November 30

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How to Clean Bowling Shoes

By Teddy

November 30, 2022


If you’ve ever gone bowling, you know that the shoes they give you aren’t the cleanest. In fact, they’re often downright grimy. And if you’re a competitive bowler, you need to have the best bowling shoes to give yourself a competitive advantage. Having clean bowling shoes will give you that advantage by allowing for consistent performance.

But cleaning bowling shoes isn’t as simple as giving them a quick once-over with a damp cloth. In fact, if you don’t clean them properly, you could end up doing more harm than good. So before you break out the bleach, read on for a step-by-step guide to cleaning your bowling shoes the right way.

Cleaning Bowling Shoes With Soapy Water

Cleaning bowling shoes is very similar to how you want to clean other shoes, whether it’s your running shoes or dress shoes.

  1. First, you’ll want to make sure that you have a soft bristle brush and some warm soapy water. You might also want to invest in a shoe cleaner designed specifically for bowling shoes; these are available at most sporting goods stores or online.
  2. The next step is to inspect your bowling shoes carefully, looking for dirt and grime that can be removed with a simple brushing. Pay special attention to areas near the toes and heels of the shoes, as this area tends to get more dirty than other parts of the shoe.
  3. Once you’ve brushed away any surface dirt, it’s time to tackle more stubborn stains. Scrub the shoes with soapy water using a rag or soft bristle brush.
  4. Finally, rinse your bowling shoes thoroughly and let them air dry before putting them away. If you’re worried about moisture causing corrosion or other damage to your shoes, you may want to opt for using a shoe cleaner instead of just soap and water.

If you want your bowling shoes to last as long as possible and perform at their best, cleaning them on a regular basis is essential. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your bowling shoes look (and perform) their best every time!

Cleaning the Soles of Your Bowling Shoes

  1. Remove any visible dirt or debris from the soles of your shoes using a soft brush. Pay special attention to any nooks and crannies where dirt likes to hide. 
  2. Mix one part water with one part vinegar in a bowl. 
  3. Dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and use it to scrub the soles of your shoes until they’re clean. 
  4. Rinse the shoes with clean water and let them air dry completely before putting them back on. 

Bowling Alley Shoe Cleaners

  1. Some bowling alleys will have a shoe cleaner that looks a bit like a vending machine. Insert your shoes and follow the instructions on the machine. This will remove any built-up grime on the uppers of your shoes. 
  2. Once your shoes are out of the machine, take a look at them. If they’re still looking a little worse for wear, mix one part water with one part vinegar in a bowl. 
  3. Use an old toothbrush or cloth to apply the mixture to the uppers of your shoes, scrubbing until they’re clean. 
  4. Rinse your shoes with clean water and let them air dry completely before putting them back on. 

Maintaining Your Bowling Shoes between Cleanings

In addition to regular cleanings, there are a few things you can do to make sure your bowling shoes stay in tip-top shape between washings.

Invest in shoe covers:

Look for covers that are made specifically for bowling shoes—these will fit snugly over your footwear and help protect them from dirt and grime when you’re not using them.  

Store them properly:

When you’re not wearing your shoes, store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. This will help prevent the materials from breaking down prematurely.  

Avoid harsh chemicals:

Harsh chemicals can damage the materials used to make bowling shoes, so it’s best to avoid using them altogether. If you must use something stronger than water and vinegar, opt for a diluted solution of dish soap instead. 

Can you wash bowling shoes in a washing machine?

No, most bowling shoes should not be washed in a washing machine. The soles and uppers of bowling shoes are made from different materials, which can become damaged or separated if they are exposed to high heat or agitation. Instead, most bowling shoes should be cleaned by hand with warm soapy water and a soft brush or rag.

Some bowling alleys may have shoe cleaners available for their customers, which can be used to remove built-up dirt and grime from the uppers of bowling shoes. If you want to maintain the condition of your bowling shoes in between regular cleanings, investing in shoe covers and storing them properly when not in use is also recommended.

Taking these steps will help extend the life of your bowling shoes

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