How I Clean My Sneakers


Sneakers are an essential pair of footwear we all have in our wardrobe. They look cool and are effortless when pieced with a t-shirt and pair of jeans. However, without proper care, your sneakers would not survive as long as they should. Like any other shoes, they tend to get dirty very easily.

No matter, how careful you are, at some point in time your sneakers will get dirty. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid it. Nevertheless, you can make sure you wear weather appropriate sneakers. The last thing you want to do is wear a pair of canvas shoes when it’s raining outside. Its a recipe for disaster.

So, regardless of the weather, we have put together some useful tips to help you clean your sneakers and have them looking fresh all the time.

Simple Maintenance Techniques

If you are like me and like your white sneakers to look white all the time and your black sneakers to look fresh then. we have some very simple maintenance techniques you can use.

Not all sneakers are supposed to be maintained in the same way. While some require intensive steps to maintain them, others can be taken care of easily.

You might be surprised to learn that leather sneakers repel water and are easier to clean than other materials. However, irrespective of the material or the sole of your sneakers, you can still maintain and look after them to ensure you get a few wears out of them before they start to fall apart.

So, following these simple techniques will ensure your sneakers are looking clean and fresh whether its day or night.

Clean Your Sneakers After Wearing Them

As soon as you have used your sneakers, make sure to wipe those dirty stains away with a damp cloth. This will ensure that those spots do not stain your shoes. Also tap your sneakers lightly to dislodge any dirt stuck at the bottom of your soles.

Change Your Laces

Your laces will instantly lift the look of your sneakers, so change them often. Wash your laces with a mild detergent to keep them dirt free.

Store Them Properly

After using your sneakers,  don’t throw them on your shoe rack. Wipe them down first and store them in dust bags and then into a sneaker box.

Allow adequate space between your shoes and the storage box. If possible lay dryer sheets inside your shoe to absorb any moisture and keep your shoes odorless.

Wash Your Shoes and Protect Them

Your sneakers have to be washed and protected to ensure long life. Use a clean brush with shoe cleaner to scrub down your shoe. Don’t forget to wipe them down from the upper to the outsole and repeat it if necessary.

Make sure you remove your shoelaces to ensure maximum care for your sneakers. Try using a smaller brush to access regions such as mesh while cleaning. Let your sneakers dry naturally. Do not expose them to extreme heat as it may damage your shoes.

Now that you have some idea of maintaining your shoes, with the help of my sneaker buddies I have come up with a few simple tips that will keep your sneakers clean from inside and out.

Top 10 Ways To Keep Your Sneakers Clean

Now that you know how to maintain your sneakers, it is important that you know how to clean them. So, here are our top 10 ways to keep your sneakers squeaky clean.



Toothpaste has many uses apart from the one cleaning activity they have been made for. They have a whitening property, which can be beneficial when cleaning your white shoes and luckily for us, they are safe on your sneakers.

The application process is simple and easy.

Apply a small pea-sized drop of toothpaste directly onto the stains on your sneakers. Then, using a damp cloth, wipe the toothpaste off the stains in a circular motion. This should help get rid of any dirt stains. But if it hasn’t worked as well as you hoped then repeat the process, as it will help remove the stains on your sneakers.

P.S. A non-gel white toothpaste is preferred for cleaning your sneakers as a gel toothpaste might stain your shoes.

Powder-Based Cleaners


When you are planning to use powder based cleaners to clean your sneakers, add the powder along with some hot water to make up some paste. Using a small brush such as a toothbrush, you can scrub the shoe in a circular motion. Until the dirt disappears.

If there are some stubborn stains, rub the paste gently on the area of dirt and wipe them down using some warm water.  Check for the stains once again and repeat the process if required. Don’t forget to let your sneakers dry naturally. This is a simple technique anyone can use at home it works wonders.

Vinegar and Baking Soda 


Both of these are an effective cleanser; Vinegar and baking soda not only removes stains but also help deodorize your sneakers.

Make a paste of baking soda with a little hot water and vinegar. To make this, grab yourself a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of water. Then add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and baking soda into the bowl. Give it all a mix and you should have a cleaning paste ready for those stains on your shoes.

Mix it well and using a small brush apply this paste to your sneakers. Then scrub the paste lightly on to your sneakers. Remember you can use this paste generously when you want to remove those tougher stains.

Once you have scrubbed your sneakers, rinse them in lukewarm water to remove the baking soda and the vinegar mixture. Dab a dry cloth on your sneakers before you dry them completely by placing them in a warm area. Once again make sure your sneakers are not exposed to extreme heat while drying as it might damage the shoes.

