Is there a worse feeling than buying a pair of shoes you’ve been dreaming of for so long and then realizing that they are far from what you expected? Now you need to go back to the store, but before you do, you should find out how to clean the bottom of the shoes to return them.
Sometimes it only takes a few minutes to figure out that it’s not what you were looking for. But, sometimes, it even takes a couple of days until you notice that your feet hurt because of your brand-new shoes.
Luckily, every store has a return policy which gives you a chance to go back and choose something that will suit you more.
However, it’s not enough to just grab them and run back to the store. First, you need to clean them properly so they get their shiny brand-new look back. In case you’re dealing with this problem right now, we’re here to help you out! So worry not, and let’s get to work.
Why do you need to clean the shoes before returning them?
Cleaning the bottom of your shoes before returning them to the store is actually even more important than you might think it is. So, let me explain to you why it is so crucial.
1) Every company is different and they have different rules. Therefore, many of them have a return policy that says that the shoes you bought need to look exactly the same as when you want to return them.
2) People working at the store will definitely check the item you want to return carefully so they don’t end up having problems because they accepted dirty shoes.
3) You might feel embarrassed to return shoes that were visibly used for some time.
4) Even if you only wore them outside once, there’s definitely some dirt on them that you might not notice that easily. So you need to check your shoes well before you return them.
5) If you clean them well, they will definitely look like they’re fresh out of the store and you won’t face any problems with the return policy.
What happens if you don’t clean them?
If you need a little bit more motivation to thoroughly clean your shoes in order to return them, let me tell you what might happen if you decide to skip that step before returning them to the store.
1) It’s likely that the store manager will refuse to take your shoes back as their store policy requires that they are spotless when you want to return them.
2) The store manager might ask you to go back home and clean the shoes the best you can, and then come back again when they are completely clean.
3) In case the shop immediately accepts them back, it’s likely that they will just pack them for another customer. That means that someone else will get the shoes that have already been worn and that don’t look brand new.
How to clean the bottom of the shoes to return them
Luckily, there are many ways that you can clean the bottom of your shoes to return them, so you can just choose the one that fits you the most. Here are 7 tips and tricks that we’ve prepared for you.
1) Stomp your shoes and get rid of leftovers
The first thing you’ll need to do is the simplest one. Take sneakers in both hands and hit the bottoms together a few times. You’ll definitely notice dirt, mud, stones, and many other small intruders falling off your shoes. However, don’t forget to do it somewhere outside as you definitely don’t want all that dirt to end up on your carpet.
After you’ve done that, it’s likely that some things will still stay stuck. Don’t panic! You can easily get rid of them by getting tweezers and carefully picking out everything that’s still hiding on the bottom of your shoes. Be careful not to do anything too aggressively because you might easily damage a part of your shoe.
2) Use an old toothbrush
Even though you can use any kind of brush, we suggest you use the old toothbrush because it’s softer and there’s less chance that you’ll accidentally damage a part of your shoe.
If there’s sand, mud, or anything else stuck on your shoe, the toothbrush will definitely help you reach it and get rid of it. Just make sure it’s dry and you’ll be able to easily clean everything you see. However, if it’s wet, you’re risking making even more mess while trying to get the shoes ready to return them.
3) White toothpaste
For this task, you’ll need to prepare a few things. Find a toothbrush, a clean piece of cloth, white (non-gel) toothpaste, and warm water. It’s important that water is warm because it causes less damage to the shoes.
And when you get these items, you’re ready to clean the bottom of your shoes to return them. So, your first step will be to use the toothbrush to get rid of all the dirt that’s still on your shoes. Then put the toothpaste on it and gently apply it to the bottom of your shoes.
Put a thick layer to get better results and make sure that you put it on every hole in the soles. When you’ve successfully done that, let it sit for 10 minutes max. Then use a clean damp cloth and clean your shoes. What you should get at the end are shiny white shoes that look exactly like they did when you just bought them!
4) Baking soda and a soap
If you choose this option, then there are some things that you need to prepare first. Go to your bathroom and take a soap (or a mild detergent), put some warm water in a bowl, and take some baking soda, a toothbrush, and a clean cloth. When you get all the items, you can start with cleaning.
Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
1) Of course, you’ll first need to clean all the dirt with your old toothbrush.
2) Make a cleaning mix by adding baking soda and soap (or detergent) to the bowl of warm water. Mix it all up and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
3) Take the toothbrush and apply the mixture to the bottom of your shoes.
4) Leave it there for no longer than 5 minutes so you don’t damage anything.
5) Clean everything with a damp piece of cloth and you’ll give your shoes a shiny new look.
5) Nail polish remover
Another helpful tip we have for you is to use nail polish remover. However, you need to be very careful as it’s very strong, so don’t put too much of it. To make it easier, here are the steps you can follow:
1) Get some cotton balls, q-tips, and a nail polish remover.
2) Put a few drops of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and rub the bottom of the shoe with it.
3) If there are some small holes, you can do the same, but using cotton swabs.
4) Repeat the process until the shoes are completely clean.
5) Don’t rinse them with water as there’s no need to do so. The smell will soon disappear and the nail polish remover will dry out.
6) Congratulations! You just learned how to clean the bottom of your shoes to return them successfully!
6) Bleaching powder
If it feels like you’ve done everything in your power but there’s still a small stain that doesn’t want to come off, then bleach powder will become your best friend.
1) Put on a pair of gloves and a face mask to keep yourself safe.
2) Mix the bleach powder with warm water to get a strong mixture that will help you reach your final goal.
3) Use a thick piece of cloth, put it in the cleaning mix, and then gently rub it to the bottom of your shoes until you see they’re becoming spotlessly white again.
4) Take another thick piece of cloth, put it in clean water, and then use it to remove the bleach from your shoes.
5) And finally, if you’ve done everything correctly, your shoes are now completely clean and you can return them to the store. Congrats!
7) Lime and salt mixture
This method is becoming increasingly popular as its results are stunning. So if you’re looking for tips on how to clean the bottom of the shoes to return them, you should definitely consider this as an option. Here are the steps:
1) Take a small bowl and put lime juice and salt in it.
2) While sitting there for a few minutes, take a toothbrush and clean the bottom of your shoes to get rid of all the dirt.
3) Use the toothbrush to apply the mixture to the bottom of your shoes.
4) Leave it there for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to leave it for too long as it can damage the shoe.
5) Wipe off the mixture with a piece of a damp cloth.
6) Leave the shoes to air dry and they’ll be ready to return to the store.