What Do Bowling Alleies Clean Shoes With

Going bowling is a great way to get together with family and friends, but it can sometimes come at the expense of clean shoes. Have you ever wondered what bowling alleys use to clean their rental shoes?

In this article, we’ll explore the materials used by bowling alleys for cleaning purposes, so that your next time out in the lanes will be as hygienic an experience as possible.

Every bowler knows that before they can take their turn, they have to slip on some rental shoes. But where do these shoes come from? And more importantly, how are they cleaned between uses?

Bowling alleys rely upon several methods and substances to ensure all customers get fresh-smelling and thoroughly sanitized footwear every time.

From disinfectants to specialized shoe brushes, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to keeping those rental shoes squeaky clean! Read on to find out exactly what goes into making sure your feet stay germ-free while having fun at the lanes.

Water And Vinegar Solution

Bowling alleys often clean bowling shoes with a water and vinegar solution. This is an effective way to remove dirt, dust, and grime from the shoe’s exterior surface.

The acidic nature of vinegar helps break down stubborn dirt while also killing off any potential foot fungus that can develop in bowling shoes. For best results, it’s recommended that socks be worn at all times when using rental bowling shoes.

After spraying each pair of bowling shoes with the water-vinegar mixture, they should then be allowed to air dry before being returned to their respective racks for reuse.

The next step in cleaning bowling shoes involves using lysol disinfectant spray or wipes.

Lysol Disinfectant

Moving away from the water and vinegar solution, bowling alleys often use Lysol Disinfectant to clean shoes.

This disinfectant spray is designed to kill bacteria that can be transferred through shared surfaces such as bowling shoes. It also helps prevent the spread of infections between different people who have used the same pair of bowling shoes.

To apply it properly, bowlers should first remove their socks before spraying the inside of their shoes with a light coating of Lysol Disinfectant.

After allowing several minutes for the product to dry, they may put their socks back on and continue enjoying their game. Wearing socks will not only protect them from any potential irritations caused by the disinfecting spray but also keep their feet warm during long games.

As an added measure of protection, some customers prefer to bring along a shoe brush for extra scrubbing power when cleaning their rented bowling shoes.

Shoe Brush

Most bowling alleys use a shoe brush to clean the soles of shoes after each use. This helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that can be transferred from one person’s feet to another’s.

The bristles on the brush help remove dirt, debris, and any residue left behind by previous visitors. Shoes have been cleaned with this method for decades as it is an effective way to ensure that everyone who uses rental shoes will stay healthy while they bowl.

To further protect against the spread of germs and bacteria, some bowling alleys may also ask customers to wear socks over their shoes when using the rental footwear.

Wearing socks provides an extra layer of protection that prevents skin contact between other people’s shoes and your own feet which can help reduce the risk of catching a nasty bug or virus.

Shoe Spray

It is commonly thought that bowling alleys use a special shoe spray to clean the shoes of their customers, however this is only partially true.

While some may choose to use a specific product designed for cleaning bowling shoes, it is not necessary.

Bowling alleys typically just use a standard household disinfectant or cleaner with an anti-bacterial agent in order to reduce the risk of cross contamination between patrons and staff.

Here are 3 common products used in bowling alleys:

  • Bleach
  • Alcohol based solutions
  • Disinfecting wipes

Although these items can help keep your feet safe from bacteria, they won’t protect you from foot fungus.

That requires taking extra precautions such as wearing socks and shower sandals when walking around the alley. However, it’s important to note that there isn’t any evidence linking barefoot bowling with fungal infections.

With that said, transitioning into the next section about common misconceptions: foot fungus will provide more insight on this topic.

Common Misconception: Foot Fungus

Many people are concerned about the possibility of athlete’s foot when bowling. It is a common misconception that you can get foot fungus from wearing bowling shoes.

Bowling alleys clean their rental shoes after every use, so there should be no worries about getting an infection simply by putting them on your feet. The cleaning process kills any germs or bacteria that may have been left behind by the previous customer. So, keep your feet safe and healthy!

It’s important to remember that even if bowling shoes aren’t sprayed with disinfectant, it doesn’t mean they will cause a problem with foot fungus; this goes for all types of footwear. As long as proper hygiene practices are exercised, such as washing hands before handling the shoes and changing socks regularly, there should be no issues.


