Many people spend hours cleaning their shoes but are they getting the best results? If not, you may need to give them another look.

Blog intro: Shoes can be difficult to clean since the soles and the uppers (the sides and the backs) of the shoes are different materials. You need to consider what kind of shoe you are cleaning for a better result.

In this article, we have discussed the step-by-step guide to clean the shoes with the right cleaners. So let’s begin the discussion.

Different Ways To Clean Bottom Of Shoes:

If you find yourself stuck in a situation where you have dirty or worn-out shoes, you’ve probably thought about trying to clean them but were never sure what you could use.

I’m going to show you five different solutions that are easy and inexpensive.

Get Some Solvents:

The first thing you need is some kind of solvent. A simple spray bottle with a spout is a perfect choice. It’ll last a long time and be easy to clean.

Use A Soap Sponge:

Soap sponges are another good option. They’re easy to use and will clean even the dirtiest shoes. The trick to using one is to keep it clean. After you’re done cleaning your shoes, toss the dirty sponge in some soap and water. Wash it off and keep it around for future use.

Use An Old Toothbrush:

An old toothbrush can be used as a cleaning brush, but it’s not as effective at cleaning as the sponges. Using it, especially on the soles of the shoe, maybe an even better way to clean shoes than using a sponge.

Use Vinegar:

A vinegar/soap solution is the easiest and most inexpensive option. The only problem is it doesn’t do as good of a job. To make a vinegar solution, you’ll need a half cup of white vinegar and some soap. Mix and put in a spray bottle. You can also try it on your hands after washing them.

Use Baking Soda:

This solution isn’t recommended if you’re looking to clean your shoes with water. Baking soda does absorb water, but not very effectively. It does a good job at soaking up oil, though, so you can use it to clean the bottom of your shoes or even the soles. Mix equal parts of baking soda and water. The key is to add enough water that it forms a paste. Spread it around the bottom of the shoes and let it dry. When the baking soda has soaked up all the oil, brush off the excess.

Step By Step Guide To Clean Bottom of Shoes:

I’ve tried about every type of shoe cleaner there is, and I still find this to be the most efficient and effective one. It’s also ridiculously simple and will get you started immediately with little effort and zero cost.

  • Put some soap on a sponge.
  • Put some lukewarm water in a bowl (just enough to cover the base of the sponge).
  • Rub the soap in a circular motion until all sides are wet, and squeeze out excess water.
  • Pour a small amount of salt (about a teaspoon) into the bowl.
  • Rub the top of the shoe with the salt and place it on a dry surface.
  • Fill the shoe with the cleaner of your choice, then close it shut.
  • Rub the top of the shoe with a damp towel to remove the salt.
  • Dry the shoe as you normally would.

That’s it. This method may not work for every type of shoe, but if you’re having trouble finding a good solution, give this a try!

What Are The Best Shoe Cleaners? 

The most effective shoe cleaner will consist of two parts:

  • The ingredients
  • The actual method

The ingredients must be effective. That is why the first thing we recommend to make sure you have a good shoe cleaner is a good shoe brush. Here are some best options that you can use. 

  1. Brush-based
  2. Scent-based
  3. Odor-free

Using A Brush:

There are three main types of brushes you’ll need to clean shoes with:

  • a brush head
  • a brush bristle
  • a brush handle

A Brush Head:

This is a plastic or metal circle, usually with bristles sticking out of it. These types of brushes usually cost around $10. There are also many inexpensive “plastic” versions available, but these are usually just plastic tubes with bristles on both ends. These are not as effective as the metal versions, but they are still acceptable.


Bristles are the longest, thickest, hardest, and most effective part of a shoe brush. Bristles are usually made from animal hair and are usually less expensive than a brush head. They will usually be sold in bundles of 100, so make sure you have the right size for your shoes.


Most shoe brushes come with handles. They can be used to hold the brush when cleaning your shoes. You will want to use this type of brush to clean your shoes and shoes that are extra dirty.

Using Scent-Based Cleaners:

Scent-based cleaners can be either natural or artificial. Natural ones tend to be cheaper than artificial ones, but they are more effective. Many of these contain essential oils or plant extracts. Various perfumes can also work. You’ll have to experiment a bit to figure out which scent is best for you.

Some good natural options include:

  • Vodka
  • Alcohol
  • Wine
  • Ethanol (used in rubbing alcohol)
  • Lemon juice
  • Ricinus
  • Orange juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Citric acid

Odor-Free Cleaners:

Odor-free cleaners are usually just that - no smell. These can be both natural and artificial, and they are typically easier on the environment because they are more environmentally friendly than scented products. These cleaners can also be more expensive, so if you can’t afford the odor-free option, the next best thing to try is a bottle of unscented hand soap.

You can even use unscented body lotion as a cleaner. You won’t get the full effect of the scent, but it will help the shoes stay cleaner.

Using a Bucket or Bag:

If all else fails, there are many different ways to clean your shoes. If you have access to a bucket or bag, simply add a few cups of water to the bucket and then add some of your shoe cleaners. Stir it up until it’s mixed well, and then you’re ready to clean your shoes! If you don’t have access to a bucket or bag, you can use a plastic bag instead, or simply clean them with plain water.

You can also use your hands! Use a paper towel to rub them down, then wash them. It’s usually faster than cleaning with any type of cleaner, but it’s not as effective.

The Bottom Line:

The best way to keep your shoes clean is by using a shoe cleaner. Shoe cleaners come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and costs.

I prefer the small, lightweight, and portable options, but the biggest consideration is how much you’ll use them. If you wear your shoes every day, you may not need a full-size cleaning tool.

Another consideration is whether or not you’d like a more affordable option or a high-quality cleaning solution that lasts longer.

I'm Jiskcosn author of You can find me on the Internet, sharing information about Shoes & Boots that will help you make decisions about your footwear needs. I love writing about my favorite shoes! Ever since I was little, I've been obsessed with shoes. It's not unusual for me to have more than 100 pairs in my closet at any given time. My girlfriend always teases me about it, but she secretly loves when I buy her new heels! I've been running ShoeSelector since 2020. My goal is to provide you with all of the necessary knowledge needed before making your purchase decision and provide all this information in one place for those who are looking for it! I run this website with my team of like-minded individuals who share my passion for footwear. It's really important that we provide our readers with unbiased reviews and a Detailed Buying Guide so when you read something on this site it's always coming from someone who has actually worn them out there in the real world. You are more than welcome if you wish to connect and share your ideas. I am ready to help you with any questions about shoes that you may have, just leave me a comment.