How to Clean Rubber Shoes: Shocking Hacks That Actually Work!

how to clean rubber shoes

As someone who is passionate about shoes and has spent years in the footwear industry, I know how important it is to properly care for your shoes. One of the most popular types of shoes out there is rubber shoes – they’re durable, versatile, and can handle just about anything you throw at them. However, if you don’t know how to clean rubber shoes properly, they can quickly start to look dull, dirty, and unpleasant to wear.

That’s why I’m excited to share my knowledge and expertise on how to clean rubber shoes like a pro. With my years of experience cleaning and maintaining all kinds of footwear, including rubber shoes, I can provide you with insider tips and tricks that will help your shoes look and feel their best.

Whether you’re dealing with caked-on mud or funky odors, I’ve got you covered. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need to keep your rubber shoes looking great for years to come.

I. Cleaning Kit for Rubber Shoes

  • Shoe Cleaner
  • Apron
  • Premium Brush
  • Standard Brush
  • Small Brush or Toothbrush
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Bowl

II. How to Clean Rubber Shoes

I’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to wash your rubber shoes by hand based on my years of experience in the footwear industry. By following these simple steps, you can keep your rubber shoes looking their best and ensure that they last for years to come!

Step 1: Prepare the rubber shoes or slippers that you want to clean

Get your pair of dirty rubber shoes or slippers out of the box. Before you clean and freshen them up, inspect for damages first. This way, you don’t make things worse.

how to clean rubber shoes

Step 2: Make sure that all the essential tools and cleaning kits are ready

Prepare the Shoe Cleaner, apron, Premium Brush, standard brush, little brush or toothpaste, microfiber cloth, and a container to store a mixture of water and shoe perfume.

how to clean rubber shoes

Step 3: Wash the rubber shoe’s sole

As I’ve mentioned previously, cleaning a rubber shoe’s sole will require the strength of a standard brush. Please use all your strength when cleaning the soles, as they are the dirtiest part of a shoe.

You won’t have to worry about damaging the shoe when cleaning the sole. After all, soles are known for their strength and durability. If, for some reason, you can’t seem to shake off the dirt and stains, try to brush them again until they’re clean and fresh again.

Once you’re satisfied with the result, proceed to wipe the sole with a microfiber cloth.

how to clean rubber shoes

Step 4: Wash the upper part of the rubber shoes

To wash the upper part of your rubber shoes, you need to use a Premium Brush. Unlike the rigid and strong sole, the upper part of a rubber shoe or slipper is prone to strong contact, so make sure to avoid making scratches on the surface.

After using the Premium Brush, you can wipe the upper part with a microfiber cloth. If dirt and stains are still spotted, make sure to repeat this step until they’re all eliminated.

I know that some cleaning kits that I’ve mentioned aren’t necessarily easy to find. If you don’t want to buy them, you can just go ahead and wash the rubber shoes while brushing them. Then, clean the rubber shoes using a microfiber cloth.

how to clean rubber shoes

Step 5: Drying process

Leave the rubber shoes for some time in front of a fan for around one to two hours. I don’t recommend leaving your rubber shoes in direct contact with the sunlight. Rubber tends to shrink in size when they come into contact with heat. Therefore, there’s a high chance that it won’t fit on your feet!

Step 6: Finishing

Once the shoes are dry, you can store them or even use them for your daily activities once more! I recommend putting some silica gel to prevent humidity in the storage space. Spraying some perfume would also be a good idea to freshen the rubber shoes even more!

III. 6 Best Solutions of DIY Cleaning

Aside from shoe cleaner agent, there are also other DIY solutions that you can use to clean your rubber shoes. However, I have conducted an extensive research on the best household cleaning agents for rubber shoes, and the result came up to 6 solutions that I will gladly share with you below.

1. Toothpaste

The first solution is a toothpaste. Yes, I have proven that a toothpaste turns out to be a great DIY shoe cleaning solution, especially for rubber shoes. In particular, a non-gel, white toothpaste is the best type of toothpaste for cleaning shoes. I have been trusting this solution as the main cleaner for my rubber shoes, and so far, toothpaste has never failed me.

