How to Disinfect Shoes

How to Disinfect Shoes with Simple and Easy Solutions?

Disinfecting shoes is one of the best ways to keep them in good working condition. Regardless of the brand, shape or size of your shoes, note that it needs some form of tender loving care in the form of cleaning and disinfecting it.

Fortunately, it will no longer be that hard for you to learn how to disinfect shoes as this article will provide you with solutions that are simple and easy enough to implement.

What Do You Need to Follow this Tutorial?

  • Washing machine
  • Strong detergent and warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tub, bowl or rag
  • Water and bleach mixture
  • Small spray bottle
  • Steam function in a dryer or washer
  • Baking soda
  • Black tea bags
  • Clean cloth or rag

Step 1 – Washing Machine Method

Make sure, however, that your shoe is machine washable prior to trying this method. Fortunately, there are plenty of shoes that you can safely wash in the machine, including cloth shoes, sneakers, and running shoes.

If it is machine washable, then you can just disinfect it by washing it in it using the mixture of strong detergent and warm water. Air-dry afterward, instead of using a dryer.

To ensure that you will be disinfecting your shoes correctly, do not forget to take out the laces prior to placing it inside the machine. Also, check the material of your shoes. If it is made of plastic, leather, suede or other delicate materials, then avoid using the washing machine to disinfect it.

Step 2 – Rubbing Alcohol Solution

How to Disinfect Shoes Rubbing Alcohol

Another way for you to disinfect shoes is to soak them in rubbing alcohol. Such is the ideal solution if you are planning to eliminate the bacteria and smell from your shoes. Check the material of your shoes prior to using this solution.

If it is made of cloth or if it is a pair of sneakers, then it would be best to pour rubbing alcohol in a large bowl or tub then soak the footwear in there. However, if it is based on a sensitive or delicate material, then it would be best to apply the alcohol by scrubbing it gently with a rag.

Step 3 – Water and Bleach Solution

Another answer to the question how to disinfect shoes is to mix water and bleach together. This mixture is extremely useful in disinfecting the footwear’s insides. Keep in mind that as a powerful chemical, bleach is a great disinfectant.

However, if your shoe has some shades/colors, then it would be best to spray bleach only at the insides. Be extra careful to ensure that only the insides are sprayed to prevent bleach stains from being formed on the outside.

To ensure that you will have an easier time spraying the bleach, put it in a small spray bottle. If your shoe is white, though, then there is no need to worry too much about exposing its outer parts to this solution.

Step 4 – Steam It

Another simple yet effective method of disinfecting shoes is steaming. This is particularly helpful if you have a dryer or washer with a steam feature. Such function or feature can help in destroying fungus and bacteria.

Alternatively, you can use a hand-held steam machine, which is usually used in getting rid of wrinkles from clothes. If you are wondering whether the steaming method works, then the answer is yes. Note that steam is a powerful bactericidal.

It comes with an extremely high temperature, which is useful in killing fungi and bacteria that cause odor. You can even find plenty of special anti-bacterial steam cleaners available in the market today.

While they are useful in getting rid of 99% of bacteria, be extra careful when using such solution in suede shoes as this material is somewhat sensitive.

Step 5 – Baking Soda

Aside from being a powerful disinfectant, baking soda also works as a deodorizer not only for your shoes but for your feet as well. All you have to do is to take advantage of this solution is to sprinkle some of it on each pair after using it.

Let it stay there overnight. Do not forget to get rid of the baking soda in the morning, especially if you plan to wear the shoes, so you won’t end up dealing with the discomfort of exposing your feet or socks to some white particles.

Step 6 – Make Use of Black Tea Bags

Black tea bags are also extremely useful in removing bacteria that are thriving within your shoes. They are effective disinfectants because they are rich in tannin, which works effectively in killing the bacteria living in your shoes.

All you have to do is to soak the tea bags in boiling water for several minutes. Once done, remove them from water then set them aside to cool for around five minutes.

You can then put them in the shoes. Let them stay there for at least one hour. Wipe any remaining juice or moisture in the shoe afterward with a clean cloth or rag.


How to disinfect shoes is never a complex topic as there are plenty of simple and easy solutions that you can just apply. With the disinfecting methods mentioned in this article, it will no longer be that difficult for you to keep your shoes clean and free of bacteria.

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