How To Clean Muddy Shoes: Mud-Covered Shoes? This Genius Cleaning Hack Will Blow Your Mind

If you’ve ever found yourself stepping into a muddy puddle or trudging through a rain-soaked path, then you know the struggle of dealing with muddy shoes. But fear not! In this article, you’ll discover simple and effective ways to clean muddy shoes, restoring them to their former glory.

Whether you’re dealing with sneakers, boots, or any other type of footwear, these tips and tricks will have your muddy shoes looking brand new in no time. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to tackle the muck!


Before you begin cleaning your muddy shoes, it’s important to gather your supplies. It’s much easier to clean your shoes when you have everything on hand and ready to go. Here are a few things you’ll need:

  • A soft brush
  • Mild detergent
  • Stain remover
  • Water
  • Sink or bucket
  • Mesh bag
  • Baking soda
  • Newspaper

Now that you have your supplies ready, let’s move on to the next step of removing excess mud from your shoes.

Removing Excess Mud

When your shoes are covered in mud, the first thing you should do is let the mud dry. Trying to clean wet mud can be messy and ineffective. So, take a deep breath and let the mud dry naturally. Once the mud is dry, it will be much easier to remove.

After the mud has dried, it’s time to knock off the excess. Use a soft brush to gently brush away the dried mud. Be careful not to brush too aggressively, as this could damage the material of your shoes. By removing the excess mud, you’ll make the cleaning process much smoother.

Muddy Shoes
Muddy Shoes

Brushing Off Loose Dirt

In addition to removing the excess mud, you’ll also need to brush off any loose dirt that may be clinging to your shoes. To do this, grab your soft brush and start brushing in circular motions. This will help loosen any dirt particles that may have gotten stuck in the crevices of your shoes. Be thorough and make sure to cover all areas of the shoes.

Treating Stubborn Stains

If your muddy shoes have stubborn stains that aren’t easily removed with brushing alone, it’s time to bring out the stain remover. First, identify the type of stain you’re dealing with. This will help you choose the appropriate stain remover.

Once you have the right stain remover, apply it to the stained areas of your shoes. Follow the instructions on the product carefully and allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time. After the stain remover has had a chance to work its magic, use your soft brush to gently scrub the stained areas. Rinse the shoes thoroughly to remove any residue from the stain remover.

How To Clean Muddy Shoes

Hand Washing

For shoes that are not suitable for machine washing, hand washing is the way to go. To start, fill a sink or bucket with water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold, as extreme temperatures can damage your shoes.

Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water and mix it well. Then, place your dirty shoes in the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help loosen any remaining dirt or stains. After soaking, take your soft brush and scrub the shoes gently in circular motions. Pay extra attention to any areas that may still have visible stains.

Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning, rinse the shoes thoroughly to remove all residue of the detergent. Make sure the water runs clear before moving on to the next step.

Machine Washing

If your shoes are suitable for machine washing, it can be a convenient and effective way to clean them. However, not all shoes are machine-washable, so it’s important to check the laundry instructions before proceeding.

Start by removing the insoles and laces from your shoes. These can be washed separately or by hand. Then, place your shoes in a mesh bag to protect them during the washing cycle.

Next, select a gentle cycle on your washing machine and add a small amount of mild detergent. Avoid using too much detergent, as it can leave residue on your shoes. Once everything is set, start the washing machine.

After the cycle is complete, remove your shoes from the mesh bag and set them aside to air dry. Avoid using any direct heat sources, such as a dryer or radiator, as this can warp or damage your shoes. Instead, allow them to dry naturally.


Proper drying is crucial to maintaining the shape and quality of your shoes. Start by removing any excess moisture. You can do this by gently patting your shoes with a clean towel or paper towel. Be careful not to rub too harshly, as this can damage the material.

Next, stuff your shoes with crumpled newspaper. This will help absorb any remaining moisture and help them maintain their shape as they dry. Make sure to fill the shoes completely but not too tightly.

Now, it’s time to let your shoes air dry. Find a well-ventilated area and place your shoes in a spot where they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the colors to fade and the materials to deteriorate over time. Allow them to dry completely before wearing or storing them.


After cleaning your muddy shoes, it’s common for them to develop an unpleasant odor. To combat this, you can use baking soda to deodorize your shoes. Simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside each shoe, making sure to cover all areas. Let the baking soda sit overnight to absorb any odors.

The next day, use a vacuum or soft brush to remove the baking soda from your shoes. This will also help to remove any lingering dirt or debris. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned out the baking soda, your shoes should be odor-free and ready to wear.

Proper Storage

Properly storing your shoes after cleaning them is essential for maintaining their shape and quality. Start by ensuring that your shoes are clean and dry before storing them. Any leftover moisture can lead to mold or mildew growth, which can damage your shoes.

To prevent your shoes from getting damaged or misshapen, separate them from one another. You can use shoe boxes, shoe bags, or individual compartments to keep them organized and protected. If you have limited storage space, consider investing in a shoe rack or hanging shoe organizer.

Using shoe trees is another great way to maintain the shape of your shoes during storage. Shoe trees help to prevent creases and wrinkles that can occur over time. They also help to absorb any excess moisture, keeping your shoes fresh and odor-free.

Maintenance Tips

Keeping your shoes clean is an ongoing effort, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few maintenance tips to help extend the life of your shoes:

  • Regularly clean your shoes to prevent dirt and stains from becoming deeply embedded.
  • Avoid walking in deep mud whenever possible. This will minimize the amount of mud and dirt that gets on your shoes.
  • Consider using protective sprays on your shoes to repel water, stains, and dirt. These sprays create a barrier that can make cleaning easier in the future.

By following these maintenance tips and regularly cleaning your muddy shoes, you can keep them looking and smelling fresh for a long time to come. Remember to always check the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you’re using the appropriate cleaning methods for your specific shoes. With a little care and attention, your shoes will continue to shine bright, even after a muddy adventure.

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