How to clean mud off shoes: You Won’t Believe How Easy It Is

Mud can be quite a nemesis when it comes to cleaning your shoes. Sometimes it is entirely unavoidable, possibly through playing sports or just going for a jog in the rain. It can become quite unbearable to have mud on your shoes because not only does it weigh you down, but it also looks filthy. 

This problem can be exacerbated if the boots are white because they become five times more difficult to clean. If you do not manage to clean a pair of muddy shoes correctly, you may end up losing them for good. 

By this, I mean the color will change permanently, and you may see white running shoes becoming more of a yellowish color. In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at a step-by-step process that you can follow to clean mud off your shoes. Let us begin. 

Step by Step Process.

  1. Protect yourself and your belongings from the mud

When your shoes are now muddy, the first thing you want to do is to limit any further damage. The mud can do to any of your belongings. To prevent mud from getting on your clothes, car seats, or in your bag, you will want to place these shoes in a plastic bag. Doing so may make the mud get on more areas of the shoes, but it will prevent them from getting anywhere else. This means that you will only have to clean the boots rather than your whole car and boot. 

  1. Wait for the mud to dry.

If you are quite a clean freak end field and impatient need to immediately clean your shoes once you have arrived at your house, you will have to force yourself to be patient. The mud will indeed be easier to clean off your shoe while it is wet, but this gives it the potential to seep into the fiber of your shoe. Fiber is the material that is most cloth-like in the shoe. 

This part of the shoe is the most difficult to clean should you allow any dirty water to penetrate it. What you will want to do is just wait until the mud has fully solidified so that rather than completely clean the shoe with soap, we’re going to be peeling off the dirt first. No matter how impatient you are, try your best not to rush the drying process by blow-drying the shoe or placing it by a heater. Allow the mud to dry naturally. 

  1. Peel off the bigger chunks of mud

At this stage, we’re going to want to take off the dried mud. Be careful not to damage your shoe at this position because it is relatively easy to do so. Do not take a knife and literally scrape the shoe but try and find a gentle way to remove the bigger chunks of mud. 

An excellent place to start would be to take the boots and begin hitting them together or against a hard surface. This should allow the initial bigger chunks of mud to fall off the shoe easily. Another method that we can consider is actually to wear the boots and then begin stomping them.

This option is advantageous because it can be done outside, meaning you don’t risk making your house dirty.  This stage is critical because it precedes the cleaning stage and allows you to get the unnecessary parts out of the way. 

  1. Brush off the remaining mud

We want to get a brush or a cloth to deal with the remaining smaller particles of mud. Grab a brush and then gently caress the shoe, taking off any of the finer particles.  

  1. Clean the shoes with a paper towel

If you have done everything well up until this position, this pot should be relatively satisfying and straightforward. Grab a paper towel and take some warm water to dip it in. Then you can begin to slowly wipe off the remaining marks of mud on the shoe. 

It may not entirely come off, but the idea is to preserve the structure and shape of your shoe. Therefore the idea is to try and make it as clean as possible without hurting your shoe. If you have the time and are patient, you can do this process three or four times because the mud will get looser with each clean. Patience is crucial; do not forget. 

How Long it will take.

Given that the shoe needs time to get dry, you can estimate that this process should take you about a day to complete. 

Expected Results

Depending on what fabric your shoes are made of, they may come out completely clean, or some mud may remain forever. Depending on how harsh you are willing to be on the shoe, you may or may not get off all of the mud. Some shoes have been designed with the material that allows them to be easily wiped clean, whilst others have a more fabric approach to their design which is more difficult to clean. 

Things to look out for

It cannot be stressed enough to be very patient when they want to clean muddy shoes. If you rush the process, you may end up damaging your shoes beyond repair. Mud can be quite dangerous to a shoe because it gets stubborn. If you try to rush the cleaning process, the mud will only end up scratching your shoe or penetrate the fabric, which is much more challenging to clean. 


In conclusion, the way you clean your shoes when they are muddy must be both systematic and well thought out. Do not rush into cleaning the shoe just because of how you feel. This is how many people end up losing shoes, which can create a large amount of frustration. 

Instead, take a breath, allow the shoes to dry, and then begin the cleaning process the following day when the mud has fully solidified. At that point, be patient, try and break the mud down to the final particles, then wipe it off. Hopefully, this should clean the mud off your shoe in a way that allows the shoe to remain undamaged. 

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
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