Even if you’re a sneakerhead, chances are you have either never attempted to or washed your shoes the right way and have damaged them as a result without even realizing it. You may even have spent a fair bit amount of money on it! Today, we go over the best ways how to wash sneakers.

Stay tuned as we help you save your valuable kicks from further gunk and damage.

Some individuals believe that worn-in and battered shoes look their finest. Others are aware that you never damage a brand-new pair of Jordans particularly.

The amount of work needed to clean your sneakers will depend on the substance of the shoes. But you should be able to at least make them seem a bit less soiled.

Let’s get right to it!

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What Tools Will You Need?

Deadstock Los Angeles Shoe Cleaner Kit via Amazon: how to wash sneakers
Deadstock Los Angeles Shoe Cleaner Kit via Amazon

Shoe trees are excellent for keeping your shoes in shape while you clean them. You may temporarily fill your shoes with newspaper, worn-out t-shirts, and rags.

Crep Protect Wipes: If you’re in a rush and don’t want to spend a lot of resources, these individually packaged wipes are excellent for cleaning shoes.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Any melamine sponge will work well to clean solid areas on your shoes since it has the appropriate amount of abrasion to remove dirt without harming the underlying surface 

Use a soft toothbrush or a nail brush to gently clean away grime.

Dish soap: Seventh Generation Dish Liquid is good, but you may use any that you have on hand.

Use OxiClean: (for tough stains) sparingly, although it may remove dirt off canvas shoes that other cleaning methods have failed to remove.

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The 3 Basic Steps come first

Here are some simple strategies you may take to quickly tidy up your sneakers before we get into our detailed cleaning advice for certain shoe materials.

Step 1: Get rid of any obvious dirt.

If you’re rushed for time, you may also use a clean cloth, a toothbrush, or even your hand. You may avoid accumulation and save some major issues by wiping for dirt each time you store your shoes.

Step 2: After that, you should wash the soles.

You would be shocked by the dirt that may become trapped on the soles of your shoes, even if you were walking on a surface that was generally clean. So, use a hose or a damp towel to wash them off. Even if it needn’t be difficult, this still has to be done.

Step 3: spot-clean any significant stains.

If the stain is significant enough, you may be able to get rid of it by immediately wiping it with a solution of soap and water. While spot cleaning upfront can help you save a ton of work later on. 

Cleaning Knit Sneakers

Image of Yeezy Knitted sneakers via Unsplash.
Image of Yeezy sneakers via Unsplash.

Knit sneakers are incredibly fashionable, highly trendy, and super prone to stains because of their permeable, mesh-like exteriors.

In contrast to other forms of fabric, knit materials are porous by nature, making mud, filth, perspiration, and grime susceptible to soaking into their micro-grooves, producing a mess that may often seem hard to clean up.

Knit shoes need more care than other types of shoes, but with a little time and effort, they may be brought back to perfection.

Step 1:

Pour warm water into a medium-sized bowl.

Step 2:

Pour a little mild detergent or a solution specifically for shoes into the dish and stir well.

Step 3:

After diluting the solution, dab the surface stain on the shoe with a clean cloth after dipping it into the basin. You should make sure to rub off as much of the stain as you can, so don’t be hesitant to go all out here.

Step 4:

Repeatedly dip in and out of the solution to ensure the discoloration is completely removed.

Step 5:

If it seems that the smear has disappeared, take a second damp towel, this time moistened solely with water, and wash the shoe’s surface. Be careful to remove all of the extra shoe cleansers. This ought to do the work, but if dirt still seems to be embedded in the knit fabric, you may brush the shoe with a soft toothbrush. Allow the shoes to air dry thereafter.

Keeping Leather Sneakers Clean

Although leather (or synthetic leather) may be a great shoe material for those looking for an edgy style, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain. Leather is very susceptible to stains and abrasions of all kinds, which may change the patina of the material naturally.

The most crucial step in caring for leather items, according to is to spot clean stains as soon as you see them.

Step 1: Create a mixture of three parts of Ivory dish soap to one part of distilled water.

Step 2: Use a white cloth to apply the mixture to the stain and massage it until it is completely gone.

Step 3: To balance out the tone, use a leather conditioner to the full surface of the shoe if the mark is extremely obstinate. Apply with a fresh cloth, then remove the access after a short while.

Cleaning Suede Sneakers

Suede is another material that has a reputation for being difficult to maintain, and it may be the most challenging for sneakers. Although the surface is wonderfully smooth without the leather’s outer layer of protection, it is also more prone to stains, grit, and other issues.

Thankfully, not all is bad. First, Purchase a suede brush. Although you shouldn’t touch your suede sneakers too vigorously, it will work wonderfully to remove any dirt from the fibers.

If the brush is ineffective, try using a suede eraser to remove the stain. Forcefully apply the eraser to the stain and work it until the stain disappears. After you’re done, I advise applying a clean cloth to the stain to remove any leftover substance.

Is the shoe still unclean? It’s time to get the white vinegar! Using a clean cloth, dab some on the discoloration and work it in gradually. Ideally, you won’t need much, so use it sparingly. After the stain has been removed, rinse with water and pat a towel dry.

