How To Clean Sneakers: 6 Simple Steps To Follow

Are your favorite sneakers looking dull and dirty? Every sneakerhead out there needs to learn how to properly clean sneakers. Keeping your shoes clean not only helps them last longer but also enhances their overall appearance.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the entire process of cleaning your footwear, from preparing them for cleaning to drying them off, leaving them looking as good as new.

What Are Some Popular Ways To Clean Your Sneakers? 

There are multiple ways to hand-wash your footwear. Here are some most popular ways that you can try.

Soap And Water Method

It’s a basic cleaning technique that involves using mild soap or detergent and water to scrub away dirt, stains, and grime from your footwear. This method is particularly useful for canvas or fabric shoes, as it can effectively remove surface-level dirt and stains without damaging the material.

With a few simple steps, you can clean sneakers using this method and restore your shoes to their former glory.

Sneakers Cleaning Mixture Method 

This method involves using a cleaning solution specifically designed for footwear, which can effectively remove dirt, stains, and scuffs from your footwear.

Sneaker cleaning solutions are formulated with gentle yet effective ingredients that can target tough stains without damaging the shoe material. For example, you can use a sneaker cleaning mixture to clean your New Balance sneakers.

If you’re unsure about using a cleaning solution, don’t worry – many solutions come with instructions that make the process easy and straightforward.

Baking Soda Method for cleaning shoes

The baking soda method is another way to clean shoes, particularly if you’re dealing with tough stains or odors. This method involves mixing baking soda with water to create a paste, which is then applied to the surface of the product and left to dry before being brushed away.

Baking soda is a powerful natural cleaner that can effectively absorb moisture and eliminate odors, making it a useful tool in any footwear cleaning session. If you’re interested in cleaning sneakers using this method, stay tuned for our step-by-step tutorials.

What To Prepare Before Cleaning Your Sneakers?

This is a list of things you should gather before getting started. 

Soap And Water Solution:

For this method, you’ll need these supplies: 

  • A mild soap or detergent
  • A bucket or sink
  • Warm water
  • A soft-bristled brush or cloth
  • Old towels or rags

Sneaker Cleaning Products Method:

You need to prepare this list of tools to apply this method: 

  • A sneaker-cleaning-solution
  • Warm water
  • A soft-bristled brush or cloth
  • Old towels or rags

Baking Soda Method:

To carry out this method need to prepare the following materials:

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • A bowl or bucket
  • A soft-bristled brush or cloth
  • Old towels or rags

What Are The Steps To Clean Your Sneakers?

Now that you have all your materials ready, it’s time to dive into the actual cleaning process. 

Step 1: Remove Laces

When it comes to clean sneakers, one of the first steps is to remove the laces from your products. By removing the laces, you’ll be able to access more of the shoe surface and ensure that you’re cleaning every nook and cranny. 

It also allows you to clean the laces themselves, which can become dirty and discolored over time. In addition, removing the laces makes it easier to dry your shoes thoroughly after cleaning, as it ensures that all parts of the products are exposed to the air.

Step 2: Brush Off Dirt Or Debris 

This step is especially important if your products are heavily soiled or have been worn in muddy and dusty conditions. You can use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently scrub the products to remove any loose dirt or debris. This will make the cleaning process more effective by ensuring that the cleaning solution can penetrate deeper into the shoe’s surface. 

It will also prevent any dirt from getting ground into the shoe during the cleaning process, which can be difficult to remove later on. So take the time to give your footwear a good brushing before moving on to the next step in the cleaning process. 

Remove dirt and debris.

Step 3: Apply A Cleaning Solution 

This step to clean sneakers involves applying a cleaning solution to your shoes. Here are some general tips for applying cleaning solutions using the three methods mentioned earlier. 

Soapy Water Method 

You can start by mixing a small amount of mild soap or detergent with warm water in a bucket or sink. Then, you should dip a soft-bristled brush or cloth into the solution and gently scrub the surface of your shoes. 

You should be careful not to saturate the shoes with too much water, which can damage some materials. 

