How to Clean the Soles of Leather Shoes

Written by melynda sorrels
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How to Clean the Soles of Leather Shoes
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Leather shoes may be the perfect accompaniment to your formal or casual wear, but dirty shoes can detract from your appearance. If you have recently stepped in mud with your leather shoes, it may be caked onto the soles, leaving dirty footprints wherever you go. If you need to clean the soles of your leather shoes, there’s a simple way to do so without having to worry about the rest of the shoe.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Tap the shoes together outside or over a dustbin to knock loose as much dirt and debris as possible.

  2. 2

    Use a nylon brush to help remove dirt, as the brush can get between treads and loosen dirt in hard-to-reach places.

  3. 3

    Add a bleach-free dish soap to water to make it sudsy.

  4. 4

    Dip a clean cloth into the soapy water and gently wipe the sole of the shoes. Dip the brush into the soapy water and use it to clean harder to reach areas on the sole.

  5. 5

    Wipe the soles with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap and debris.

  6. 6

    Set the shoes in a cool, dry place with the soles facing up to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not put the shoes under running water, as this can damage the leather.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasives that can damage the shoes.

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