Washing Sneakers

by Karen Bates
(last updated August 3, 2020)

It can be easy to get sneakers dirty. Because they are constantly exposed to dirt, dust, mud, and other substances, your shoes can start to look old and dull after only a short time. It is enough to make you think about buying new shoes, even if your old ones still have life left in them.

But why throw your shoes away when you can wash them and get them looking new again? Even white sneakers can sparkle again if you use the right techniques, and layers of dirt can disappear with a few simple steps.

If your sneakers need a good wash, try these ideas:

  • Wash in the Washing Machine. It's true—you can wash your sneakers in the washing machine. As odd as it seems, this is an effective way to get the entire shoe clean, inside and out. To use this method, remove laces and lose inserts. Wash your shoes alone in the washing machine on a low water lever setting. Put in a little detergent. Once the cycle is done, remove the shoes and let them air dry. You should put something in the toes of the shoes, like newspaper, to keep the shoe's shape. Otherwise, the toes can curl as they dry. You can also try this technique in the dishwasher. Don't try this if the shoes are fragile or made of material that isn't water-safe.
  • Soapy Water. Mix water and soap (dish soap works well) together. With an old toothbrush or cleaning brush, scrub the exterior of the shoes until dirt starts to come off. Once the shoes look clean, use a wet sponge or plain water to rinse them off. Let them dry, and they should be nice and clean!
  • Wash Laces. Shoelaces get dirty, too—especially white ones. To remove the dirt, take the laces out of the shoes and put them in a sink or container full of soapy water. After you have let them soak a little, rub some plain soap into the laces. This should bring the dirt out. When done, rinse the laces off, let them air dry, and return them to your shoes.
  • Quick Clean Up. Need to quickly clean up a spot or spill on your sneakers? Try wiping your shoes with baby wipes.

Knowing how to wash your shoes yourself can save you money and extend the life of your shoes.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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