How to Clean Bowling Shoes Slide Strip | Step-by-step Guide

Maintaining your equipment is key to a successful bowling game. A crucial part of your gear that needs attention is the slide strip. Cleaning the slide strip on your bowling shoes regularly not only ensures better performance, but also prolongs the lifespan of your shoes.

In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how to clean your bowling shoes slide strip, as well as provide tips for keeping them in top condition.

Why is it Important to Clean the Slide Strip?

Preventing dirt buildup on the slide strip of your bowling shoes is crucial as it can significantly affect your slide and throw off your game. Dirt buildup makes the surface more slippery, which affects how much control you have over your movements.

Furthermore, cleaning the slide strip regularly goes a long way in increasing the lifespan of your bowling shoes, saving you money and time in replacements.

Apart from affecting gameplay and costing you money, neglecting to clean your slide strip also increases the risk of slips and falls during play. When dirt builds up on this part of the shoe, it loses traction with the approach area’s smooth surface; this could lead to falls that can cause injuries. Keeping yourself safe while playing should be enough motivation for regular maintenance practices like cleaning your bowling shoes’ slide strips.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your bowling shoes’ slide strips can help improve their performance and longevity on the lanes.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: To effectively clean your bowling shoes’ slide strip, you’ll need to start by removing any loose dirt or debris. A soft-bristled brush is the best tool for this job as it won’t cause any damage to the surface of your shoe. Also apply gentle pressure not to scratch your shoes’ surface.

Gently scrubbing the slide strip in one direction. Be thorough to cover every inch of the slide strip, being careful not to miss any spots.

Avoid using a hard-bristled brush that could scratch or scuff up the slide strip.

Once you’ve brushed off all visible debris, use a dry cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt and dust.

Step 2: Focus on cleaning the slide strip – the smooth sole area that allows you to glide when releasing the ball.

For a deeper cleaning use a specialized tool like a bowling shoe cleaner or a microfiber cloth with mild soap solution and water to gently scrub away any dirt or buildup on this surface.

Mix some warm water with a mild soap or detergent in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth into this soapy solution, wring it out well, then apply it onto your bowling shoes’ slide strips. Gently rub back-and-forth across each stripe. Rinse away soap residue by wiping again with plain water.

Avoid using harsh chemicals and opt for bowling shoe cleaner if necessary to avoid damaging the slide strip’s surface.

Step 3: After cleaning, rinse off all soap residue and let your shoes air dry completely before using them again. Regular maintenance of your bowling shoes’ slide strips can help improve their performance and longevity on the lanes.

Materials Needed for Cleaning Slide Strip

When it comes to cleaning your bowling shoes slide strip, you’ll need a few materials – as mentioned in the step-by-step guide – on hand.

It’s important to note that some materials may not be suitable for use on certain types of bowling shoe slide strips. More on that later in the cleaning guide.

Bowling shoe cleaner kit

A bowling shoe cleaner kit is the easy way to clean your slide strip. You get all you need to maintain the slide strip on a regular basis. Which you can also use to clean and protect other parts of the bowling shoe, as well as you can use it for cleaning your regular shoes.

You can buy sneaker cleaner kits as well. Most of them have the same kind of materials for cleaning.

Most kits include:

  • Premium soft-bristled brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Deodorizer
  • Protector

Soft-bristled Brush

When it comes to cleaning the slide strip on your bowling shoes, using a soft-bristled brush is crucial. Choose a brush specifically designed for this purpose to avoid damaging the material. Abrasive brushes can cause unnecessary wear and tear, making your shoes less effective on the lane.

Microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth is essential for wiping away dirt and soap residue from your bowling shoes’ slide strips. These cloths are soft and gentle on the surface, ensuring that no damage is done during the cleaning process. They are also highly absorbent, making them perfect for wiping away excess water and soap.


When cleaning your bowling shoes slide strip, it’s essential to use lukewarm water instead of hot or cold water. Hot water can damage the material and reduce its lifespan while coldwater may not be effective in removing dirt and grime. Ensure that you only wet the affected area and avoid soaking the entire shoe.

Rinse off any soap residue with clean water to prevent further damage. Failure to rinse properly may leave soap deposits on your shoes which will attract more dirt, making them look dirty sooner than expected.

Gentle Soap

Select a mild detergent or soap suitable for delicate fabrics when cleaning the bowling shoes slide strip. Diluting the soap with water can ensure that it’s not too harsh on your shoes. Avoiding bleach or any other harsh chemicals is also important as they can damage the shoe material and affect performance on the bowling lanes.

