1. 1

    Scrub away any mud that has hardened. Slapping your dirty shoes together outside can help loosen any large chunks of dirt or mud that may be stuck in the soles. It will take much more time to clean the shoes if you don't remove all the mud.

    • Don't make a mess inside the house by slapping your shoes together inside; do it outside instead.
    • It's possible that you'll need a butter knife or key to remove the dried mud from the grooves of your shoes.
  2. 2

    Sweep away dust and dirt with a dry brush. Brush or scrape off any loose dirt that's stuck to the rubber parts of your shoes before you start scrubbing. As much as possible should be brushed away with a dry brush before any cleaning solution is made.

    • If the dirt doesn't come off right away, don't worry; it will once you start using the cleaning solution.
    • Use a dry brush, such as a toothbrush, but stay away from steel bristle brushes that could scratch your shoes' rubber soles.


  3. 3

    Prepare a mixture of baking soda and laundry detergent by combining equal parts of each. However, you probably won't need as much baking soda or laundry detergent as you might think. Start by combining a tablespoon of each in a mini bowl. If you find that you haven't made enough of anything, just make more of everything.

    • The abrasive properties of baking soda will aid soap in its cleaning mission.
    • Never use a bleach-containing laundry detergent.
    • It's possible to simply use warm water and a few drops of dish soap to clean your shoes if they aren't caked in mud.

  4. 4

    Cleaning the rubber by scrubbing it with soap and water Apply the baking soda and laundry detergent mixture with the brush, and then scrub it into the rubber parts of your shoes. The best way to remove grime and dirt is to use a circular motion with the brush. If you leave too much mud on the shoe, it will take a lot longer to get them clean

    • It's possible that the baking soda in this cleaner won't rinse completely out of the fabric on your shoes, so you might want to think twice before using it.
    • In order to clean the fabric parts of your shoes, you can make a solution of detergent and water.
  5. 5

    Rinse the rubber really well with a different sponge or cloth. When you've worked the cleaning solution into the rubber of your shoes as much as you can, rinse them out with a clean cloth or sponge drenched in clean water. Scrub the rubber with it, rinsing it thoroughly after each stroke, until the cleaning solution is gone. Make sure to slap the shoes together outdoors so you don’t make a mess inside your house

    • Rubber can become discolored if the cleaning solution is not thoroughly rinsed off.
    • If you don't wash your shoes after using detergent, you risk having a very slippery and dangerous pair on your feet.
  6. 6

    Make sure the shoe is completely dry. After rinsing the soap from the shoe, dry the rubber with a clean towel before putting the shoes back on. Once the shoe is dry, you can evaluate the effectiveness of the cleaning solution and decide whether or not to try again. [7]

    • The shoes may develop a foul odor if left wet for too long.
    • Wearing shoes that are even slightly damp can put your feet in danger, so always wait until they are completely dry and soap-free before putting them on.


  1. 1

    Put in a pan just enough water to cover the ingredients, but not more than an inch. Locate a pan big enough to hold your footwear, and fill it with water just to the point where the bottoms of the shoes are covered. Warm water that is free of dirt and debris is ideal. [8]

    • Keep in mind that the water level will rise as you add shoes to the pan.
    • You can soak each shoe individually if that's what it takes.
  2. 2

    Mix some dish soap into the water. When the water is at the right level, add a drop or two of mild dish soap and stir until completely dissolved. Dishwashing liquid is essential to the success of the soak, as water alone is unlikely to loosen the stubborn dirt. [9]

    • White rubber on white shoes can be cleaned with a combination of dish soap and a very small amount of bleach. [10]
  3. 3

    Let the rubber soak for a few minutes. Put your shoes in water so that the rubber soles can soak for a few minutes. The longer it has to work, the easier the remaining grime on the rubber should be to scrub away.

