How to Clean Colored Shoes With Baking Soda: The Ultimate Guide

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Do you have a pair of colored shoes that are a favorite but seem to be getting a little bit too dirty? Are they starting to lose their vibrancy and you don’t know how to fix it?

Never fear, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we will teach you how to clean colored shoes with baking soda.

This is an easy process that takes just a few minutes and can restore your shoes to their former glory.

Four pairs of dirty colored shoes that can be cleaned using baking soda

So read on for instructions on how to get started!

How To Clean Your Colored Shoes With Baking Soda

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use baking soda to clean your shoes:

1. Take Out Your Shoelaces and Insoles

Start by removing the laces and insoles from your shoes. Set them aside and run them through the washing machine or treat them with baking soda as well.

Removing the laces and any inserts allows for an even more thorough cleaning of the shoes. It lets you get into the nooks and crannies that would otherwise be difficult to reach.

Once the laces are out, take a look at your shoes and decide how bad they are. If they’re not too bad, you can move on to the next step. If they’re really dirty, you might need to give them a pre-treatment.

2. Pre-Treat Your Shoes

To pre-treat your shoes, you can soak them in a baking soda and water solution. Just mix together ½ cup of baking soda with enough warm water to cover the shoes.

Let them soak for about 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step. This will help loosen up any dirt and grime that’s on the shoes. It will also help to cut down on any odors.

If your shoes are only slightly dirty, you can skip this step. Lightly wet the shoes by misting them with a spray bottle

3. Gather Your Materials

Photo showing a jar of baking soda, a wooden spoon with white powder, clean rag, a tooth brush and sponge placed on a table top

It’s important to have all of the materials together before you get started to keep the process as smooth as possible. You’ll need:

  • A bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • An old toothbrush (or other small brush)
  • A sponge
  • A clean cloth

Once you have all of your materials, set up in an area of your home that’s comfortable for you to work in. You might want to do this over the sink or in the bathtub, just in case anything spills.

4. Mix Your Baking Soda & Soap Paste

Next, mix together one part baking soda and one part dish soap in your bowl. It should create a sludgy paste that is coarse enough to scrub the shoe.

Make sure that the paste is not too runny or too thick. If it’s too runny, it won’t be effective and if it’s too thick, it will be difficult to apply.

Once you’ve mixed the paste, set it aside for now.

Pour a small amount of dish soap into a container on its own. Since baking soda can lighten and damage black or dark gray sections of your shoes, you don’t want to use the paste on these areas.

The dish soap will be enough to clean these sections without damaging them.

Now that you have your two cleaning solutions, you’re ready to start scrubbing!

5. Scrub the Inside of Your Shoes

Start by dipping your old toothbrush into the baking soda paste and then lightly scrubbing the inside of the shoes. You can focus on any areas that look particularly dirty.

The toothbrush works great because it’s able to reach small areas and it’s not too abrasive while being effective.

It’s best to clean the inside with the cleaning solution first because baking soda can remove odors that may be caused by socks or bare feet. This means you want it to sit longer for maximum benefits.

6. Scrub the Outside of Your Shoes

a hand with a toothbrush being used to clean a shoe

Next, use the sponge to apply the dish soap solution to the outside of your shoes. You can also use the toothbrush on any areas that need extra scrubbing.

Be sure to focus on the soles and any seams on the shoes. These are usually the dirtiest areas.

If your shoe has a lot of black or dark gray, you can dip the sponge into the pure dish soap and then use it to scrub these areas. You don’t need to worry about using the baking soda paste on these parts of the shoe.

7. Buff Out the Shoes With a Soft Cloth

Once you’ve scrubbed the shoes, it’s time to buff them out with a clean cloth. This will help to remove any soap residue and give them a nice shine.

You don’t even need to rinse them, which helps to leave some of the baking soda mixtures on the shoes to further protect them.

You can use a soft cloth or even an old t-shirt for this step. Just make sure that it’s clean and lint-free. Use firm circular motions to buff out the shoes until they look clean and shiny.

