Almost every person steps in dog poop at least once in their life. If you never have, then you are one lucky human. And if you have, then you must have wondered at some point how to clean dog poop off shoes.
Stepping on dog poop can be very frustrating. I remember, back in college, my friend who stepped on dog poop on his way to our Monday lectures. He was so annoyed, stressed out, and straight-up mad at the Universe.
“Oh, God! Why me? Why did this happen to me?!” is what he kept yelling. He had been minutes away from our faculty building, but he had to go back to his dorm room to clean his shoes and deal with the awful smell.
And, do I have to mention that he had just bought those shoes? Yikes! What a way to start the week, right?
If only I had this article to send him, so he could deal with the poop situation much more efficiently and with less stress.
Luckily for you, I have all the tips and tricks now, and I will gladly share them with you.
How to clean dog poop off shoes?
1. Use a cleaning brush with hot soapy water
The first method we’re going to mention is probably the one you’ve also thought about first.
Get a regular cleaning brush or an old toothbrush that you won’t miss once you throw it out after you clean your shoes. Because, yes – it’ll have to end up in your garbage can.
Prepare a big bowl (big enough for your shoes to fit in) and fill it with hot water. The water level should be high enough to soak the soles of your shoes. Add the soap of your choice, either laundry detergent or dishwashing soap, and let your shoes rest in the soapy water for a couple of minutes.
Then, get the brush of your choice and scrub your shoes, concentrating on those areas that are most poop-affected. Make sure you scrub away from yourself to ensure no poopy-soapy-watery splashes end up on your clothes or skin.
Depending on how dirty your shoes are, you might have to repeat this process. Once you’re satisfied with the result, rinse your shoes with clean water, let them air dry, and that’s it!
2. Freeze your shoes in the freezer
You probably never thought that the answer to the question, “How to clean dog poop off shoes?” would be to put your shoes in the freezer. But believe it or not, this method can be quite helpful.
What’s the science behind it? Well, freezing your shoes will ensure that the dog poop solidifies, so the cleaning process can be much easier and less stressful. Once the poop hardens, you can simply scrape the poop off.
Many people think that this method is not very hygienic, and I get that. But if you want to try it, make sure to put your shoes in a well-sealed plastic bag. That way you won’t risk the contamination of your freezer.
You can also place ice bags on your shoes, but that method won’t be as effective as when you put them directly in the freezer. It might take longer for the poop to solidify, and the ice bags will melt if they’re left at room temperature.
If it happens to be winter, you can also leave your shoes outside to freeze.
3. Dry your shoes in the sun
Here is a method that is a total contrast to the previous one. Instead of freezing your shoes, you can leave them to dry in the sun for the poop to harden. This might take longer than if you put them in the freezer, but it’s still worth trying.
With this method, there’s no need to worry whether it’s hygienic or not. You simply have to leave your shoes outside and let the sun and the breeze do their thing.
By leaving your shoes outside to dry, not only will the dog poop harden, but your shoes will also naturally air themselves out and the odor will be less noticeable. So, you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
After the poop hardens, you can simply scrape it off with a stick or basically anything that you have at hand.
4. Put them in the washing machine
If you’ve been wondering how to clean dog poop off shoes, then you have probably thought about putting them in the washing machine.
This can be done, sure. However, you have to consider several things.
First, you have to know that it’s not advisable to put leather or suede shoes in the washing machine because it can ruin them forever. However, shoes made out of nylon, cotton, polyester, and canvas are usually machine washable.
Just to be sure, you should always check the tag that’s usually under the tongue of the shoe. Even if you believe that your shoes are fine for your washing machine, the tag might say otherwise. Maybe they require some special care, soap, water temperature, or similar.
Secondly, before putting your shoes into the washing machine, make sure you get rid of as much poop as you can. You can use either an old toothbrush or regular tissue paper.
This might seem counter-productive. All you wanted was not to deal with the poop manually, but it seems as though it’s like Thanos, a.k.a. inevitable. However, this step is important because you don’t want any poop to remain in your washer, do you?
Finally, don’t forget to remove shoelaces and inner soles before you put your shoes in the washing machine. Also, make sure the water isn’t too hot and that the centrifuge setting is around 400. These steps will minimize the possible damage that can happen.
If you ask me, I would skip this method altogether and stick to any other method in this article. But if you’re repulsed by dog poop stains, then this method is for you.
5. Use white vinegar to clean your shoes
It’s no secret that white vinegar is a miracle in a bottle. It’s a bacteria slayer and great for removing almost any stain. So it’s no wonder it’s among the methods to clean dog poop off shoes.
All you have to do is combine half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water and put the mixture in an old spray bottle. Give it a little shake and generously spray the poop stains on your shoes. Let that sit for a couple of minutes before you scrub your shoes with an old brush or toothbrush.
After you’re done with scrubbing, rinse your shoes with clean water and dry them with a towel or just let them air dry. And that’s it!
6. Use hydrogen peroxide to remove the poop stains
“How to clean dog poop off shoes? Can I use hydrogen peroxide?”
Of course, you can! Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic liquid perfect for cleaning many stains. It is a great way to disinfect your shoes and clean the poop off them.
Put your hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray your dry shoes, concentrating on the areas that are most stained. Let the hydrogen peroxide break through the stain for a couple of minutes, after which you’ll simply wipe everything with an old cloth.
All that’s left to do is to rinse the shoes with clean water and let them dry.
7. Use WD-40
WD-40 is amazing to have in your home. It is great for rust prevention, removing gums from pretty much any surface, getting tar off shoes, destroying grime from tile grout lines, and much more. And, of course, it’s also a great method to clean dog poop off shoes.
The process includes: removing as much dog poop with tissue paper as you can, spraying the stained area with WD-40, and leaving it be for a couple of minutes. After that, do a little scrubbing with an old brush or a toothbrush, and voilà – the shoes are cleaned!
How to get rid of that nasty dog poop odor?
Imagine walking in a supermarket, for example, and constantly smelling that nasty dog poop odor. You start to wonder what’s wrong with your favorite market and why it smells so bad, only to realize it’s actually you who’s the source of that smell.
In order for you to avoid this, here’s how you can get rid of that nasty dog poop odor that can linger a long time after you step into the poop from the pup:
- After you clean your shoes, let them air dry. This will ensure the poop odor goes away completely.
- If you have a dryer, use it to dry your shoes after cleaning.
- When your shoes are dry, sprinkle some baking soda inside and leave it for 30 minutes, or overnight.
- You can also try putting several tea bags inside your shoes as they are highly absorbent.
- Alternatively, simply buy some shoe deodorizer spray like this one from Lumi Outdoors, and spray the nasty odor away!