3 Most Effective Ways To Clean Bowling Shoes

clean bowling shoesMore or less, we all know how important cleaning your footwear is. But do you know cleaning your bowling shoes is also very important especially if you love to bowl very often? And, have you ever wondered how to clean your bowling shoes? Well, don’t worry. It’s not too complicated. Except for a few specific rules, cleaning bowling shoes isn’t that complicated. So if you have a pair of your own lying around somewhere, pick them up, and let’s get started with proper cleaning!

3 Best Ways to Clean Bowling Shoes         

You can ask many pro bowlers about how they clean their shoes and oftentimes they will say, they just go for simple soapy water and a washcloth to wipe off the dust and debris. But there are some other ways you can follow to clean up your bowling shoes. Here is a Step By Step Guideline for each way we have narrowed down for you.

1. Cleaning with Towel and Water 

This is the simplest method of cleaning your precious bowling shoes at home. All you need is some water, a bucket, and a piece of towel to do it. Take a small bucket of water and grab a fresh towel. Dip the towel in the water and moisten it up. Squeeze any excess water that is on the towel. A dry towel will only dust off the shoes, but a damp one will get rid of any stubborn marks that are on the shoes’ upper or on the soles.

So, now it’s time to begin the main cleaning process. Take the damp towel and start to wipe the visible stains and dirt on the upper. Don’t forget the sides and the soles of the shoes. If your shoes have removable slide pads, separate them from the shoes and then do clean the area where the pads were.

If you’re having difficulty removing a stain, don’t worry. You can just rub the area with some pressure and get it cleaned and your shoes will look all new again.

To finish this process, you have to keep them in a dry and cool place. This is because the towel was damped so the shoes were in contact with water. So before you put them back in your shoe rack or the shoe bag/box, make sure they are completely dry. You don’t have to put them in the sun. Just air dry in your room or you can turn on the fan to get them dry quickly.

2. Cleaning with Wire Brush

Are you familiar with wire brushes? Well, you can use them to clean your bowling shoes. And we can guess, you’re wondering that- “Won’t that be too aggressive for the bowling shoes?”. The answer is, no. A wire brush is very effective and efficient when it comes to cleaning your bowling shoes. Stains, dirt, debris, mildew, molds- wire brush can get rid of anything. So how to use it properly?

First, grab a brush. Make sure the bristles are tough, but not too spiky. Rub the brush on the bowling shoes. It will take the dirt, dust, and strains out of your shoes easily. But what if you have mold and mildew on them? A wire brush can remove that as well.

If your bowling shoes have been laying around in the home for so long that they grew mildew or green mold on them, it is because you haven’t clean them for so long. So before you put them on again, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned. So use the brush and remove the mold and gunk. Rub it with pressure if you have to.

Wear gloves in this process so that you don’t have to directly touch the molds. And, don’t forget the soles. If anything stubborn is stuck with the soles, you’ll be needing some hard rubbing action to remove them.

3. Cleaning in Washing Machine

Now, let’s say you had a really bad day at the bowling center. How bad? Well, someone spilled soda or cheese sauce on you. Washing your shirts or your pants shouldn’t be a trouble. You can just pop them in the washers. But what about your bowling shoes? Can you wash them in a washing machine? The answer is, yes, you can! But before you throw them in the machine, here are a few things you should remember:

First of all, check your shoes and see if they have any removable dirt or mold on the upper. If some wipes will get them off, then do wipe your bowling shoes with a piece of microfiber cloth. After that, get ready for the next step.

Okay, so, there are many types of washer. But to wash any footwear, laundry machines are always the best. A laundry machine will wash your shoes thoroughly with its movement, water distribution, and force. Don’t forget the slide strips and your shoelaces when you wash your bowling shoes.

Once everything is washed in the laundry machine, take them out while they are still soaked in water and place them in a cool and dry place. After they are dried, you can reorganize the shoelaces, attach the slide strips and pads back on, and put them on for your next match.

Bowling Shoes Maintenance

Just cleaning your bowling shoes once isn’t a permanent solution. If you bowl very frequently, you will get them dirty again. So what can you do about that? Of course, good aftercare. After an accurate cleaning process, you have to maintain the shoes properly to keep up the longevity. But throwing them in the washer isn’t the solution all the time.

To wear them for long enough, you have to store them properly after every match.You can put them in a shoe box. Before you throw them in the box, make sure they are dry. Everyone gets sweaty feet, and the sweat gets on your shoes too. So after a bowling match/session, put them in the bag but don’t zip it close all the way. Leave some room and let it air dry. This will prevent bad odor and keep them fresh, make them last long and clean.

How to clean the slidestrip of a bowling shoe?

If you notice that the bowling shoes’ slide strips or slide pads have gotten dirty and are not performing as were before, just pop them in the washing machine. They will get cleaned easily in a minute.If you want to wash the pads or the strips in the washing machine, make sure you put them in a thin mesh laundry bag first.

How to Clean a Bowling Shoe Sole?           

Okay, so what about the bowling shoe soles? Easy! If you’re washing them manually with a towel or a brush, just rub the pads the same way you were cleaning your shoes.


Cleaqning Bowling shoes is not a difficult task like cleaning bowling ball. No need to spend a ton of money cleaning your bowling shoes at a bowling shop when you can simply just do it at home. Moreover, the home cleanings are oftentimes more effective and thorough than the cleaning process of the bowling shops. Bowling shoes aren’t that inexpensive. Therefore, not looking after them properly is purely an injustice. So save some bucks and do it yourself easily at home. Good Luck!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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