cloth. Then, use a mixture of mild soap and water to gently scrub the shoes, paying special attention to stained areas.

Text Example

Must-Have Cleaning Essentials For Every Home (Recommended):

Calyptus 45% Pure Super Concentrated Vinegar | Dilutes to 18 Gallons | 9x Power Concentrate Vinegar | 2 Gallons
  • Consistently delivers the same smell, color, and results - every time. For superior and safer cleaning performance, in and around your home.
Baking Soda
Milliard 5lbs Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate USP - 5 Pound Bulk Resealable Bag
  • Great household product for anything that needs a bright new look! Use it as a cleansing booster with your laundry or dish detergent, as a pH buffer in swimming pools, or for cleaning kitchen surfaces.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Pack of 12, Size:12.6
  • Ultra-soft, highly absorbent, durable, lightweight, non-abrasive microfiber cleaning cloths. Great for cleaning windows, kitchenware, cars, bathrooms, mirrors, or other delicate surfaces. Perfect dish rags that don't smell.
This post may have affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Rinse off the soap with clean water and pat the shoes dry with a towel. Allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing them again. It’s important to regularly clean used shoes to maintain their appearance and extend their lifespan.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your used shoes looking fresh and ready to wear.

Assessing The Condition Of The Shoes

Assessing the condition of used shoes is crucial when it comes to cleaning them effectively. By inspecting the overall wear and tear, checking for any damage or dirt buildup, and addressing specific areas that require attention, you can ensure that your shoes are thoroughly cleaned and ready to be worn again.

Remember to use appropriate cleaning solutions and techniques based on the material of the shoes for optimal results.

Before diving into the process of cleaning used shoes, it is crucial to assess their condition. By evaluating any possible damage and identifying the shoe’s material, you can determine the appropriate cleaning methods and products to use. Here are the key steps to assess the condition of the shoes:

Inspecting The Shoes For Damage

Inspecting the shoes for any visible damages will help you understand the extent of cleaning required and ensure you don’t exacerbate any existing issues. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Soles: Check for excessive wear or any signs of separation from the upper part of the shoe. Look for cracks, holes, or missing pieces that may affect the shoe’s comfort and functionality.
  • Upper Part: Examine the shoe’s upper part for scuffs, stains, or tears. Pay attention to areas like the toe box, sides, and heel. Determine if the damage is surface-level or if it affects the shoe’s structure.
  • Laces: Check the condition of the laces. Look for fraying, discoloration, or any damage that might require replacement.
  • Insole: Inspect the insole for wear, stains, or odor. Assess if it can be cleaned or if it’s in need of replacement for hygiene purposes.
  • Odor: Smell the shoes to detect any unpleasant odors caused by bacteria or mildew. This will influence the cleaning approach you need to take.

Identifying The Material Of The Shoes

Knowing the material of the shoes is essential as different materials require specific cleaning techniques. Here are common shoe materials and how to identify them:

  • Leather: Look for a smooth and slightly shiny surface that is often accompanied by a distinctive leather scent. Leather shoes tend to be more expensive and require specialized care.
  • Suede: Suede shoes have a soft and velvety texture. Check for a napped finish on the surface that gives it a luxurious appearance.
  • Canvas: Canvas shoes have a fabric-like appearance made of sturdy woven material. They are often lightweight and extremely versatile.
  • Synthetics: Synthetic materials like PVC or nylon are commonly used in athletic shoes. They generally have a smooth and shiny surface with a slightly rubbery or plastic-like feel.
  • Mesh: Mesh shoes have a highly breathable fabric with an open-weave texture. They are commonly used in athletic footwear to enhance ventilation.

By thoroughly inspecting the shoes for damage and identifying their material, you are equipped with the necessary knowledge to begin the cleaning process. Understanding these factors will help you choose the right cleaning methods and products, ensuring that your used shoes are properly cared for and rejuvenated.

How To Clean Used Shoes


Preparing The Cleaning Area

Prepare the cleaning area before tackling your used shoes by gathering necessary supplies and creating a well-ventilated space. Clear any clutter and ensure you have proper cleaning agents to restore your shoes to their former glory.

