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7 Steps on How to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them?

Buying shoes has always been a difficult task for me. I always get confused about which pair to select from those vibrant colored and stylish shoes. So, there is much time when I do not find my boots attractive to me when I come home and have to return the pair to the shop.

Some shops refuse to take return bought a minute ago, and even though some take a return but with a strong condition, “Do not break the seal. The shop, in return, won’t take damaged and dirty shoes.”

As I have faced these problems many times, I can share some hacks with you. It would be best if you always considered cleaning the shoe before returning. But the problem is how to clean the bottom of shoes to replace them?

When Does a Shop Take the Shoe Return?

Well, the return policy is not abided by all the shops. So before buying, please check whether the shop takes a return if there is any problem with the shoe.

You cannot return the shoe if there are any cracks or break in the shoe after using it for some time. But you can return the shoe without these problems except for some dust and dirt. Do not panic. Clean your shoe and replace them.

Sometimes it is seen that customers are not intended to buy the shoe. They buy a pair of shoes and take them home. After using it for some time, they want to return the shoe and enjoy a refund. It is called “return abuse.” To avoid this problem, shops took many measures to receive returned shoes to avoid deceiving.

Methods to Clean the Bottom of Shoes to Return Them

Sole and fabrics of the shoe are of great concern when it comes to returning the shoe. With the usage and effects of the weather, dust and dirt are trapped to it, which causes discoloration and loss of longevity.

Here are some easy and simple hacks that you can follow to clean the shoes’ bottom for returning. All the ingredients are readily available in our house.

Use of detergent:

Detergent is a great cleaning agent. It is magnificently effective while cleaning a rubber shoe and leather shoe.


  • A clean and soft toothbrush.
  • Detergent powder.
  • Water.


  • Mix the detergent with water.
  • Clean the toothbrush.
  • Dip the toothbrush in a detergent solution.
  • Gently rub the bottom of the shoe with that toothbrush.
  • Wipe the bottom of the shoe with a wet towel.
  • Wait until air dries the shoe.

Use dishwasher powder or gel:

Dishwasher soap is rich in surfactants, fragrances, salts, dyes. It is commonly used in dishwashing utensils. But you can consider the everyday use of dishwasher soap in cleaning the bottom of the shoe.


  • A big bowl.
  • Lukewarm water.
  • Dishwasher powder or gel.
  • A clean towel.


  • Loosely dust off the dirt from the shoe.
  • Fill a big bowl with lukewarm water at the level of the bottom of the shoe.
  • Mix dishwater gel or powder with water.
  • Let the shoe soak the water for ten minutes.
  • Scrub the sole and wipe the excess water with a towel.
  • Dry the sole of the shoe.

Use toothpaste:

We all need toothpaste to brush our teeth every day. It is rich in fluoride, glycerol, sorbitol, calcium bicarbonate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.


  • Non-gel white toothpaste.
  • A clean, soft toothbrush.
  • A clean towel.


  • Wet the toothbrush with water.
  • Take and white toothpaste on the brush
  • Apply gently on the dirty spot.
  • Leave the toothpaste for ten minutes.
  • Wipe it off with a clean, dry towel lastly.

Use vinegar:

Vinegar is slightly acidic and so acts as a good cleanser of your shoe. It has an outstanding cosmetic value.


  • A clean cloth.
  • White vinegar.


  • Dust off your shoe.
  • Take some drops of vinegar on a clean cloth.
  • Gently rub the dirty spot in a circular motion.
  • Repeat the process until clean.
  • Finally, wipe it with a clean, wet towel.
  • Please wait until it air dries.

Use bleaching powder:

The antioxidant feather of bleaching powder helps to remove all dust and dirt from cloth. Bleaching powder contains a high amount of calcium hypochlorite. It quickly washes the dirty shoes.


  • Water.
  • Bleaching powder. 
  • Protective gloves.


  • Dust of the loose soil, dirt from shoes.
  • Mix bleaching powder with water.
  • Clean the dark spots with the solution.
  • Let the shoe dry.


  • Bleaching powder is corrosive. So use a little amount of bleaching powder.
  • Put on protective gloves before using the bleaching powder solution.

Use a mixture of washing powder and baking soda.

Have you walked with the shoe that you intend to return? Then it is easy to trap soil, mud, and stubborn spots under the sole of the shoe. Then use the mixture of washing powder and baking soda to remove these stubborn spots.


  • Washing powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Water.
  • Towel.
  • Brush (according to preference).

Preparation of the mixture:

  • Take water in a large bowl.
  • Add washing powder and baking soda in a 1.5: 1 ratio.
  • Stir the mixture, and it is ready to use.


  • Dip a clean brush in the mix.
  • Gently rub on the sole of the shoe.
  • Wipe it off with a wet towel.
  • Let the shoe dry naturally.

Use a nail polish remover:

If you have a shoe with colored fabrics or muddy sole, this method works the best.


  • A cotton bud.
  • A nail polish remover.


  • Dip a cotton bud in nail polish remover.
  • Apply it on the sole.
  • Scrub for few seconds.
  • Use clean cotton to remove the excess nail polish.


A shoe represents your style and how much you are familiar with fashion. Sometimes you may be wrong in picking shoes. But do not panic. You have the option to clean the dirt and return the shoe if the shop abides by the return policy.

You can follow the article on “How to clean the bottom of shoes to return them?” Use these simple hacks to make the shoe as right as new and lets us know your experience.