    • Make sure that the water is only penetrating the rubber.
    • If the shoes are particularly grimy, you can soak them for a longer period of time than 15 minutes.
  4. 4

    If there is any dirt left, you should use a scrub brush to get rid of it. Soak the shoes for a while to loosen the dirt and grime, then remove them and use the soapy water to scrub the rubber clean. If you want to keep your shoes in good shape, you should stay away from steel bristle brushes. Don’t worry about scrubbing too much, if the dirt doesn’t come free quickly, it will once you begin using the cleaning solution

    • After this, you can re-soak the shoes if necessary.
    • Put on gloves if you're going to be working with a bleach solution to protect your skin.


  1. 1

    First, clean the rubber of any mud or dirt. If your shoes are white, you can use nail polish remover to clean the rubber soles, but if they are dirty or a different color, you should try another method. Use a dry brush like a toothbrush, but avoid steel bristle brushes that may damage the rubber soles of your shoes

    • Before attempting to remove nail polish smudges with nail polish remover, you might want to use one of the other methods to clean the rubber components of your shoes.
    • Never apply nail polish remover to the shoe's fabric upper.
  2. 2

    To remove nail polish, soak a cotton ball in the appropriate solvent. Nail polish remover can be applied to rubber soles with a variety of tools, but cotton balls are the most convenient because of their size and shape, which makes them ideal for getting into tight spaces.

    • When handling nail polish remover, you may want to protect your hands.
    • If the shoes are particularly grimy, you may need to use more than one cotton ball.
  3. 3

    Disinfect any scuffs that may have appeared. Begin by scrubbing the rubber soles of the shoes to remove scuff marks using cotton balls soaked in nail polish remover. As you scrub, you may notice that the area you've cleaned appears whiter than the rest of the sole.

    • First, scrub away any major scuff marks, and then clean the entire sole.
    • Some scuffs and scratches may require more than one cotton ball to remove.
  4. 4

    Use the nail polish remover to clean the rest of the sole. After the major stains and scuffs have been scrubbed away from the shoe's sole, use cotton balls soaked in nail polish remover to run along the sole, scrubbing as needed to ensure a clean finish. 3

    • Parts of the sole that aren't scrubbed thoroughly will still look dirty in comparison to the whiter regions you already scrubbed.


Insert New Concern
  • Question

    When it comes to cleaning, what works best for white rubber bottoms?

    Penny Simmons
    A. Penny Simmons
    Expert in the Care of Shoes
    Penny Simmons is an expert in the field of shoe care, and she started the company Penny Loafers Shoe Shine Inc. where it's at: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Penny has been cleaning and shining shoes for over 25 years. Penny provides shoe shining at festivals, kiosks in Toronto's underground city The PATH, and delivery services. The oldest shoe repair shop in Canada is run by Penny Loafers Shoe Shine Company. Toronto Life, Saturday Night, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Toronto Star have all featured Penny Loafers Shoe Shine Company as part of their "Best of The City" series.
    Penny Simmons
  • Question

    Do you think this would work on boots as well?

    Community Answer

    Yes These techniques should work wonderfully so long as the boots aren't completely made of cloth. Remember to avoid completely soaking them.

  • Question

    Is there a way to remove mud from the rubber soles of my shoes?

    Community Answer

    First, remove as much mud as possible from the shoes, and then spray them down with water. So, if you're ready to get started, read on!

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Penny Simmons

Penny Simmons is a coauthor on this piece. Penny Simmons, the CEO and Founder of Penny Loafers Shoe Shine Company, Inc., is a Shoe Care Expert. Located in Toronto, Ontario Penny's shoe shine business has been in operation for over 25 years. Penny provides drop-off services, as well as shoe-polishing at events and from kiosks in Toronto's underground city, The PATH. The oldest shoe repair shop in Canada is run by Penny Loafers Shoe Shine Company. Best of The City - Toronto Life, Saturday Night Magazine, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Toronto Star have all featured Penny Loafers Shoe Shine Company. There have been 523,828 views of this article.

Co-authors: 19

Updated: On October 24th, 2022

Views:  523,828

Categories: Promotional Content | Feet and Shoes

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