  • Step 1: Apply a non-gel white toothpaste to a toothbrush and then work the paste into the dirty area of the rubber shoes. Make sure you scrub gently not to scratch the surface of the shoes.
  • Step 2: Leave the toothpaste on the rubber shoes for about ten minutes to make sure the solution works perfectly to remove the stains.
  • Step 3: Wipe the paste using a damped cloth.

Based on what I learned and also my own research, toothpaste is a perfect cleaner to remove scuff marks and stains from rubber shoes. However, make sure you don’t use colored toothpaste for this purpose, since it can leave stain on your rubber shoes rather than cleaning them.

2. Dish Soap

Dish soap in another easy DIY solution to clean your rubber shoes of any color. Compared to other solutions, my personal experience showed that dish soap is one of the safest solution to clean rubber shoes. Well, that is good news, since I always have a stock of dish soap at home, so I will never run out of stock, right?

Here are the steps on how to clean rubber shoes using dish soap:

  • Step 1: Mix a few drops of dish soap into a bowl of water to create a bubbly solution.
  • Step 2: Using a dry brush or toothbrush, dip it into the soapy water and then brush the dirt on the rubber shoes with circular motion.
  • Step 3: Once the stains are removed completely, simply wipe the shoes using dry cloth.
  • Step 4: Leave the shoes to air dry and make sure they are dry completely before using them again.

Personally, I consider dish soap as emergency kit when I need instant solution to clean my rubber shoes. It’s easy to get, and consists of friendly ingredients safe for the shoes, too.

3. Lemon Juice

If you are looking for the easiest ingredients that work magically to clean rubber shoes, I highly recommend you to use lemon juice. Lemon contains citric acid to dissolve yellow stains accumulated in your rubber shoes.

Thanks to it’s wonderful ingredients, I think lemon is one of my most recommended ways among others, since it works amazing on my rubber shoes. I clean my colored rubber shoes using lemon juice and it has become a habit so far. So, let’s not make it a secret by sharing my step-by-step methods on how to clean my rubber shoes below:

  • Step 1: Soak your rubber shoes in water so they are fully saturated. It is easier to remove stains on rubber shoes when they are wet.
  • Step 2: Cut two or three lemons in half and squeeze the juice onto your shoes.
  • Step 3: Leave it for about 15 minutes, and then rub off the stains with a cloth of toothbrush.
  • Step 4: Rinse the shoes thoroughly with water until no lemon juice residue left.
  • Step 5: Allow the shoe to sit for a while and wipe clean to allow the shoes to dry completely.

For me, Lemon juice is a wonderful little fruit that has so much goodness. Even better, it is not only good for the health, but it’s good as a shoe cleaning solution, too!

4. Alcohol

Alcohol is also an excellent solution to clean stubborn stains on rubber shoes. However, it might requires extra care, since alcohol can be damaging to rubber. As someone with a deep knowledge on how to clean shoes properly, including rubber shoes, I recommend using rubbing alcohol as a solution to clean and sanitize your shoes.

As per experience, I cleaned my colored rubber shoes with an alcohol once, and the result was pretty disappointing, because the color dissolved. Well, lesson learnt, and I did another trial using rubbing alcohol, and it turns out to be a recommended solution to sanitize my rubber shoes. Here’s how I did it:

  • Step 1: Prepare a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol or a clean fiber cloth.
  • Step 2: You can either spray or wipe on 70% rubbing alcohol onto the surface, sole, and also interior of your rubber shoes.
  • Step 3: Allow the shoes to air dry completely.

One thing though, I highly recommend you to use alcohol to clean sticky dirt or stains on your rubber shoes only. It can remove those kinds of stains completely, as long you use it gently to make sure you won’t damage the rubber material or make the color dissolved.

