Bowling shoes are an essential accessory for any serious bowler. They not only enhance your performance on the lanes but also ensure you remain safe and comfortable while playing.

However, like any other footwear, bowling shoes require proper cleaning and maintenance to keep them in pristine condition. Proper cleaning not only prolongs the lifespan of your bowling shoes but also prevents the buildup of odor and bacteria.

In this blog post, we'll share some quick and easy solutions for cleaning your bowling shoes, ensuring they remain fresh, durable, and slide consistently.

How to Clean Bowling Shoes?

Cleaning your bowling shoes involves a straightforward procedure that you can easily do at home with the right supplies.

Before you get started, it's essential to understand the materials and components of your bowling shoes to avoid any damage during cleaning. Take a soft-bristled brush and remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface.

You can then use a cleaning agent paired with a soft cloth or brush to wipe the shoes carefully. Finish with a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture.

For hard-to-reach spots, such as the sole of your shoes, use a soft brush or toothbrush dipped in a cleaning solution and gently scrub away dirt and grime.

You can also take advantage of deep cleaning products specifically made for bowling shoes. These solutions are designed to deeply clean the materials and remove any unpleasant smells from the shoes.

Can I put bowling shoes in the washing machine?

No, you should not put bowling shoes in the washing machine. Bowling shoes are delicate and are made from various materials such as leather and synthetic, which may not hold up well against the rough tumble of the washing machine.

Additionally, the heat and spinning action of the washing machine may cause damage to the bowling shoe's design, making them less effective on the lanes. Instead, we recommend using a few specialized tools and techniques to clean your bowling shoes by hand.

How to Clean Bowling Shoes Slide Strip?

Bowling shoe slide strips are crucial because they determine your sliding speed and balance. To clean them, start by using a small brush to remove any dirt or debris, then dip a cloth in a mixture of mild soap and water and use it to wipe down the slide strip.

Avoid wiping too hard as this may damage the slide strip. You can also use a slide strip cleaner, which is a specialized solution designed to dissolve any build-up effectively.

How to Clean the Bottom of Bowling Shoes?

To keep your bowling shoes slide consistent, you need to clean the soles properly. Start by brushing off any debris or dirt from the bottom of the bowling shoes. Then, mix a cup of water with a few drops of mild soap and dip a soft-bristled brush in it.

Scrub the soles gently, paying close attention to the sliding area. Rinse the soles under running water and dry them with a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials as they may damage the shoe's material.

Gathering the Right Cleaning Supplies for Bowling Shoes

Before you start cleaning your bowling shoes, ensure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies at hand. Some of the essential tools you'll need include a soft-bristled brush, a cloth, mild soap, a bowl of water, and a slide strip cleaner.

Avoid using chemicals such as bleach or ammonia, as they may damage your shoes. If you're not sure which cleaning solution to use, consult your manufacturer's instructions or ask your local bowling pro shop for advice.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean the Upper Part of Bowling Shoes

Start by removing any laces, insoles, and inserts from the bowling shoes. Brush off any dirt or debris from the surface of the shoe using a soft-bristled brush.

Dilute a small amount of mild soap in a bowl of water and moisten a cloth with the solution.

Use the cloth to wipe the surface of your bowling shoes, avoiding any exposed stitching. Use a separate, damp cloth to rinse off any soapy residue.

Dry the shoes with a clean towel, avoiding direct sunlight or a heat source that may warp the material.

Cleaning the Soles: Ensuring a Consistent Slide

The soles of your bowling shoes are one of the essential components that determine your performance on the lanes. Keep them clean by brushing off any dirt, then use a mild soap and water solution to clean them.

You can also purchase specialized slide sole cleaners to maintain their consistency for an optimal slide.

Remember that the cleaner your soles, the more efficient your slide and the more effective your performance.

Deodorizing Your Bowling Shoes: Keeping Them Fresh

Bowling shoes are prone to odor concentration caused by sweating and bacteria buildup. A simple method to deodorize your shoes is to sprinkle baking soda into your shoes, as this will neutralize any odors.

You can also purchase specialized shoe deodorizers that release scents to keep your bowling shoes smelling fresh.

Always ensure that your footwear is completely dry before using deodorizers to avoid mildew buildup.

Drying Bowling Shoes Properly: Avoiding Damage and Odor

Proper drying is essential to keep your bowling shoes in good condition. After cleaning your shoes, use a clean towel to blot dry any excess moisture.

Then, leave them in a well-ventilated area to air dry, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources such as hairdryers.

If your shoes are damp or wet, avoid storing them in a closed and dark place, as this may encourage the growth of bacteria and mold.

Regular Maintenance: How Often Should You Clean Bowling Shoes?

The frequency of cleaning your bowling shoes will depend on how often you use them and the condition of the bowling alley.

You may need to clean them after every game if you notice significant wear and tear or odor buildup.

It's essential to check the material of your bowling shoes and manufacturer recommendations for cleaning regularly.

Tips to Prolong the Lifespan of Your Bowling Shoes

Regular maintenance can go a long way in extending the life of your bowling shoes. Here are a few tips to help you keep your footwear in top condition:

1. Store your shoes in a soft, breathable bag to avoid scratches or damage from other equipment.

2. Use shoe trees to maintain the shape and form of your shoes.

3. Clean your shoes regularly to prevent odor and bacteria buildup.

4. Rotate your shoes to even out the stress of regular use.

5. Avoid wearing your bowling shoes outside the bowling alley, as this may damage the sole.

What Not to Do: Common Mistakes in Cleaning Bowling Shoes

Avoid making these common mistakes when cleaning your bowling shoes:

1. Using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners on your shoes.

2. Putting bowling shoes in the washing machine.

3. Overbrushing or using harsh chemicals on the slide strip.

4. Drying bowling shoes with heat or direct sunlight.


Keeping your bowling shoes clean and well-maintained is crucial for your performance, comfort, and hygiene.

With these quick and easy solutions, you can clean your bowling shoes effectively and keep them fresh and slide consistently.

Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the right cleaning tools and supplies to avoid damaging your shoes.

By taking good care of your footwear, you'll be able to enjoy a comfortable and efficient game of bowling.

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