How to Clean Sneakers: A Complete Guide to Keeping Your Kicks Crisp and Fresh


If you’re a sneakerhead, keeping your kicks clean is a top priority. Not only does a clean pair of sneakers look great, but it also prolongs the lifespan of your shoes. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to achieve clean and crisp sneakers, provide tips and tricks for washing and drying sneakers, and offer a comprehensive guide to cleaning different types of sneakers.

5 Simple Steps to Keep Your Sneakers Clean and Crisp

Keeping your sneakers clean and crisp doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and it can be done using five simple steps.

Step 1: Remove loose dirt and debris

Before starting the cleaning process, it is essential to remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface of your sneakers. You can use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to loosen dirt from the surface of your shoes.

Step 2: Use a gentle brush to scrub away dirt and stains

Next, using a gentle brush, scrub away dirt and stains from your sneakers. Use a back-and-forth motion rather than a circular motion to prevent any damage to the shoes.

Step 3: Apply a cleaning solution

Once you’ve removed any dirt and stains, apply a sneaker cleaning solution to your shoes according to the product instructions. Alternatively, you can create your own DIY cleaning solution using household products. We’ll cover homemade cleaning solutions later in this article.

Step 4: Rinse with water

After applying the cleaning solution, rinse your sneakers with water. It’s crucial to rinse thoroughly to ensure that any cleaning solution residue is removed completely.

Step 5: Air dry your sneakers

After rinsing, air dry your sneakers. Do not use a dryer or any other heat source, as this can cause the materials of your shoes to warp or shrink. It’s best to let them dry naturally.

A Complete Guide to Washing and Drying Sneakers – Tips and Tricks

When to wash your sneakers

The general rule of thumb is to wash your sneakers when they become visibly dirty or start to develop an unpleasant odor. For regular maintenance, you can spot clean your sneakers as needed and keep them in good condition.

Preparing your sneakers for washing

Before washing your sneakers, remove the laces and insoles. These can be washed separately in warm, soapy water. If your sneakers have any detachable accessories, such as rubber soles or leather patches, remove them as well.

How to hand wash your sneakers

Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a small amount of washing detergent. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the water and use it to scrub your sneakers gently. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out any excess water. Air dry your sneakers as mentioned before.

Tips for machine washing sneakers

If you’re short on time and don’t have the energy to hand wash your sneakers, you can machine wash them. However, this method is not recommended for all types of sneakers. Check the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand and wash them on a gentle cycle using mild detergent.

Drying your sneakers properly

After washing your sneakers, do not use a dryer or any other heat source to dry them. Place them in a well-ventilated area, preferably with a fan or near an open window, and let them air dry completely before wearing them again.

Sneaker Care 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning

Dos: Using appropriate materials and products, spot cleaning, regular maintenance

Using appropriate cleaning materials and products for your sneakers is crucial. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using any cleaning solution or product. Spot cleaning your sneakers frequently helps to prevent dirt from sticking to the surface, and regular maintenance, such as wiping them down after wearing and storing them correctly, can prolong their lifespan.

Don’ts: Using harsh chemicals, using a dryer, neglecting stains

Never use harsh chemicals to clean your sneakers. This can cause irreversible damage to your shoes. Similarly, using a dryer or any other heat source can cause the materials of your sneakers to shrink or warp. Lastly, don’t neglect stains on your sneakers. Stains that are left untreated can become more difficult to remove over time.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions for Sneakers: Say Goodbye to Stains and Dirt

DIY cleaning solution using household products

You can create your cleaning solution at home using everyday household products, such as baking soda, water, and vinegar. Mix one part baking soda with two parts water to form a paste. Add a teaspoon of vinegar and mix. Apply the paste to any areas with stains, let it sit for a few minutes, then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away the stains. Rinse thoroughly and let your sneakers air dry.

Benefits of using homemade cleaning solutions

Making your own cleaning solution is cheaper than purchasing a commercial product. Additionally, homemade cleaning solutions are typically gentler on the environment and your shoes.

The Best Tools and Products to Clean Sneakers Like a Pro

Different types of brushes and how to use them

There are several different types of brushes that you can use to clean your sneakers. Soft-bristled brushes are best for general cleaning, while harder-bristled brushes can be used to remove stubborn stains. A suede brush is used for cleaning suede sneakers.

Recommended products for different types of sneakers

When purchasing a cleaning product, it’s crucial to check that it’s suitable for your specific type of sneakers. Different types of sneakers require specific cleaning products. For example, suede sneakers require a specialized suede cleaner, while a leather cleaner would be recommended for leather sneakers.

Sneaker Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time and Money

Quick cleaning tips you can do on the go

To keep your sneakers looking clean on the go, use a cleaning wipe or microfiber cloth to wipe them down. For scuff marks, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the affected area and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away the marks.

Money-saving tips to maintain the longevity of your sneakers

To maintain the longevity of your sneakers, avoid exposing them to water and harsh chemicals. Proper storage can also help prolong their lifespan. Store your sneakers in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat, and use shoe trees to help maintain their shape.

How to Clean Different Types of Sneakers – Leather, Mesh, Suede and More.

Cleaning suede sneakers

Suede sneakers require special care. Use a suede brush to remove any loose dirt and stains. Apply a specialized suede cleaner and work it into the surface of your sneakers using a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with water and let them air dry.

Cleaning leather sneakers

Use a leather cleaner and a soft-bristled brush to gently clean your leather sneakers. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess cleaner, and let them air dry. Once they’re dry, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking.

Cleaning mesh sneakers

Mix a small amount of laundry detergent with warm water. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the solution, and use it to scrub your mesh sneakers gently. Rinse with water and let them air dry.

Tips for other types of sneakers

For canvas sneakers, you can hand wash them using mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush. For knit sneakers, use a gentle detergent and avoid using a dryer to prevent them from losing their shape.


Keeping your sneakers clean and well-maintained is essential for both aesthetics and the longevity of your shoes. With these tips and tricks, you can now keep your sneakers looking their best. Remember to use appropriate cleaning materials, avoid harsh chemicals and heat sources, and clean your sneakers regularly for optimal results.

Webben Editor

Hello! I'm Webben, your guide to intriguing insights about our diverse world. I strive to share knowledge, ignite curiosity, and promote understanding across various fields. Join me on this enlightening journey as we explore and grow together.

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