Before you start cleaning your used shoes, it’s important to gather the necessary cleaning supplies and create a designated cleaning station. Proper preparation will ensure that you have everything you need on hand and a clean space to work in.

Here’s how to get started:

Gathering Necessary Cleaning Supplies

To clean your used shoes effectively, you will need the following supplies:

  • Soft-bristled brush: Use a brush with soft bristles to remove any loose dirt and debris from the shoes without damaging their surface.
  • Gentle detergent: Choose a mild detergent or shoe cleaner specifically designed for the material of your shoes. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the shoe’s fabric or leather.
  • Clean cloth or towel: Use a clean cloth or towel to apply the cleaning solution and remove dirt and stains from the shoes.
  • Water: Have access to clean water for rinsing the shoes thoroughly.
  • Toothbrush or small brush: A toothbrush or a small brush can be handy for cleaning hard-to-reach areas or details on the shoes.
  • Paper towels or newspapers: Lay down paper towels or newspapers to protect the cleaning area from any spills or drips.

Creating A Cleaning Station

Setting up a cleaning station will help you stay organized and prevent cross-contamination. Follow these steps to create an efficient cleaning station:

  • Find a flat, well-ventilated area: Look for a clean and well-ventilated space where you can comfortably clean your shoes. A countertop or table covered with a plastic sheet works well.
  • Lay down the necessary supplies: Place all the cleaning supplies you gathered earlier within easy reach, ensuring you have enough space to work comfortably.
  • Prepare a basin or sink: If you are cleaning shoes that can be submerged in water, fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add the recommended amount of detergent. This will be used for soaking and washing the shoes.
  • Set up a separate area for drying: Designate a separate area nearby for drying the shoes after they have been cleaned. This can be a well-ventilated spot or an area with a fan or open window to ensure quick drying.

Remember, a clean and organized cleaning area is essential to ensure an efficient process and achieve the best results. Now that you have everything ready, you can move on to the next step of cleaning your used shoes.

Cleaning Different Types Of Shoes

Learn how to effectively clean your used shoes with these easy-to-follow tips. Whether you have leather, canvas, or suede shoes, this guide will help you restore them to their original condition and make them look as good as new.

Cleaning your used shoes is an essential step in maintaining their quality and extending their lifespan. Depending on the material of your shoes, there are different cleaning methods to follow. In this section, we will discuss how to clean leather, canvas, suede, and athletic shoes.

Cleaning Leather Shoes

Leather shoes require delicate cleaning to prevent damage and maintain their natural shine. Follow these steps to clean your leather shoes:

  • Removing Surface Dirt from Leather Shoes:
  • Gently brush off any loose dirt or dust using a soft-bristled brush.
  • Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt or surface stains.
  • Treating Scuffs and Scratches on Leather Shoes:
  • Apply a small amount of leather cleaner or mild soap on a clean cloth.
  • Gently rub the scuffed or scratched area in a circular motion until the marks fade.
  • Wipe away any excess cleaner or soap with a damp cloth.
  • Conditioning and Polishing Leather Shoes:
  • Apply a leather conditioner using a clean cloth to moisturize and restore the natural shine of the leather.
  • Allow the conditioner to penetrate the leather for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess.
  • Use a shoe polish matching the shoe color to enhance the shine and protect the leather.
  • Apply the polish evenly with a brush or cloth, and buff the shoes to a shine using a soft cloth.

