How to Clean Dog Poop off Shoes? [7 Ways]

Whether you went one too many days without cleaning up after your dog in the yard or stepped in someone else’s dog poop, I know the sickening (and smelly) feeling of getting dog poop on your shoes. Furthermore, it’s a dangerous thing to lurk on your shoes, given that dog poop can carry E. Coli, worms, and protozoa.

So, if you’re wondering, “How to clean dog poop off shoes?” you’ve come to the right place. I’ll show you a range of options for getting your shoes looking and smelling better than they did before you stepped in poop.

how to clean dog poop off shoes
How to clean dog poop off shoes? [7 Ways]

8 Strategies for Removing Dog Poop From Shoes

When considering the question “How to clean dog poop off shoes?” the first thing to know is that you have options depending on your time and resources. Below are my tried-and-true strategies.

1. Toss Your Shoes in the Washing Machine

If sticking poopy shoes in your washing machine doesn’t gross you out, this is one of the most hands-off ways to address the problem. That said, you shouldn’t put them in your washer with a massive chunk of poop.

Instead, take a hose to your shoes outdoors and get as much of the poop off as possible. Then, toss them in your washing machine.

Unless your shoes come with special machine wash instructions, I recommend setting your washer to a single cold cycle with your favorite detergent and putting some junk towels or clothes in the washer to balance it out. 

After taking your shoes out of the washing machine, set them in the sun to dry.

shoes in washing machine
Putting dirty shoes in the washing machine.

2. Spray Your Shoes With a Hose

If you’re sure that the poop only got on the soles of your shoes, cleaning them with a hose is a great choice. 

To do so, put your hose on a gentle setting and face the water downwards so that it doesn’t splash up and get poopy water on you or the shoe’s fabric. 

Once you get all visible poop off the soles, it’s okay to turn up the water higher to blast away any small pieces lingering in a groove.

spraying water
Spraying water outdoors.

3. Use the Grass and Stick Method

I’m not about to tell you that sticks and grass will get your shoes truly clean of dog poop. However, if you’re on the go and don’t have the time to give them a proper clean, sticks and grass are fine options.

To start, run the bottom of your shoe over a patch of grass. The goal is to get as many chunks of poop off as possible. 

Then, use a stick to push smaller poop pieces out from the crevices. Once you’ve gotten the main poop chunks out of your shoes, find a fresh area of grass and run your shoes over it one last time.

Obviously, this method is going to leave smelly poop behind. So, it’s a good option for strictly outdoor shoes or shoes that you want to hold over until you can scrub them with soap. 

Beagle and owner outdoors
A Beagle and his owner outdoor.

4. Brush Away the Poop

If you hate throwing away old toothbrushes, knowing that they could serve a purpose someday, now is your chance. In fact, any small brush will do—the goal is to use it to remove poop from your shoe’s crevices.

But first, toss on some gloves and remove as much of the poop as possible with a dry paper towel. Then, wet the paper towel and continue wiping away as much poop as it can reach. Try to use a Green Seal or other environmentally friendly paper towel label.

Then, wet your brush and squeeze some dish soap onto it. You can now go to town scrubbing the soles of your shoes, ensuring you get into all the nooks and crannies. Finish it off by running water over them.

dog with toothbrush
Dog with a toothbrush.

5. Put Your Handheld Steamer to Work

If you own a handheld steamer, it can be an effective way to remove dog poop from shoes. As you probably guessed, you’ll first need to remove the larger chunks of poop using one of the methods I’ve already discussed.

Then, keeping your shoe away from your body and the steam out of nose range, run the steamer near your shoe

You’ll need to set the steamer down periodically to wipe off dislodged poop with paper towels as you work. Once you remove the poop, give the soles of your shoes a final rinse, preferably adding some dish soap to decrease the chances of odor.

handheld steamer
A handheld steamer can help to remove dog poop in your shoes.

6. Spray on WD-40

WD-40 is a versatile product that’s as effective for removing dog poop from shoes as it is lubricating your door hinges. 

Using WD-40 is intuitive, given that you should first remove large chunks of poop from your shoes before spraying the soles with a generous dose of this liquid.

Then, after letting it sit for a while, wipe off the area with a paper towel or take a hose to it. You can also use a brush to help remove poop from any small grooves.

woman spraying shoes
Spraying a shoe to easily remove dirt caused by a dog.

7. Stick Your Shoes in the Freezer

Yes, it sounds gross and odd. However, freezing poop can help you get pesky poop pieces off your shoes if you’re not keen on trying any of the other methods here.

To do so, place your poopy shoes in a plastic bag. There isn’t a need to get the chunks off first, given that once the poop freezes (wait at least a couple of hours), you’ll be chipping it off anyway.

I recommend using either a tool in your garage or an old pen to chip off the frozen poop. It should go without saying that it’s best to partake in this chipping activity outdoors.

full freezer
Can a freezer help remove dog poop in your shoes?

8. Let a Professional Take Care of It

If the poop on your shoes seems too much for you to clean (or want to clean), take them to a professional laundromat. Make sure to warn the employees of the problem, as you wouldn’t want them overlooking the poop and washing your shoes with clean clothes.

Another reason why professional cleaners are a great option is if you have expensive shoes that you worry about damaging. 

With their care and special cleaning ingredients, you’ll likely get to re-rock a clean pair of shoes.

Tips for Removing Dog Poop Smell From Shoes

The only thing worse than getting dog poop on your shoes is going through the process of cleaning them only to realize that they still smell. So are you wondering how to clean dog poop off shoes and nix the odor?

The first step is to scrutinize your shoes for poop. Do you see any pieces that got left behind in a groove? If so, remove them and see if it resolves the problem.

Otherwise, the unfortunate reality is that some of the dog poop likely seeped into your shoe’s fabric. In that case, head to the store and buy an enzyme cleaner geared towards pets. 

Some of these enzyme products may contain ingredients that can stain your shoes. So, try spraying a bit on the inside of your shoe to see how the fabric reacts.

Of course, you can always try putting your shoes through the wash again, adding some extra fabric softener to get them smelling better.

woman spraying
A woman spraying.

A Final Piece of Advice

Prevention is undoubtedly the best way to keep your shoes free of dog poop. So, if you’re out at a park where dogs frequent, stick to paths where you can watch your step

Similarly, clean up after your dog in the backyard. And if rain is in the forecast, you’ll want to make a beeline to your backyard—cleaning up poop that rain pummeled into the ground will make your job even harder.