How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them? (Explained!)

But what if you wore them a couple of times? Needless to say, you need to do some work to bring them back to their original condition. That said, you might ask how to clean the bottom of the shoes to return them.

Baking soda, laundry detergent, bleach, all these cleaning solutions work effectively for cleaning the bottom of shoes. You can also use vinegar or toothpaste as they contain cleaning agents. Use one of these solutions and scrub with a brush until the stains disappear.

So, that’s the short story of how to clean the bottom of shoes to look new. But you might still be confused about what to do. After all, there’s a right way of doing things. I won’t waste any more time. Let’s explain each method separately, shall we?

How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them

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How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them? (5 easy methods)

You already know a little bit about how to make shoes look unworn. But you need the full story to get a proper idea about the steps. That said, here are 5 surefire methods with detailed instructions-

Method 1: Baking Soda and Detergent

Step 1: Clean the Caked-on Dirt

The first step is to remove the existing dirt. If the shoes have a lot of dry dirt, you might want to go outside and slap them together. That’ll take care of the dirt.

Then, focus on the remaining dirt. Use a butter knife or scraper if you need help.

Step 2: Scrub off Loose Dirt with a Dry Scrub Brush

Simple slapping won’t take care of the small dirt particles. So, grab a dry scrub brush and let it take care of the job. Scrubbing more will essentially make the cleaning solution’s job much easier. But there’s no need to overdo it.

Step 3: Make a 1:1 Solution of Baking Soda and Detergent

Take 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of detergent. But if you think this isn’t enough, you can always add more. Just make sure you maintain the ratio.

Step 4: Start Scrubbing with a Brush

Now, it’s time for the cleaning solution to take over. Cover the scrub brush with the cleaning solution and start scrubbing in circular motions. However, you should be careful about not getting the solution on the shoe’s fabric.

Step 5: Rinse it with a Cloth or Sponge

Let the solution sit for 2-3 minutes and then rinse it with a soaked cloth or sponge. You can use whatever you like, just make sure there’s no cleaning solution left of the rubber.

Step 6: Dry the Shoes and Re-do the Process If Necessary

Your job is almost done. Now, dry the shoes and see if there are any stains left. If there is, you’ll know how to re-do it.

Method 2: Dishwashing Liquid and Warm Water

Step 1: Fill a Pan with 0.5-inch Lukewarm Water

Find a pot that’s large enough to hold your shoes flat. Now fill it up with just enough water to submerge only the rubber sole. And make sure it’s warm enough.

If you don’t have a large enough pot, you can do your shoes one at a time. But, needless to say, it would take much more time.

Step 2: Mix a Few Drops of Dishwashing Liquid

After the water level is just right, put in a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Mix the liquid thoroughly as the method won’t work otherwise. And if the white shoes are really dirty you might consider adding bleach instead of dishwashing soap.

Step 3: Soak the Shoes for a While

The waiting game starts now. Leave your shoes in the solution for at least 13-15 minutes. That should give it enough time to break up the stubborn dirt. But you should consider adding more waiting time if the shoes are especially dirty.

Step 4: Scrub the Shoes

After the wait, take out the shoes and start scrubbing with a scrubbing brush. Although do overdo it with a steel bristle brush. Then, you’ll never be able to return them.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

The main part is done. Rinse the shoes with a soft cloth and let them dry. If the method didn’t work, you should try out a different one.

Method 3: Using Toothpaste

  • Step 1: Clean the Existing Dirt

Like before, the first step is to clean the packed-on dirt. You already know how to do it. So, I’m not going into details.

  • Step 2: Apply Some Toothpaste and Wait for a While

Now, put on some toothpaste on the rubber sole and mix it thoroughly. But don’t start scrubbing right away. Give the toothpaste some time to break up the dirt particles. A good 13 to 15 minutes would do the job.

  • Step 3: Start Scrubbing with a Scrub Brush

After the wait is over, you can start scrubbing. Scrub until all the dirt and grime blend in with the toothpaste.

  • Step 4: Wipe the Shoes with a Wet and Dry Cloth Respectively

You can’t let toothpaste stay on the shoes. That said, clean up the remains with a clean wet cloth. After that’s done, rub it with a dry cloth. Although you can use a tissue too if you’d want.

Method 4: Nail Polish Remover

Step 1: Remove Any Existing Dirt

You’d be wasting nail polish if you don’t rub off the excess dirt first. So, take care of it with good old slapping and scrubbing.

Step 2: Soak a Cotton Ball in Nail Polish Remover

Now that the dirt is gone, apply some nail polish remover on a cotton ball. The rubber sole is a large area so make sure you get an adequate amount of nail polish. 

