can hydrogen peroxide be used to clean shoes

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Be Used to Clean Shoes?

Harnessing the power of everyday household items can often lead to surprising results. Take hydrogen peroxide for instance – a common solution found in medicine cabinets across the globe. Could it have a use of cleaning shoes?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean shoes effectively, but it’s important to consider the material and perform a patch test to avoid potential risks like discoloration or fading.

So this mild antiseptic also serves as an effective cleaning agent. In this article, we focus specifically on how hydrogen peroxide can be employed to rejuvenate your favorite pair of shoes.

Cleaning Shoes with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

While the basic steps of using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to clean shoes are quite straightforward, here is a more detailed version of the process for those stubborn stains and deeper cleans.

  1. Preparation: Start by removing any loose dirt from your shoes with a dry brush. You don’t want to grind the dirt further into the shoe fabric during the cleaning process.
  2. Making the Cleaning Paste: Create a cleaning paste by combining two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Stir until you get a thick, smooth paste.
  3. Applying the Paste: Using an old toothbrush or a soft bristle brush, apply the paste generously to the stained areas of your shoes. Ensure the paste penetrates deep into the fabric to reach the stains embedded within.
  4. Working the Paste In: Gently but firmly, scrub the paste into the material of the shoe with the brush in a circular motion. This helps to lift the stain from the fabric.
  5. Allow the Paste to Dry: Let the paste dry for about 30-45 minutes. During this time, the paste will dry out and harden. As it dries, the paste will lift the stains from the fabric.
  6. Removing the Paste: Once the paste is dry, it can be brushed off. Use a stiff brush to knock off the hardened paste. If necessary, you can use a slightly dampened cloth to help remove the paste.
  7. Cleaning the Residue: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any remaining dried paste or residue. Be careful not to scrub too hard as it could damage the fabric of the shoe.
  8. Rinsing the Shoes: If your shoes are water-safe, you can rinse them under cool water to remove any leftover paste or loosened dirt. Avoid soaking the shoe as this could cause the fabric to become waterlogged.
  9. Drying the Shoes: Pat the shoes dry with a clean towel and then allow them to air dry completely. It’s important to keep the shoes away from direct sunlight or high heat, as this risks discoloration or shrinkage.
  10. Post-Cleaning Care: Once your shoes are dry, consider using a fabric or shoe protector spray to help repel future stains and dirt. This will make your next cleaning session easier and help keep your shoes looking their best for longer.

Remember, although hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are effective cleaning agents, they can also potentially cause fading or discoloration on certain materials. Always perform a patch test in an inconspicuous area before treating the entire shoe.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide Soak to Clean Shoes

For shoes with ingrained dirt or pervasive staining, using a hydrogen peroxide soaking technique can be the ultimate solution. This comprehensive method involves immersing the shoes in a hydrogen peroxide solution to dislodge and lift away stubborn dirt.

  1. Pre-Cleaning Routine: Initiate the cleaning process by brushing off any loose soil or debris from your shoes. This step prevents the grinding of superficial dirt into the fabric during the soaking process.
  2. Mixing the Hydrogen Peroxide Solution: Prepare a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide mixed together with two parts warm water in a large basin or bowl. Ensure that the solution is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Soaking the Shoes: Immerse your shoes fully in the prepared solution. For those made of leather or non-water-resistant materials, apply the solution using a sponge or cloth to prevent water damage.
  4. Letting the Solution Work: Allow your shoes to soak in the solution for between 30 to 60 minutes. The hydrogen peroxide solution will penetrate the fabric, working on the stains and dirt. If you are unable to fully immerse the shoes, remember to reapply the solution every 15 minutes.
  5. Scrubbing Off The Dirt: Once the soaking period is over, extract the shoes from the solution. Utilize a soft brush to gently scrub the shoes, focusing more on the parts that are heavily stained. The hydrogen peroxide should have loosened the dirt, thus facilitating easier removal.
  6. Rinsing the Shoes: Thoroughly rinse your shoes under clean running water to wash off all the hydrogen peroxide solution. It’s crucial to rinse thoroughly, as any leftover solution could continue to bleach the shoes.
  7. Drying Process: Use a towel to pat the shoes dry, removing any excess water, then allow them to air dry completely. It’s advisable not to expose them to direct sunlight or intense heat to prevent warping or discoloration.
  8. Post-Cleaning Measures: After your shoes are fully dried, consider applying a suitable protective spray or cream to help repel future dirt and stains.

