how to clean sneakers

Do you have some great sneakers you want to know the best way to clean some life back into?

If you have a great pair of kicks that you just need to clean some life back into then look no further. We are sharing some best options for cleaning your sneakers that are just the everyday favorite to the rare and coveted pair that you would call a collectible. From simple scrubbing to machine wash, even sending it out to a pro, we break down how to clean your sneakers below!

SOLUTION ONE

Toothbrush and a Magic Eraser

SOLUTION TWO

Washing Machine

SOLUTION THREE

Send To A Pro

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SOLUTION ONE

Toothbrush and a Magic Eraser

how to clean sneakers
If you are willing to put in some elbow grease this is the best way to clean your sneakers by hand. All you need is a couple of things from under the sink (and the bathroom) and your favorite binge-worthy show, and you will have your set up for the big sneaker clean. Cleaning your shoes by hand will take some time, but it will be worth it if you love the shoes you are cleaning. 

START WITH THE BIG PROBLEMS FIRST: 

If you accidentally have stepped in a puddle and the bottom of your shoe is full of chunks of mud, you need to take it to a utility sink. You are only getting the bottom of the shoe wet here. Use your hands to break the mud off the bottom and get off as much as you can. It will not be perfectly clean, but you will deal with the rest later.

You will need, plastic cup, soft bristle toothbrush, bleach or Dawn soap, Comet or Bar Keeper Friend scrub, and a Magic Eraser

GRAB A TOOTHBRUSH: 

Next, you will need to grab a plastic cup and fill it with a half cup of water. If the shoes are white, add 1 tablespoon of bleach if the shoes have color add 1 teaspoon of Dawn soap. Using the toothbrush in a circular motion scrub in the creases of the leather fabric, the small crevices of the shoe, or any trouble spots on the shoe’s main body. Do not worry about the midsole or bottom of the shoe yet.

SAME TOOTHBRUSH, NEW CLEANER: 

Once you have gotten a clean pass around both the shoes, empty the water and bleach/Dawn soap combo out of the cup and replace it with 5 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of either Comet dish scrub or Bar Keepers Friend powder and mix until you have a good paste. Using circular motions again to clean your sneakers, work on the really tough stains, and ground-in dirt. Be gentle with your motions.

With patience, and you will even be able to clean pen marks off your shoe. When you are done with the cleaners and scrubs, rinse off the toothbrush and rinse out the cover each of the spots with creams that toothbrush to rinse off any excess cleaning products.

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF IT: 

Finally, to clean the bottom of your shoe, empty the plastic cup and fill it with clean water halfway. Grab your Magic Eraser dipped into the top of the cup. You are starting at the back of the shoe on the midsole used back-and-forth motions to clean around the rubber or the shoe’s poly bottom. Once the soles’ outer edges are clean, get the Magic Eraser fully wet, flip the shoe over and scrub. If the shoe has a deep texture on the bottom, you may also want to grab a Q-tip to clean out any stubborn dirt. 

SOLUTION TWO

Washing Machine

how to clean sneakers
Using you’re washing machine is one of the best options for cleaning your gym shoes, but there are some important things you need to know. First of all, this is not something you can do once a week. You do not want your shoes submerged in water that often, and any heat from the water could cause problems with the glue bonds and the seams. For a well-made pair of gym shoes, like Converse Chuck Taylors, you could do this once or twice a year.

You can clean multiple pairs of gym shoes at once, but it is important that you put a couple of towels in the washing machine with the shoes. This prevents the shoes from kicking open a front loader as well as keeping the banging on the machine to a minimum.
how to clean sneakers

If you are washing one pair use half the amount of detergent you would normally use for a load of laundry and put the washing machine on the cycle you would use for your everyday clothes. A heavy-duty cycle will risk too much water on the shoe and too light of a cycle you will not give the shoe proper time to clean.

Do not put your shoe in the dryer. Your shoe will air dry, and this will take a day or two. The constant exposure to heat with weaken the glue bonds in the shoe.

SOLUTION THREE

Send To A Pro

You may not be aware, but there are entire businesses dedicated to cleaning your sneakers. Not the dry cleaner that can also clean your Uggs business, actual businesses developed and dedicated to the purpose of putting the shine back in your Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics…you name it.

how to clean sneakers

If you are using shoe cleaning services like this you are probably looking to clean a pair of shoes that are rare or a collectible. You need to really trust who you are dealing with. You will need to live in the are for some of these recommendations and the turn around time varies, but here are some leads for your most precious of the shoe collection to be cleaned by.

Jason Markk – Los Angeles, drop-off

Sole Fresh – New Jersey, shipping available

Weekend Ritual – National, shipping available

Most of the companies offer a la carte options ranging from $6 to clean the under sole to $20 to clean the stains off the body of the shoe. You can also get the total clean, full detail, top to bottom sneaker clean for $60-$80. If you consider the cost of a great shoe, if the shoe is not being made anymore or was a limited edition, this can be a really great investment.

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