Baby Shampoo 


This tip is for those annoying oil stains on your shoes.

Oil stains are a nightmare for all of us. These tough stains are not easy to get rid of, unlike other stains. However, baby shampoo works great on tough oil stains.

This gentle shampoo can be applied directly on the oil stains. Place a pea-sized droplet on to the stain let the shampoo soak in for some time. Then grab yourself a damp cloth and rub away at the stain. This will help in getting rid of that annoying oil stain you have on your shoes.

But do remember care should be taken if you are planning to use this technique on your leather sneakers as they are can be damaged very easily.

Washing Machine


We use them for clothes every day, but our sneakers can also benefit from a wash now and again. This is my favorite method, it really doesn’t take much to it if you have used a washing machine before.

Firstly remove your sneakers laces then wrap them into a few clothes or towels. Try to use white clothes and white towels. Then simply place your shoes into the washing machine. Put them on a cold wash with a non-chlorine additive and switch it on.

Once the machine has finished then remove your shoes and place them in a warm room or outside and let them air dry naturally. Do not put them on to a heater or you’ll be in for an unwanted treat.

This tip is great as it gets rid of the dirt outside and removes all that pesky bacteria on the inside too.

P.S. Do be careful as some sneakers are not machine washable so do check the label on the inside first.

Stain Remover Pen


Stain remover pens are a great option if you are on the move. Cleaning takes time and if you don’t have time to spare, grab one of these stain remover pens.

You can use them directly on your stains and it will remove the unwanted dirt on your sneakers. They are simple and easy to use. Its a great effective method you can use.

There are many of these stain remover pens available out there, but pick one that’s ideal for your pocket in terms of size and price.

We don’t really recommend this for leather sneakers, they can damage the color of the shoes so always use a leather cleaner instead.

Magic Erasers 


Another great invention is the magic eraser which easily removes tough stains. Many people are using the magic-eraser to maintain a stain-free sneaker.

They are again simple to use, just add water to them and rub away at those scuffs and marks on your sneakers. You will slowly see the marks disappear. It’s is a great product and there are many different options but they will all work very well.



Don’t forget to clean your sneaker’s insole when you clean your sneakers. Maintaining a good and clean insole will help you have an odor free sneaker.

Firstly, you will need to remove your insoles to get rid of that unwanted cheesy smell. But if you cant then you could just buy yourself a new pair of insoles or get them cleaned.

This is how I do it:

Mix some warm water and any mild detergent into a bowl to form a soapy mixture. Then, apply this mixture generously on the insoles until they foam up with. Then simply wipe them down with a clean cloth. Once they have been wiped down then let them dry naturally before you wear the sneakers again.

Water-Resistant and Stain-Resistant Spray


This is a great prevention technique you can use. It will help keep your shoes looking brand new and prevent them from looking old and unloved.

By treating your sneakers with a great water resistant or stain resistant spray, you can be sure that your sneakers will look as though they have never been worn before.

This small step will help you in the long run. This protection and prevention method will work on your sneakers to ensure that they become stain resistant. It will also make them less prone to water damage.



Though a lot of people don’t use socks while wearing their sneakers, it is advised to use good quality cotton socks to absorb moisture from your feet. As it will help keep your sneakers odor free.

Odor-free shoes ensure that they do not have any unwanted bacteria or fungi growth within them. So, wear a clean pair of socks to help prevent the insole of your shoes getting smelly.

Similarly, laces should also be washed and used. They are easy to wash, simply pop them in the wash along with your other clothes. Maintaining proper hygiene keep your feet happy as well as your sneakers clean.

It’s a very simple tip you can incorporate to prevent smelly shoes.

Location Appropriate 


If you are planning to use your sneakers wisely, it will save you the trouble of cleaning them frequently. So be wise and wear location appropriate shoes.

Wearing your sneakers in the dusty and muddy area will mean they will stain easily or. So a little prevention is always better than having to clean them.

Wear sneakers that are ideal for the weather, a breathable upper would be far more beneficial in the sun that in the rain. So try to check the weather and where you will be walking throughout your day before you wear a pair of your expensive sneakers.


Proper cleaning along with good care and maintenance will ensure that your sneakers look as good as they were when you first purchased them.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks will bring your sneakers back to life and looking and feeling the way they should. Because we all know the feeling we get when we have a new pair of sneakers on.


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