When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

How To Get Sand Out Of Shoes After A Day At The Beach

After a long-awaited trip to the beach, it can feel like you have annoying little grains of sand stuck in every item you brought with you!

Fortunately, we know some of the most productive ways to get sand out of shoes, towels, clothing, bags, and any other items that became casualties. 

While we’ll focus on how to get sand out of shoes in this article, keep in mind that many of these strategies will work for other items, too, especially clothing and fabrics.

Read on to learn more!

Shoe Type

shoes in sand

Before you begin, know that type of shoe you wear to the beach can play a huge role in how hard it is to get sand out of them.

Of course, sandals will shed sand easily, and many sandals can be hosed off or washed off right at the beach before you go, too.

Other types of beach shoes are designed with the same goal in mind: the easy removal of pesky sand. 

However, shoes that aren’t explicitly designed for the beach, such as running shoes, can be problematic if you ever want to wear them to a place other than the beach.

Not only will the sand cause friction against your feet as you run or walk, but it’ll dirty your socks (or your bare feet) each time you put them on, too. 

If you’re wearing sandals, focus on methods for how to get sand out of shoes that will wash them off, as their open-air nature makes it easy to wash any sand away with water.

However, for running shoes and other closed-toed shoes, you’ll usually have to work a bit harder for the same result. 

Remove the Insole

If your shoes have an insole, the first thing you should do is remove it.

The chances are that sand will have lodged in and around the insole while you were at the beach.

Removing it before washing your shoes will make it easier to dislodge any pesky particles that made their way deep into your shoe. 

The insole of your shoe should be easy to rinse off. You might even be able to just wipe the sand off to get it clean. 

Beat Your Shoes

Anyone who’s put their shoes through mud, dirt, or sand knows that beating them is a great way to dislodge stuck particles.

Start by smacking your footwear against each other to dislodge any sand inside, turning them upside down periodically to dump any loose particles.

If this isn’t enough, try beating them against a (sturdy) wall for a little extra oomph. 

Hose or Faucet

Another great way to dislodge sand from the inside of shoes is to let the pressure of a hose or faucet wash the particles away.

Make sure the water is flowing into the opening of the shoe. When the shoe is full, swish the water around, dump it out, and repeat. 

If you can, try to get the water to soak inside your shoes from the outside, too. This is easier to do with a hose but still possible with a faucet.

It can help dislodge particles that are stuck underneath any flaps or threads in the fabric. 

Washing Machine

If you have a sturdy pair of shoes that can survive a trip through the washing machine, this is one of the easiest ways to get them nice and clean.

While you’re at it, your washing machine might even remove some of the dustiness and dirtiness that turned your white sneakers grey while you were at the beach. 

Keep in mind, though, that some sneakers and running shoes don’t do well in the washing machine, especially shoes with leather uppers or accents.

These do better with a thorough hand-washing instead. 

Submerge in Water

Have you ever dipped your sandals into the water and swished them around to clean them before leaving the beach?

Well, you can do the same thing with a pair of running shoes for a similar result.

Fill a tub large enough to submerge your footwear with water, then swish them around in the tub to help wash off any stuck particles. 

For a little extra help, let your shoes soak in the water for up to ten minutes before swishing the sand out.

Additionally, make sure to lift your sneakers out of the water, dump them out, and re-submerge them in fresh, sand-free water, especially if there’s a lot of sand in them. 

Baby Powder

Surprisingly, fine, starchy substances, such as talcum powder, baby powder, and cornstarch, are excellent for getting sand out of shoes.

The downside is that you’ll be stuck with white powder in your shoes instead of sand, but for those who don’t care about their shoes’ appearance, this can be a real lifesaver. 

Sprinkle a small amount of powder inside your dry shoes, then massage it into the sandy areas (especially where pieces of fabric overlap) with a toothbrush or rag.

The fine powder will help displace the sand without needing to submerge your shoes at all.

As such, this is the best method for cleaning shoes that you don’t want to get wet. 

Hand Vacuum

If you have a hand vacuum or an upright with a hose attachment, try using it on the inside of your shoe.

Depending on how powerful your vacuum is, it may be powerful enough to suck any lodged-in particles out of the lining of your shoes.

You can combine this method with shoes that you’ve washed and dried already, too, for extra effectiveness. 

Dry in the Sun

If all else fails, let your shoes dry in the sun or next to a heater (at a safe distance – don’t cause a fire hazard!) until they’re bone-dry.

The drier your shoes are, the less likely sand is to stick to them, thanks to a property of water called surface tension.

After your shoes are dry, try beating them together as described up above. 

We hope that one of these strategies for how to get sand out of shoes was enough to get your shoes sand-free and wearable once again.

However, if all else fails, you get to buy a new pair of shoes, so it’s not all bad!

image license: Freepik