What Happens If Bowling Shoes Are Not Sprayed?

If bowling shoes are not sprayed with a specialized cleaner, there can be really unpleasant consequences.

Not using the spray to disinfect the shoes after every use is a big mistake and could put people at risk of getting fungal or bacterial infections. Here are five reasons why it’s important to keep the shoes clean:

  • Fungal Infections: Without proper cleaning and sanitizing, bacteria and fungi can thrive on dirty bowling shoes, leading to potential skin irritation or infection for bowlers.
  • Bacterial Contamination: Bacteria from previous users’ feet will remain on their shoes unless they’re properly cleaned each time someone wears them. This could lead to contamination that could spread quickly in an enclosed space like a bowling alley.
  • Odor: Dirty bowling shoes tend to have a strong odor that lingers long after the game has ended. Even if you don’t think your own feet smell bad, others may not agree!
  • Unpleasant Environment: The combination of odors from unwashed bowling shoes mixed with sweat and food smells can create an unpleasant atmosphere at any alley.
  • Health Hazards: If left unclean, dirt and grime build up on bowling shoe soles which makes them more slippery than when they’re freshly cleaned – this increases the risks of slip-and-fall accidents while playing.

For these reasons, it’s essential to spray the shoes before every use in order to keep them clean and safe for everyone who uses them. How often should bowling alleys sanitize their rental shoes?

How Often Are Shoes Sanitized In A Bowling Alley?

Bowling alleys use a variety of techniques to sanitize rented bowling shoes. One of the most important steps in maintaining cleanliness in a bowling alley is making sure that the shoes get properly cleaned and disinfected.

The frequency with which this must be done can vary depending on how often they are used, but it’s usually recommended that each pair of shoes should be thoroughly washed and dried after every single use.

This helps prevent germs from spreading between different customers who may have worn them before or after you.

It also keeps everyone safe by ensuring that all surfaces within the alley remain as hygienic as possible at all times. This means fewer illnesses, less discomfort for bowlers, and an overall better experience for everyone involved!

Why Do Bowling Alleys Need To Clean Shoes?

Most bowling alleys require their customers to rent shoes before using the alley. This is because a person’s own pair of shoes could potentially cause damage to the lanes.

To protect the integrity of the lanes, bowling alleys spray in shoes with an anti-bacterial solution or similar product that helps remove germs and dirt from them.

This process also reduces the risk of someone getting foot fungus or other infections from wearing another person’s previously used shoes from the bowling alley.

The cleaning methods used at different bowling alleys can vary from one place to another, but they are all designed to ensure that everyone who uses them has access to clean, germ-free footwear while they bowl.

Whether it be by spraying in a sanitizing solution or wiping down each shoe after use, these practices help reduce the spread of bacteria between users and keep everyone safe and healthy when visiting a bowling alley.

How Can I Reduce The Risk Of Developing A Fungus/Infection From Bowling Shoes?

Bowling alleys typically clean their shoes with a special disinfectant spray or wipes. This helps to reduce the risk of getting an infection from bowling alley shoes, but it is still important for bowlers to take additional precautions.

To reduce the risk of developing a fungus or other type of infection, it’s recommended that you bring your own pair of bowling shoes when visiting any bowling alley.

If bringing your own pair isn’t possible, make sure to ask about the Bowling Alley’s policy on cleaning their shoe rentals before renting them.

Policies can vary from alley to alley so this step is essential in ensuring your safety and health while enjoying a game of bowling.


In conclusion, bowling alleys take special care to clean and sanitize the shoes they rent out in order to keep their customers safe.

They use a variety of methods ranging from water and vinegar solutions to Lysol disinfectant sprays. Additionally, it is important that customers brush off any dirt or debris before returning the shoes as well as spray them with an anti-fungal shoe spray.

It’s also essential for bowlers to understand that foot fungus can spread if proper hygiene isn’t practiced while using rented bowling shoes.

Keeping your feet dry after each game and wearing sandals while not bowling are two ways to help reduce risk of infection from renting bowling alley shoes.

Finally, remember that some sort of cleaning process takes place between each customer so don’t be afraid to get out there and hit the lanes!

Bowling is a great way to have fun with friends and family; just make sure you practice good hygiene while doing so!