As always, remember to test the solution on an inconspicuous area of the shoe first. Hydrogen peroxide may cause fading or discoloration on certain materials.

Cleaning Rubber Soles with Hydrogen Peroxide

Cleaning rubber soles with hydrogen peroxide is a great way to remove tough stains and restore brightness to your shoes. This method primarily focuses on the rubber parts of the shoes, like the soles and toe caps.

  1. Prepare Your Shoes: This begins by removing any loose dirt or debris from the soles of your shoes. A quick brushing with a dry brush can be effective for this.
  2. Prepare Your Cleaning Agent: Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a small bowl. The amount you’ll need depends on how many shoes you’re cleaning and how dirty they are.
  3. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide: Soak a soft cloth or sponge in the hydrogen peroxide. Squeeze out excess liquid until the cloth or sponge is damp, but not dripping.
  4. Clean the Soles: Wipe the rubber soles of your shoes with the hydrogen peroxide-soaked cloth or sponge. Be sure to focus on areas that are especially dirty or stained.
  5. Let It Sit: Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit on the soles for about 10-15 minutes. The solution will work on breaking down the stains during this period.
  6. Scrubbing the Soles: After the waiting period, use a brush to scrub the soles of the shoes. The hydrogen peroxide should have loosened the dirt, making it easier to remove.
  7. Rinsing the Soles: Rinse the soles thoroughly with clean water to remove any residual hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, as any leftover hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration or fading.
  8. Drying the Soles: Pat the soles dry with a clean towel and allow them to air dry. Make sure the soles are completely dry before wearing the shoes.
  9. Post-Cleaning Care: Once your shoes are clean and dry, consider applying a rubber conditioner or protective spray to the soles. This can help preserve the rubber and prevent future staining.

This method should help clean and brighten the rubber parts of your shoes. However, always remember to test the solution on an inconspicuous area of the sole first, as hydrogen peroxide can cause fading or discoloration on certain types of rubber.


Can hydrogen peroxide be used to clean all types of shoes?

Hydrogen peroxide can be effectively used to clean various types of shoes. Shoe types can include those made of fabric, leather, synthetic materials, and even shoes with rubber soles. However, it’s advisable to conduct a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe before proceeding with the overall cleaning process. This precaution ensures that the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t cause any adverse effects on the color or material of the shoes.

Are there any risks or downsides to using hydrogen peroxide to clean shoes?

While hydrogen peroxide is generally safe product to use if you follow the instructions and handle with care. There are however a few potential risks to be aware of. One risk is the possibility of discoloration or fading, particularly on darker-colored shoes or delicate materials. It’s essential to exercise caution and perform a patch test before applying hydrogen peroxide extensively. Additionally, excessive use of hydrogen peroxide can weaken certain materials over time, so it’s recommended to follow the instructions and avoid prolonged exposure.

Can hydrogen peroxide cause discoloration or fading of certain shoe materials?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration or fading, especially on certain shoe materials. Dark-colored shoes or materials with sensitive dyes are more susceptible to color alteration. To prevent any unwanted effects, it’s crucial to test a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe before using hydrogen peroxide on the entire surface. This preliminary test helps determine the compatibility of hydrogen peroxide with the specific shoe material.

Can hydrogen peroxide be used to clean rubber on shoes?

Absolutely, hydrogen peroxide is excellent for cleaning rubber on shoes, particularly rubber soles. It effectively removes stains, scuff marks, and dirt from the rubber surface. The oxidizing properties of hydrogen peroxide help lift the grime and restore the rubber’s original appearance. However, as a precautionary measure, it’s always wise to perform a patch test on a small area of the rubber before proceeding with the complete cleaning process. This ensures that the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t cause any unintended effects on the rubber material.

In Summary

In a world where cleanliness and hygiene have taken center stage, the quest for effective, convenient, and cost-effective cleaning solutions is ever important. Using hydrogen peroxide to clean shoes presents an opportunity to tap into the potential of everyday household items, offering a simple and efficient way to maintain your footwear. With careful use and attention to potential material sensitivities, this method could very well be the shoe cleaning hack you’ve been waiting for.