Bowling is a popular sport enjoyed by many. Not only does it make for an exciting and fun evening out with friends, family, or co-workers, and if you’re lucky enough to have your own bowling shoes (or slips if they belong to someone else!), it’s important that you keep them clean and well-maintained. But sometimes the slide strips on the bottom of these shoes can become dirty and sticky after heavy wear so it’s important to know how to properly maintain them.

We’ll go over exactly what you need to do in order to get those slide strips looking like new providing some easy tips to help ensure your slides stay looking and perform their best for years to come!

How to Clean Bowling Shoes Slide Strip with Soap and Water?

Cleaning the slide strip on your bowling shoes with soap and water is a simple yet effective method for maintaining its performance and extending its lifespan.

Materials Needed:

  • Mild soap (dish soap or a gentle laundry detergent)
  • Lukewarm water
  • A small bucket or basin
  • Soft-bristle brush or cloth
  • Towels for drying

Steps for Cleaning:

  • Inspect the slide strip for visible dirt, grime, or wear. This will give you an idea of how thorough you need to be. Remove any loose dirt or debris by lightly shaking or tapping the shoes.
  • Mix a few drops of mild soap with lukewarm water in a small bucket or basin. You want enough soap to create a soft, soapy solution but not so much that it becomes overly sudsy, as too much suds can make it difficult to rinse the soap off later thoroughly.
  • If your bowling shoes have removable slide strips, it’s best to detach them for easier cleaning. If not, proceed with caution to avoid wetting other parts of the shoe that may be water-sensitive.
  • Dip the soft-bristle brush or cloth into the soapy water, then gently scrub the slide strip. Use circular motions, and do not press too hard, as you don’t want to damage the material.
  • Once you’ve scrubbed the slide strip, rinse it thoroughly under running water or using a separate bucket of clean water. Removing all soap residues is crucial, as any remaining soap can affect the strip’s performance.
  • Place the slide strip or the entire shoe in an area with good airflow to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, which can cause some materials to fade or degrade.

Using a Wire Brush for Bowling Shoes Slide Strip Cleaning?

Using a wire brush to clean the slide strip on your bowling shoes can be effective, especially when dealing with stubborn grime or residue that soap and water alone can’t handle.

Materials Needed:

  • Wire brush with soft or medium bristles
  • A towel or cloth
  • Mild soap and water (optional for pre-cleaning or post-cleaning)

Steps for Cleaning:

  • Before using the wire brush, you should perform a light cleaning using soap and water, as described in the previous section. This can help remove surface-level dirt, making focusing on the stubborn grime easier.
  • Inspect the slide strip to identify the areas with caked-on dirt or stubborn grime. These are the areas where you’ll focus your wire brushing efforts.
  • Gently brush the identified areas using soft or medium-bristled wire brushes. Use small, controlled strokes to scrape away the dirt.
  • After a few strokes, pause to feel the slide strip’s surface. If it feels smoother and the grime appears to be coming off, continue brushing.
  • Use a towel or cloth to remove the loosened dirt after brushing. Examine the slide strip to see if further brushing is necessary.
  • Allow the slide strip to air dry thoroughly before using the bowling shoes again. Like before, avoid placing it in direct sunlight to prevent material degradation.

Utilizing a Scotch-Brite Pad for Cleaning Slide Strips:

Scotch-Brite pads can be an intermediate solution between a soft cloth and a wire brush when cleaning your bowling shoes' slide strips. They are abrasive enough to handle stubborn grime but generally gentle enough not to damage the material of the slide strip.

Materials Needed:

  • Scotch-Brite Pad
  • Mild soap
  • Lukewarm water
  • A towel or cloth for drying

Steps for Cleaning:

  • Like with other methods, start by inspecting the slide strip to assess the level of dirt or grime.
  • Prepare a mild soapy water solution in a basin or bucket.
  • Slightly dampen the Scotch-Brite pad with the soapy water.
  • Using moderate pressure, scrub the slide strip with the pad. Focus on areas that have stubborn dirt or stains. Use circular motions to lift the grime effectively.
  • After scrubbing, rinse the slide strip with clean water. Inspect the strip to see if further scrubbing is required.
  • Once satisfied, allow the slide strip to air dry thoroughly before using your bowling shoes again.