5. Cornstarch

Based on my experience, Cornstarch is an agent that I can use to clean almost anything, including my rubber shoes as well. To be precise, it is a magic solution to solve your issue with smelly odor rubber shoes. I know that sweaty feel can cause odor to rubber shoes. I experienced the same condition, and being someone who focus on shoe care, I tried to find the best solutions for such situation.

I did some researches and getting some advice from experts, until finally I was able to say that cornstarch is the solution! It’s a problem that is actually pretty easy to solve. Here’s the secret tips on how to do it:

  • Step 1: Sprinkle a little cornstarch into the shoes and allow them to sit until the next morning.
  • Step 2: Dump out the cornstarch the next morning before wearing the shoes.
  • Step 3: You will see that the cornstarch have absorbed wetness and odors from your rubber shoes.
  • Step 4: To make sure no cornstarch remains, you can also use a vacuum cleaner hose to vacuum the shoes out.

Pretty easy and quick, right?

6. Hydrogen Peroxide

Next up, I would like to recommend Hydrogen Peroxide as the next best solution to clean your rubber shoes. Based on my extensive research on how to keep my shoes clean from harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses, the answer is none other than using hydrogen peroxide. It is actually a mild antiseptic that we usually use to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes, and burn on our skin, slightly different than alcohol.

Perhaps you know that it removes stains and brightens whites wonderfully. But now I am telling you that it is also good to disinfects your rubber shoes, and I have the proof of that because I tried it myself. Now, I am sharing with you the detailed steps on how to do it:

  • Step 1: Create a paste by mixing two parts baking soda with one part of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Step 2: Use a toothbrush to apply the mixture to the stained area of the rubber shoes and wait for a moment.
  • Step 3: Wipe the shoes and leave them to air dry before use.

I can guarantee that your rubber shoes will be fresh again, as if they just came out of the box!

IV. Advanced Stain Removal

Rubber shoes are durable and very light, making them one of my best recommendations for casual use or when you need to have a long walk without having to enjoy a sore foot once you’re home. However, rubber shoes tend to get dirty easily due to the material, and sometimes certain stains can be very stubborn and hard to remove.

I’ve been in that situation where my rubber shoes got dirty with stains from oil, ink, and even mold. And here, I will be sharing with you about my tips on how to remove those stubborn stains from your rubber shoes.

1. How to Remove Oil Stains

The best solution to remove oil stains from rubber shoes is definitely liquid dish soap. Thanks to the ability to remove oils from plates and eating utensils, dish soap can also be used to clean oil stains from other stuff as well, including rubber shoes. Here are the steps on how to do it:

  • Step 1: Start by mixing a drop of liquid dish soap into a bowl of hot water to create a soapy paste.
  • Step 2: Pour 1 drop of the paste onto a clean micro fiber cloth and use that to gently rub at the oil stain on the rubber shoes.
  • Step 3: Keep rubbing until the stain appears lighter and completely gone, and repeat the steps if the stain remains.
  • Step 4: Once the stains are removed, rinse the shoes with water and leave them to air dry before wearing them again.

Dish soap is a great solution to remove grease since it is made of specific ingredients that can break down oil on your dishes. Therefore, it is also a great solution to break down and remove oil stains on other materials as well, including rubber shoes.

2. How to Remove Ink Stains

Ink is a relatively difficult stain to remove from shoes or other fabrics. But a team of experts, including myself, have done a long and detailed research on how we can remove ink from shoes completely, including shoes made of rubber.

The result was very positive since it was proven that there are some solutions that we can use to remove ink stains completely from rubber shoes. Here I am about to share two of the experts’ secret tips on how to do it:

The first solution is Nail Polish Remover. Here are the detailed steps on how to do it correctly:

  • Step 1: Apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a clean cloth.
  • Step 2: Rub the stain until it begins to fade.
  • Step 3: Repeat until the stain is completely removed.
  • Step 4: Leave the shoes to air dry before using them again.

