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How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them

There are times when you buy a pair of shoes that you liked. After coming home and wearing them, you suddenly decide that you don’t want these shoes. The first thing that comes to your mind is to return them to the shop and get a refund for them. But you might have already walked 1 mile wearing it. So people fall into a dilemma that whether to return them in their present state or clean the bottom of the shoes to return them. In both ways, whether the shop will take back your shoe or not, totally depends on the shop’s policy.

There are shops that don’t take back shoes, and there are some that take back shoes in some condition. Shops that takes back shoe generally want the shoe to be totally in new condition. Any sign of dirt, rubbing, or cutting will make the shoe unqualified to return. In the case of cutting and rubbing, there is no option, but for dirt, the user can do something. To do that you need to know how to clean the bottom of shoes to return them.

How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them

In this case, the user can clean the bottom of the shoe and then return them. Other parts of the shoe will remain intact for a while. But the bottom part of the sole will get dirty while walking. So you can clean them, and the cleaning method is not that hard. You can use household items to do that easily.

How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them

You can use a toothbrush, toothpaste, vinegar, bleaching powder, etc.

So, first of all, you have to find an unused toothbrush. Then try to wash the sole of the shoe to clean the mud or dirt from the bottom. You will only need one type of cleanser to clean.

cleaning boots

How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them


Detergent is the right way of cleaning the dirt of any kind of rubber or leather. Just clean the toothbrush before starting to clean. Then mix the detergent powder with some water. Dip the brush into the liquid solution. Then gently rub them all over the bottom of the shoe. Then when you are satisfied with the cleaning, rub the surface of the sole with a towel. The towel will soak the water and help in the drying process.


You can use toothpaste. Toothpaste is suitable for a shoe sole that is white-colored. It is an excellent whitening item. Just take some toothpaste on your brush then rub the bottom of the shoe with it. Then apply the damp cloth to it.


Vinegar is an excellent cleanser. You don’t need a brush for using vinegar to clean the bottom of the shoe. You need to find a rag or an old piece of cloth. Then apply some vinegar on the rag then start rubbing the sole of the shoe and keep rubbing. You have to do that repeatedly until the bottom is thoroughly cleaned. Finally, clean the sole with water then dry the shoe.

Dish Soap

You need to rub a piece of cloth with dish soap. Then start wiping the bottom of the shoe with it. They will clean the mud and stench off the bottom of the shoe. You can Repeat the process if you are not content with the cleaning. Then dry the sole with a towel.

Bleaching Powder

Bleaching powder cleans the bottom of the shoe quickly. Pour some bleaching powder into the water. Then clean the bottom of the shoe with it. Then clean the soles with water and dry them. Always remember to use protective gloves, as bleaching powder is sometimes harmful to the hand. Also, pour a very little amount of bleaching powder as too much bleaching powder may harm the rubber of the shoe.

You can buy other types of cleaning items from the market. There are many types of cleaners in the market and online. Although it doesn’t totally guarantee that you will be able to return your shoe. Because it will depend on the buyback policy of the shop. But there is a good chance that if you don’t wear the shoe for a long time and clean them properly, the shop may take back your shoe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wash Sneaker Insoles?

Insole washing is a good way to remove sweat and bacteria from your insoles. It will help them last longer and also prevent any foot odor that might occur.

Yes, you can wash your sneaker insoles with some cold water and soap, but it’s important to remember that they are not machine-washable.

What Can I Soak My Shoes in to Get Rid of the Smell?

You can soak your shoes in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to get rid of the smell. It is a great way to kill the bacteria that cause smelly feet. Another option is putting them in vinegar overnight.

Does Putting Stinky Shoes in the Freezer Work?

No, putting your shoes in the freezer does not work. Putting your shoes in the freezer is not a good idea because they will freeze and crack, which will ruin them.

Should I Clean the Bottom of My Shoes?

Yes, it is important to clean the bottom of your shoes. There are many benefits of cleaning your shoes like:

  • It prevents bacteria from building up and spreading.
  • It will keep your shoe looking new for a longer period.
  • It will help you avoid getting sick by killing any germs in the shoe.
  • You can wear your shoes without having to worry about odor or other harmful substances seeping into them as they get older.

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