Basic Guide to Cleaning Your SneakersApril 11, 2023
No matter what you do to try and avoid it, if you wear them, your sneakers are going to get dirty. Thankfully, it’s simple to keep your sneakers looking fresh-outta-the-box. If you make a steady habit of cleaning your sneakers as soon as they get dirty, they’ll continue to look brand new for years to come. A quick, basic sneaker cleaning is something that can be done by anybody in a matter of minutes too.
For a basic sneaker cleaning, I highly recommend using a specially designed sneaker cleaner. One of the brand names I’ve used and trusted for a number of years is Jason Markk. This product can be found through the company’s webstore, however, use of such a product is not mandatory in cleaning your sneakers. It only better helps the cleaning process as a product as such is formulated to remove dirt, grease and oil stains. Dish soap by any major brand can act as a substitute for a sneaker cleaner.
Start off by filling a bowl with lukewarm water. Take a toothbrush, preferably a clean one that you won’t be using to brush your teeth with afterwards, and dip the brush head in the water. Next, pour a tiny amount of dish soap, or a sneaker cleaner as mentioned above, on the toothbrush and once again dip it in the water. Lightly begin scrubbing your sneakers in a circular motion with the bristles of the toothbrush causing the soap to foam and remove any visible stains. Once satisfied, take a damp cloth and rub the retro sneakers down to remove the soap and look for any spots you may have missed, following the process with another rubdown using a dry cotton cloth. It’s not recommended to place your sneakers near a heater as they shouldn’t get that wet in the cleaning process to begin with, not to mention the extreme temperature will quickly dry out the leather on your sneakers. Simply let them air dry.
The same cleaning method can also be applied to the soles of your sneakers. More than likely, these will need a more thorough cleaning and may require you to repeat the cleaning process more than once.
Just like the exterior of your sneakers, the inner lining should get a cleaning once in awhile too. Just think of all the sweat they’ve absorbed, which will eventually discolor the lining, especially if it’s white. To clean the inner lining, dump the water out you used to clean the base of the sneaker and fill your bowl up with some clean water. Dip the toothbrush in the water and shake out any excess water once you remove it. With the bristles of the brush damp, scrub the lining of your sneakers in a small circular motion. It’s up to you whether you want to use soap, as it can be a pain to get it all out sometimes. Try cleaning the lining of your sneakers without it first and if you can’t remove all the stains, apply a small amount of soap. Once you’re finished, pat the lining dry with a soft cotton towel and continue to let the sneakers air dry.
Please note, suede, nubuck and any other material aside from leather, needs to be attended to in a much more delicate way. The above sneaker cleaning guide should only be applied to sneakers constructed from leather. If cleaning suede, nubuck or any material other than leather, please do your research on how you should properly go about cleaning these materials.