Tips and ways to disinfect and clean your shoes after work.
Updated: Jun 7
When we go to work, either at a hospital, nursing homes or clinics, we usually wear scrubs and of course, our favorite comfortable shoes or clogs. We will be wearing these for the whole 8 to 12 hours or sometimes, when over time is available, it will be for 16 hours. That’s a lot of walking and working!
But of course, we get dirt on our scrubs during any part of the shift. It can be from anything, food and drinks (especially coffee), patients, work station and even in the break room. But our shoes gets the greatest dirt accumulation and germs and they can get really nasty after our long day at work. Walking up and down the hall will pick up anything and will be attached on those shoes. We don’t want to bring that filth to our homes, especially nowadays with the pandemic going on.
Leather made shoes
Before going home, a good quick clean and disinfection can be done using a commercially made disinfectant wipes. That will at least kill most virus and bacteria attached to our shoes. Our family would appreciate for us not bringing those nasty microorganisms back home.
At home, using warm water and dish soap can do the trick of removing any stain on our shoes. Dry with a towel or let it dry on open air. Don’t put them out in the sun or near a heater, may cause cracks or the color may fade. We can use commercial leather conditioner to keep them shiny or use homemade ones – 1 part vinegar plus 2 parts linseed oil.
Mesh or fabric made shoes
Again, those disinfectant wipes will come very handy to make a swift clean-up of our shoes, especially the rubber soles.
Dish detergents and warm water solution can be very useful in cleaning these type of shoes. Using a soft bristle brush, brush off any visible dirt on the surfaces with light amount of pressure applied. Then wash shoes with the cleaning solution and soft cloth. Circular scrubbing motion usually does the trick. Don’t forget to clean the rubber sole. Air dry in dry, cool place.
Wipe all surface with a disinfectant wipes after your shift. When at home, rinse them off with plain water for this will remove large and visible dirt on the shoe. Then soak them in a small bucket with warm water and dish detergent. Use a scrub brush remove all remaining dirt on the shoe (scrub them while being soaked in the cleaning solution). May use an old tooth brush for areas where your hand can’t reach. Rinse again with plain water and let them dry completely
How about autoclaving shoes?
Autoclaving is technically the best way of eliminating any microorganism on basically everything. Using steam under pressure, it can destroy even the spores in Clostridium family of bacteria which are mostly resistant to any disinfecting wipes.
However, using it to disinfect shoes, probably not the best option. The heat can damage the materials on our shoes, especially leather and rubber, and will make them unusable.
UV Shoe sanitizers
There are UV shoe sanitizers in the market. They can eliminate all germs, fungi and even odor producing organisms. Used by health professionals and athletes and safe for all type of foot ware. Price range can be from $40 up to several hundred dollars. This can be an option to busy nurses and for those who does not have the luxury of time to disinfect after-shift shoes. Maybe worth the investment if will be used on a daily basis.
Hope that these tips help you on keeping those shoes clean and germ free!!!