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How To Disinfect Used Shoes?

How To Disinfect Used Shoes?


The ideal pair of shoes can come in a distinctive shape, size, and state of freshness. In case you found your favorite pair of shoes in a second-hand store or a rummage trade, some bit of Tender Loving Care may be necessary before you put them on.

One of the drawbacks of purchasing used shoes is that they’re typically associated with grime, dirt, and scuff marks on their structure.

Even if they’re in good condition, it’s always a good idea to disinfect them before you squeeze your feet inside. You have no idea where they’ve been before.

If you want to spare a touch of energy and have your shoes disinfected, here are some handy tips to help clean both the interior and exterior of the shoes. You will walk around in style and confidence as if they’ve always been yours.

Cleaning the Insoles

When you want to wash your shoes, remove the inserts, and wash them first. To do this, you will want to prepare a mixture of warm water and cleaning detergent. Then use a sponge or a rag to clean the insoles, scrubbing away the dirt, stains, and smells.

After scrubbing the insoles with the cleaning mixture, rinse the inserts with warm water and lay them close to a window or open clean surface to dry.

If they are still smelly after cleaning, place them in a synthetic pack with some baking soda and leave them for some time, maybe overnight.

In case they still smell unpleasant after a night of baking soda, soak them for at least three hours in a mixture of water and vinegar. Then rewash your insoles with cleaning detergent to eradicate the scent of the vinegar.

Removing Scuffs

If you’re worried that masks and scuffs on your shoes make them look old or downright unpleasant- and the cleaning method doesn’t work- there are various spot-treatment techniques you may want to try.

You can get rid of scuffs from leather or such materials using a paste made with created soda and water. Rub the paste on the shoe in circular motions using a damp cloth. Be careful not to scuff the shoe.

If you’re not willing to polish the shoes, you may consider camouflaging spot areas with a permanent marker that matches the color of the leather. Petroleum jelly can also help get rid of scuffs from patent leather shoes. Additionally, glass cleaner also works on shiny, faux leather footwear.

Other types of shoes that are hard to disinfect are those designed with rope or cork-covered outsole. To clean the edge of such shoes, you will need to have a mixture of warm water (4 cups), ¼ cup white vinegar, and one teaspoon washing detergent.

Dip a toothbrush in the solution and scrub the dirty areas gently. Work in one direction to protect the soles from tattering if they are made of rope.

Washing Machine for Machine Washable Shoes

There are a lot of machine-washable shoes out there, including sneakers, running shoes, and most fabric footwear. If the shoes are launderable, wash them in water and an effective cleanser.

After washing, leave them to air dry rather than throwing them in the dryer. Remember to remove the shoe bands before putting the shoes in the washer. For suede, leather, or other delicate material, do not put them in the washer. Instead, hop over to the next method.

Also Read:  How To Keep Wet Shoes From Smelling?

Hand-wash Your Shoes if They’re Made from Nicer Materials

If you want to disinfect nice shoes or models made from more sensitive materials, you’ll be better off washing them by hands, rather than tossing them in the washer. You’ll need to have a soapy mixture of warm water and liquid cleaning detergent.

Use a gentle brush or rag to scrub the shoes with the mixture. After cleaning the shoes with the mixture, use a clean rag, and wipe the shoes with warm water to remove the soap residue from the shoe’s away.

Leather shoes can be washed by hand. Use a rag to scrub the shoes with the soapy mixture gently. Suede shoes can be cleaned by hands too, though you’ll have to be more careful.

A rag and soft-bristled brush will help you wash the suede material. You can ideally do the cleaning in downward strokes. This will help to alleviate stains from the fabric. Besides, if you’re not quite so sure about how to clean your suede shoes, you can take them to a professional cleaner or a shoe expert for that matter.

Disinfectant Chemicals

Start by soaking your shoes in rubbing alcohol. This is particularly effective if you want to get rid of the smell and bacteria from your thrift shoes. If they are made of cloth, soak them in a tub, or an accommodative bowl of rubbing alcohol. If the shoes are crafted with more sensitive material, carefully scrub them down using a rag and rubbing alcohol.

You can also use a bleach and water mixture to disinfect the interior of the shoes. As you may already know, bleach is a potent compound, making it incredibly useful in disinfecting the shoes.

However, be careful when applying the chemical because if the shoes are not white, they may end up with bleach stains on the outside. For colored shoes, spray bleach on the interior using a small splash bottle.

Consider Antibacterial Sprays To Sanitize All Types of Shoes

You may consider antibacterial spray such as Clorox and Lysol to disinfect the interior of the shoes. Spray all over the internal construction of your shoes and leave them to dry completely before wearing them. This, in turn, will help eliminate foul odors. You can utilize disinfectants purposely made for shoes such as Mycomist Sterishoe.

Bottom Line

Whether you want a thrift pair of shoes as a part of an outfit or are simply looking forward to saving some bucks, you can easily avoid spending too much time cleaning them by being vigilant. Inspect the shoes before purchasing them. Check if the tread is intact and whether there are holes or excessively eroded parts in the construction.

How does the shoe smell? If they smell, how easily can you fix it? Are both shoes of the same size? Or are there any signs of a quick breakdown? The best way to get around this is by trying them on. Use the above smart moves, and you could grant your second-hand pair of shoes a new lease of life.