The second solution is Hairspray, and here’s how you can remove ink stains on your rubber shoes using this hair styling item:

  • Step 1: Spray some hairspray on a clean cloth and then rub it onto the shoe surface
  • Step 2: After the stains are remove, wipe the shoes using a damped cloth to make sure to hairspray residue left on them.

These two solutions are basically the best ways to go when you are having some difficulties on how to remove stubborn ink stains on your rubber shoes. However, I do not recommend using the two too often since they are alcohol-based solution, which have the potential to damage the shoes.

3. How to Remove Mold Stains

If your rubber shoes are starting to get mold stains, then it’s time to leave it to a cup of vinegar to remove the stains. Vinegar is a super powerful tool because it kills 82% of mold species because it has acetic acid. But bear in mind that there is a proper way on how to use it to clean your rubber shoes from stubborn stains.

Being an expert with a long list of experience in dirty shoes problems, I would gladly help you with a detailed list on my secret steps to clean rubber shoes using vinegar:

  • Step 1: Pour half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water into a bowl or bucket.
  • Step 2: Dip a soft cloth or fiber cloth into the mixture and gently wiper over the stained area on your rubber shoes.
  • Step 3: Wipe the shoes using a clean towel, and leave the shoes to air dry a bit.

That’s it, and your rubber shoes are looking like new again!

4. How to Clean Rubber Shoes that Turned Yellow

Your rubber shoes or rubber soles may sometimes turn yellow as they age, especially if they are white. Fortunately, there are ways to restore their brightness and make them look brand new again. Don’t worry, because I am the expert of cleaning white shoes. So, here are my top tips for cleaning white rubber shoes that have turned yellow:

  • Step 1: Start by mixing a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the solution and gently scrub the yellowed areas of your shoes.
  • Step 2: For stubborn stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the affected areas. Let the paste sit for a few minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
  • Step 3: If your shoes are still looking yellow, try using a commercial whitening product designed specifically for rubber shoes. These products can be found at most shoe stores and online retailers.
  • Step 4: After cleaning your shoes, be sure to rinse them thoroughly with warm water and allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again.

By following these simple steps, you can restore the bright white color of your rubber shoes and keep them looking their best for years to come.

V. Post-Cleaning Maintenance

High-quality rubber shoes usually contain natural oils that make them soft and elastic. When you wear your rubber shoes on regular basis, the rubber will begin to dry out over time, since the oils evaporate over time.

Therefore, I highly recommend you to regularly care for your rubber shoes, and have regular post-cleaning maintenance by following a few simple tips to make your rubber shoes stay in shape as long as possible:

Permeate the Rubber ShoesProvide additional protective coating to the natural rubber.
Always Clean the Shoes after UseUse a gentle brush to keep your rubber shoes clean all the time and always ready to use.
Allow the Shoes to Air-dryAllow the rubber shoes to dry completely after they gotten wet.
Apply Coats of Oil to Condition the ShoesMaintain the shine of the rubber shoes and keep the rubber stay soft and flexible.
Waterproofing with Special SprayUse special spray for rubber shoes to make then dry sooner after getting wet.

VI. Safety Precautions

Cleaning my shoes is one of the most enjoyable things to for me. There is something relieving to see my shoes are clean and fresh again. This also apply to rubber shoes, and since I have been focusing on the shoe cleaning matters for quite a while now, I take shoe cleaning seriously.

Although it sounds like a simple task to do, safety precautions are very important for you to know and understand before you start cleaning your rubber shoes. First, you need to wear you apron to protect your shirt from the cleaning solutions. If you use chemical solutions as the shoe cleaner, you might need to wear gloves as well.

You also need to clean your rubber shoes carefully since some chemical solutions might leave even more stubborn stains on the shoe, too.

VII. Do’s and Don’ts

I believe that my instructions are already very comprehensive enough. However, you still might want to read some tips that you can do while cleaning your rubber slippers while paying attention to some other things that you should avoid below.

