Tips on how to clean sneakers

There’s nothing quite like a box fresh pair of shoes. But it doesn’t take much for them to lose that shine, especially when they’re white. That’s why it’s important to clean them properly, which can be especially hard with all the different materials shoes are made from these day.

One of the big questions is whether or not to involve the washing machine. The main problem is the impact it may have on the midsole of the shoe, which can affect it’s cushioning or support. If you are going to use the machine a delicate, cold wash with some towels for cushioning is the best way to do it. Dryers however are always a big no, as the high temperature breaks down most materials. Now lets look at some techniques for different materials.

Mesh shoes

Whilst the netting of mesh makes it breathable for those hot runs, it also catches a lot of dust and dirt. Start with a dry brush to remove excess dirt. Then mix together one part baking soda and one part vinegar and apply it to the spot for 15 minutes. Gently scrub for a minute then wipe clean with a soft wet rag.

Synthetic leather shoes

Soak a rag in warm water with mild laundry detergent, wipe down then gently scrub the area with a brush. Wipe clean with a soft cloth and allow to air dry. A foam cleaning pad can also be used on the rubber sole of the foot, but is best used on white shoes to avoid smudging colours.

Knitted shoes

Avoiding using a brush on knitted shoes as it can be too rough for the material. Instead soak a cloth cold water with soap and dab it until the stains have lifted. Wipe off any remaining soap with a wet towel and let the shoes air dry.

Canvas shoes

To clean canvas a cleaning paste made of baking soda and warm water works well. Apply using a toothpaste scrub the canvas until it’s clean. Let the shoes dry with the mixture still applied and wipe away any hardened pieces with a damp cloth.