Can You Wash Bowling Shoes? (Things to Know)

Bowling is an enjoyable pastime for many, but have you ever wondered if those stylish bowling shoes can be washed? It’s essential to maintain cleanliness and durability while keeping them in optimal condition for a perfect slide down the lane.

This blog post will explore various aspects of washing bowling shoes, including factors to consider, proper cleaning techniques, and some handy tips for ensuring your footwear remains in top shape.

Can You Wash Bowling Shoes? (Key Takeaways)

  • Yes, you can wash bowling shoes, but it’s important to consider factors such as the manufacturer guidelines, shoe material, age and condition of the shoes, and type and frequency of use before cleaning them.
  • Proper cleaning techniques include removing dirt and debris with a soft brush or cloth, spot cleaning with a mild detergent or dish soap, avoiding excess water exposure to prevent damage to the shoe material, and regular inspections for signs of wear or tear.
  • To maintain bowling shoes’ quality and longevity, they should be stored in a dry and cool place after use. Using shoe covers or overshoes can protect them from dirt and moisture when not in use. Regularly clean your pair after every game or every other week if being used frequently.
  • Signs that indicate it’s time for a new pair include worn-out soles or frayed materials. Slide soles can also be cleaned separately from regular washing by soaking them in warm water mixed with dish soap before wiping away debris gently for best results.

Factors To Consider When Washing Your Shoes

Manufacturer Guidelines

It’s essential to consider the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting to wash or clean your bowling shoes. Each brand may have specific recommendations and instructions for maintaining and caring for their products, which should be followed closely to ensure the longevity of your footwear.

Ignoring these guidelines could not only damage your prized bowling shoes but also void any warranty provided by the manufacturer. To find this information, check out any tags, labels, or accompanying booklets that came with your purchase.

If you no longer have them handy, it never hurts to visit the company website or give their support team a call for detailed guidance on proper maintenance practices according to their specifications.

Material Of The Shoes

The material of the shoes is an important factor to consider when cleaning bowling shoes. Most bowling shoes are made with synthetic leather or suede, which require different cleaning techniques.

Synthetic leather can be wiped down with a damp cloth and mild detergent or dish soap, while suede requires a soft brush and special cleaner designed for that type of material.

It’s important to not use water on suede as it can damage the texture and finish. Additionally, some high-end bowling shoes may have mesh or perforations on the upper portion for breathability, so extra care should be taken to ensure those areas do not get damaged during cleaning.

Age And Condition Of The Shoes

The age and condition of your bowling shoes also play a significant role in determining whether they can be washed or not. If your shoes are relatively new and in good condition, then you should not have any issues cleaning them with a mild detergent or soap water using a soft brush or cloth.

However, if your shoes are old and worn out with cracked soles, it may be time to invest in a new pair of bowling shoes altogether. It is essential to maintain the condition of your bowling shoes as poorly-maintained ones can lead to accidents on the lanes while affecting slide control during gameplay.

Type And Frequency Of Use

The type and frequency of use are crucial factors to consider when deciding if bowling shoes can be washed. If you bowl frequently or competitively, your shoes may accumulate dirt and debris more quickly, which could require more cleaning than occasional or recreational bowlers.

For example, synthetic materials tend to be easier to clean than leather. Generally speaking, regardless of your frequency of use or type of shoe material, routine cleaning is necessary for maintaining hygiene and safety during gameplay.

How To Properly Clean Bowling Shoes

Removing Dirt And Debris

To begin cleaning your bowling shoes, start by removing any dirt and debris from the surface of the shoes. Use a soft-bristled brush or a dry cloth to gently scrub away any accumulated dust or particles that may have caked onto the soles or uppers.

If there are any stubborn stains on your bowling shoes, you can spot-clean them with a damp cloth and mild detergent or dish soap. Avoid getting too much water on the shoe as this can cause water damage and affect their overall quality.

Using A Soft Brush Or Cloth

When it comes to cleaning bowling shoes, using a soft brush or cloth is important to avoid any damage to the material. A soft-bristled toothbrush can be used to gently scrub away dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas of the shoe.

A microfiber cloth is also an excellent option for removing any excess dirt or moisture from the surface of the shoe.

You may want to consider investing in specialized shoe-cleaning brushes specifically designed for sports footwear like bowling shoes. These will often come with different shapes and sizes of bristles, which are perfect for getting into hard-to-reach areas and tackling stubborn stains on both leather and synthetic materials.

Spot Cleaning With Mild Detergent

When it comes to cleaning bowling shoes, spot cleaning with a mild detergent can be an effective method. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub away any dirt or debris on the shoe’s surface.

For tougher stains, such as oil or grease, mix some mild detergent and warm water and apply it to the affected area with a soft sponge.

It is important to remember not to saturate your shoes in water as this can cause damage to the inner sole padding and lining. After applying the detergent solution, wipe down your shoes thoroughly with a damp cloth or microfiber towel, ensuring all soap residue has been removed.

Keep in mind that frequent use of harsh detergents can impact slide control on your shoe’s soles over time. To avoid this problem altogether, use specialized products designed specifically for cleaning bowling shoes like spray cleaners and wipes rather than household items.

Avoiding Water Damage

To avoid damaging your bowling shoes while cleaning them, it’s important to be careful when using water. Excess moisture can cause damage and affect the integrity of the shoe material.

Instead of soaking the entire shoe, use a damp cloth or microfiber towel to wipe down any dirty areas or stains. If you do need to use water, make sure not to saturate the shoe with too much liquid.

Proper care for your bowling shoes is essential for optimal performance on the lanes. By avoiding excess water exposure and storing them in a dry area after use, you’ll be able to maintain their quality and increase their lifespan.

Tips For Maintaining Bowling Shoes

can bowling shoes be washed

Storing In A Dry And Cool Place

Proper storage of bowling shoes is crucial in maintaining their quality and longevity. After a game, wipe the shoes clean with a mild detergent or dish soap and dry cloth.

Investing in shoe covers or overshoes can also increase the lifespan of your bowling shoes by protecting them from dirt, dust, and moisture when not in use.

Using Shoe Covers Or Overshoes

To protect your bowling shoes from dirt and debris, you can use shoe covers or overshoes. These protective coverings slip over your regular shoes or bare feet, keeping the soles of your bowling shoes clean and dry.

Not only do shoe covers keep your bowling shoes in pristine condition, but they also help maintain a sanitary environment on the alleys. Foot fungus is a common concern among bowlers due to the shared rental of shoes at many facilities.

Regularly Cleaning And Inspecting

Regular cleaning and inspections are crucial to maintaining the longevity of your bowling shoes. To keep them in tip-top shape, it’s important to clean them after every use.

Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt and debris from the shoes, paying special attention to the slide strip.

In addition to regular cleaning, inspect your bowling shoes for signs of damage or wear and tear. Check the soles and slide strips for excessive wear, as this can affect your game performance.

Make sure all parts of the shoe are securely attached and there are no holes or tears in the fabric that could cause injury during play.


In conclusion, yes, bowling shoes can be washed and properly maintained to extend their life. It is important to consider the manufacturer’s guidelines, the material of the shoes, age, and condition, and frequency of use before cleaning them.

Cleaning should be done with a soft brush or cloth using a mild detergent or dish soap with water. Make sure to avoid water damage by not soaking the shoes completely.

Last updated on May 7, 2023