Eco-Friendly Shoe Cleaning: Natural and Safe Methods

Eco-Friendly Shoe Cleaning

Sustainable living has become a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. Though the shoe industry is notorious for being wasteful, there are still steps we can take to be more environmentally friendly.

One simple way to do this is by using natural and safe methods to clean our shoes. Many products on the market contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both our health and the environment.

By opting for eco-friendly cleaning methods, we not only decrease our ecological footprint but also protect ourselves from potential toxins.

The Dangers of Traditional Shoe Cleaning Products

The Dangers of Traditional Shoe Cleaning Products

The majority of shoe cleaners on the market contain a cocktail of chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, and formaldehyde. These shoe care products often come in the form of a foam or a  textile friendly cleaning solution.

However, while they may be effective in eliminating dirt and stains, and restoring the shine of your footwear, the formula behind these products can pose risks to our health and environment.

Furthermore, the packaging of these products is often not recyclable, further contributing to the waste problem. It's crucial to consider these factors when choosing shoe care products and to seek out alternatives that prioritize both efficacy and environmental responsibility.

Natural and Safe Shoe Cleaning Methods

Thankfully, there are many eco-friendly options for cleaning shoes that are just as effective as traditional products. These methods use natural ingredients and are free from harmful chemicals.

White Vinegar Method

If you don't have a sneaker cleaner at your disposal, fret not! One eco-friendly and effective alternative is white vinegar. It's a non-toxic and easy to use solution that boot and sneaker enthusiasts can safely rely on for their shoe cleaning needs. 

The white vinegar cleaning method simply involves a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. This solution efficiently removes dirt and stains, leaving your footwear looking as good as new.

More importantly, it does this without introducing any harmful chemicals into the environment, making it an excellent choice for those committed to eco-friendly practices.

So, the next time you find your favorite pair of boots or sneakers in need of a clean, remember the white vinegar method. It's a simple, safe, and environmentally responsible way to keep your footwear looking its best.

Baking Soda and Lemon Method

Another great natural and eco-friendly alternative for cleaning shoes is the baking soda and lemon method. This method is particularly effective for cleaning canvas and fabric shoes. However, it is important to note that it should not be used on leather, suede, or nubuck shoes.

For these materials, it's recommended to use natural leather care products that are specifically designed to safely and effectively clean and maintain these types of shoes.

The baking soda and lemon method involves creating a paste using equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice. This mixture can be applied to the shoe surface, working it into the fabric or canvas with a brush. Leave the paste to dry, and then simply brush off the residue, revealing fresh and clean shoes.

This method is not only effective but also environmentally responsible, as it does not introduce any harmful chemicals into the environment.

What Makes Shoe Cleaning Products Eco-Friendly?

Since there is no universal definition for eco-friendly, it can be challenging to determine which products are truly environmentally responsible. When looking for eco-friendly shoe care products, keep an eye out for the following characteristics:

  • 100% natural ingredients: Look for products that are made from entirely natural and plant-derived ingredients. These ingredients are biodegradable and non-toxic, making them safe for both the environment and our health.
  • Sustainable packaging: Choose products that come in recyclable or biodegradable packaging, as this reduces waste and minimizes the impact on the environment.
  • Cruelty-free: Opt for products that are not tested on animals. This ensures that no harm is done to animals during the manufacturing process.

How to Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solution

For those who want to take their eco-friendly practices a step further, it's possible to make your own natural cleaning solution at home. This not only eliminates the need for purchasing potentially harmful products but also allows you to tailor the solution to your specific shoe-cleaning needs.

Here's a simple recipe for an all-purpose shoe cleaner:


  • 1 fl oz of mild dish soap
  • 1 fl oz of white vinegar
  • 2 fl oz of water
  • A few drops of essential oil for a pleasant fragrance (optional)


  1. Mix together the dish soap, vinegar, and water in a recycled bottle.
  2. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if desired.
  3. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients into a solution.

To use this eco-friendly cleaner, pour a small amount onto a cloth, then gently rub onto the surface of your shoes. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Remember to store your homemade cleaner in a cool, dry place and to shake the bottle before each use. This DIY method not only reduces your environmental footprint but also makes use of common household items, repurposing them into useful cleaning accessories.

Closing Thoughts

Everyone has their own way of contributing to a healthier planet. By choosing eco-friendly shoe cleaning methods and products, we can all do our part in reducing waste and minimizing the impact of harsh chemicals on both our health and the environment.

Stone and Clark Sneaker Cleaning Kit

Get yours here!

If you have no time to do the DIY cleaning solution mentioned above, we provide an all-in-one sneaker cleaning kit here at Stone and Clark. Our products does not only promote effectiveness but also prioritize the environment through our use of natural and sustainable ingredients.

shoe deodorizer

From all natural shoe deodorizer and sustainable horsehair shoe brush to premium shoe polish and safe to use microfiber cloth, our kit has everything you need to keep your shoes looking fresh while staying true to your eco-friendly values.

Make sure to check our Amazon store for 100% sustainable shoe care products that are made in the USA.

Add to cart your favorite kit and we'll ship it to your doorstep!

12PC Leather Shoe Shine & Care Kit for Men & Women

3.5 oz Mink Oil Leather Care Kit with Applicator

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