Have you ever had a stroll in the park on a bright and sunny day ruined by getting dog poop on your favorite shoes? What is even more disconcerting is that dog poop leaves a long-lasting odor on your shoes if it’s not cleaned off properly, and soon.
Fortunately, you don’t have to throw away your shoes. We’ve highlighted hacks and tricks that can help you clean your shoes thoroughly without ruining them. We’ll also help you eliminate dog poop odor.
Here’s a highlight of what we’ll cover:
- Quick and Easy Ways to Get Dog Poop Off Your Shoes.
- How to Get Rid of Dog Poop Odor.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
7 Top Methods to Get Dog Poop Off Your Shoes
There are different ways to get rid of dog feces from your shoes. The method to use largely depends on the type of shoe type, as highlighted below.
Using a Hosepipe
This method is the fastest way to get rid of dog poop from your shoes and only requires a hosepipe. It is also a great solution if you want to avoid contact with the mess as much as possible.
You can use this method to clean various shoes, including sneakers, sandals, flip flops, boots, etc. However, since this technique involves a lot of water, it’s not ideal for leather or suede shoes.
Step 1: Remove your shoe and place it on a surface that won’t require cleaning afterward, e.g., an open lawn.
Step 2: Attach the pipe to the water source, and using a low setting, aim the outlet at the shoe to gently remove the dog poop bits that can easily fall off. You can also use a stick or any other scraping tool to remove the loose poop.
Step 3: Once done, place the shoe a few meters away from you, and using the jet setting, spray the shoe with the water. Doing this will remove the stubborn poop stuck in the shoe treads.
Step 4: Lastly, use a shoe brush or hard clothes brush to remove any stubborn dog poop that’s still stuck to the shoe.
Freezing the Shoe
It is much easier to remove dry dog poop than when it’s in a soft and wet state. There are different ways to dry dog poop, and one of the most straightforward is freezing.
Although this method may not be appealing to some people or even conducive for use with some shoes, it is pretty effective. Additionally, following the crucial steps below should make the process easy and sanitary.
Step 1: Put the shoe in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag to prevent any poop particles from falling into the freezer.
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Step 2: Place the Ziploc bag into a freezer, a vacant drawer if possible, and allow the dog poop to freeze. The low temperatures prevent bacteria from thriving; thus, the bacteria won’t be transmitted to your food.
Step 3: Once the dog poop has frozen, remove the Ziploc bag from the freezer. Take a stick or an old blunt table knife and displace the frozen dog poop, which should come off very easily. Ensure that you do this quickly before the dog poop reverts to its initial soft state.
Step 4: Rinse the shoe with water or wipe down thoroughly with an anti-bacterial cleaning wipe and let it air dry.
Drying the Shoes in the Sun
Another way to dry dog poop is by leaving your shoes out in the sun for a few hours. This method eliminates dog poop just like the freezing method, so it’s a great alternative if you have sanitary concerns.
Additionally, this is one of the most effortless ways of getting dog poop off your shoe and can be used for any shoe type. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Place the shoes in direct sunlight and allow the dog poop to dry completely.
Step 2: Once dry, scrape or knock off the dog poop. Knocking the shoe against a hard surface like a brick wall can often remove the dog poop.
Step 3: Rinse the shoe with water and mild soap while using a brush to remove any remaining particles.
Using a Washing Machine
Using a washing machine is an ideal method for cleaning most shoe types other than leather and suede. You should use a washing machine if you want an easy solution to eliminate dog poop that doesn’t involve getting your hands dirty.
However, you’ll need to be extra careful not to damage your footwear. So, here are the crucial steps to follow:
Step 1: Use a brush, tissue paper, or stick to remove as much dog poop as possible. Doing this ensures that your machine is not left with any odor.
Step 2: Remove any laces before putting your shoes in the washer. Set the water temperature anywhere between cool and warm. Avoid using a hot wash as this will ruin the shoes.
Step 3: Remove and let your shoe air dry, ideally on a washing line. Using a dryer to speed up the process may damage your shoes.
WD-40 is a multi-purpose water-displacing spray that usually acts as a lubricant, moisture displacer, and rust preventative. You can find this cleaning solution at your local hardware store or from online vendors.
This method uses minimal water and does not necessarily require soap. It is ideal for most shoes, e.g., sneakers, boots, but not suede.
Following the steps below will help you use WD-40 effectively:
Step 1: Get rid of as much dog poop as possible on the shoe using a stick, scraper, or paper towel.
Step 2: Spray a light coat of the WD-40 solution on the shoe and then scrub with a brush until all the dog poop comes off the shoe.
Step 3: Rinse the shoe with some water, and your shoes should be as good as before.
Using an Old Toothbrush
If you want to clean your shoes right away without waiting for the dog poop to dry or freeze, or if you do not want to put them in the washing machine, then using a toothbrush is the ideal option! All you need is an old toothbrush, warm water, and mild soap.
This method is ideal for most shoe types, except suede and leather. Below are the steps to follow when using this solution:
Step 1: Scrub off any excess dog poop by wiping the shoes on the grass or using a stick or paper towel.
Step 2: Rinse the shoe with some of the warm water mixed with the mild soap.
Step 3: Use the old toothbrush to remove the remaining dog poop. A toothbrush is ideal for this job because the bristles are small enough to get into stubborn places, such as in between the treads and where the upper and sole join.
Taking Your Shoes to a Professional Shoe Cleaner
If you find the process of cleaning the feces off the shoes yourself unpleasant or unsanitary—or are afraid of ruining a new or expensive pair of shoes—you can take your shoes to a professional shoe cleaner. They will get rid of dog poop, leaving your shoes looking as good as new!
How to Get Rid of Dog Poop Odor
Getting feces off your shoe is one thing. Eliminating the unpleasant odor from your shoe is a whole other story. The lingering smell can discourage you from wearing your shoes or make you discard them altogether.
The following are simple hacks that can help you remove that unpleasant dog poop odor from your shoes.
- Tightly seal your shoe in a bag filled with baking soda and leave it for a few hours.
- Place your shoe next to a bag that is filled with activated charcoal. Leave it for a few days for the odor to be fully eliminated.
- Use a natural odor remover. This solution contains enzymes that help eliminate the odor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Shouldn’t I Use Soap and Water to Clean Leather Shoes?
Although most people use soap and water to clean most of their shoes, including leather boots, this is not ideal. Any soap residue left on your leather shoes will often lead to cracking and the formation of dry patches.
What Is the Easiest Home Solution for Cleaning Suede Shoes?
The easiest and most affordable way to getting stubborn stains off suede shoes is using white vinegar. Simply pour the vinegar onto a dry cloth, and rub it into the stain. Once done, let the shoe air dry, then brush the culprit spot to remove any remaining marks.
What Can I Do to Avoid Touching Dog Poop When Cleaning Shoes?
If you want to avoid touching dog poop, you can either use gloves when cleaning your shoes or take your shoes to a professional shoe cleaner.
You can easily get dog poop off your shoes using various techniques. The method you choose depends on resources, time, preference, and, most importantly, the type of shoe.
You can either use a hosepipe, an old toothbrush, or a washing machine for quick solutions. But if you would like to avoid water for more sensitive shoes like sneakers, then WD-40 is what to use.
If time is not an issue, but you prefer not to clean the shoe while the dog poop is still fresh, then freezing or drying is the way to go. However, you can always take your shoes to a professional shoe cleaner for the best results and avoid damaging your shoes.