Removing poop from shoes

So, you’ve stepped in dog (or most likely human) poop. And you weren’t wearing those nice, convenient smooth-soled ankle boots, either – you had on your most ridgy-soled pair of cross-trainers, or the expensive snow boots guaranteed to grip icy surfaces (and, it turns out, other more icky substances).

What about if you were wearing sandals??

The last time this happened, you put the shoe on the mud porch and went into denial until the seasons changed or your husband threw the shoe away by mistake – but you don’t want to lose another Adidas to doody. Now what?

Apply (water) pressure Several respondents praised the concept of using a high-pressure spray like a shower or sink attachment to get rid of dog dirt. Stephie advises using “the hottest water you can stand, with the most pressure you can find (or create with your thumb in the stream),” but a hose will do it too. If you do use a surface that comes in contact with dishes, children, or anything else you’d like to avoid contaminating, disinfect the surfaces after you’re done.

And if you just can’t bear to wash the shoe in the same tub your twins use? Fair enough: Try “one of those self-serve car wash things and have at ’em with the high-pressure line,” says Cyntada. “Works like a charm!”

Put it on ice CT and Rick both advised trying to freeze out the poop, either leaving the footwear outside in the cold in wintertime, or bagging it up and parking it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Rick watches a movie to pass the time, then takes the shoe out and whacks it against a brick wall (outside, please!) to knock the poop loose. “Not the most elegant solution,” CT admits, “but it will keep you from having to touch anything icky.”

And if the whack job doesn’t get all the traces out?

Raid the playroom Yes, we said earlier that you should avoid exposing younguns to fecal matter – and that’s true. But kids’ toys might just hold the key to removing that stubborn poop.

Reader Kate has gotten “decent” results using…Play-Doh and Silly Putty? Here’s how it works: “Let [the doody] freeze, then cover with your choice of sticking agent (duct tape works best, but might damage some shoes). Pull off the tape, Doh, or Putty, and most of the poo will tag along with it.”

The Stir: Scientific proof that heels are from hell

Let Maytag handle it Elizabeth keeps it simple: in case of poo, huck the shoe in the washing machine. “Unless they absolutely can’t be washed (but most shoes come out just fine) I just throw them in the washing machine.”

You’ll want to skip that trick if it’s a leather shoe, or if you’re squeamish about stray poop bits lingering in the machine.

And finally, the best defense is a good offense Jessica of Go Fug Yourself thinks that a watchful eye is your greatest ally when it comes to pre-empting poop: “If you’re wearing expensive shoes to which you are very attached, step carefully. Play defensive in this particular game.”

And perhaps our favorite suggestion came from Audrey, who deploys a righteous youth brigade as a sort of neighborhood watch: “Tell your 5-year-old – or if one is not readily available, tell all the neighborhood 5-year-olds — that dogs should never poop outside without a poop bag. Five-year-olds love to be the ones to uphold rules for others to follow. They will ride the dog owner all the way down the street, giving them the repetition of the rules that only 5-year-olds can deliver so well.”

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