Cleaning Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are popular for their comfort and casual style. Follow these steps to clean your canvas shoes:

  • Removing Tough Stains from Canvas Shoes:
  • Mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water.
  • Apply the soapy solution to a clean cloth or soft brush and gently scrub the stained areas.
  • Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any soap residues.
  • Washing Canvas Shoes in the Machine:
  • Remove the shoelaces and place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash.
  • Add mild detergent to the washing machine, and set it to a delicate cycle with cold water.
  • Once the cycle is complete, remove the shoes from the bag and let them air dry.
  • Air Drying and Re-Shaping Canvas Shoes:
  • Stuff the shoes with crumpled paper or clean rags to help them maintain their shape while drying.
  • Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Cleaning Suede Shoes

Suede shoes require special attention and care to maintain their soft texture. Follow these steps to clean your suede shoes:

  • Brushing Off Loose Dirt from Suede Shoes:
  • Use a suede brush or clean towel to gently brush off any loose dirt or debris.
  • Brush in one direction to avoid damaging the suede.
  • Treating Stains on Suede Shoes:
  • For water-based stains, blot the area gently with a clean, damp cloth.
  • For oil-based stains, use an eraser or specialized suede cleaner to gently rub the stain.
  • Restoring the Nap of Suede Shoes:
  • After the shoes are dry and clean, use a suede brush to restore the nap of the suede.
  • Brush the shoes gently in one direction to lift the fibers and give them a fresh look.

Cleaning Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes endure rigorous workouts and can accumulate odor and dirt. Follow these steps to clean your athletic shoes:

  • Removing Odor from Athletic Shoes:
  • Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes to absorb odor.
  • Let the baking soda sit overnight, then shake or brush it off the next day.
  • Machine Washing Athletic Shoes:
  • Remove the shoelaces and any removable inserts from the shoes.
  • Place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Set the washing machine to a delicate cycle with cold or lukewarm water.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softener.
  • Air Drying and Refreshing Athletic Shoes:
  • Remove the shoes from the washing machine and let them air dry naturally.
  • Do not expose them to direct heat sources to prevent damage.
  • Once dry, insert new laces and re-insert any removable inserts.

Remember, proper cleaning and care can significantly prolong the life of your used shoes. By following these guidelines, you can keep your shoes looking fresh and ready for any occasion.

Cleaning And Caring For Shoe Insoles

Learn how to properly clean and care for shoe insoles, ensuring your used shoes remain fresh and comfortable. Follow these simple steps to maintain hygiene and extend the life of your footwear.

When it comes to cleaning used shoes, it’s important not to overlook the insoles. Cleaning and caring for shoe insoles will not only keep them fresh and odor-free but also help prolong the lifespan of your shoes. In this section, we’ll explore the steps to remove and wash insoles, deodorize them, and when it’s necessary to replace them.

Removing And Washing Insoles:

To clean your shoe insoles effectively, follow these steps:

  • Start by removing the insoles from your shoes.
  • If there is excessive dirt or debris on the insoles, gently brush them off or use a soft cloth to wipe them clean.
  • Fill a basin or sink with warm water and mix in a mild detergent.
  • Place the insoles in the soapy water and use your hands to gently agitate them, ensuring all areas are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Rinse the insoles with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water and avoid wringing or twisting the insoles.
  • Allow the insoles to air dry completely before placing them back into your shoes.

Deodorizing Insoles:

To keep your shoe insoles smelling fresh, try these deodorizing methods:

  • Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch generously over the insoles and leave it overnight. The powder will absorb odors, and you can simply shake it off the next day.
  • Alternatively, you can use a mixture of water and vinegar in equal parts, spray it onto the insoles, and let them air dry.
  • Another option is to use tea tree oil. Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and spray the mixture onto the insoles. Allow them to dry naturally.

Replacing Insoles If Necessary:

If your shoe insoles are damaged, worn out, or no longer provide sufficient support, it might be time to replace them. Here are a few signs that indicate the need for new insoles:

  • Visible wear and tear, such as cracks or holes in the insoles.
  • A loss of cushioning and support.
  • Lingering odors that cannot be eliminated.
  • Discomfort or pain in your feet or lower limbs while wearing the shoes.

Remember, replacing your insoles regularly will not only enhance comfort but also contribute to maintaining the overall hygiene and condition of your shoes.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your shoe insoles clean, fresh, and in good condition. Regular cleaning, deodorizing, and timely replacement, if needed, will ensure that your shoes remain comfortable and odor-free for longer periods.

Properly Drying And Storing Cleaned Shoes

Learn the proper way to dry and store your cleaned shoes to keep them in good condition. Follow these simple tips to ensure your used shoes stay fresh and ready to wear.