Using Specialized Cleaning Products Method 

With this method, you should follow the instructions on your chosen shoe cleaning solution carefully, as the application process may vary depending on the brand. In general, you’ll need to mix the solution with warm water in a bowl or bucket, then dip a brush or cloth into the mixture and gently scrub the product. 

Baking Soda Method

To follow this method. First, you need to create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of warm water. Then, you can apply the paste to the surface of your products, using a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently rub the shoes in circular motions. The baking soda will help to absorb odors and lift dirt and stains from the surface.

Step 4: Clean The Soles 

Step 4 in the process of cleaning sneakers is to clean the soles. Soles are often the dirtiest part of shoes and can be cleaned using a variety of methods, including a soft-bristled brush and cleaning solution. 

You need to clean the soles thoroughly, paying special attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas. This will not only make your footwear look better but also help to prolong its lifespan.

Step 5: Rinse Off The Cleaning Solution 

After you’ve applied the cleaning solution to your products, you’ll want to rinse them thoroughly with warm water to remove any excess cleaning solution and dirt. Here are some tips for rinsing off the cleaning solution for different types of sneakers: 

Leather Sneakers:

When rinsing off the cleaning solution from leather shoes, it’s important to be gentle to avoid damaging the material. You can use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe away any excess solution, then rinse the sneakers thoroughly with warm water. 

Mesh, Knit, And Canvas Sneakers:

For these types of shoes (mesh, knit, or canvas), rinse the shoes thoroughly with warm water and use a soft-bristled brush to remove any remaining dirt or stains. You can also use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess solution. You should avoid using hot water, as this can damage the material.

Rinse your sneakers.

Suede Sneakers:

Suede products require special care when rinsing off the cleaning solution. You can use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub the product gently, then use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess solution. 

Step 6: Dry And Re-lace Your Sneakers 

This is the next step in the process of cleaning sneakers. After cleaning and rinsing off your products, it’s important to let them air dry completely. Once they’re dry, you can lace your sneakers back up, and they’ll be ready to wear again. 

You need to ensure not to wear them until they’re completely dry, as this can damage the material and cause unpleasant odors. By following these steps, you can keep your products looking and smelling fresh for longer. 

What Tips For Maintenance Can You Use? 

Sneaker maintenance is essential to keep them looking great and prolong their lifespan. Here are some tips for maintaining your favorite sneakers. 

Store them properly: Keep sneakers in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.

Protect them from the elements: If you’re wearing your shoes in rainy or snowy weather, apply a water-resistant spray to protect the material from damage.

Avoid wearing them for extended periods of time: Wearing your footwear for extended periods of time can cause the material to break down faster. 

Use the right cleaning products: Different sneakers require different cleaning products. For example, Vans are often made of canvas or suede, while Reebok may be made of leather or mesh. 

Get them professionally cleaned: If you have a pair of high-end sneakers, like Gucci or New Balance, consider getting them professionally cleaned to ensure they stay in top condition.

Read more: How To Clean Gucci Sneakers


Taking care of your sneakers is essential to keep them looking great and increase their longevity. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily clean sneakers and keep them in top condition. 

To find out more, you can watch this video: 


  1. What products are best for cleaning Vans sneakers? 

    It's best to use a mild soap or specialized sneaker cleaning solution like Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to clean Vans sneakers, along with a soft-bristled brush. 

  2. How to clean white Vans sneakers without putting them in the washing machine? 

    You can clean white Vans sneakers without a washing machine by using a mixture of water and baking soda, a specialized sneaker cleaning solution, and a soft-bristled brush.

  3. Can you clean Vans sneakers with wet wipes?  

    Yes. While wet wipes may remove some surface dirt from Vans sneakers, they are not the most effective method for deep cleaning and removing stains. Wet wipes contain chemicals that can damage the material and glue of shoes. They also leave behind residue that might cause staining.

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Jena Oralie

Jena Oralie

Jena Oralie, the fashion designer and fashion role model of Outfitoza. She had a totally modern, intense look: a unique blend of masculine and feminine. He has more than 10 years of experience in shoe design and other foundations of fashion, starting at a young age and accumulating experience.