How to Clean and Maintain Your Sneakers


How to Clean and Maintain Your Sneakers

Keeping your sneakers clean and well-maintained not only extends their life but also keeps them looking fresh. Here are some simple and effective steps to ensure your sneakers always look their best.

1. Regular Cleaning

Remove Loose Dirt:

  • Start by removing loose dirt and debris. Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub the outsole, midsole, and upper.

Use a Damp Cloth:

  • Wipe down the sneakers with a damp cloth to remove surface dirt. This step is particularly useful for canvas and leather sneakers.

2. Deep Cleaning

Create a Cleaning Solution:

  • Mix a small amount of mild detergent or sneaker cleaner with warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, which can damage the materials.

Scrub the Sneakers:

  • Dip the brush into the cleaning solution and scrub the sneakers in a circular motion. Focus on areas with stains or heavy dirt buildup. For mesh or knit sneakers, be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.

Clean the Laces:

  • Remove the laces and soak them in the cleaning solution. Scrub them gently with your brush, rinse, and let them air dry.

Rinse and Dry:

  • Wipe off the cleaning solution with a damp cloth. Avoid soaking your sneakers in water, as this can cause damage. Stuff the sneakers with paper towels to help them retain their shape and let them air dry away from direct sunlight.

3. Removing Stains

Spot Cleaning:

  • For stubborn stains, apply a small amount of the cleaning solution directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before gently scrubbing.

Baking Soda Paste:

  • For white sneakers, a paste made of baking soda and water can be effective. Apply the paste to the stain, let it dry, then brush it off.

4. Maintaining the Shape

Use Shoe Trees:

  • Insert shoe trees into your sneakers when not in use. This helps maintain their shape and prevents creases.

Proper Storage:

  • Store your sneakers in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving them in damp or humid environments, as this can lead to mold and mildew.

5. Protecting Your Sneakers

Waterproof Spray:

  • Apply a waterproof spray to protect your sneakers from water and stains. This is especially important for suede and nubuck materials.

Rotate Your Sneakers:

  • Avoid wearing the same pair of sneakers every day. Rotating your sneakers allows them to air out and prevents excessive wear.

6. Special Care for Different Materials


  • Use a leather conditioner to keep the material supple. Avoid using excessive water when cleaning leather sneakers.

Suede and Nubuck:

  • Use a suede brush to clean and lift the nap. Stains can be treated with a suede eraser or a mixture of white vinegar and water.


  • Canvas sneakers can be cleaned with a mild detergent and water. Be gentle to avoid fraying the fabric.


Regular cleaning and proper maintenance are essential for keeping your sneakers looking their best. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your sneakers and ensure they remain stylish and comfortable. Whether you have leather, suede, canvas, or knit sneakers, a little care goes a long way in preserving their appearance and functionality.

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