Cleaning Canvas Sneakers

After tackling the challenging tasks, let’s take a moment to discuss polishing the canvas, a rather easy-to-clean fabric. Though canvas sneakers are technically washable (ideally in a pillowcase on a delicate setting with bleach in the case of all-white shoes), hand cleaning is always preferable.

Simply clean the full surface of the shoe using the same water and detergent solution that you used for the knit shoes. Rub until the spots are removed, and then use an old toothbrush to cover the surface thoroughly. The shoes should be as good as new after a few hours of drying.

How To Wash Shoes In A Washing Machine

Step 1. Take off the insoles and laces.

Start by taking off your shoes’ laces and/or insoles.

Step 2. Clean the laces.

Laces should be washed in a mesh garment bag that is tightly zipped to prevent them from being tangled or twisted around any drum components. Laundry detergent and a soft brush may be used to hand clean the laces if the stains are really tough.

Step 3. Hand-wash the insoles.

Unless otherwise instructed in the care guide, wash your insoles by hand. Your insoles can get waterlogged after being machine washed, in which case drying might take several days.

If your insoles cannot be machine washed, you may still clean and freshen them:

Using a gentle brush or towel and mildly soapy water to clean them

To remove as much of the surplus moisture as you can, use a sponge.

The insoles are sprinkled with baking soda, then left to soak up any leftover moisture and deodorize throughout the night.

You may restore the insoles in your shoes after they have dried.

Step 4. tidy up the soles.

Use a soft brush to remove as much of the extra mud or debris from the bottoms of your shoes as you can.

To gently remove trash from confined spaces, you may also use a toothbrush or toothpicks. Once the filth has been eliminated, you may use a soft brush or cloth to apply shoe cleaning to erase scuff marks. Apply the cleanser sparingly to the scratches, then wipe them away with a moist cloth.

Step 5. The shoes should be put in a mesh garment bag.

Put your shoes in a mesh garment bag after washing the soles to prevent them from jarring about in the washer.

Step 6. assemble the load.

Put the bag and a couple of used towels in the washing machine to help balance the load. Make sure the towels are old; fresher towels may absorb more color, staining your shoes.

Step 7. Clean the shoes.

Set the slow or no-spin option on your washing machine’s delicate, cold water cycle. Because powder detergent might become caught in the shoes if it doesn’t dissolve correctly, use liquid detergent or laundry pods.

Step 8. Dry the footwear.

Take your shoes and laces from the mesh garment bags when the wash cycle is over, and let them air dry. To absorb extra moisture and help preserve the form as they dry, fill your sneakers with clean rags or paper towels.

Put your shoes somewhere that will get plenty of sunshine if you can. The drying process may be accelerated as a result.

It could take a few days for your shoes to dry by themselves, and using a dryer is not advised since the heat and tumble might deform or harm your shoes. However, if your appliance has a drying rack, you may utilize it in an emergency.

This rack fastens into the drum and remains there the whole cycle. To use, wrap your shoes in a pair of old towels to keep them safe, then dry them using the delicate or air fluff option on your dryer. To make sure your shoes are not harmed by the heated air or tumbling, stop the cycle regularly.

You want to wash your shoes, but don’t want to ruin them.

See the care instructions to find out whether the material in your shoes can be machine washed. In such cases, take off the laces and insoles so you may wash them separately.

Following that, put your machine-washable shoes in a zipped garment bag and wash them in cold water on a moderate cycle. After this cycle, let them dry naturally.

Some shoe kinds should only be hand cleaned or brushed. These sneakers should never be washed in a washing machine to preserve their brand-new appearance and avoid damage such as rubber and Vinyl. 

Take your dressier shoes to a shoe repair shop or expert to keep them in good condition for weddings and other formal occasions if they include delicate fabrics, embroidery, or sequins.

In the washing machine, do shoes shrink?

If you wash shoes in the washing machine with hot water, they could shrink. Always adhere to the care guidelines while cleaning your shoes. In order to avoid shrinkage and damage, shoes should generally be washed on a cold, moderate cycle.

Your shoes should air dry overnight after washing. Your shoes may shrink and sustain damage if they are exposed to excessive heat in the dryer.

Can I wash shoes in the same load as clothes?

When washing your shoes, it is advised to add a few used towels or clothes to the drum to assist in balancing the weight. Use older towels and clothing to avoid color stains and transfers that may happen with newer textiles.

How should I adjust the washing machine to wash shoes?

Use a slow or no-spin setting on a moderate, cold water cycle to wash your shoes. Do not forget to remove the laces and insoles before putting them in a zipped mesh bag.

This keeps your beloved shoes in good condition and protects your washer from harm. When in doubt, look for precise washing directions on the care tag.

Take your reselling game to the next level


Mohammad Yousaf

Mohammad Yousaf

As a business student, Mohammad was thoroughly impressed with where the secondary market was heading for sneakers. He quickly realized that what used to be considered as a side hustle, was now the main income stream for many. He has studied the game ever since.


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