Clean your rubber shoes before they become too dirtyNever leave your rubber shoes or slippers under direct contact with the sunlight
Use Premium Brush to clean your shoes to prevent damage and scratches to your shoesYou don’t need to wash them with a laundry machine
Use rubber shoes in a relaxed situationDo not use them in the case of a flood

VIII. Questions and Answers

1. What is the best way to clean rubber?

The best way to clean rubber soles in your shoes is by using a Shoe Cleaner. If you don’t own one, you can use a detergent as an alternative. However, some detergents can damage your shoes, so make sure to take note of that. I recommend that you follow my instruction above. Manual deep cleaning is always superior and more thorough than a washing machine.

2. How do I clean rubber shoes with baking soda?

how to clean rubber shoes

There are a lot of alternatives that you can do to clean your rubber shoes. One homemade ingredient I’ve tried myself is baking soda. Based on my experience, this method is very cheap, easy, and can be just as effective!

  • If you want to clean rubber shoes with baking soda, then you can create a mixture with water.
  • Put them both inside a container and stir them both until they have become thick.
  • The mixture can then be wiped on the surface of your rubber shoes. Use a brush to help get a better result.
  • Make sure that the mixture covers the whole part of your rubber shoes, especially the dirty section.
  • Let your shoes for a while before wiping all the mixture clean. The dirt and stains should all be eliminated.

If you still find some stains and dirt left on the rubber shoes, please repeat the steps and use the remnants of the mixture you’ve made.

Important to note: I only recommend this method for cleaning white rubber shoes. Yep, I suggest trying other methods for non-white shoes. Don’t forget to use a soft brush for this method as well.

3. How do I Clean Rubber Shoes with nail polish remover?

how to clean rubber shoes

A nail polish remover, or acetone, can effectively clean your rubber shoes. Here’s a guide that I come up with: using nail polish remover to eliminate dirt and stains from your rubber shoes correctly!

  • Prepare a nail polish remover that you own. Use a cotton ball or cotton bud as well. You can even use a piece of cloth to cover more space when cleaning.
  • Soak the cotton ball or cloth inside the acetone.
  • Use the cotton ball to clean your rubber shoes. If the acetone on your cotton ball runs out, use a new cotton ball and dip it again inside your nail polish remover.
  • Repeat the steps above until you’ve managed to eliminate all the dirt and stains.

The one drawback to using this method is that it won’t work well with shoes that feature canvas material. If you use acetone for this type of shoe, then it can result in a change of color! So, yes, I highly discourage anyone from putting on acetone on canvas shoes!

4. How do I Clean Rubber Shoes with Magic Eraser?

how to clean rubber shoes

Using a Magic Eraser is so easy. You won’t take up much time when using this method.

  • Prepare the Magic Eraser.
  • Wet the Magic Eraser.
  • Before proceeding, try to wipe loose dirt or stains with a soft brush.
  • Proceed to clean dirty sections on your shoes by wiping the wet Magic Eraser. If the Magic Eraser has dried up before you have finished cleaning your shoes, then wet them again with clean water.
  • Repeat the instructions until you feel that your shoes are clean. Using a Magic Eraser is highly recommended for shoes with leather and rubber material.

5. How do I clean scuff marks from white rubber shoes?

Even though rubber shoes are quite durable, they are not impervious to scuffing. To hide the marks, I recommend that you use the following methods: use baking soda, rubber eraser, petroleum jelly, nail polish remover, and toothpaste!

You can apply either one of those ingredients directly on the scuff mark. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub it gently. Then, rub it with a wet cloth to remove the residual cleaning ingredient.

VI. Conclusion

Rubber shoes are strong and flexible at the same time, thus making them viable for casual activities. However, you do need to clean them regularly to avoid damaging them. Rubber soles can be cleaned with Standard Brush, while the upper part of your shoes can be washed away with Premium Brush. Whatever you do, make sure to avoid leaving them under direct contact with the sunlight in order to prevent a change in shape.

In any case, you should try out my methods above at home on your own to find out how effective they really are!