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septiembre 24, 2019 5 min read

How to Clean Shoe Soles?

Everyone knows that you cannot build a structure without having a strong, reliant base to build upon. 

The shoe sole is exactly that strong base, and that’s why we shine a light unto it, give it the respect it deserves and treat it properly so that maybe, just maybe, we’ll start seeing some clean, decent shoe soles out there in the world.  

Let us educate you on the importance of the sole, the even greater importance of a clean one and give you some tips so that you could go ahead and clean yours. 

Ready? Here we go. 

Get your cleaning gear on, and let’s do this. 


Shoe manufacturing techniques have evolved throughout time, naturally.  

With the introduction of mass production factories, high-tech 3-D printers and, well, far better materials – shoemaking processes and shoe structures are in constant flux. 

The one thing, though, that is eternally prominent in any tradition or style of shoemaking is the embodiment of the original purpose of a shoe – the sole.  

God have mercy on those poor soles that are left not taken care of.  

And if that’s the case, we’re fulfilling a sacred task – to save them.  

Get some detergents ready, clear out a few minutes of your day (yeah, it only just takes a few minutes) and get cleaning.  

It not out of the desire to have a fresh look, then out of mercy for what they have to go through every day – try walking in their shoes for a while and see for yourselves how desperately they need it.  


 dirty air force shoe sole

Get to Know Them Better – Cleaning Shoe Soles 101 

Every kind of surface has it’s own preferred detergent.  

So, how will you know what fits you best, if you don’t get to know what your sole actually likes? 

Time to go into detail and go behind the scenes of the shoemaking industry! 

Welcome back to 17th century England – where shoemaking just started getting a little fancier. 

Machine-made materials just started replacing the traditional two-layer leather soles that were prominent back then.  

Could you imagine heather just 2 thin layers of leather as your soles?  

Anyway – these new materials started to emerge from the new technological advancements and with them came the understanding – walking on leather soles sucks. 

Imminently the demand for new and improved, actually isolating, soles flood the market and shoemakers started experimenting with new techniques to supply.  

Fast forward a couple of decades and you’re back at the 21st century – when we already know how soles are supposed to feel, and what their actual purpose is.  

That’s why we have, for the most part, reached a consensus for the materials being used; most of the shoes today are made with natural rubber or synthetic polymers.  

Luckily for you both materials are super durable and are very convenient – cleaning methods for both are pretty much the same, so you don’t have to worry your little heads on finding out what your soles are made of.  



Why Even Clean them Anyway? 

Look, we give all the credit that our street cleaners deserve for their hard, dirty, job.  

Really, they are doing an exquisite service to each and every one of us.  

Still, the street is out in the open, and they can’t realistically keep it clean all the time.  

Our soles drag with them into our home dirt, mud, sand, and dust from the outside, and that’s only the visible portion of what they carry on top of themselves.  

I mean, come-one, we all stepped in dog excrement at least once in our life, pardon our French.  

Do you know how exposed you are to E.coli when it happens?  

And how big the exposure is even after a few days have passed?  

Bringing with them bacteria from all around, our shoes are a great place to start a little experiment culture of micro-organisms that are not always the most fun things to have around our house, our clothes and basically everything.  

Cleaning shoe soles can be considered as a health concern, it’s not really of course, but with this excuse in mind we implore you to go and get those micro-assassins off your shoes, and out of your life!  


How to Clean Shoe Soles – White-Out isn’t the Solution 

 When we were kids, painting with white-out was a really big deal in every high school. 

Every kid had their own white-out mini-drawings on their backpack, or in cases or hard-core edgy kids, on their jeans.  

We are, of course, not concerned with this – we care about the shoes.  

Some “cleaning” methods that we have found online set out to take advantage of the whiteness of this office accessory as if it isn’t just a fancy way to stain your shoes.  

White-out, clearly, isn’t a detergent and it doesn’t clean the soles – it coats them with another layer of filth. 

Plus, it hardens and tends to crack and crumble while walking.  

What’s more – is that white-out isn’t always the right shade of white. 

Give it up already, get really clean.  


 yellow nike shoe sole

Rinsing, Bathing or Scrubbing – Clean Rubber Shoe Soles 

 The best ways to clean your shoe soles may be either one of these, depending on the color and condition of it. 

While white-shoe soles might have some more techniques and tricks to be discussed – knowing how to clean colored rubber shoe soles might be handy one day too.  

Using extremely potent detergents, such as nail polish remover or even toothpaste, might result in some degree of discoloration.  

You don’t want that.  

So, what should you do?  

You might like this answer because it takes literally almost no effort on your side.  

First, go and find a pan, or a washing basin, and fill it with water to a height that will submerge the sole entirely but won’t reach the shoe itself.  

Pour in a healthy dose of dish soap, stir a little to help it dissolve, and put in the shoes.  

Keep them in for about 15 minutes or so and the dirt, grime and the rest should be broken apart and easier to scrub off with a cleaning brush, or an old toothbrush.  

Still hard to clean? 

Let it soak a little more, you filthy little minx you.  

We trust that you’ll keep them clean from now on.  



Custom Nike Shoes? White Rubber Soles? This is How to Clean Them 

 Time to talk business, if you’re here you’re probably wondering how to clean your new Nike custom shoe sole without damaging your cool new kicks.  

Well, what can we say, you got to the right place for that!  

There are a lot of methods of cleaning white rubber soles, from nail polish remover to a solution of water and baking soda – but we are simpler people than that.  

What works best for us is toothpaste.  

Yup, whatever works for whitening your teeth – works even better on whitening your shoe soles 

The steps are fairly easy:  

  • Remove all of the dried-up bits and pieces stuck to your shoe.  
    Use a butter knife, or a spatula – be creative.   
  • Squeeze a little toothpaste onto an old toothbrush, a cleaning brush or even paper towels. 
    Whatever works best for you – we find that the bristles tend to get a better result while cleaning. Duh.  
  • Scrub scrub scrub. That’s when the magic happens, and the white starts to get back to its old self again.  
  • Finish off with a wet paper towel and just get all of the excess toothpaste and dirt, and let it dry for a few minutes.  

It’s so easy, you don’t have any excuse not to go on and do it.  


 how to clean sneakers soles

Shoe soles aren’t just the backbone of your shoe, they’re the bottom of the canvas too. 

When the splatters of mud on them is more prominent than the shoe’s design? 

It’s time to clean.  

Go ahead and buy another tube of toothpaste next time – be prepared for any kind of dirt – and enjoy your kicks as they should be enjoyed.