5 Ways to Clean Your Dirty Work Shoes [Explained]

Work shoes are notorious for getting dirty and smelly, but there are plenty of ways to clean them!

In order to keep them from becoming an unpleasant part of your workday, make sure you invest in a good cleaning kit and use the following techniques on your dirty work shoes at least once a week.

For more information on how to clean your dirty work shoes, keep reading below!

Read Best Work Shoes for Big Guys.

5 Ways to Clean Your Dirty Work Shoes [Explained]

Cleaning Kit Essentials

Investing in a good cleaning kit is essential for effectively cleaning and maintaining the cleanliness of your dirty work shoes, as mentioned in the pre-existing knowledge.

A well-organized cleaning kit ensures that you have all the necessary tools and products readily available for the task at hand.

This includes:

  • A soft brush or cloth for removing dirt
  • A mild soap or detergent for washing
  • A leather protector for treating leather shoes
  • A shoe deodorizer to eliminate unpleasant odors

Additionally, having alternative cleaning methods in your kit can come in handy.

For instance:

  • A mixture of baking soda and water can be used to create a paste for removing tough stains
  • Rubbing alcohol or disinfectant cleaner can be used to disinfect the shoes

With a properly equipped cleaning kit, you can efficiently tackle any cleaning challenge your work shoes may face.

Proper Washing Techniques

Utilizing a meticulous approach to maintain the cleanliness of work shoes, one can employ effective washing techniques that go beyond the surface, ensuring the removal of dirt and bacteria.

Proper washing techniques are essential in prolonging the lifespan of work shoes and maintaining their overall hygiene.

To remove tough stains, create a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the affected areas.

Gently rub the paste onto the stains and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Additionally, it is crucial to air dry the shoes completely after washing.

This step allows for the proper elimination of moisture, preventing the growth of bacteria and mold.

By following these techniques, one can ensure that their work shoes remain clean and in good condition for an extended period.


Best Ways How to disinfect work boots

In this guide, we will guide you on How to clean dirty work shoes.

Here are the five ways to clean work shoes.

1) Wash with Soap

Washing with soap and water removes dirt and bacteria, which not only helps your shoes smell better but also protects you from sickness.

Start by gently scrubbing soiled areas with soap and warm water. 

You may have heard that using a dry brush on them can help remove particles; as appealing as it sounds, avoid using a brush when cleaning work shoes.

Most brushes are abrasive, and can actually cause more damage than good!

After washing, let your shoe air dry completely.

You can use a clean towel to absorb any excess water, but remember not to rub too hard!

Any rough scrubbing could damage your shoes.

2) Replace Laces

While replacing your laces is one way to clean smelly boots, it’s important that you make sure to also clean around and underneath them.

Laces can hold in dirt, sweat, and bacteria—which means they can cause bacteria on your feet as well.

To clean your laces, soak them in warm water with a few drops of dish soap.

Make sure you have a container nearby so that once they’re wet, you can put them into it and let them soak while you do something else.

After they’ve soaked for 5–10 minutes, remove your laces from the water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

3) Protect with Leather Protector

Cleaning your work shoes can be a tricky task.

If you clean them too often, you’ll weaken the leather, which means they won’t last as long; if you don’t clean them enough, they’ll begin to smell.

The best way to manage it is by using a product like a shoe cleaner, which will help keep your shoes safe and extend their life so that they can give you years of hard-working comfort.

4) Deodorize Your Shoes

If you just can’t clean your work shoes (or they smell so bad that you have no choice), deodorize them with shoe deodorizer.

Smelly feet?

Stop it in its tracks and make yourself look professional.

Put some shoe deodorizer inside your boots and hit the road.  You can also put a bit of baking soda in each boot, along with a few drops of essential oil like tea tree or lavender.

The baking soda will absorb odor, while the essential oils will leave a pleasant scent behind.

5) Remove Tough Stains

In order to get your dirty work shoes looking brand new, you’ll need to first break down and remove any tough stains.

You should begin by mixing up a thick paste of baking soda and water.

Apply generously with a rag or sponge—but don’t scrub too vigorously!

Next, mix up a bucket of warm water mixed with 1⁄4 cup of baking soda and 1⁄4 cup of dish soap.

Dunk your boots into it briefly before washing them with a rag or soft brush.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deep clean work boots?

Before you start deep cleaning work boots, make sure you’ve removed any laces or removable insoles.

Then follow these steps: Clean dirt off boots with soap and water before you do anything else.

Use a stiff brush to scrape any caked-on mud or other grime from your shoes.

Let boots dry completely after washing; don’t attempt to put them back on until they’re completely dry.

Can I put steel-toe work boots in the washer?

First, we’re going to assume that your steel-toe boots aren’t leather.

If they are, you might want to put them in a pillowcase and then in a laundry bag and wash them cold with clothes.

However, for steel-toe boots that are fabric or leather, tossing them in a washer isn’t recommended.

How to Clean Fabric Shoes?

There is no simple way to clean your shoes.

You can take a wet cloth and rub it against a rough surface.

You can use soap and water to wash it, but you should never use a detergent.

A lot of detergents are very strong and will ruin the fabric of your shoes.

How do you wash work shoes in the washing machine?

If you want to clean your work shoes, simply place them in a washing machine with soap and water, run it on a delicate cycle, and then allow your shoes to air dry.

Never place leather or suede shoes in a washing machine or they will be ruined.

How do you disinfect work boots?

Put on a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves. (You can also wear an old pair of gardening gloves if you prefer.) Pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol or disinfectant cleaner into your work boots.

Rub it all over using a clean cloth or sponge.

Rinse with water and dry.

Repeat, if necessary, until your work boots are disinfected.

Can I wash work shoes in a dishwasher?

The dishwasher seems like a fast, clean way to clean a pair of smelly boots.

As long as you use baking soda in your detergent and don’t mind waiting a few hours for them to dry, washing work shoes in your dishwasher is perfectly safe. 

How to Clean Inside of Shoes?

I will tell you a secret.

You can clean the inside of your shoes by soaking them in hot water and baking soda.

The baking soda helps the shoe dry faster.

How can I deodorize my shoes fast?

You can clean your smelly boots quickly by filling a basin with hot water and adding 1/2 cup of baking soda.

Let your shoes soak for 15 minutes and then rinse them with cool water.

You should also check any removable insoles in your work shoes for stinky odors.

Put these insoles into a washing machine filled with cold water, detergent, and baking soda.

Run an extra rinse cycle to wash away any soap residue.

Give your boots time to air dry before wearing them again.

What Can I Use to Clean My Shoes at Home?

There are several cleaning products that you can use for your shoes at home.

Use a dry cloth or sponge to remove the dirt and grime from the surface of the shoes.

If they are leather, rub the surface with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.

Do not use ammonia, as this will damage the leather.



A lot of people wear work shoes that are covered in dirt, grime, and who knows what else.

We hope these tips help you get your smelly boots clean!

If you have any additional tips for cleaning dirty shoes, feel free to leave them in a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Read More: How to take care of work shoes?

About me

I am Stev Rene. I am a writer, blogger, and athlete. My blog focuses on sports and fitness.
I started this blog because I felt that many people lack knowledge about sports and fitness.