The Detailed Instructions on How to Clean Used Shoes Properly

Shoes are considered one of the important accessories in people’s life. Every day we all wear them to work, hang out, travel, etc. Therefore, each of us possesses at least a basic pair or even more. If you are a thrift shopping fanatic, you definitely cannot ignore second-hand shoes with unique vintage styles. This type of footwear is a great solution to not only have a flexible fashion look but also save you a lot of money. However, how many of you here know the harms of old shoes if they are not cleaned and sanitized well? In case you’re so excited about the newly purchased pairs that you skip this step, you might encounter a lot of troubles.

If you still have no idea about all of the above issues, then the article How to clean used shoes today is definitely for you, read it now to apply a good cleaning method to both the shoes you have just thrifted and the ones you have stored for too long in the closet!

How to clean used shoes properly to give them a brand new look

What dirty shoes are used?

Oak Street will divide used shoes into two categories, thrifted shoes, and old shoes.

– Thrifted shoes are the footwear that has been used and resold; they are still in good condition but the outside and inside might look a bit old and have a lot of dust.

– Old shoes are footwear that has been used for a long time; they become discolored, stained, scratched, or worn soles, etc. These shoes, if not being used anymore, will be put in a corner. Then, they slowly accumulate moisture, dust, thereby becoming dirty shoes.

The reasons why being lazy cleaning shoes

Shoes are the most commonly used fashion item, but also the easiest to get dirt on because they come into contact with the road surface. In addition, with special thicknesses and materials, they often dry out very long.

Washing in water and soap is also easy to cause your shoes to peel off glue and form, while hand washing a shoe takes a lot of effort and dry time – one and a half to two days, season. Wetness can be up to three or four days. If there is not enough sunlight, shoes will be moldy and have an unpleasant odor.

Perhaps these are the reasons why we are too lazy to wash and clean them regularly.

Dangerous harms when wearing dirty old shoes

Dangerous harms when wearing dirty old shoes

  1. Reduce the life of the shoes

No matter how good your shoes are and how durable the materials are, without care and care, their shelf life may not exceed 3 months. Dirt and dust clinging to the fabric of rotting and fading, leather and footwear often flake, which is more vulnerable and difficult to overcome. The more dirt the shoe soles cling to, the less friction they have with the ground, making them slippery.

  1. Bacteria and mold on shoes cause feet diseases

When dirt and mold bacteria build up on shoes, but you don’t clean them and use them right away, you are more likely to get dangerous foot diseases, usually fungal infections, blisters, or odor.

In particular, you should not use a pair of socks for a few weeks without washing because they are foot protection, when your feet are continuously sweating when moving, if they encounter a dirty pair of socks, they can easily cause numerous pathogens. The stench of socks is not pleasant either for yourself or for everyone.

How to care for and clean shoes when you don’t have time

Why are there people who wear a pair of shoes for 4-5 years but others for only a few months? The quality of the shoe when you buy it is one thing, but the important thing here is how you store it.

  1. Change bad habits

Most of us have the habit of leaving shoes indiscriminately everywhere or being lazy to wash and change socks. The first thing to do is buy yourself a neat shoe shelf. Next, equip a few more shoeboxes, which can be plastic or paper, to store the pairs you love when you have not had the opportunity to use them.

  1. Clean shoes periodically

Shoes may not need to be washed too often like clothes. However, if you go hiking that day or go out all day with dirt and sweat a lot, you should wash it right away. As Workwear Magazine shared, heavy washing will cause magnetic dullness, discoloration, and glue removal, so only clean at the right time!

**The most optimal solutions**

– Wash and change socks continuously.

– If you see dirt, you should use a water bottle to clean the pair immediately.

– Frequently cleaning with a dedicated shoe cleaner; they are not too expensive!

– Shoe insoles and laces are replaceable, so if they are too old, you should buy another.

– Worn or broken shoes need fixing immediately.

– When going back home, you should remove the dirt both inside and outside the shoe. Then, stand them up to dry.

– Remember to put shoe pads into the toe to keep the form before storing it in the box.

Detailed instructions on how to clean used shoes

How to clean used shoes

  1. Things to prepare to clean shoes

– Soft toothbrush.

– Soap or detergent with a moderate concentration of detergents.

– Toothpaste.

– Warm water.

– Toilet paper.

– White cotton towel.

  1. Steps to clean old shoes

Step 1.

– You should remove the shoelaces and the insoles inside the shoes. Most sneaker insoles are removable, except for some shoes where the padding is securely fastened, in which case you should not attempt to remove the padding.

– Slightly hit the shoe on the ground or pat it on newspaper to let the dirt on the sole fall off.

– Get a dry towel, slowly remove the dirt on the shoe, then wipe with a dry towel.

Step 2.

– Pour warm water into the basin, add detergent with enough detergent and stir well with a mixture of water and detergent.

– Put your shoes and laces in a warm water solution, this will help the solution soak deeply into the fabric.

– Wash the shoelaces, soak for 5 – 10 minutes depending on the dirtiness of the shoelaces, then rinse them thoroughly.

– Use an old toothbrush to brush the surface of the shoes, scrub all over the surface of the shoe even where you think they are not dirty. Then, you brush the inside of the shoe, which not only brings freshness to the shoe but also helps eliminate bacteria that your feet have put on the shoe.

– Rinse shoes with cold water, use a clean toothbrush, gently scrub any remaining detergent, making sure to remove any foam from your shoes.

– Use a toothpaste brush to scrub the sole of the shoe, then wipe it off with a wet bristle and wipe with a dry cloth.

Step 3.

– You put white paper in the shoes and let them dry overnight. Remember not to use newspapers because the ink in the newspaper will seep into the shoes, causing the shoes to stain.

– Avoid drying the shoes in direct sunlight, and thread the shoes only when both of them are dry.

Avoid drying shoes in the direct sunlight


+ It is recommended to rinse all soap thoroughly before drying.

+ Avoid drying shoes in direct sunlight.

+ Should use toilet paper to cover the shoe surface because the paper is capable of absorbing soap remaining inside the shoe. When the shoes dry, the absorbent paper will turn yellow, but the shoes will be very white.

+ For white canvas shoes, you can use a small amount of bleach to brighten the shoes, but remember to use dye-free bleach so that the shoes will not turn yellow after washing.

+ Some synthetic shoes are best washed by hand, not by washing machine.


Whether you go to school, to work, or hang out, wearing a pair of clean shoes makes you feel more confident. But the fact is, the more you wear, the faster they will get old, or sometimes they are the unique yet cheap pair you find in a thrift store, so in this case, to give them a brand new and clean look, you need to apply appropriate techniques to wash shoes to achieve the best results. Depending on the material of the sole and the shoe body, we also have different ways of the shoe cleaning process.

That is the end of the lines of sharing the tips on how to clean used shoes by Workwear Magazine. Hope that the above content is useful for you. If you like or have any questions, please comment or message us!