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Get Dog Poop out of Shoes with These 5 Simple Methods

By Aviram K.
October 2, 2021
5 min read
Get Dog Poop out of Shoes with These 5 Simple Methods
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.
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There are few things in this life as great a nuisance as getting dog poop off your shoe!

That’s right, whether you have dogs or not, it’s pretty inevitable that at some point, your shoe will be covered in the muck.

But fear not, for we have five excellent methods of getting the poop off - making it a thing of the past.

You can get dog poop off your shoe by using one or more of the following: using a hose in jet spray mode, freezing the shoe with the poop, taking an old toothbrush, and scrubbing the poop from the shoe grooves, using the washing machine, or spraying WD 40.

In this article, I will elaborate on the best ways to get dog poop off of your shoe, how to get that smell out, and what to do if the poop is actually because of your dog being naughty!

Let’s start.

Table of Contents
How Do You Clean Poop off of Shoes?
What About the Smell?
Why Does Your Dog Keep Pooping in Your Shoes?

How Do You Clean Poop off of Shoes?


There are a few tried-and-true methods of cleaning poop off of your shoes, whether the feces are inside the shoe (naughty pup!) or you stepped in it.

The primary consensus is that you certainly want to ensure you get all of the fecal matter off of the shoe, both for cleanliness’ sake and for your own health.

Dog poop can carry with it a slew of health risks, such as bacteria, parasites, and pathogens.

As such, it becomes pretty important to clean your shoe off in its entirety, rather than just what you can visibly see! Here are five methods of getting the muck off.

Use the Garden Hose


Don’t knock the old-school methods; they really do work! You can’t go wrong with just setting the garden hose up. This is great if you’ve stepped in the poop.

First (after taking the shoe(s) off of your foot, of course), set the hose up to a gentle stream and rinse off all of the poop that will come off easily with this setting.

If you don’t want to deal with big gunks, you can wipe your shoe off on grass first (but remember to clean whatever you rubbed off back up later). Unfortunately, most try to go immediately to the ‘jet’ setting and end up making a bigger mess as poo goes flying everywhere!

Once you have the big chunks and residue off, then set it up to jet. Use this setting to get in between the grooves of your shoe. Do keep your distance; you certainly don’t want any of that mucky water coming back at you! A pro tip is to jet the grooves with the hose facing sideways rather than directly away from you, as this can control the spray back a lot better.

For anything still left on your shoe, use an old toothbrush or something of the sort to get anything wedged in the cracks that the hose may have missed.

Freeze the Shoes


If you don’t have access to a garden hose, freezing can be a mess-free (and less gross) way of cleaning your shoe. This works for both poop that is inside of your shoe due to a naughty puppy or poop you’ve stepped in.

First, clear your freezer, or in the least, make sure there is a large enough empty space. You certainly don’t want your food anywhere near that dirty shoe.

Next, wrap your shoe in two plastic bags (you can use one, but eh, do two just in case) and plop right into the freezer!

Once the poop has frozen, you can pick at it with a sharp object and get it all to fall off neatly. Any poop that is left can be scrubbed with dish soap and a toothbrush or cleaning brush.

Scrub the Shoes


If you need a more instant result, go ahead and scrub!

Grab a cleaning brush and a toothbrush and go at it. Use a paper towel first to get all of the major remnants off so that all you need to then focus on are the grooves or detailed spots. Use dish soap, and make sure to keep the shoe away from you at arm’s length.

Rinse in the sink periodically as you clean and finish it off with some disinfectant spray to ensure all bacteria don’t remain. BRIOTECH Sanitizer + Disinfectant is one such option.

Use the Washing Machine


For fabric shoes such as sneakers, you can actually use your washing machine. Refer to your shoe’s tag to see if a washing machine is something safe for that particular type of footwear. If it is, you’re in luck.

But hold up - before you throw the whole shoe in there, you do still need to get the big chunks of poop off! If you don’t, your whole washing machine will be soiled and an appliance technician won’t appreciate it. Use a paper towel to get the large remnants off.

Once you’ve removed much of the poop, go ahead and wrap the afflicted shoe(s) in a garment bag or some fabric. Throw in some old towels or old work clothes in there for balance so that the sole shoe isn’t bouncing around in there like a basketball. Run the machine on a cold, delicate cycle.

Once that’s done, air dry the shoes! Don’t put them in the dryer. You can stuff paper towels inside of your shoe to help absorb the moisture and let the air do the rest.

Spray WD 40 or a Dedicated Enzyme on the Shoes


If the poop is being stubborn and not wanting to come off of your shoes easily… spraying some WD 40 can help!

WD 40 is a spray intended “as a lubricant, rust preventative, penetrant and moisture displacer” according to the manufacturers themselves. Still, dog owners all over swear by its magical poop-cleaning properties. By doing a mist of this, the poop should begin to dissolve and be easily removed.

There are also various dedicated poop enzyme cleaners that do the same thing - degrade the fecal matter until it becomes easy to clean! Some options include Bio Dog and PetSafe Wee Care Pet Loo Enzyme Cleaner, both highly rated in reviews.

What About the Smell?

Although there may be no more physical evidence, smell is a bit harder to remove. Luckily, we have a few nifty tricks to get that stench out!

  • Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is used for a wide array of things, from preventing an allergic reaction after coming in contact with an allergen all the way to de-stinking things. All you have to do is place your shoes next to activated charcoal for a couple of days and the smell will be gone!
  • Baking soda: Can’t go wrong with good ol’ baking soda, a cleaning home remedy. Place the shoe in a plastic bag filled with baking soda and give it a good shake. The smell should be gone in a few hours. Make sure to seal the bag tightly!
  • Natural odor remover: If the above solutions aren’t working fast enough, a natural odor remover such as Only Natural Pet Stain & Odor Remover can do the trick much quicker. The enzymes help break down stains (those you cannot see) and remove the smell in its entirety.

Why Does Your Dog Keep Pooping in Your Shoes?


The first reason may be because your pup likes your smell.

Dogs don’t eliminate the same way we do, in the sense that it means a bit more to them than it does to us (eww, I know). Your dog may greatly enjoy your scent as it brings them comfort, and what’s more scent-full of you than your sweaty shoe? Pooping in or near your scent may be more comfortable for your dog.

Another reason can be due to separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a condition in which your dog displays anxious behaviors (such as whining, destruction, panic, and more) when you’re away from them. Finding a shoe and pooping in it can be a symptom of separation anxiety.

Yet another reason can be due to your dog not receiving enough mental stimulation, thus leading to boredom or misbehavior. The need for attention can be great, and pooping in a shoe is a surefire way to get you to notice them.

Understanding why your dog may be doing this can help calm the behavior in the future. Treating anxiety is one such way, as is creating a routine in which your dog has more consistent potty times and plenty of mental stimulation!

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