Keeping your sneakers clean will help them look great – and smell great! Pay special attention to sneakers you work out in since more sweat will have accumulated.
What You’ll Need:
- Dishwashing liquid
- Soft bristle brush
- Paper towels
- Baking soda
How to Clean Those Sneakers
- Remove shoelaces and any inserts from the sneakers. You can clean the laces with a load of regular laundry and then let them air dry.
- Mix a solution of mild soap and water (dishwashing liquid works well). You may also use commercial cleaner designed for sneakers, but make sure it is compatible with whatever your sneakers are made from (i.e. canvas, rubber, leather).
- Clean the inside and outside of your sneakers and inserts with the soapy water and a soft bristle brush. Rinse everything with clean water and use a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture.
- WARNING: Do not clean your sneakers in the washing machine unless they are designed as “washable.” The heat and moisture could possibly ruin your shoes—particularly if they are leather.
- It has been rumored that all NIKE sneakers are made to be washed in the washing machine—so go ahead and try!
- Stuff the sneakers with paper towels. This helps them keep their shape as they dry. You may also use a shoe tree to keep their shape, but it may take them longer to dry since nothing will be soaking up moisture from the inside.
- Let the sneakers and inserts air dry in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to replace the paper towels as they become soaked with water.
- WARNING: Do not dry your sneakers in the dryer—this could cause damage to the rubber soles and linings.
- Once everything is dry, replace the shoelaces and inserts. If your sneakers have any scuffs, use a commercial shoe dye product (available in many colors).
- Sprinkle some baking soda into your sneakers to soak up any odor that might have lingered.
How to Keep your Sneakers Fresh
Keep your shoes smelling fresh by allowing enough time for them to dry completely between uses and keeping them in a well-ventilated area. If you workout a lot, it is a good idea to buy two pairs of sneakers and alternate to give each pair enough time to dry. You can also buy special inserts that kill bacteria, which cause bad odor. If you have a pair of really smelly shoes and you don’t have the time or energy to clean them with soap and water, throw them into a zip-lock bag and then into the freezer overnight. The cold temperature is likely to kill most odor-causing bacteria.