How to Clean Shoe Soles

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

The insides of your shoes may develop odors and get dirty, but the soles of shoes see more than their fair share of dirt and grime as well. When the soles of your shoes are soiled, it’s easy to track the muck indoors, and sometimes, even bacteria tags along. According to ABC News, a study by the University of Arizona found nine distinct types of bacteria on various people’s shoes. Periodically cleaning the soles of your shoes can get rid of caked-on dirt, as well as any germs that may be lurking on the bottoms.

Scrape off any caked-on dirt and debris with a butter knife. Use the knife to get into the crevices on the bottoms of the shoes.

Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Add a couple drops of mild dish soap and mix it up well. Sit the shoes in the soapy water. Use only enough water to cover the soles of the shoes; depending on the material of the shoes, soaking the rest of the shoe in water may cause damage.

Let the soles soak for 30 minutes.

Remove the shoes from the soapy water and scrub the soles one at a time with an old toothbrush or shoe brush until all the dirt and grime is gone.

Wipe the soles of the shoes with a rag and plain water to remove any soap and dirt residue. Dry with a clean rag.