Drying Shoes Correctly to Prevent Damage:

Properly drying your shoes after cleaning is crucial to prevent any damage and maintain their quality. Here are some tips on how to dry your shoes effectively:

  • Remove any excess moisture: After cleaning your shoes, carefully remove any excess water or cleaning solution using a clean cloth or paper towel. Gently pat the shoes to absorb the moisture without rubbing too harshly.
  • Air drying: The best way to dry your shoes is to let them air dry naturally. Place them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat sources such as radiators or sunlight. Avoid using a hairdryer or any other artificial heat source, as it can cause the shoes to warp or shrink.
  • Stuff them with newspaper: To speed up the drying process and absorb moisture from the inside, stuff your shoes with crumpled newspaper. This will help maintain the shape of the shoes and prevent any potential odor build-up.
  • Change the newspaper regularly: As the newspaper absorbs moisture, it may become damp. Make sure to replace it with fresh, dry newspaper to continue the drying process effectively.
  • Allow sufficient drying time: Depending on the material and level of moisture, give your shoes ample time to dry completely. It may take several hours or even overnight for them to fully dry, so be patient.

Storing Shoes to Maintain Shape and Condition:

Properly storing your clean shoes is vital to preserve their shape and condition, ensuring they stay in optimal condition for longer. Follow these tips to store your shoes effectively:

  • Keep them in a cool, dry place: Store your shoes in a cool and dry location to prevent any humidity or moisture-related issues. Avoid placing them in areas prone to dampness, such as basements or bathrooms.
  • Use shoe trees or inserts: Invest in shoe trees or use shoe inserts to help maintain the shape of your shoes. These accessories fill the empty space inside the shoes and prevent them from losing their form over time.
  • Store them in breathable bags or boxes: Avoid storing shoes in plastic bags, as they can trap moisture, leading to mold or mildew. Instead, store them in breathable fabric shoe bags or sturdy shoe boxes with ventilation holes.
  • Avoid overcrowding: To prevent crushing or deforming the shoes, avoid overcrowding them in storage. Give each pair adequate space to breathe and maintain their shape.
  • Rotate your shoes: If you have multiple pairs of shoes, try to rotate the ones you wear regularly. This allows your shoes to rest and regain their shape between wearings.

By following these guidelines for drying and storing your cleaned shoes, you can ensure their longevity and keep them looking their best for years to come.

Tips For Maintaining Clean Shoes

Want to know how to clean used shoes? Follow these tips to maintain clean and odor-free shoes effortlessly. Say goodbye to dirt and stains and welcome fresh, pristine footwear.

Regularly Wiping Shoes After Use:

  • After wearing your used shoes, it is important to wipe them down to remove any dirt, dust, or stains. This will help keep your shoes looking fresh and prevent any buildup that may lead to damage over time.
  • Use a soft cloth or brush to gently wipe off any visible dirt or debris from the surface of your shoes.
  • For more stubborn stains or marks, you can create a cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a mild detergent. Dampen a cloth with this solution and gently scrub the affected area.
  • Make sure to dry your shoes thoroughly after wiping them down to prevent any moisture from causing mold or mildew.

Applying Waterproofing Spray for Protection:

  • Another effective way to maintain clean shoes is by applying a waterproofing spray. This protective coating helps repel water, preventing stains and damage caused by moisture.
  • Before applying the spray, make sure your shoes are clean and dry. This will ensure better absorption and effectiveness of the product.
  • Hold the spray can about 6 to 8 inches away from the shoes and spray evenly, covering the entire surface. Pay extra attention to areas that are more prone to water exposure, such as the toe box and soles.
  • Allow the shoes to dry completely before wearing them again. This will ensure that the waterproofing spray has properly bonded with the material.

