How To Wash Sneakers By Band (Everything You Need to Know!)

A pair of sneakers look so nice. It’s even better on your feet and for your feet. The problem is that all it takes is one wear to dull their look and shine especially if they are pristinely white. And it gets worse if the weather is terrible. In rainy conditions, they are likely to be ruined faster. However, sneakers are a great investment and should be well taken care of. This applies to all types of sneakers including running sneakers and gym sneakers.

There are a few ways to get your sneakers looking brand new again without it being a difficult task. The simplest way to clean them would be to throw them into the washer. And although it is not recommended, you can do it. The following section shows the process of washing your sneakers in a washer.

Washing the sneakers using a washing machine

Washing your sneakers in the machine is not recommended. This is because the heat from the machine can easily deform your shoes. However, life happens and sometimes you may find yourself in a bit of a rush. When this happens, machine washing might be the only option. In this section, we are going to show you how to machine wash safe.

The first thing to do when machine washing is to wrap the shoe in a paper towel. Paper towels are great in absorbing heat and will prevent the sneakers from hitting the walls of the machine. Remove the insoles and laces also to make cleaning easier. You can wash both of these separately which is easier.

After removing the laces, wipe the shoes down off dirt and grime and particles that may be on the body. You can use a toothbrush for the outsole. Use the toothbrush to dig into the treads and remove any debris that may be stuck on there. You can also use a pair of tweezers for this. By doing this, you allow the machine to clean the sneakers much more effectively.

Put the shoes inside a mesh bag. This is done to prevent the shoes from bouncing up and down the machine which may damage the wall of the machine. If you do not have a mesh bag, a pillowcase will just be as effective. This will not however reduce the noise in the machine. To reduce the banging noise, load the machine with towels too.

Prepare your washing machine by adjusting the heat of the water and keeping it at room temperature. Warm or hot water quickly fades colors especially for PVC and PU shoe material. Add a detergent then add the towels and lastly, your sneakers.

The best way to dry the shoes is to air dry them. Drying them using the machine might damage the inside of the machine. Also, the high heat in the tumbler can cause the glue in the shoes to melt making the shoes vulnerable to breaking. So instead, put the shoes in a warm place and squeeze newspapers inside to prevent them from losing shape. They also work to absorb excess moisture from the shoe.

How to hand wash sneakers

When hand washing your sneakers, the first thing to do is to remove the laces. Laces should never be put in the washer because they can easily damage. Instead, to clean them, put the laces inside a pillow cover to prevent direct contact with the walls of the machine. Removing the laces also helps to make cleaning easier.

After removing the laces, remove the insoles. The insoles are the soft cushions found inside the shoe. Most sneakers if not all have removable insoles. If your sneakers have attached insoles, then you can skip this step. Clean the insole separately using a toothbrush and soap and water. In case the insole has an odor, even after washing, put it in sodium bicarbonate powder for a few hours, or sprinkle some on it.

Before beginning to wash the sneakers, remove dirt from the shoes while they are still dry using a laundry brush. Also, clean the outsole (the part of the sole in contact with the ground) by removing dirt and debris from the treads. You can do this using a pair of tweezers.

Once this process is done, fill a basin with water (room temperature) and a little detergent. Mix the solution well and put the sneakers in to soak and leave them inside the soap solution for one hour. By doing this, you ensure that the detergent softens any hardened dirt. This will in turn make the cleaning process much easier.

After an hour, remove the shoes from the water and use a small sponge or brush to clean the sneakers. Gently rub the outside of the sneakers until clean. If they are white, rub until the white sparkling, a process known as spot cleaning. The inside of the shoe need not be washed as the soaking was enough to clean it up.

The next process is the rinsing. There are two methods of cleaning. In the first method, the sneakers are rinsed using clean water in the basin. Put some clean water in the basin and dip the soapy shoes in while you rub gently to remove the excess soap. This is the most preferred method because the fabric of the shoe tends to absorb a little soap.

To remove this soap, the shoe has to be submerged in clean water again. In the other method, the shoes are rinsed by wiping the shoe with a damp cloth. Dip the cloth in clean water, squeeze the water and wipe the shoe. Do this until there is no soap on the shoe. Remember that it is important to properly rinse the shoe because when the soap inside the fabric, the material gets stiff and appears whitish. Better remove it all.

Naturally after rinsing, we dry the shoes. Some people prefer sun drying but this is not the best way. The sun, especially on really hot days can roast the material to a hard crisp. The sun also fades the colors significantly. The best wat to dry the sneakers is to dry them with a dry cloth first, then put them to dry in a shade or ventilated space.

Handwashing is undoubtedly the best option when it comes to cleaning your sneakers.


Washing your sneakers by hand is no doubt the best way to clean your sneakers. It helps preserve the color and the shape of the shoe. Hand washing also deals better with tough stains since you can focus on one spot in a process known as spot cleaning.