How To Clean Tennis Shoes[With The Best Results]

Cross Training Shoes/ October 27, 2020/ General/ 4 comments

You`ve used your sneakers and now they need some attention to make them as shiny as new again and you`re wondering how to clean tennis shoes without damaging them. Well, this post is for you.

There is no denying that tennis shoes are expensive. Nowadays, they are made from materials that are different from conventional canvas fabric.
Therefore, traditional methods of cleaning tennis shoes are outdated. Cleaning the tennis shoes, however, is necessary as they capture sweat, grime, and dirt of outdoor courts.
A clean pair of tennis shoes also helps in remaining enthusiastic about the game.
So I’m going to give you easy tips on how to clean tennis shoes at home and achieve the best results.
Things you need to clean tennis shoes  
  • Two old newspapersHow To Clean Tennis Shoes with best results
  • A plastic bag
  • One stiff toothbrush
  • One toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Tweezer
  • Knife with Flat blade
  • Tepid water and clean water
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Towel for drying
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Large sink or basin in which the pair of shoes can be submerged

Cleaning method

Open the newspaper fully and begin cleaning the shoes on it by removing any mud clumps and dirt on the shoe and its soles.

You can use a knife or tweezer for removing stubborn dirt like pebbles or gum that usually get stuck in the grooves of its sole.

Use the toothbrush with stiff bristles to clean mud on the upperparts and the sole. Wash the toothbrush clean.

Remember to remove the shoelaces as there are parts of the shoes that are accessible only after removing these laces.
Dry dirt can also hide in places that would later appear like stains. Also, remove insoles.

Check shoe insoles herePlantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles Arch Supports Orthotics Inserts Relieve Flat Feet, High Arch, Foot Pain

Now that the initial “dry” cleaning your tennis shoes is done, fill the basin to half level with tepid water, and add dishwashing detergent to it.
The quantity of detergent should be decent enough to wash the outer sole clean.

The quantity of detergent should be decent enough to wash the outer sole clean. Fully immerse the shoes into the tepid water with the soap detergent. Leave them for an hour.

Now, the toothbrush with soft bristles can be used to remove any other surface dirt on the shoes. The detergent would have cleaned up insides to a great extent so cleaning it inside is not really necessary.
Cleaning The Inside Of Your ShoesRYKA Women's Devotion
If you feel your tennis shoes are not clean on the inside, try using baking powder for cleaning the inner parts of the shoes.
It can help to remove that sweaty feeling. You could also try diluted vinegar. It works beautifully to remove stink and sweat.
Wash away the shoes under a running tap till the water flowing away is no longer dirty.
Remove the shoes on a plastic bag or sheet after draining them decently.
The remaining water in the shoes can be removed by using the towel for blotting water. The shoes are by no means dry.
Dry Your Tennis shoes But Not In The Direct Sun

Your sneakers need to be dried outside, in the sun. The shoes may dry fast externally but still retain moisture inside.

  • Never dry shoes in direct sunshine or any other direct heat source no matter what the material is.

When washing sports sneakers, follow a basic shoe care rule that many people do ignore.

This will make the leather to become hard and brittle due to the direct heat. If you dry shoes using a hairdryer or tumble dryer or radiator, it will just make the age of the shoes faster.

For sneakers, the adhesive material used to hold it may melt leaving you with useless shoes, another thing worth mentioning is that drying in the direct heat may result in the shoe textiles to shrink.

The best way to dry running shoes or any other sports shoes for that matter is as already mentioned, use newspapers and let the shoes dry in the air and remember to replace the newspaper once it’s wet.

It’s worth mentioning that when stuffing your shoes with newspapers to dry, DO NOT overstuff. The best place to dry your shoes will be using a shoe tree. Check these Adjustable shoe stretcher on Amazon.

Adjustable shoe tree for drying shoes after washing

For this using baking soda and/or talcum powder which absorb moisture. A newspaper is also good for absorbing moisture inside the shoes.

For that enviable white color, use oxygen bleach. Even chlorine bleach does the job if you have it BioKleen Bac-Out removes stains and odor and is my go-to when washing sports shoes.

Special Tip On  Cleaning Tennis Shoes In The Washing Machine

If you have a tennis shoe that is made of fabric like most women wedges are, read my earlier article on tennis wedge sneakers, you can possibly wash it in your washing machine. Good for you because your washing machine takes the pain.PUMA Women's Tazon 6 WN's FM Cross-Trainer Shoe

However, follow the instructions as mentioned with the shoe. It is advisable to separate shoes with towels, i.e., wrap them in towels when putting them in a washing machine.

Tennis shoes have a high level of precision parts,  which when frequently rubbed against another shoe or surface can wear out.

You can read my earlier post on tennis shoes where manufacturing techniques are explained or read more on the engineering behind shoe design here.

You can prevent such a possibility by using towels. Finally remove the moisture by using baking powder, newspapers, or talcum powder.

Tips on Making Your Shoes Last Longer

This post is about how to clean tennis shoes, but we’ll look at some quick tips for caring for leather shoes. 

Use shoe polish sparingly

Shoe polish nourishes smooth leather shoes with fats and oils, adds color pigments, and cares for the leather deep down, not to mention adding that shiny new look to every shoe.

Using shoe polish helps give your shoes a more uniform color. Less is more when it comes to shoe polish, do not clog your shoe leather pores by over-applying polish.

The best way to make the polish penetrate the leather membranes is by applying the polish, let the shoes dry naturally in the air for a few minutes before polishing.

Waxing Leather Shoes

Unlike what you thought, shoe wax does not penetrate the leather. The wax stays at the uppermost layer of leather to give shine. Waxing should be only after you`ve polished your shoes.

Rub a thin layer of wax with a cloth, let it sit for fifteen minutes before polishing/wiping off excess wax with a clean dry cloth.

Why impregnating is important for shoe care

To protect your shoes from dirt and moisture, you should impregnate them, especially new shoes. Impregnating shoes helps stop water and moisture from getting your feet wet. Suede shoes and textile shoes are particularly sensitive to water.

  • It’s best to first impregnate shoes before applying shoe polish.

As the impregnating spray penetrates deeper into the shoe membrane than polish.

Check the best sellers in shoe treatments & polishes here.

Conclusion on Cleaning Tennis Shoes At Home

Ideally, keep more than one pair of tennis shoes as drying these shoes may take a while.

Remember the function of different agents such as vinegar, talcum powder, and baking powder serve.
Also, remember to wash insoles and laces separately. Clean tennis shoes help in gaining confidence and also prevent any injuries to feet as there is no sweat or grime inside.

There are fewer infections as well. Ideally, clean them once a week if you are into playing tennis regularly.

Check at our earlier post on cheap running shoes.

I hope my post will help make washing and cleaning your sports sneakers fun in the future, if you have any questions, just leave me a message below.

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  1. Good tips! I can’t wait to try this on my daughters new and not so white anymore softball cleats!

    1. Thanks Amber, I’m glad you found the post useful, washing sneakers is easy if you know-how and the results are great if you wash and dry them the right way.

  2. Very nice tips! I am actually too lazy to sit and clean my shoes, so I am washing them in my washing machine. and I always hope that nothing wrong will happen! 😀
    But this was a very informative post! Thank you for that!

    1. Why would you reduce the life of sneakers by washing them in a washing machine? Sneakers are expensive as they are, and I do think it`s just fair to make them last as long as possible.
      Thanks, I`m glad you liked the post.

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