How To Get Dog Poop Off Running Shoes

Ugh. I know. I wish someone wrote a law that fines people who don’t clean up after their dogs. Oh, wait…

Though the very first instinct might be to burn the abomination and go online and order a new pair, it might not be such a bad idea to try and clean up the mess first.

I have four methods here for you, and you can choose one based on what you have already in the house. So, here’s how to get dog poop off running shoes.

Best Way To Get Dog Poop Off Running Shoes

runner stepping in dog poop

Step 1 Hang the dog poop stained running shoes in the sun to harden

Step 2 – Once the poop has hardened, bend the shoes and pop as much out as you can.

Step 3 – Scrub the remaining dog poop with a toothbrush, getting into the hard-to-reach grooves.

Step 4 – Use a sponge and dishwasher soap to scrub the running shoes clean.

Step 5 – Chuck them in the washing machine for a final wash.

Method 1 – The Freeze

Though some tutorials out there recommend putting the shoes in the freezer, I say yuck. If it’s winter, you have nature’s freeze outside, so it’s better to use that. This method doesn’t work that well on shoes with rigid soles because you will need to bend them a bit.

Step 1

runner dipping shoes in snow

Take your shoes outside and dip the affected area in the snow for a second. Wrap the shoe in a plastic bag and leave outside for at least 4 hours, or however long it takes the poop to turn rock solid.

Step 2


Pick up an old toothbrush and push the frozen poop off. If your soles are very bendy, it should pop out on its own. You’ll probably have to do some extra coaxing on rigid soles.

Step 3

Pick up some dish soap and use the business end of that toothbrush to scrub off whatever’s left. Dish soap is ideal for this job because it is designed to remove organic matter from…stuff. If you can get your hands on a fancy-schmancy one with enzymes, go for it.

Scrub, rinse, repeat. Even if your shoes’ look clean, they are not. Do the repeat!

Step 4

Disinfect the soles with Lysol or 70+% alcohol. You don’t know what’s in that poop so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Spray liberally and leave to sit for at least 10 minutes before you do anything else.

Step 5

If your washing machine has a running/training shoes program, chuck your shoes in and give them a wash. If you have to set it up manually, go for warm water for at least 30 minutes, and drop the centrifuge speed to 400.

This step is optional, but you’re already cleaning your shoes, so why not give them a full treatment?

Method 2 – The Dry

This method is very similar to the previous one, but we’ll switch up the seasons. It will be a bit more on the stinky side, so it’s great if you want to ruin your neighbor’s afternoon. You’ll see what I’m talking about in a second. A flexible sole will make things super easy, but any other type will work as well.

Step 1

leaving dog poop to dry in the sun

Find a spot outside that gets a lot of UV rays. Park the shoe upside down and leave the poop to dry in the Sun. And be happy because this will make your neighbors happy as well. Ideally, you want to leave the shoe out when the mercury is high so the poop dries as quickly as possible.

Step 2

Bend the shoe and pop out as much of the poop you can. You may need to coax it out with a stick or a toothbrush handle.

Step 3

If the poop dried up completely, use a dry toothbrush to brush out as much of the leftovers from the grooves in the sole.

Step 4

Grab the dish soap again and give the shoes a thorough scrub. Rinse, repeat, and then disinfect.

Step 5

Send your shoes to a session in the washing machine. This step might be mandatory now because the Sun might have baked in your feet’s aroma. They will definitely need some refreshin’.

Method 3 – The Soak

You can use this one year-round, and it’d great because you can get back into your shoes as soon as they are dry. It is a lot yuckier, so I hope you have a very strong stomach.

Step 1

Wipe off as much of the poop you can with a paper towel. You may want to wear gloves for this one, and definitely give your hands a good scrub after.

Step 2

Pick up a basin or another vessel that can accommodate your shoe. It doesn’t have to be too deep – just deep enough for water not to splash you if you’re moving it around. Boil some water. Pour some dish soap into the basin, place the shoe in, and pour enough water to cover the sole. Leave it to sit until the water cools down.

Step 3

Grab your toothbrush and some more dish soap, and scrubby scrub scrub. Rinse, repeat, disinfect. If you want or need to, you can leave your shoes to dry. If not, give them a spin in the washing machine.

Method 4 – The Bubble

A lot similar to the soaking method, but way more fun. Or better if the poop dried up a bit by the time you went into cleaning mode. Also super useful if you have very textured soles.

Step 1

Wipe off excess poop with a paper towel.

Step 2

Set up the same basin as in the previous method and pick up your dish soap once again. However, this time, add club soda instead of hot water. If you don’t have any club soda in the house, add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into the basin.

Then pour in the plain water until it reaches the top of the sole, and follow up with a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar. Let it fizz for several minutes. The bubbles are going to dislodge the poop so it will be easier to clean off.

You can repeat this step several times. Each repeat equals to less scrubbing after. And, if you’re using the soda vinegar combo, it will help remove all of the stink.

Step 3

Toothbrush, dish soap, disinfection – you know this par by now. And don’t think that just because you’ve used vinegar you can skip on the Lysol. No matter what that green mommy blog told you, vinegar doesn’t kill viruses and bacteria.

What If Your Shoes Still Smell After Cleaning Them?

If your shoes are still stinky after cleaning, make your peace, and just live with it. Just messing with you! There is something that’s already in your kitchen that you can use. You guessed it, it’s the magic baking soda.

Baking soda is a great deodorizer, but get ready because you may need a lot of it. Start by sprinkling some over the area where the poop was and leave it for at least 30 minutes. If there was just a bit o leftover stench, this may do the trick.

But if the stink makes you sink into despair, pack the soda on the sole and leave overnight.


With the right treatment, it shouldn’t be too hard to get dog poop off running shoes; however, the best way to stop it from happening in the first place is to avoid running on grass, unless you know that it is free from dog poop.