Step 3: Clean the Entire Bottom

Don’t wait after you’ve soaked the cotton ball. Nail polish remover can evaporate faster than you can imagine. So, start scrubbing right away. Chances are the liquid will dry off midway.

If that happens, soak it again and continue until all the stains are gone. The good side of this method is it doesn’t make a mess. Thus, you don’t need to clean up afterward.

Method 5: Vinegar

Step 1: Remove Loose Dirt

In the previous 4 methods of how to clean the bottom of shoes, I’ve already explained it. So, you know what to do.

Step 2: Soak a Cloth in Vinegar

Now, soak a clean rag in vinegar and apply it to the shoes. Then, give the vinegar some time to break up the grime.

Step 3: Continue Rubbing the Cloth Until the Stains Disappear

After a few minutes of waiting, start rubbing with the same cloth. You can opt for a brush if the shoes need special care. But make sure to clean all the stains.

Step 4: Wipe the Shoes

Don’t leave the vinegar on the shoes. Take a wet cloth and wipe the shoes. But then again, you should try a more effective cleaning solution if the stains are still there.

Handy Hints: If you interested to know more guides about crocs shoes, visit our other article about How To Whiten Yellow Soles On Shoes?

How to Get Gum Off Shoes? (4 easy methods)

Any of the above-mentioned methods won’t work if somehow a piece of gum gets stuck in your shoes. So, here are 4 methods of how you can solve that too-

Method 1: Peanut Butter

You might’ve heard about this method before. What you need to do is apply some peanut butter to the affected area. Depending on how hard the gum is, give it around 15 to 30 minutes.

After that, it should become one with butter. Then you can scrape off the remaining with a butter knife. But make sure to clean the shoes afterward to avoid any peanut smell.

Method 2: WD-40

WD-40 has a lot more uses than you can imagine. That said, you have to spray some WD-40 to the area and it should become soft after a while. Once that happens, you can use a scraper to remove the gum.

Method 3: Ice Cubes

This one’s my least favorite method as I have to hold and rub the ice cubes myself. It’s just that other methods are far easier. But needless to say, rubbing ice cubes works wonders for removing gum. And you don’t have to clean up afterward.

Method 4: Freezer

Putting in the freezer is by far the easiest method. You put the shoes in a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours. Although some might love their shoes too much and avoid putting them in the freezer.

How to Get Grass Stains off the Bottom of Shoes with 3 steps?

Even if you’ve only worn your brand-new shoes one time, chances are it’s filled with dirt stains. It will take some time to remove the stains but it’s not an impossible task.

1- Laundry Detergent

First up is the most common cleaning ingredient, laundry detergent. It can remove grass stains from cloth so shoes shouldn’t be that different. Scrub the shoes with a soft-bristled brush and the stains should disappear.

2- Vinegar

Laundry detergent is a bit harsh on your shoes. If you’re in need of a natural element, vinegar is your best friend. Rub the shoes with a vinegar-soaked cloth and it should do the trick.

3- Dishwashing Soap

You can use a combination of dishwashing soap and warm water to get the job done faster. And it’s a lot less harsh than laundry detergent.

Why You Should Ban Shoes Inside the House?

You might want to wear your newly bought shoes all the time, including indoors. But that’s something you should always avoid. Here’s why-

Reason 1: Your Shoes Don’t Become a Breeding Ground for Bacteria

It’s not news that shoes contain a lot of bacteria if you wear them for a long time. No one can walk barefoot outside but you should give your feet some rest while you’re at home. 

Reason 2: You Don’t Introduce Toxins in Your Home

Who knows what you’ve walked over? There might be gasoline traces or any number of things you wouldn’t want to introduce in your home.

Reason 3: There’s Less Cleaning to Do

Now, this goes without saying that you’ll have a lot less cleaning to do. This allows you to have extra time you can use on a different task.

Reason 4: Your Floor Lasts Longer

Even though you might not see it, your shoes will eventually wear off your floor. As a matter of fact, you’re only fast-forwarding the process.

Reason 5: Your Shoes Don’t Go Missing

Your shoes stay right where they belong, in the shoe cabinet. You don’t have to spend hours looking for them the next you want to go out.

How to Clean White Rubber Shoe Soles?

Stains are already stubborn. But when it comes to white rubber soles, they tend to cross the limit. Fortunately, there’s a way to fix this-

Remember the submerging method? The one where you soak the shoes in a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Well, it’s the same method. Except you add in a few drops of bleach too.

Do the steps as I explained and it should be squeaky clean.

Our verdict on How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them

When you’ll be cleaning the shoes, always keep in mind that your first priority is to bring back the pristine condition without too much roughhousing. Don’t rush while cleaning as the sales staff might figure out what you did.

Well, that’s it. Comment down below about your story of how you returned a pair of shoes after cleaning them.

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