How to Clean Your Kid’s Shoes - Kids Shoes

How to Clean Your Kid’s Shoes

Childhood is a time for kids to explore the world around them—the muddy, slimy, messy world. Shoes are some of the most likely clothing items to collect dust, dirt, and stains, not to mention germs and sweat. Keeping them clean can seem impossible, but don’t stress–Charlie’s Soap has your back. From dress shoes to sneakers, here are some top-notch cleaning hacks for squeaky-clean kids’ shoes.

Stain Treatment

To handle really tough messes, you may have to do some pre-treatment. Use these hacks to lift stains before you wash the shoes for a pristine final product. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an active cleaning solution that many people already have on hand. To use baking soda on shoe scuffs and stains, just combine baking soda and warm water in a 2-to-1 ratio. They should form a thick paste. For best results, carefully scrub the paste into the stains, then let it sit on the shoe for 30 minutes. Afterward, rinse it off with clean water.  

Baking soda is a gentle cleanser, so it may not work on the first try. Dealing with stubborn stains? You might need to try something more heavy-duty. 

Powerful Stain Solutions

If you just can’t seem to break through the stains on your child’s new sneakers, a more powerful stain solution is needed. Like gentle at-home cleaning solutions, Charlie’s Soap products are safe to use on fabrics of all kinds, but they have extra cleaning power to handle extra-tough messes. Try our Pre-Spray Stain Remover on your child’s shoes. Simply spray the stained area and wait for 30 minutes. The pre-spray will break through the stain and make the next steps much more effective. 


Some shoes will fare better in the washer than others. Before you wash your child’s shoes, you’ll want to check the care label to see if they’re machine-washable. Any shoes that are marked as hand wash only could be damaged by the washing machine. If you’re unsure or the shoes don’t have care instructions, it’s a good idea to stick with hand washing to be safe. 

Machine Washing 

The good news–lots of kids’ shoes are machine-washable. Generally, shoes made with fabrics such as cotton, nylon, polyester, and faux leather are safe to toss in the washer. Before you wash, remove laces and insoles, if possible. Insoles can get waterlogged in a machine. Instead, to clean insoles and shoelaces, try washing by hand using some soapy water and an old toothbrush. 

Place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase for extra protection. Shoes can easily damage other clothing items, so it’s best to wash them alone. Set the washer to a cold, gentle cycle to prevent shrinking or damage. Cold-water washing means you’ll need a detergent that is effective in both cold and hot water, like Charlie’s Soap natural detergents. If you’re looking to sanitize the shoes, you can also add some of our oxygen bleach. Imagine a bleach without the color panic or the chemical fallout–that’s oxygen bleach. Free of chlorine and color-safe, oxygen bleach is a great alternative for parents. It offers sanitization that’s gentle enough for kids’ sensitive skin. 

Although some shoes are dryer-safe, most of them will be damaged by the heat and agitation. Air-drying is your best bet. Wait several hours to make sure that the shoes are completely dry to avoid bacterial growth. 

Hand Washing

Hand washing is the best option for light-up and dress shoes, but it’s a good way to spruce up your child’s shoes regularly without the washing machine, which can reduce shoes’ lifespan. Although it takes a bit more time and effort than machine washing, hand-washing children’s shoes is a breeze with the right products and a little finesse. 

When it comes to hand-washing, the more effective the product, the less effort you have to put into it. An extra strong cleaning agent breaks the stain under the surface so that you don’t have to. A less effective cleaner requires a lot of additional elbow grease. However, the harsh chemicals of powerful detergents can easily damage clothing items. That’s why Charlie’s Soap natural liquid detergent is a game changer. Our detergent packs the same cleaning power, free of parabens, sulfates, and dyes. 

Simply combine a few tablespoons of laundry detergent with several cups of cool water. A spray bottle is ideal for this step of the process. Spritz the cleaning mixture over the shoe, then scrub it using a toothbrush or rag. Rinse the shoe using a clean, damp cloth. Afterward, let the shoe air-dry. 

Cleaning Solutions for Kid’s Toughest Messes

Keeping up with your little one can be tough. Charlie’s Soap is here to help. With innovative cleaning solutions for any mess, we’re committed to kid-safe and environment-friendly products. Learn more about biodegradable cleaning solutions that are as good for the soul as they are for the sole. 



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