What’s the Best Way to Clean Sneakers? A Step-by-Step Guide

If you want your sneakers to always look as new as when you bought them, you need to clean them regularly. Learn the best way to clean sneakers!

If you’ve had your eye on the newest pair of Adidas sneakers, then the day you bring them home is a happy one. Yet wearing them often means they get dirty.

Your fashionable new kicks aren’t so cool anymore if they’re grungy and gross. Luckily, you don’t need special skills to clean them at home. You can do it with a little patience and some easy-to-follow instructions.

Here’s the best way to clean sneakers at home.

Don’t Use Rumors or Amateur Tips

Don’t clean your sneakers based on an old wives’ tale. You may have heard from your mom that you should throw your Air Jordan shoes in the washing machine, and then run it like a regular load of laundry. This is a terrible idea, because the excess water will break down the glue that holds the shoes together.

Your mom could also have mentioned that putting your white sneakers in a bowl of milk will help them back to their original brightness. That’s another awful idea, because washing the milk out of the sneaker is difficult (and stinky).

Instead, make sure you’re getting tips and tricks from valid sellers like us or the manufacturer. We know shoes, and we know how to take care of them .

Take It in Steps

You won’t get your Nike sneakers clean all at once. You’ll have to follow a step-by-step process. While it takes patience to see the project through to the end, you’ll love the result if you take your time and follow instructions.

Whether your shoes are just scuffed or covered in dirt, here are easy directions to follow to get them clean again.

Remove Excess Dirt

If you stepped in mud by accident, you may have dried mud on your shoes. Even regular dirt gets stuck in the tread of your Yeezy Boost sneakers over time. 

The first thing to do is hold a sneaker in each hand. Hit the soles against each other to loosen the dirt. It’s best to do this outside where you don’t mind if the dirt falls off.

You can also try hitting the sides of the sneakers together. This exposes the tread and allows more dirt to fall off the tread.

Use a Brush

Find a bristle brush to get extra-tough dirt off. An old toothbrush can work well for this step. Often the stuck-on mud needs a little help when it won’t knock off easily with the above step.

Using a gentle touch, brush off some of the dried mud in an inconspicuous part of the sneaker. If it doesn’t damage the shoe in any way, then your brush is soft enough. Continue brushing until most of the dried mud has fallen off.

Pick Out Stones

Pebbles and stones get stuck in the tread of your sneakers, whether you have Adidas, Nike, or any other brand. Once you’ve removed the dried mud, you’ll be able to see the stones more easily. Use a toothpick or similar tool to pick the stones out.

Without hard stones, you’ll be more comfortable when you wear your sneakers again.

The Best Way to Clean Sneakers

Your Converse, Adidas, or other favorite sneakers should get cleaned right after they get dirty. Don’t wait until the dirt has been sitting for weeks, or it will be harder to scrub it off. After you’ve followed the steps above to get off excess dirt, clean your shoes this way:

Soap and Water

Fill a bowl with warm water. If you’re worried that your water will leave stains, use distilled water. Choose a soap to use, like liquid laundry detergent.

You can also use Dawn dish soap (as long as it’s not blue or another color–you need dye-free soap that won’t stain your shoes). If it gets grease and grime off sea animals, it will get the grime off your sneakers.

Use a washcloth or a Magic Eraser with your warm, soapy water to wipe off stains. Be gentle, and don’t rub too hard. Your scrubber may be too abrasive and damage the shoe if you aren’t careful.

Clean Insoles and Laces Separately

Many sneakers, like Nike Air, have removable insoles. Take them out to clean them. You should also remove the laces from your sneakers.

Clean the brush you used earlier thoroughly before using it again. Make sure all the mud is off. Then you can use it on the insoles.

If there’s too much dirt in your bowl, get a fresh bowl of warm, soapy water. Using the brush, scrub the insoles. You can still use the brush on the insoles if they aren’t removable.

Make sure to air dry the insoles completely before putting them back in the shoe.

For the shoelaces, submerge them in the bowl of soapy water. Let them soak, and then rinse them. If there are still some stubborn stains, use the same bristle brush to scrub them clean.

Air dry your laces before putting them back in the shoe.

Shape the Shoes

If you’re worried about your Adidas shoes losing shape while they dry, use inserts. You can also use a rolled-up towel to put inside your shoes, or even newspaper. As long as you stuff them with something to hold their shape while they dry, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Don’t ever use heat to dry your shoes. Throwing them in the dryer is a bad idea because it can damage the shoes. Even a hairdryer can make the Yeezy Boost sneakers lose their color or shape.

Clean Kicks

Now that you have step-by-step instructions on the best way to clean sneakers, you can work on all your kicks.

From start to finish, it takes patience to achieve a fresh, bright look. Yet it’s not a hard process, and you’ll love the result.

For more help with your sneakers, contact us today.

Photo Credit: Business Insider, Nike

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