Rotating Shoes to Extend Lifespan:

  • Rotating your shoes is an effective way to maintain their cleanliness and extend their lifespan. By not wearing the same pair every day, you give them time to air out and prevent excessive wear and tear.
  • Aim to have at least two or three pairs of shoes in your rotation. This allows you to switch them every couple of days or as needed.
  • Store your shoes in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. This will help preserve their quality and prevent any discoloration or warping.
  • By rotating your shoes, you not only keep them clean but also reduce the chances of foot odor and the development of bacterial or fungal growth.

Remember, following these tips for maintaining clean shoes will not only keep them looking great but also extend their lifespan. Regularly wipe your shoes after use, apply a waterproofing spray, and rotate them in your shoe collection. Not only will this help maintain their cleanliness, but it will also protect them from damage and ensure a comfortable and fresh wearing experience.

Are the Methods for Cleaning Corduroy Shoes the Same as Cleaning Used Shoes in General?

When it comes to cleaning corduroy shoes, the methods can differ slightly from cleaning other used shoes. Corduroy material requires special care to prevent damage while cleaning. It’s important to use a gentle brush and mild detergent to maintain the texture and appearance of the corduroy fabric.

Is the Cleaning Process for Used Shoes the Same as Cleaning Boxing Shoes?

When it comes to cleaning boxing shoes, the process is not the same as cleaning used shoes. Boxing shoes require special attention to remove sweat, odor, and stains from intense training sessions. Using a mild detergent, gentle scrubbing, and air-drying are essential for cleaning boxing shoes effectively.

Can the Same Cleaning Method for Used Shoes Be Applied to Loro Piana Shoes?

When it comes to preserving Loro Piana shoes, the same cleaning method for used shoes may not be suitable. Loro Piana shoes are made with luxurious materials that require special attention. It is best to use a gentle cleaning solution and avoid harsh techniques to maintain the quality of the shoes.

Can the same cleaning method be used for Bobs Shoes with Memory Foam and other used shoes?

Yes, the same cleaning method can be used for Bobs Shoes with Memory Foam and other used shoes. To clean Bobs shoes with Memory foam, start by gently brushing off any dirt with a soft-bristled brush. Then, use a mild detergent and water to spot clean any stains. Allow them to air dry. These tips for cleaning Bobs shoes with Memory foam will also work for other used shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Used Shoes

How Do You Disinfect Used Shoes?

To disinfect used shoes, wipe the insides with a disinfectant wipe or spray. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing again.

How Do You Disinfect The Inside Of Second-Hand Shoes?

To disinfect second-hand shoes, wipe the insides with a disinfectant wipe or spray and let them air dry.

Is It Enough To Just Sanitize The Used Shoes?

No, just sanitizing used shoes is not enough.

Is It Safe To Wear Second-Hand Shoes?

Yes, it is safe to wear second-hand shoes as long as they are cleaned and sanitized properly.


To sum up, cleaning used shoes is essential for maintaining their quality and extending their lifespan. By following the right steps and using the appropriate products, you can effectively eliminate dirt, odor, and bacteria from your shoes. Start by removing any surface debris and then proceed to clean the insides and outsides of the shoes using suitable cleaning solutions.

Allow the shoes to dry naturally, avoiding direct heat sources that could damage them. Additionally, consider using products like baking soda or vinegar to eliminate unpleasant odors. Regularly cleaning your used shoes not only keeps them hygienic but also improves their appearance.

By implementing these cleaning techniques, you can enjoy fresh and tidy shoes for longer. So go ahead, give your used shoes the care they deserve and enjoy their continued comfort and style.

{ “@context”: “”, “@type”: “FAQPage”, “mainEntity”: [ { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “How do you disinfect used shoes?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “To disinfect used shoes, wipe the insides with a disinfectant wipe or spray. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing again.” } } , { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “How do you disinfect the inside of second-hand shoes?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “To disinfect second-hand shoes, wipe the insides with a disinfectant wipe or spray and let them air dry.” } } , { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “Is it enough to just sanitize the used shoes?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “No, just sanitizing used shoes is not enough.” } } , { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “Is it safe to wear second-hand shoes?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “Yes, it is safe to wear second-hand shoes as long as they are cleaned and sanitized properly.” } } ] }

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top