How To Clean Cycling Shoes - Thunderhead Alliance

How To Clean Cycling Shoes

Cyclists have other things in mind than getting a new bike or bike accessories. Their gear is as necessary since what they usually wear serves as the protective armour on the road, rain or shine. Biking shoes require as much attention as the rest of your cycling equipment.

While they are built to resist the elements, if not cleaned properly after use, it could take a toll on the shoes, and you’d have to replace them sooner than you thought.

White biking shoes or not, all the equipment you have deserves proper care, and there are a few ways to give them the cleaning they need.


Use a toothbrush

A toothbrush not only cleans those chompers. Toothbrushes have bristles soft enough not to damage your shoes but are firm and flexible enough to get rid of surface dirt and those lurking at the corners. It is best done right after using the biking shoes when the soil has not yet settled too long. Using a dry brush, start at the top of the toes and go over the whole footwear, lightly brushing inwardly in a counterclockwise motion, removing dust and breaking up dried up mud. Dip the toothbrush in hot water and start sweeping the shoe once more. You can use a mild soap or detergent if simple brushing is not working on other tougher stains. Make sure that you’re brushing gently not to damage the surface of the shoes.

Sweep off with baby wipes

These good sheets are not just for wiping off dirt from your body or for your baby’s bottom. The material from baby wipes is gentle enough for use and nothing abrasive. You can also choose the unscented variety if fragrances on your shoes are not your thing. After biking, take a sheet and wipe away the dirt from all corners, careful not to rub too much. Baby wipes are excellent cleaners that excessive moisture can’t enter here.

Load them in the dishwasher

Another way to clean your biking shoes the delicate way is to wash cycling shoes in a dishwasher. Designed for plates, trust that your pair won’t be thrown around from left to right. First, remove everything else from your dishwasher: dishes, glasses, utensils – all of them! Never wash these with your shoes. Remove the cleats, insoles (if any, but you can put them in separately), and other detachable parts of your biking shoes before settling them down onto the racks. Position them upside down. Use your regular dishwashing detergent and run on a standard dishwashing cycle only. After washing, take them out to dry naturally or leave them out under the sun on an elevated area.

Spin in a washing machine

Option number two in the machine-cleanup department is to load your pair of shoes into the washing machine. Potentially, this could cause damage to both your pair of shoes and the inner tub you’re going to leave it as it is and turn ON the power. What you can do is to remove all the detachable parts of the shoes. Use a laundry bag, a netting, or a pillowcase to pack in the cycling shoes. You may load in some towels to lower the noise it might produce. Spin at a light cycle, the one that you’re using for washing delicates.

Drying is key

When cleaning your shoes, the drying part is as important. The way you dry shoes will not only affect the success of the cleaning process but how the shoes will turn out after. Some materials get ugly stains after dying, and some don’t get to dry from the inside. Letting them dry under the sun is a cost-effective and an efficient way to make sure that both the interior and the exterior part of the shoes dry evenly. Use crushed newspapers to stuff into the shoes to soak up excess moisture. At the same time, balled-up newspapers may help retain the shape of your shoes. You may also choose to make use of an electric shoe dryer that has a deodoriser effect that wipes out odour-causing bacteria.


Making sure your shoes will last longer is to make use of preventative measures that will keep your pair from getting too dirty. Read the weather so you can avoid areas that are muddy. If going on a dirt road, don’t get off at the muddy areas. If your shoes allow you to walk, bring boots or shoe covers that your feet will fit into even while wearing footwear. Biking during unpleasant weather doesn’t mean your shoes has to suffer.