Removing Dirt from Tennis Shoe Soles

Removing Dirt from Tennis Shoe Soles

Removing Dirt from Tennis Shoe Soles

– Hacked by Sarah R. –

Here's what you need:

  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Cotton Balls/Cotton Rounds
  • Dirty Shoes

I have this pair of Sperry boat shoes that I have been trying to get clean for a while now. I threw them in the wash a few times over the summer, trying to get them to look new again. They were cute at one point in time! Now that summer is over and I won’t be using them anytime soon, I decided to try another method to get them clean, which I had seen before on Pinterest, but I was a bit worried about ruining them.

The pin simply had a photo of a tennis shoe and captioned it “clean tennis shoes with nail polish remover.” There was no additional information. I figured by the looks of it that this method was only intended to clean the soles of a pair of shoes, so that is what I attempted with my own shoes.

I dabbed a cotton ball in the nail polish remover and rubbed along the white part of my shoe, hoping it would brighten and lift any stains. I don’t know if I was scrubbing vigorously enough. Perhaps if I tried this with a toothbrush, it would have worked better, but, alas, I didn’t have any extra brushes on hand, so I was stuck using what I already had.

I can’t say it was a complete fail! The shoe was definitely brightened and most stains were lifted. It’s just the really stubborn ones I’m left with, but I have high hopes that once I pick up another toothbrush, I can get those stains out for a refreshed look for next spring and summer. Until then, I’ll stick with dark colored boots and shoes that can handle the sand and salt that we will undoubtedly face in this upcoming New England winter.


Sarah is a stay at home mom to one baby girl. She teaches piano and runs a photography business out of her home, and does much of her work and occasional blogging whenever the baby decides to sleep! 🙂 Enthusiast of babywearing, green living, all things organic, and vegetarianism – read more about her on her blog: