How to Clean Rubber Shoes With 3 Easy Methods

Published August 3, 2022
Man in purple rubber gloves cleaning kids yellow rubber boots

Several retailers like Vans and Merrell make some pretty fun rubber shoes, sandals, and even boots. But since they are designed to withstand mud and such, they can get pretty dirty. Learn how to clean your rubber shoes and soles with baking soda, acetone, and more. Get a few simple hacks to bring your rubber soles back to white.

Steps to Clean Rubber Shoes, Boots, and Sandals

Rubber boots are all the rage. But have you ever thought about how to clean your rubber shoes? The process of getting them back to looking shiny is pretty easy. In fact, rubber can be one of the easier materials to clean on shoes. To get started, you'll want to grab:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Plastic scraper
  • Basin for washing
  • Baking soda

Instructions to Clean Rubber Shoes

Now that you've got your cleaning supplies at the ready, it's time to get to work. This method is going to take a bit of elbow grease, but it's worth it in the end.

  1. Use the scraper to remove as much dirt from the bottom and sides of the shoe as possible. It can also be helpful to beat the bottoms on something hard, like a porch, to remove the dirt from all the grooves.
  2. Remove any liners from the shoes.
  3. Take the bristle brush and remove any remaining cakes of dirt if possible.
  4. Fill a basin with warm water.
  5. Add a teaspoon of laundry detergent.
  6. Allow the rubber shoes to soak for about 5 or so minutes.
  7. Take the bristle brush and scrub down your shoes, inside and out.
  8. Dip the brush in baking soda to attack any stubborn stains.
  9. Allow the shoes to air dry completely.
  10. Add your liners back in.

How to Clean White Rubber Soles and Shoes

More often than not, you aren't going to have a totally rubber shoe. You might have a shoe made of a combination of rubber and cloth or other materials. Think of the white sole on your favorite pair of Converse or Vans. This sole gets really dirty. Learn how to clean your white rubber soles with a few simple hacks. These methods work great on white rubber shoes too.

Cotton pads with cotton swabs and nail polish remover

You need:

  • Acetone
  • Cotton balls
  • Baking soda
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Cloth
  • Magic Eraser

Clean Rubber Soles With Acetone

One of the easiest ways to get your soles back to white in a jiffy is to try acetone. The dirt literally wipes off.

  1. Use a cloth to remove as much loose dirt as possible on the shoe.
  2. Soak a cotton ball or swab in acetone.
  3. Wipe down the sole of the shoe.
  4. Repeat with a new cotton swab until all the dirt and grime are gone.

Use Baking Soda to Clean Rubber Shoes

Another clear winner in the fight to clean rubber shoes is the baking soda and Dawn combination. These work great to shine everything up. For this method, grab the Dawn, baking soda, and toothbrush.

  1. Remove loose dirt.
  2. Combine baking soda with a tablespoon or two of Dawn. You want to create a nice thick paste.
  3. Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and scrub.
  4. Wipe away the dirt with a cloth and repeat until the entire area is clean.
  5. Rinse with water.
  6. Allow it to dry completely.

If your soles are really dirty, you might want to soak them in some water and dish soap for about 10-20 minutes to soften up the grime for your scrubbing adventure.

Try a Magic Eraser to Clean White Rubber Soles

Magic erasers are miracle workers when it comes to scuffs on shoes. So, you better believe that they get your soul looking shiny again.

Magic eraser for cleaning daily-used sneaker soles
  1. Wet a Magic Eraser. Work the water into the sponge.
  2. Remove loose dirt from shoes.
  3. Wipe the Magic Eraser up and down the soles of the shoes until white.
  4. Re-wet the eraser if needed.
  5. Use a damp cloth to wipe the shoes down.

How to Clean Rubber Shoes

Whether your galoshes are looking a little worse for wear or your rubber sandals need some TLC, these methods are sure to get them looking like new again. Now it's time to give them a good cleaning.

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How to Clean Rubber Shoes With 3 Easy Methods