How to disinfect second-hand shoes (easy method DISCOVERED!)

Buying second-hand or used shoes is becoming mainstream now among many people across the world. But the challenge of how to disinfect secondhand shoes is still nagging on many people’s minds. 

This article explains various ways through which you can disinfect and clean used shoes to get rid of all the specks of dirt and bacteria residue in the shoes.

How to disinfect second-hand shoes?

Disinfecting used shoes is very important to people especially to give the new buyers the satisfaction that they are not going to be affected negatively by how another person used those shoes before they got to them. 

There are majorly 9 ways to disinfect your used shoes after buying them and we are going to explain each.

Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide method

The first method of disinfecting a used shoe is to apply a little bit of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl, add some water and use it to clean the inside of the shoe thoroughly.

However, the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution needs to be in a small quantity to avoid damaging the shoes or giving it the chance to stretch them, if it’s leather.

Refrigerator method.

The refrigerator method of disinfecting shoes is not popular among many for various reasons.

How does it work you might be thinking.

You just wash the shoes with either wipes or rags and when it is clean then you put them in a refrigerator for at least half an hour to get rid of any bacteria that survived.

Washing machine method.

This method of disinfecting and cleaning used shoes works this way.

You pick your newly bought second-hand shoes throw them into the washing machine and keep them in a gentle mode with cold water and a bit of soap or detergent.

The washing machine will work effectively on the shoe and make it sparkling like a new one after.

However, the negative consequence of using a washing machine method is that it can permanently damage your shoes if they aren’t the type that is friendly with it.

Some shoes can be washed with a washing machine but for other types of shoes, it is not recommended.

Lysol method.

The Lysol method is among the most reliable means of disinfecting used shoes in the world.

The method involves using either a clean rag or a wipe and cleaning the nooks and crannies of the shoes with your hands till you are satisfied with the result.

Hand wash method.

This method works perfectly, especially for shoes that are sneakers, loafers or clogs type of shoes.

You just need a detergent or soap and a clean rag or sponge to wash the shoes and ensure all specks of dirt and possible bacteria are removed to avoid any type of infection.

Disinfected wipes and alcohol method.

Using disinfected wipes plus a little bit of alcohol works magic when you want to disinfect used shoes easily.

You just dip the wipes with a little alcohol and clean all parts of the shoe.

Removable insole method.

The removable insole method is the type of method that believes In simple logic.

If your second-hand shoes have a removable insole, you can just remove them and wash them separately or get rid of them and buy a new one which is very cheap.

Vacuum method.

Vacuuming is another method of removing dirt in a shoe while at the same time destabilizing bacteria residue if they have any in it.

Vinegar method.

The vinegar method of disinfecting used shoes is simple, you get a clean rag, and a bowl and apply a little vinegar with water, then dig your rag into it and clean every part of the shoes thoroughly.

This will work perfectly for you but leave your shoes with the smell of vinegar as well.

However, you need to only use a small amount of vinegar on the shoes for that purpose but if you use lots of it, the smell of vinegar will be perceived on you anytime you use the shoes.

Rubbing alcohol method.

Another method of disinfecting a second hands shoes before using them is through rubbing alcohol.

This method works exactly like the vinegar method and works very well no matter the type of shoes you are trying to disinfect.


To understand how to disinfect second-hand shoes, you need to follow different methods that will work for you depending on the type of shoes you are trying to disinfect.

The method of disinfecting used shoes includes the following ways, hydrogen peroxide method, refrigerator method, washing machine method,  Lysol method, removable insole method, vinegar method and a host of others we explain depending on your shoe type and preference.

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