When you're out and about the treads in your shoes can often pick up rocks, dirt and other stuff you don't necessarily want to carry around in your house. What's worse is that this stuff is hard to remove. What's a simple and easy solution? A pencil!
This simple tip comes from off-beat blog of intrigue PurpleSlinky:
After a short run in the park or a short trip in the mountains, it's time to clean the shoes and this is no easy work. But if you use the pencil you will finish the job faster.
The idea is that you can dig around in the treads using a pencil. A pencil makes a great tool because you can use the eraser end for larger areas and the sharpened pencil end for tougher, smaller spots. Pens are probably a reasonable alternative, but you get a little more flexibility with pencils because of the rubber eraser and your ability to sharpen the pencil to the size you want.
56 Uses for the Common Pencil [PurpleSlinky]