Sneakers, an essential to every man’s wardrobe can get dirty from time to time. However, if not taken care of, can ruin your look. It is vital to keep them clean and in order to keep them clean lets   at how to wash sneakers by hand at home 

Alternatively I also be showing you how to wash sneakers within 5 minutes making them appear as good as new, in case you don’t have time.

If you are a fan of white sneakers, then this post will help you since white sneakers need more maintenance since they get dirty easily. Simply putting them in the washing machine can damage the sneakers. In this post we will be looking at how to wash sneakers by hand at home within 5 minutes.



Back in the days shoes were simply worn to protect the feet from stones, dirt and so on.

Today sneakers have evolved to another tangent all together. From refined and modern appearances, sneakers are now available from $10 to $10000. It all comes down to the brand, aesthetics, design and so on. From limited collections to street wear, people have a craze towards them.

However, most men buy expensive sneakers and treat them like beat down tennis shoes. Buying expensive sneakers can be fun but maintaining them is key.

Now is an ideal time as well to learn how to wash sneakers at home due to the coronavirus lock down where we all have no choice but to stay home.

Before we begin how to wash sneakers at home lets look at which tools you need to wash your sneakers at home

Tools Needed

How to wash sneakers by hand

To clean your sneakers all you need is a brush, OXY clean or laundry detergent, dry cloth and wet cloth. It is recommended to wash the sneakers and the laces separately. 

This will help you get rid of the dirt below the laces which will make it easier to wash the sneakers. It is ideal to wash your sneakers in a sink as it would be easier to throw the unclean water after washing the sneakers

Let’s look at How to wash sneakers in 5 easy steps and after that lets look at an easy method that will show you how to wash sneakers within 5 minutes in case you are in a hurry.

Clean the surface dirt – Step 1

When you are washing your sneakers, begin by cleaning all the surface layer dirt.

To do this, simply take a damp cloth and wipe the sneakers. After wiping the sneakers with a damp cloth you will notice that there will be only stubborn stains remaining.

While wiping the sneakers ensure that you do not apply too much pressure as it could damage the sneakers.

Once you have wiped the sneakers with the wet cloth you can now move to the next step.

Use the Brush to get rid of stubborn stains – Step 2

Once you have wiped the sneakers if the sneakers have stubborn stains, you can begin by brushing of these stains with the brush. It is advisable to begin with a damp brush. In case the stains still remain, you can apply generous amounts of OXY clean or laundry detergent.

Brush the stains in a circular motion by cleaning only the stained spots. The moment you feel the stains are coming off, you can put the sneakers below running water. 

This will ensure that the stains don’t spread on clean areas which would make it worse.

Wash the laces – Step 3

Take the lace in your hands and apply some dishwasher-soap or OXY Clean soap on them. Once you have done this, begin rubbing the laces with your hands. Usually you will notice that laces get clean quickly.

In case they are not clean after rubbing them with soap and water, simply brush of the dirt with a sneaker brush.

Let the laces remain in the soap water for some time. The dirt will begin to strip off.

Put the sneakers in the washing machine – Step 4

Sneakers can be washed in the washed machine. I have been washing all my sneakers in the washing machine. However, if done the wrong way, your sneakers will get damaged permanently.

However, it is advisable to first clean your sneakers and then put them in the washing machine in case stains are still visible.

Washing your sneakers in the washing machine can actually make your sneakers look new provided you have cleaned as much of the dirt with the brush and the cloth.

Put your sneakers in a sneaker bad or a cloth bag. The laces can be put in the bag as well. Once you have done this, zip the washing machine bag and your good to go.

Once the washing machine has completed its process you will notice that the stubborn stains will most probably be eliminated.

In case the stains are yet visible, brush the sneakers with some detergent again.

Dry out the sneakers

Once you have done all this, let the sneakers dry out. The sneakers can be dried out with the washing machine as well.

However, it is advisable to let them dry naturally as the drier can damage the quality of the sneaker.

Voilà, you now know how to wash sneakers by hand.

Washing your sneakers in the washing machine is optional. In case the sneakers appear clean after you brush out the dirt, you can avoid this step. Generally consider washing sneakers in the washing machine only when there are stubborn stains. 

The method mentioned above is a long process and can take time depending upon how dirty the sneakers are.

Alternatively, in case you want to wash your sneakers within 5 minutes you can use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

How to wash sneakers within 5 minutes

This is a product I have used time and time again because it saves the time and has less hassle. The product contains a blend of chemicals which are twice as powerful as the normal detergent.

All you have to do is get the foam damp and begin wiping the sneakers. Once you do this, you will notice all the stubborn stains eliminated.

After you have brushed the sneakers with this foam, wash the sneakers by putting water on it.

Once you have done this, you will notice that your sneakers are as good as new. This product makes washing sneakers easy and convenient. In case you plan on wearing them in a couple of hours, put them in the dryer and you would be able to wear them in an hour or two.

Some Handy Tips on how to wash sneakers by hand

It is recommended to wash all your shoes together. This will save you time and will make it easier to keep your sneakers clean.

In case you do not have the time to wash your sneakers and you notice sweat or unpleasant odour from your sneakers,  put a green tea bag in your sneakers. The anti oxidants present in green tea will eliminate any odour. 

After washing your white sneakers if you notice stains are still visible, it is recommended to apply a layer of baking soda. Baking soda may not necessarily remove the stain but it will help cover the stain. Use baking soda with vinegar and hot water to eliminate stains on white sneakers preferably.

Avoid washing your sneakers regularly as it can damage the shoe gum and design. Instead, use a sneaker cleaner and clean your sneakers from time to time.

The best way to avoid stains on your sneakers is to splash water and clean them as soon as they appear. Stains are easy to remove when they just occur. However once they dry up, it gets even more difficult to get rid of the stains.

Use shoe trees or shoe horns to avoid any shrink or creases on your sneakers. Using these can increase the durability of your sneakers.

Avoid scrubbing or using harsh cleaners while you wash sneakers by hand as these can damage the stitching and the synthetic material used on most sneakers.

Moisture will reduce the lifespan of your sneakers. Although you should keep your sneakers are clean however  make sure you dry them well to avoid any moisture.

Alcohol wipes work to remove stains. They are the best way to get rid of stains when they  occur. Just wipe the sneakers with the wipes and you will have the stain eliminated in minutes.


Keeping your sneakers clean communicates that you value yourself and it portrays high self-esteem. It communicates that you pay attention to details. People make judgements on first impressions whether we like it or no. 

Hence, it is essential to keep your sneakers clean. It can also be a perfect conversation starter for people who are sneaker fans.

This was a detailed guide on how to wash sneakers the right way. There are other ways as well to wash your sneakers however this is an ideal way on how to wash sneakers at home.

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