Introduction: How to Clean Shoes Quickly

This project is intended for basic cleaners who want to make the shoes look and smell better. The whole process would take less than 10 minutes each pair. With minimal time taken, students, busy moms, and workers can give a quick care for their shoes.

The advantages of this project are cost-effective, quick cleaning, fast drying,

  • Cost effective
  • Quick
  • Safe for cloth and canvas sneakers
  • Fast drying
  • Easy to eliminate smell

The disadvantages are:

  • Not thoroughly clean
  • Not for leather, dress shoes

Step 1: Notes and CAUTIONS


  • Do only one pair at a time, rinse the rag with water before moving on to another pair
  • After completed, the shoes will smell like toothpaste


  • Gloves are optional, but toothpaste could dry skin
  • Do NOT use toothpaste on leather and suede, toothpaste will fade and roughen them
  • Store these items in cleaning tools storage to avoid mistaking with personal care items

Step 2: Tools Needed

  1. Gloves (optional)
  2. Baking soda & peroxide whitening toothpaste
    • Baking soda will give some grittiness and help eliminate the smell
  3. Small container, half water
  4. Clean rag
  5. Toothbrush
    • To clean white spots and hard to reach parts
  6. Newspapers/paper towels (not included in the picture)
    • To dry shoes after finished cleaning

Step 3: If You Have White Shoes Top to Bottom

If not, move to next step

  1. Unlace the shoes
  2. Soak the shoelace into bleach for at least a hour
  3. Put in washing machine with your white laundry
  4. Dry it like you do with your laundry

Step 4: Mix Toothpaste and Water

We will create a cleaning solution that would make the shoes look and smell better.

  1. Put gloves on (optional)
  2. Mix a teaspoon of toothpaste with water in the container
  3. Stir them up to make a hazy mixture
    • Because the toothpaste sticks together, you may need to press and stir until it is dissolved

Step 5: Wipe Off the Dirt Around the Shoes

This step is crucial because the shoes will look clean or not depending on your effort here. Take your time.

  1. Submerge the rag into the container
  2. Squeeze the rag until there is no dropping water. Keep it dampened
  3. Wipe the shoes completely with force
    Note: If the rag got dried off, repeat 1-3

Step 6: Brush White Spots (base, Line, Logo, Etc...)

This step is important to make the shoes look good. Using toothbrush, we will try to shine white spots on the shoes.

If the shoes are all white, we only need to do this step on two things: the base and the logo.

  1. Wipe the toothbrush onto the damp rag
  2. Squeeze a thin layer of toothpaste onto the toothbrush
  3. Brush the white spots (the toothpaste should appear as brown foam)
    Note: If the toothbrush turns brown/dirty, repeat 1-3
  4. Wipe the foam using the damp rag

Step 7: Freshen the Insoles

This step will focus on the sole. We are not trying to clean them, but to eliminate the smell. The soles will require a lot of toothpaste.

  1. Pull out the soles from the shoes
  2. Squeeze 3 horizontal lines of toothpaste on these parts of the soles (the darkest spots):
    • Toes
    • Under the toes
    • Heels
  3. Use the toothbrush and brush vertically to spread the toothpaste around those areas
  4. Squeeze the rag as much as you can, as dry as it can get
  5. Wipe the soles completely
  6. Good, put the soles back into the shoes

Step 8: Dry Things Up

By now the shoes should be a bit dampened so we need to dry them

  1. Fill inside the shoes with newspapers or paper towels to absorb water
  2. Put the shoes up against the wall
  3. Facing the sun if possible and wait 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry
    • If there is no sun, place inside and wait 2-3 hours to dry

Step 9: Done!

  1. Redo the laces if applicable
  2. Pull out the newspapers / paper towels inside the shoes
  3. Check for dampness
  4. Go for a walk!