How to Clean Bowling Shoes – Can You do it at Home?

Bowling shoes are a vital necessity whether you are in the alley playing with your friends or a professional playing a tournament. They are extremely durable and help greatly provide the best bowling experience, but unfortunately, if they remain dirty, they can wear out quickly.

So, at this point, you might be wondering, how do I clean my bowling shoes? Well, do not worry because that is precisely what I am here to tell you.

This article will discuss why bowling shoes are worn in the alley and clean bowling shoes that are dirty or moldy to be squeaky clean and perfect. I am also going to talk about how you can maintain bowling shoes and store them in a properly secure space. So, make sure you read this article till the very end.

How to Clean Bowling Shoes at Home

Why Wear Bowling Shoes?

Bowling shoes are quite like casual shoes but different in a few aspects. They are made of rubber or leather and are designed to provide more sliding action to the bowler.

Some professional bowlers even use excessive slide strips with their bowling shoes to make the sliding element even better. So, why does bowling require you to wear bowling shoes? What benefits do they bring to the player? Let us have a look.

Better Motion

Well, first, bowling shoes introduce slides to your movement, which helps in exhibiting better motion. This is because if you did not wear bowling shoes while throwing the ball, you would not be able to fully control the movement of the ball since there will be a slight jerk or sticking of your shoes with the floor.

Less Injury Risk

We talked about how your feet stick to the surface of the floor if you do not wear bowling shoes, well that can injure your ankle, foot, or back while you throw the ball. To tackle this, you are going to use bowling shoes because the smoother action will not put a strain on your muscles.

Accurate Stoppage

You might be thinking that the sliding mechanism may never stop and might take you over the foul line. Well, that is not the case because there are rubber soles in the back of the shoes that stop you as soon as you throw the ball and want to stop your movement, helping you stop before you go too far.

Check out our in-depth article to learn more: Are Bowling Shoes Required to Play Bowling?

Also, check out the list of the best-selling bowling shoes.

Accessories for Cleaning Bowling Shoes

If you want to clean your bowling shoes at home, what tools and accessories might you need? To help you get the best equipment home for future use, here is a list I made of things you are going to need for cleaning your bowling shoes.

Cleaning Towel

First and foremost, you are going to need a cleaning towel or piece of clean cloth that you are going to put to use once you have used a cleaning solution or even water. This will help dry the bowling shoes when they are being cleaned.

Here are some you can use: Bowling Cleaning Towel

Wire Brush

Wire brushes are great for not only wiping stains and marks off your brush but also completely removing dirt from the surface of a shoe. For cleaning your bowling shoe, you are going to use a wire brush as well.

Check out these: Bowling Wire Shoe Brush

Cleaner Spray

Cleaner sprays with powerful foaming solutions and stain removal, repellent, and shoe shining capabilities are also very potent and helpful in cleaning your bowling shoes.

Here are some to use: Bowling Oil Cleaner

Shoe Disinfectant

It is essential to disinfect your shoes so that any germs and bacteria remain as far away as possible. This will surely help keep your shoes safe and protected in the pandemic age the world is suffering from.

Check out our in-depth article: Bowling Shoes Spray – What you need to know!

3 Ways to Clean Bowling Shoes at Home

Thinking of cleaning your bowling shoes at home instead of taking them to a bowling shop and spending a lot of money? I have found three ways of cleaning bowling shoes at home that seem to be quite effective in keeping them safe, clean, and stopping them from wearing out. Let us look at the different methods of cleaning bowling shoes effectively.

Method 1: Water and Towel

The simplest way of cleaning your bowling shoes is with water and a microfiber towel. These are things that you would already have in your home. To clean your shoes effectively, the sole becomes smooth and sliding; follow these steps very carefully.

Dip the Towel in Water

Take a bucket of water and get a clean towel. Dip the towel in the bucket of water to moisten it. Once it is moistened, it will be much easier to clean the bowling shoes if you compare the dampened towel to a drier one.

Wipe the Stains and Dirt

Now it is time to clean the shoes. In this step, you are going to wipe the stains off the bowling shoes one by one. If there are dirt stains on the shoes’ surface, rub the moistened towel on it so the stains can come off. Also, wipe the sides of the shoes and the sole as well.

Keep the Shoes in a Dry Place

Once all the stains are off, and the shoes are clean, you are going to want to keep the shoes in a dry place. This is because the shoes must have a little bit of water on them. Put them in front of a fan if you want them to get dry quickly.

Method 2: Bowling Shoe Brush

Using a wire brush is an effective and efficient way of cleaning your bowling shoes. They clean dirt and debris and any mildew or mold that your shoes might have developed over time of usage. Let us look at some of the important steps.

Rub the Dirt off the Shoes

With the help of the tough bristles of the brush, you are going to first rub the stains, dirt, and dust off the shoes, and then you are going to move forward with the process.

Take the Mold and Mildew off

If the shoes have not been cleaned in a long time, green mold and mildew might grow on them. Using the brush, you can remove the gunk and mold off the bowling ball and rubbing.

Clean the Soles of your Bowling Shoes

If the bowling shoes’ sole has any dirt or mildew stuck onto it, you are going to want to clean that off too. Wipe the sole with a bit of hard rubbing action, and you are all done.

Method 3: Washing Your Bowling Shoes

A question that I have seen people ask is, can I wash bowling shoes? Well, surely you can. Like normal shoes, you can also wash bowling shoes in your washing machine to clean them properly and thoroughly. In fact, if you use a slide strip with your bowling shoes, you can wash it too for the best performance. Here is how you do it.

Wipe the Shoes with a Piece of Cloth

First, you are going to make sure there is not a lot of stuck dirt or mold on the shoes’ surface. For that, you are going to wipe the bowling shoes with a piece of cloth.

Wash the Shoes in the Laundry Machine

Now you are going to put the bowling shoes into your laundry machine and clean them thoroughly. The movement, motion, and water distribution of the machine will thoroughly clean the shoes.

Clean the Sliding Strip in the Washing Machine

If your bowling shoes’ slide strip has also gotten dirty and is not providing a lot of sliding motion, then you can put that into the washing machine as well to clean it up.

Dry the Shoes in a Dry Place

Once both the things are completely soaked in water, you are going to want to keep the bowling shoes and the slide strip in a dry place so they can dry for your next use.

Maintaining Your Bowling Shoes

You have cleaned your bowling shoes accurately, but now you want them to stay as clean as possible for a long time. Well, in that case, you are going to need to maintain the shoes and store them carefully, so they last long, stay clean and do not wear out anytime soon. Here is what you can do to increase the longevity of your bowling shoes.

  • Keep your clean shoes in a bowling equipment bag safely.
  • Ensure that you are keeping the shoe in a dry and cool place where it will not wear out quickly.
  • After cleaning, you are going to want to use the disinfectant spray on them to keep them safe.
  • When you use your shoes, it is possible that the foot sweat might make them smell bad. For that, you are going to use a shoe deodorant spray or a cleaner that comes with it.
  • If it is not possible to clean the shoes every week, you can wipe them with a towel now and then to maintain them perfectly.
  • Use bowling shoe covers.


Keeping your bowling shoes clean is particularly important if you are a professional. Bowling shoes are not cheap, and to make sure that they do not wear out too soon, you are going to want to clean them using one of the above-mentioned methods. I hope you have a great time playing the game with your custom bowling shoes.

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