Machine Washing Bowling Shoes Slide Strips

Some modern bowling shoes come with slide strips that can be detached and are machine-washable.

Materials Needed:

  • Detachable slide strips
  • Mild detergent
  • Washing machine
  • Air-drying area

Steps for Cleaning:

  • Before proceeding, consult your shoe' care instructions to confirm that machine washing suits your slide strips. Carefully remove the slide strips from the shoes.
  • If there are particularly stubborn stains or spots, you may want to pre-treat them with a small amount of detergent.
  • Place the slide strips in a mesh laundry bag for protection, then load them into the washing machine.
  • Use a gentle cycle and cold or lukewarm water to avoid damaging the material. Add a small amount of mild detergent for cleaning.
  • Start the washing machine and let it run through the selected cycle.
  • Once the cycle is complete, remove the slide strips and let them air dry. Avoid direct heat or sunlight.

What are the Signs That Indicate Cleaning is Needed?

In bowling, the condition of your slide strip (usually found on the sole of your sliding shoe) is critical for performance. Here are some signs to look out for to determine when your bowling shoe’s slide strip needs cleaning:

Inconsistent Slide:

If you notice that your slide is not as smooth or as consistent as it usually is, this may be a sign that the slide strip needs cleaning.

Visual Inspection:

Over time, the slide strip may collect dust, dirt, or even sticky substances. A visual inspection can often tell you whether it’s time to clean.

Sticky Feeling:

If your slide shoe feels more like a braking shoe, and you feel like you’re sticking to the approach, it may be time to clean the slide strip.

Decreased Performance:

Sometimes the signs aren’t visible or tangible, but you might find that your bowling scores have decreased or your form feels off, which could be due to the condition of your slide strip.

Uneven Wear:

If the slide strip appears to be wearing unevenly, it may be affected by accumulated grime or foreign substances.

Foul Smell:

Accumulated sweat and moisture can make your slide strip emit a foul odor, indicating it needs cleaning.

Maintaining Your Bowling Shoes Slide Strip Post-Cleaning:

  • After cleaning, allow your shoes to air-dry completely. This prevents moisture from damaging the slide strip.
  • Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials on the slide strip. These can cause unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Protect the slide strip from dirt and oil using a shoe cover when not bowling.
  • keep your shoes in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight when not in use. This will help maintain the integrity of the slide strip.
  • Check the slide strip regularly for signs of wear or damage. Replace it when necessary to ensure optimum performance.

Safety Measures When Cleaning Your Bowling Shoes Slide Strip:

Cleaning the slide strip on your bowling shoes is generally a simple and safe process. However, it’s always good to take some basic precautions. Here are some safety measures you might consider:

Handling Chemicals:

  • If you’re using a specialized cleaner, make sure to read and follow all safety instructions and guidelines.
  • When handling chemical cleaners, it may be advisable to wear gloves to protect your skin.
  • Ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated area, especially if you’re using any chemicals.

Handling The Shoes:

  • Use soft brushes or cloths for cleaning. Sharp objects could damage the slide strip.
  • If using water, remember that excessive moisture could damage the shoe material, so use it sparingly and allow shoes to dry thoroughly before use.
  • Never use an external heat source like a hairdryer to speed up the drying process, as this could warp or damage the shoe material. Allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated space.

Taking these safety measures into consideration can help ensure that your cleaning process is effective and safe.


All in all, cleaning your bowling shoes slide strip is integral to taking care of your gear to have the best experience possible on the lanes. By following the simple steps above, you should be able to get rid of dirt and grime quickly and easily. Make sure always to clean your shoes after every game, and stock up on supplies like rubbing alcohol to ensure your shoes consistently perform their best. Thanks for reading, and go strike out some pins!

Sniper Jones
Hi there, I'm Sniper Jones, mastermind of My digital platform is devoted to sharing valuable knowledge about various types of footwear that can help refine your shoe selection process. Shoes have always intrigued me, leading to an impressive collection of over 1000 pairs! was launched in 2023 with the objective to provide extensive information that aids you in making well-informed shoe purchases. I've assembled a squad of shoe aficionados who share my enthusiasm for delivering unbiased reviews and thorough buying guides. Our evaluations are rooted in our personal experiences, ensuring the advice we offer is practical and usable. I always welcome feedback and discussions. If you have any questions concerning footwear, feel free to leave a comment. I'm here to assist!