Fashionable footwear is all the rage, and slipping on a new pair of shoes adds a little bounce to your step. However, it’s not long before those brilliant shoes lose their stylish appearance, especially if they are white canvas sneakers or leather sneakers. Find out how to clean dirty sneakers to remove everyday loose dirt, mud, and tough stains.
Sneakers come in many styles and materials, from mesh and canvas to leather and suede. What works to clean white mesh shoes doesn’t always work to clean a pair of suede shoes, so it’s vital to use the right cleaner for the job to ensure your dirty sneakers get clean without damaging the material.
It doesn’t take much to get dirt on your shoes. You wear them outside in the elements, after all. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, you’re bound to get a sneaker stain from time to time, and it’s even more noticeable if it’s a white shoe. Luckily, there are simple ways to clean your sneakers and restore their original good looks.
Ways to Clean Dirty Sneakers
A filthy sneaker looks unsightly and excessive dirt hurts the material. Learn how to clean sneakers to remove everyday dirt, sticky mud, and stubborn stains using various strategies and keep your footwear in tip-top shape.
How to Clean Dirty White Sneakers
There is nothing more noticeable than a pair of dirty white shoes. Fortunately, a diluted bleach solution restores their whiteness. Discover how to clean dirty white sneakers safely with a mild bleach solution.
This cleaning solution works well for removing dirt stains from white shoes, but this method is only safe for use on canvas or mesh shoes. Fill a container with water and add the bleach.
Set your sneakers on a towel and apply the sneaker cleaner to the stain with a soft brush. Continue scrubbing your shoes until they are clean, rinse them with water, and set your clean white shoes in the sun to dry and enhance the whitening power.
Washing Muddy Sneakers the Right Way
Washing muddy sneakers is a little different than cleaning black VansⓇ to remove everyday dirt since wet mud sticks in all the nooks and crannies. Follow these cleaning tips to get mud off your shoes quickly and effectively.
If you are away from home when your sneakers get muddy, take them off and set them in a plastic bag until you get the chance to clean them. Remove the dirty shoes from the bag and place them on a newspaper to dry.
Bang the shoes on a hard surface like a driveway or sidewalk to shake off as much dirt as possible, then wipe the sneaker’s surface with a dry paper towel. Remove the shoelaces and set your shoes on a clean sheet of newspaper.
Pour water into a bowl or container, add a small amount of dish soap, and apply the soapy water to the dirty spots on your shoes with an old toothbrush. Gently scrub away the dirt until your shoes are clean, rinse them with water, and set them aside to air dry.
How to Clean Dirty Sneakers by Hand-Washing
While it takes a little more time, cleaning a dirty leather shoe or suede sneaker by hand is essential to prevent damage to the material. Follow our guide so you can wash VansⓇ by hand-cleaning them with baking soda.
Get a microfiber cloth damp with water and sprinkle some baking soda onto the fabric. Set your sneakers on a flat surface, and use the cloth to gently scrub away dirt from the surface of each shoe.
If you don’t have any baking soda, white toothpaste is a good substitute, whether you need to clean white canvas shoes that turned yellow or have other unsightly stains. Wipe away the powder residue with a clean damp cloth, and pat down each sneaker with a dry towel. If the shoe is suede, finish by brushing the nap with a suede brush.
Cleaning the Soles of Dirty Running Shoes
Washing muddy sneakers is a messy job, and the shoe soles are the most challenging part to clean since they collect most of the gunk. Clean a sneaker sole the right way to remove caked-on dirt.
Set the sneakers on newspaper and use a dry toothbrush to remove dirt and debris from the grooves of the soles. Make a paste with equal parts laundry detergent and baking soda and apply it to the rubber sides and bottoms of your shoes.
Use a circular motion to remove the grime until the shoe soles are clean. Finish by wiping the shoes with a damp sponge to clean away residue.
Using Vinegar to Clean Dirty Tennis Shoes
Vinegar has many uses – cleaning household items is one of them. The acidic liquid breaks down dirt and kills bacteria, leaving your shoes fresh and clean. Here is how to clean dirty white sneakers with a vinegar cleaner.
Combine the water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake it. Place your shoes on a towel, and spray the cleaner onto the dirty areas of each sneaker. Try this remedy for removing spray paint off shoes if it’s a small spot. Use a soft brush to clean the spots, wipe the shoe surface with a damp sponge to remove vinegar residue, and dry the shoes with a towel.
Ways to Remove Sneaker Stains
While discovering a stain on a pair of white leather sneakers is cause for concern, sneaker stains are not impossible to remove. Safely use a Magic Eraser to remove blemishes from shoes.
Get a corner of the Magic Eraser wet, and squeeze out the excess water. Place your sneakers on a flat, clean surface and use the damp section of the eraser to scrub the dirt off the shoe’s surface gently. Repeat the steps until both shoes are clean, and blot them with a soft towel.
Can You Clean Sneakers in the Washing Machine?
The first question to come to mind when cleaning sneakers is, can you toss them in the washing machine? The answer depends on the shoe type. Most canvas shoes are safe for machine-washing, while leather and suede are unsuitable for this cleaning technique.
Check the care tag on the insole or inside your sneaker to determine if it’s safe for the washer. To machine-wash your shoes, remove the laces and set them aside. Place your sneakers into a mesh bag and set them in the washer.
Add some old, clean towels to protect the machine from damage and your favorite laundry detergent, and use the cold water, delicate setting to clean them. Remove the shoes from the washer, stuff them with dry cloths to absorb moisture, and set them on a rack to air dry. The sneakers should be dry and ready to wear in about 12 hours.
If your sneakers are a little tight, sometimes stretching sneakers a half size is possible if you overstuff the shoes when you dry them.
Air drying is best for most shoe types. Putting wet sneakers in the dryer should be a last resort, as the heat can damage the shoes if it’s too hot.
Shoes are magnets for dirt, and a stained white sneaker is an eyesore. Luckily, it’s easy to clean white sneakers using a few basic ingredients. All you have to do to make drab shoes look new is grab some white vinegar or a little laundry detergent.
We hope that learning how to clean dirty sneakers keeps your shoes looking their best, and we’d love it if you’d share our dirty sneaker cleaning guide with your friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook.