How to Remove Foot Marks from Sandals


Dianne asked: How do I get foot marks off of sandals? My light blue, jeweled sandals are dirty from my toes. They are not leather. They are cloth, with leather soles. I tried cleaning them with mild soap and water, but it won’t come off. Any ideas?

They look like permanent imprints, but what the marks are really ground in dirt and stains. These can be difficult to remove because the dirt has been pushed into the fibers of the soles. This clever solution will remove the toughest dirt and grime from the fabric portions your footwear. For best results, use a deep cleansing foam product to get to the bottom of ground-in stains.

You Will Need:

  • Carpet or upholstery cleaner
  • Toothbrush
  • Damp sponge
  • White paper towels

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Spray the stained fabric portions of your sandals with carpet or upholstery cleaner. Do not get the cleaner on leather or other materials unless the label states it is safe to do so.
  2. Let the cleaner sit for the recommended period of time according to label directions.
  3. Begin to scrub with the toothbrush to work out stains.
  4. Blot the work surface periodically with a white paper towel. If the paper towel turns dark, you still have some scrubbing to do. As the mess is lifted away and the paper towel lightens, you know your efforts are being met with some success.
  5. Once the paper towels are coming away fairly clean, rinse the carpet cleaner away by blotting the area with a sponge dampened with water, rinsing the sponge frequently.
  6. Allow the sandals to air dry. You probably won’t be able to clearly tell how clean they are until they dry.
  7. Repeat if necessary.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Spot test the carpet or upholstery cleaner on your sandals before you begin.
  • Do not submerge sandals with leather parts in water during your efforts to clean them.
  • Follow up with a fabric protectant to help keep your sandals clean for longer periods of time.


  1. I am an avid wearer of sandals, flip- flops, thongs, shower shoes – anything that leaves my feet free and open. It started with my having wide feet and wearing closed shoes made walking unbearable. Then I had surgeries to remove spurs. Now at 47, I have arthritis in my feet. Probably due to only wearing open shoes. No matter… I came here looking for a cleaning solution for “footprints” in sandals (suede/cloth). So many of my favorite sandals I avoid wearing because they look “dirty.”

    I found a solution here and I am so GRATEFUL. I’d like to say my carpet cleaner of choice is a reliable, never failing, miracle I swear by. I’ve used this product for many years. I would like to share this wonder product for your sandals because it works so well, and without too much of an effort if you follow the handy cleaning tips shown in this column. RESOLVE Carpet Cleaner is great and OXI RESOLVE even better. I hope this helps to making your sandals wearable again! Thanks to this website, I feel I have new shoes again!

  2. This is marvelous. I have been wearing sandals with footprints on top of the sole for many years and just thought to look for a solution. I cleaned two pairs yesterday and could not be more pleased.

Leave a Comment