8. Repeat the Process

Some dirty colored shoes are so soiled that they need another cleaning solution treatment for proper cleaning. If you notice that there is still dirt or stains after following the steps above, you can repeat the process.

Wash your sponge and toothbrush first to make sure you’re not transferring any dirt back onto the shoes. Then, follow steps four through seven again.

Once you’ve gone over the shoes a second time, they should look as good as new!

9. Let the Shoes Air Dry

After you’ve cleaned your shoes, it’s important to let them air dry. Do not put them in the dryer, as this can damage the material.

If you must dry them quickly, make sure to put the shoes on air-fluff mode to avoid the heat.

You can set them in the sun for a bit or just leave them out on a towel overnight. Setting up a fan can help to speed up the drying process and reduce any moldy smells if you’re in a humid area.

Keep your shoes away from the radiator. While this seems like a good way to dry them quickly, it can actually damage the material.

Once your shoes are dry, you can put them away and enjoy wearing them again!

How to Clean White Shoes With Baking Soda

If you have shoes that are completely or mostly white, you can follow the same steps mentioned above. The only difference is that you’ll substitute vinegar for dish soap.

The acetic acid in vinegar is great for removing stains and it won’t damage the material of your shoes. It also aids in deodorizing the shoe.

You can use a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar or just use pure vinegar if you want.

It’s important to be gentle when you scrub white shoes because if the fabric itself scuffs, it may reveal a darker layer beneath and cause the shoes to look dingy.

Should You Wash Your Shoelaces?

You can always wash your shoelaces in the washing machine if they’re made out of nylon, cotton, or polyester. Just put them in a mesh bag or pillowcase to prevent them from getting tangled.

You can wash them with your regular laundry detergent on a gentle cycle.

Let the laces air dry or lay them flat on a towel to dry. You don’t want to put them in the dryer because the heat can damage the plastic tips on the end by melting them.

It may also shrink your laces, which would make it a challenge to put them back through the eyelets on your shoes.

If your shoelaces are made out of leather or another delicate material, you’ll need to handwash them instead. Soak them in a bowl of warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap.

Use your fingers to gently scrub away any dirt or stains. Rinse them off with clean water and let them air dry.

You may not need to wash your shoelaces every time you wash your shoes with baking soda. If they don’t look dirty, you can just let them be.

You can also spot clean them as needed with a damp cloth.

How Often Should I Replace My Shoelaces?

three pairs of shoelaces with diffrent colors in black background

You’ll eventually need to replace your shoelaces, even if you take good care of them. Over time, the fabric can start to fray and break down. The plastic tips on the end may also become damaged or lost.

If you notice that your shoelaces are starting to look worn out, it’s best to replace them sooner rather than later. You don’t want them to break while you’re wearing your shoes and cause you to trip.

You can buy new shoelaces at most shoe stores or online. They’re not too expensive, so it’s not a big deal to replace them about once or twice a year. Just make sure to get the right size and type for your shoes.

What Else Can I Use to Clean My Shoes?

If you don’t have baking soda or vinegar on hand, there are other household items that you can use to clean your shoes.

Here are some items that could work:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lemon juice
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Essential oils

Just like with baking soda, you’ll want to mix these household cleaners with water to create a gentle solution. You don’t want to damage your shoes by using too much of the cleaner or using it at full strength.

Also, many of these homemade natural cleaners will lighten the shoe, so be careful on black and dark sections.

Spot test the solution on a small area of your shoes to make sure it won’t damage the material before you use it all over your shoes.

The Bottom Line: Baking Soda Cleaning Solution for Colored Shoes

Shoes cost a pretty penny these days, so it’s important to maintain them and clean them regularly.

Baking soda is a great, gentle cleaning solution that can be used on all types of shoes, including colored shoes.

Remember to be gentle with your shoes when you’re cleaning them. It’s better to clean them a few times instead of scrubbing too hard and damaging the material.

How was your experience using baking soda to clean your shoes? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy cleaning!

Image showing a hand holding a shoe, and anothr hand holding a brush and brushing the shoe with text overlays that read s How to Clean Colored Shoes With Baking Soda

About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.