How to remove mud stains from shoes

Mud stains can be frustrating and time-consuming to remove. What’s the best way to do it?

There are a variety of ways to remove mud and dirt stains from shoes, but the most effective way depends on the type of stain. Powdered soap works well on grease and oil stains, while baking soda or club soda works great on made-up mud, sauce, and gravy stains.

If you have a mud or dirt stain on your shoe, use the following method to remove it:

remove mud stains from shoes

Mud stains on shoes can occur during outdoor activities or on rainy days when we accidentally step into muddy areas. If not addressed promptly, these stains can become stubborn and difficult to remove. However, by following the right methods, you can effectively eliminate mud stains and prolong the life of your shoes.

Wait for the Mud to Dry

Before attempting to clean mud stains from your shoes, it’s important to allow the mud to dry completely. Wet mud can spread and embed deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. If the mud on your shoes is still wet, place them near an air vent or fan to expedite the drying process. Remember to put the shoes on top of newspaper to prevent any mess on the floor.

Remove Excess Mud

Once the mud has dried, it’s time to remove as much of it as possible. Start by using a stiff scrub brush or a blunt instrument to tap off the dried dirt. You can also gently bang the soles of the shoes together to dislodge the mud. Most of the dried mud will break apart and fall off easily. For stubborn spots, use a spoon or a nail file to scrape off the remaining residue. Take care not to damage the surface of the shoe when using a nail file.

Cleaning Fabric-Covered Shoes

If you have fabric-covered shoes that have become muddy, you can clean them easily with soap and water. Follow these steps:

  • 1. Mix a small amount of warm water with laundry detergent or a foaming hand soap to create a soapy mixture.
  • 2. Remove the laces and inserts from the shoes.
  • 3. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy mixture and gently scrub the fabric.
  • 4. Use paper towels to blot out the soapy mixture from the shoe fabric.
  • 5. Allow the shoes to air dry.

Treating Mud Stains on Suede Shoes

Suede shoes require special care to remove mud stains without damaging the delicate material. Here’s how you can do it:

  • 1. Use a suede brush to gently brush off any dirt or dried mud from the surface of the shoe.
  • 2. If there are remaining stains, use a suede eraser to gently rub the affected areas.
  • 3. Brush the shoe again with the suede brush to restore the nap of the suede.
  • 4. For stubborn stains, consider taking your suede shoes to a professional cleaner.

Dealing with Mud Stains on White Shoes

White shoes are notorious for showing stains, including mud. To remove mud stains from white shoes, follow these steps:

  • 1. Pour club soda directly onto the stain and let it sit for approximately 5 minutes.
  • 2. Rinse the shoe with water to remove the club soda and mud residue.
  • 3. If the stain persists, use a bleach pen for small, dark stains. For an all-over clean, dilute liquid bleach with water (1 part bleach to 4 parts water) and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the shoes.
  • 4. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with water and allow them to air dry.

Understanding Different Shoe Fabrics

It’s crucial to consider the fabric of your shoes before applying any cleaning methods. Different fabrics require different treatment approaches. For instance, leather shoes should be cleaned using specialized leather cleaners, while canvas shoes can be washed in a washing machine. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional advice for specific shoe types.


Mud stains on shoes can be a common annoyance, but with the right techniques, they can be effectively removed. By allowing the mud to dry, removing excess dirt, and using appropriate cleaning methods for different shoe fabrics, you can maintain the cleanliness and appearance of your shoes. Remember to always follow the instructions and take necessary precautions to prevent any damage to your footwear.


1. Can I use the same methods to remove mud stains from leather shoes? No, leather shoes require specific cleaning methods and products. It’s best to use a leather cleaner recommended for your particular type of leather.

2. Are there any alternative solutions for removing mud stains from white shoes? If you prefer not to use bleach, you can try using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water.

3. Can I wash fabric-covered shoes in a washing machine? It depends on the type of fabric and the shoe manufacturer’s instructions. Some fabric-covered shoes can be washed in a gentle cycle, while others may require hand cleaning.

4. How often should I clean my shoes to prevent mud stains? Regular maintenance is key. Clean your shoes whenever they become dirty or stained to prevent the mud from setting in and becoming harder to remove.

5. Are there any preventive measures I can take to avoid mud stains? Wearing protective shoe covers or applying a waterproof spray to your shoes can help prevent mud stains. Additionally, avoiding muddy areas or using walkways can minimize the chances of staining your shoes.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.