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Tips for Maintaining Your Bowling Shoes Slide Strip

To maintain your bowling shoes slide strip, it’s important to clean them after every use. Doing this regularly will help prevent build-up and prolong the life of your shoe’s slide feature.

When storing your bowling shoes, be sure to keep them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help preserve the materials and prevent damage over time. Avoid leaving them in areas with extreme temperatures or high humidity, as this can cause warping or cracking of leather components.

Tip 1: Clean After Every Use

As already mentioned in the step-by-step guide, wipe down the slide strip with a clean cloth after every use to remove any dust or debris. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any stubborn dirt or stains on the slide strip. Apply a mild cleaning solution specifically designed for bowling shoes, and wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Always have a designated towel or cloth to wipe your shoes before putting them away.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the shoe’s material.
  • Let your shoes air dry completely before storing them in order to prevent mold growth.

Tip 2: Store Your Shoes Properly

Keep your bowling shoes in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture buildup that could damage the slide strip. Properly storing your equipment will ensure it lasts for years to come – and you know you need to wear the bowling shoes for every game.

Here are some tips on how to store bowling shoes properly:

  • Store your shoes in a breathable bag or container that will allow air circulation and help prevent mold growth.
  • Avoid putting heavy objects on top of your bowling shoes as this can cause them to lose shape over time.

Tip 3: Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

Never use harsh chemicals to clean your bowling shoes, such as bleach, as they can damage the shoe’s material and reduce its lifespan. Instead, opt for gentle cleaning solutions like water mixed with vinegar or dish soap. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers like steel wool because they will scratch and damage the surface of the slide strip.

Is there anything I should avoid when cleaning the bowling shoe slide strip?

When it comes to maintaining your bowling shoe slide strip, it is essential to be careful and avoid certain things that could potentially damage it.

Here are some tips on what to avoid when cleaning your shoe slide strip:

  • Washing machine: Avoid putting your bowling shoes in the washing machine. It may damage the entire shoe, and you don’t have any control on the cleaning process.
  • Harsh chemicals: Avoid using any harsh chemicals or solvents that could damage the surface of your shoe slide strip.
  • Abrasive materials: Do not use abrasive materials such as steel wool or harsh scrubbing pads to clean your shoe slide strip. This could cause scratches or other damage that could impact the performance of the strip.
  • Excessive force: It is important not to apply too much force when cleaning your shoe slide strip. This could cause the strip to become uneven or damaged, which could impact your ability to slide effectively.
  • Excessive water: Avoid exposing your shoe slide strip to excessive water. This could cause the strip to become slippery or damaged, which could impact your ability to slide effectively.

Remember to always be gentle and cautious when cleaning your equipment, and if you have any doubts, seek the advice of a professional bowling technician.

How can I tell if the bowling shoe slide strip needs to be cleaned?

You probably know it’s crucial to maintain your equipment to perfect your game. But how can you tell if your bowling shoe slide strip needs to be cleaned?

The answer is simple. If you feel a change in your slide or if your foot sticks to the approach, it’s a clear sign that your shoe slide strip needs cleaning. Over time, dirt, oil, and debris can accumulate on the slide strip, which can alter your slide and ruin your game.

To check if your shoe slide strip needs cleaning, run your hand over the sole of your shoe. If you feel any resistance, it’s a sign that the slide strip is dirty. You can also inspect the slide strip for any visible debris or discoloration.

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How should you clean interchangeable soles?

Cleaning interchangeable soles is crucial. To clean interchangeable soles, start by removing them from the shoe. You can use a soft-bristled brush or a cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the soles. Make sure to be gentle and avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the soles.

Next, wipe the soles with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt or residue. Be sure to dry the soles thoroughly before reattaching them to the shoe.

It’s also essential to clean the shoe where the soles attach. You can use a small brush or a toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris from the threads.

Remember always to store your interchangeable soles in a dry, clean place to prevent any buildup of dirt or debris.

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What is a Bowling Shoes Slide Strip?

A strip on the sole of bowling shoes made from materials like felt or leather, a bowling shoes slide strip helps bowlers glide smoothly as they approach their shot. Without it, bowlers could experience sudden stops or slides, affecting their performance and accuracy.

However, over time, these strips can become clogged with debris such as dirt and oil from the slippery lanes which ultimately affects their effectiveness.

That is why it is crucial to clean your bowling shoes slide strip regularly. By doing so, you ensure optimal performance during each game by removing any buildup that might impair your sliding ability on the lane.

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