How to clean used shoes



Are you having a problem finding your desired pair of shoes and you are out of money? Or do you think your old ones are doing just well but look a lot dirty? Well, you can always clean your old pairs and you can also buy used shoes. This is a fine way of saving your money and you can also find some vintage footwear in case you buy second-hand shoes and clean them.


There is a majority of people that are cautious of purchasing second-hand footwear keeping in mind that they had been in use and might be infected or grime or can have scratches on them.

But buying worn shoes have their advantages as they can be very cheap and you can find some branded footwear at a comparably low price than actually branded shoes. They can also be washed and sanitized which can make them almost as good as the new ones.

Provided are the ways with which your shoes can be cleaned and disinfected just so they look all new and fresh.


Buying used stuff has its pros and cons. Having a good number of advantages, the only biggest issue of buying second-hand stuff is that we really don’t know how many people have used it, or how they have used it and the question arises is how to disinfect shoes. They might have worn it in their worst of the conditions and might have never cleaned them in forever which could have infected the goods. Also, bacteria are present everywhere around us, including our socks, shoes, sole, etc therefore cleaning of every used good is as necessary as cleaning yourself before wearing new stuff.

Here are some tips to clean the bacteria and other harmful materials from your shoes;


Alcohol, an extremely harmful product for the human body, causing several life-threatening diseases, is actually very effective for non-living material things. It can easily kill germs in used shoes and bacteria that live there in your shoes and also it can help in reducing the foul smell from them.


Here’s how you can use rubbing alcohol for cleaning purpose;

  • Take a huge box or tub that can easily fit your shoes and fill it with alcohol.
  • Remove insoles of the shoes and put them in the tub.
  • Soak the shoes in alcohol for a few hours.
  • Soak the insoles in alcohol separately.
  • Take them out and let them dry.

Your shoes will come out as new as ever.

  1. BLEACH:

Bleach is a strong disinfectant. It might be a great killer of germs but in the same way, it is pretty harmful for stuff like leather and natural dyes or colors of shoes too. It can only be effective when used with a lot of water.


So here is how you can use bleach for only good reasons.

  • Fill a tub with half of the water and about half its quantity of bleach in it.
  • Soak the shoes in water for some time
  • Take them out and let them dry to see the best results.

TIPS// you might not want to use bleach for shoes other than white due to the discoloration the bleach produces. You can spray the mixture of water and bleach inside though.


In case you don’t know the owner of the shoes, you might still want to disinfect them with some antibacterial spray for shoes. Such are shoe disinfectant sprays that can be of internal as well as external use.

Shoes often produce a warm and moist environment for bacteria and germs/ fungus that can cause athlete’s foot, a disease. So how to disinfect shoes from fungus, for this you can use antifungal spray.



Steaming also cleans the germs with its high temperature as hot air can easily kill a lot of pathogens.

The easy method to clean your shoes using steam is;

  • Before using a steam cleaner, dust off any dirt or loose material with a cloth or duster.
  • Apply steam at around 60psi which is most suitable for footwear.
  • Steam can also remove bad odor from the shoes.

How to clean used shoes


Cleaning the insoles is as important as cleaning the outer part of the shoe, as dirty insoles can cause allergies and infections due to hidden bacteria and other pathogens.

Methods to clean insole:

  • Method 1:

If the insole is removable you can easily wash it in a bowl of warm water mixed with soap.

Mix some soap in warm water in a small tub, soak the insole for some time.

Take them out and squeeze water out of them carefully without damaging the material.

Put them on a dry cloth to help them get dry faster.

  • Method 2:

Directly put the insoles in a washer and wash them just like you wash your normal clothes. Just not to put it in the dryer as dry soles when spun hard can cause damage to the material. You can simply air dry them in the open air

  • Method 3:

Spray the insoles with 50 percent water mixed with 50 percent distilled vinegar. Air dry or use a hairdryer to dry them instantly.

  • Method 4:

Take a plastic bag and add some amount of baking soda in it.

Put insoles in the bag and zip it.

Mix well so that baking soda covers the insoles.

Let it sit overnight.

Remove the insoles and the bad odor will no longer be available.


Are you being bothered by the scuffs and marks that make your shoes look old? Don’t worry we have just the right handy solutions for you.

  • You can remove scuffs from the leather by applying a paste of baking soda mixed with water on the infected area. You might want to apply the paste with a soft damp cloth in a circular motion so that you don’t accidentally put a scratch on the shoe.
  • Dark colored shoes often have those light-colored scuffs due to being worn many times. The best way to cover them is shoe polish. But what if you don’t have one? You can use a black color marker to easily cover any light scuff. Petroleum jelly mixed with the desired color also works pretty well.
  • Wearing shoes out in winter causes salt marks. Just the right solution for this problem is applying a cloth dipped in water and some amount of white vinegar.
  • A pencil eraser can be used to remove scuff from suede shoes. Cornstarch can be used to cure oily stains.
  • Strong stains from shoes can be removed by using a toothbrush gently over the infected area. Better to use with a bit of baking soda or soap depending on the type of stain.How to clean used shoes




You need to know a few things before buying anything. Buying second-hand stuff is comparatively difficult from buying something new. So here is a small guide in case you don’t know what things to check before buying used shoes.

  • First of all, make sure the shoes are comfortable and fit just perfectly on both sides.
  • Check if the shoes are smooth and not too worn out.
  • Check for big holes and eroded spots in the sole.
  • Check if the shoes smell bad or good.
  • Make sure the shoes are of good quality.

Choosing the best quality and better condition shoes is the key as cleaning them afterward can surely make them look all new and fresh.

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