Knowing how to wash tennis shoes will keep your shoes in good condition and ready for wear at all times. Even though tennis shoes are designed for wear and tear, they still need some care occasionally. Read my article below to learn how to wash tennis shoes properly and some tips on maintaining them.
How to Wash Tennis Shoes - What You Need
The first thing you need to know about how to wash tennis shoes is the list of cleaning supplies and tools you may need. The devices will depend on the material your tennis shoes are made out of. Therefore, you might not need everything on the list. This list is to just give you an overview of the basic cleaning materials.
- Mild soap
- Laundry detergent
- Warm water
- Clean and soft rags or cloth
- Soft shoe brush
- A large bowl or sink
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Wash Tennis Shoes
How to Wash Tennis Shoes Using a Machine
There are a few considerations for how to wash tennis shoes in your washing machine. Firstly, inspect the material of your shoes' uppers and soles. If they are made of suede or leather, you should not place them in your washer. If your tennis shoes are made of mesh or canvas, they may be suitable to wash in a washing machine. Always read the specific care instructions on your tennis shoes before starting this process.
Step 1 - Remove the Shoelaces
Remove the shoelaces and wipe them with a cloth that has been soaked in a soapy water mixture.
If the shoelaces are stained, soak them in a small bowl of this soapy water.
Step 2 - Clean the Soles
Use a soft cloth or scrubbing brush to remove filth and clumps of dirt from the soles of the shoes.
Step 3 - Put the Shoes in the Washer
Put your shoes in a mesh laundry bag. This helps bind the shoes and protect them from the clashing movements inside the washer. You can also put the shoes into the washer directly if you do not have a mesh laundry bag. If the shoes are by themselves, they will make the load unbalanced, so it can be advisable to pick a low speed on the washer to help with this. The other option is to add some towels of a similar color shade to the washing machine. This will help keep the machine balanced and stop the shoes from banging against the internal drum.
Add your choice of types of detergent to the washing machine dispenser and start the wash.
Step 4 - Dry Your Tennis Shoes
Air drying your tennis shoes is the best way to dry your freshly laundered shoes. To do this, simply take them out of the washer and stuff them with newspaper or paper towel. This paper will help to soak up any excess moisture and help the shoes keep their shape. Once they are completely dry, rethread the shoelaces.
If you need to speed up the drying process, consider putting the shoes near a heat source such as an air vent or a cooling source such as in front of a fan. Also, if you really need to put your shoes in the dryer, read the care instructions on the shoe label first, as parts of the shoes may shrink if you put them in a dryer.
How to Wash Tennis Shoes by Hand
Once you have removed the shoelaces, wipe them using a solution made of laundry detergent and warm water. If the shoelaces are stained, you can let them soak in a cup or small bowl using the same solution.
Once washed, hang up the laces to air dry. Another option to clean your shoelaces is to place them in the washing machine with other clothing pieces of a similar shade.
Step 2 - Wash the Insoles
Take out the insoles from your shoes and wipe them over with a cloth that has been soaked in warm water and laundry detergent. This step can really help with the overall smell of your shoes as the insole is the place that has a build-up of sweat due to your feet sweating a lot during everyday wear and sports.
Step 3 - Clean the Uppers of Your Shoes
In this step of how to wash your tennis shoes, remove dirt and other debris in the uppers and soles of your tennis shoes by using a brush. If your shoes are stained or wet, wait for them to dry before you start cleaning.
For the uppers, use a solution of laundry detergent and warm water to gently clean them. You can use a soft scrub brush, washcloth, sponge, or toothbrush.
After washing, wipe the soapy foam from the uppers using a microfiber cloth or washcloth. It is best to remove as much water as possible.
Step 4 - Clean the Soles of Your Shoes
Wet a toothbrush with a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent and scrub the soles of the shoes. It is good to use a toothbrush as it allows you to reach the small crevices often in the intricate designs of shoe soles.
Step 5 - Dry Your Tennis Shoes
Giving your shoes time to dry is a crucial step in the cleaning process.
The best method for how to wash your tennis shoes and dry them is air drying. Once step 1 to 4 above is complete, stuff your shoes with paper towels or newspaper. These will help soak up the moisture from your shoes and ensure that your shoes keep their form.
Put your shoes near a heat source such as an air vent. Alternatively, put them in a dry area and wait for them to air-dry gradually. You can also place them in front of a fan to help speed up the drying process.
Also, make sure that the laces and insoles are completely dry before putting them back in your shoes.
If you have tennis shoes made of canvas or mesh, it can be advised not to use the dryer to dry them. The soles and fabric of the shoes may shrink or change shape in the dryer.
How to Wash White Tennis Shoes - # 5 Hacks
All of the procedures given above on how to wash tennis shoes can work for white tennis shoes. However, you can add an extra step to ensure that white shoes maintain their sparkling white color. Here are some additional cleaning hacks for white tennis shoes:
# 1 Hack - White Vinegar and Water
Make a cleaning solution by combining 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts of water. Soak your soft cloth or sponge in this cleaning solution and scrub the canvas part of your white tennis shoes.
# 2 Hack - Bleach and Water
Bleach can be a recommended method for stained shoes that have not been cleaned enough with the standard hand or machine washing. Note, unless your tennis shoes are badly stained, you do not need to use bleach to clean the whole shoe. Simply dab the marks located on the canvas part with a soft cloth soaked in the cleaning solution.
To make this homemade cleaning solution, combine 1 part bleach with 4 parts water.
Caution: when using bleach, you should wear thick cleaning gloves to protect your hands.
#3 Hack - Baking soda and washing detergent
Using a brush, scrub your shoes with this cheap and easy DIY cleaning product. This cleaning solution uses products that you will quite likely already have at home. Simply add 1 tablespoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons of washing detergent, and 1 cup of warm water in a large bowl or sink.
#4 Hack - Baking soda and Vinegar
Make your tennis shoes whiter again with a combination of vinegar and baking soda. You just need to combine 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 1 cup of warm water. Using a soft cloth, scrubbing brush, or toothbrush, scrub your shoes.
#5 Hack - Toothpaste
Toothpaste can work well at helping to maintain that sparkly white color of your tennis shoes. Put some toothpaste on a scrubbing brush and let the paste's abrasive action help remove scuffs and stains. Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe the toothpaste off the shoes.
Tennis shoes can be cleaned every few months if necessary. You can even vacuum your shoes before tending them to ensure no loose stones or dirt is stuck in the crevices. Handwashing is recommended if the tennis shoes are new or expensive.
You can keep most tennis shoes inside a closet. You can also place them on shelves as long as they are far from radiators or heating vents. You do not have to worry about your shoes getting damaged if you keep them in a dry and temperature-controlled area.
Put your tennis shoes inside a shoebox or a sealed bag to stop them from accumulating dust for extra protection.
Now you know the different ways of how to wash tennis shoes properly. This will keep your shoes looking good, smelling great, and in good working condition. Put your shoes on, get outside and get active today!