How to Keep Shoes Clean & Fresh

Knowing how to keep your shoes fresh and clean will save you money by not having to replace them as often.

We use shoes to protect our feet, keep our feet warm, or sometimes simply to make a fashion statement. No matter what the reason we wear them, all of the wear and tear can leave our shoes in bad shape. Knowing how to keep shoes fresh and clean will save you money by not having to replace them as often. These cleaning and care tips can help extend the life of your shoes.

Sandals or Flip Flops

Wipe the outside amp; inside of sandals out with a warm wet cloth dipped in a baking soda and water solution. Spray Lysol on both the soles and insides of the sandals and let them air dry.


Wipe off any stains such as grass, chocolate and grease with a wet, hot soft cloth and some fabric cleaner or stain remover such as Shout. If the stains are stubborn and don't come off with the wet cloth, scoop up about a teaspoon of Goo Gone and wipe on in circular motions to remove the stain. Once the sneakers are clean, rinse with a clean hot wet cloth or toss them in the washing machine. If you put them in the washing machine be sure to remove the shoelaces first so the shoes and laces don't stretch out of shape. Once the shoes are clean put them in a place with good airflow so they can air dry quickly and thoroughly. Place a Bounce dryer sheet into each sneaker after they dry and leave the dryer sheet in the shoes until you are ready to wear them so they will retain a nice fresh odor. Baby powder works well also to keep sneakers smelling fresh and clean.

Hiking Boots

Use a soft shoe brush to remove any sand or dirt. If the hiking boots are caked in mud, let the mud dry and then use a butter knife to gently scrape the mud off. After all of the mud is removed take a soft cloth and dip it into hot soapy laundry detergent and wipe the outside of the boots off. Rinse the cloth out and wipe the boots down again. Use a damp warm wet cloth to wipe the inside of the boots out with and dip the cloth into a mild clean scented cleaning solution such as lavender scented Fabuloso. Let the boots air dry and then sprinkle some baking soda or baby powder inside of each boot to soak up any excess moisture.

Leather Boots or Shoes

Clean leather shoes using a damp terry cloth and use a gentle amp; mild soap such as Johnson amp; Johnson baby shampoo. To remove any scuffmarks you can use a cotton ball dipped into rubbing alcohol and gently rub the scuffmark off. Rinse well with a soft cloth and let them air dry. To keep the shoes smelling great apply a leather cream conditioner each time you wear them.

House Shoes

Many house shoes will lose their shape and be too snug on the foot if they are put through a vigorous cycle in the washing machine and hot dryer. To keep your house shoes from shrinking or losing shape, it's better to wash them by hand using a mild detergent. After washing, rinse them in warm water and then wring each house shoe by hand. Reshape the shoes with your fingers and set them in an area where they can air dry. After they are completely dry, you can sprinkle baby powder into each house shoe to absorb any lingering odor.