How to Wash Tennis Shoes


We wear our tennis shoes often and for good reason. First and foremost, they are comfortable. Beyond that they are stylish and suitable for wearing in any season. The result of the versatility and appeal of tennis shoes is the need to frequently wash this favorite style of footwear. Washing them is easy and doing so ensures that you can wear your tennis shoes for a long time before retiring them.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Old Towel
  • Wash Basin
  • Mild Detergent
  • Warm Water
  • Old Washcloths
  • Old Toothbrush

Check for the manufacturer's washing recommendations. If the company that made your tennis shoes took the time to include directions for washing them, the directions are worth considering.

Gather the tools you will need as you clean your tennis shoes. Use a basin filled with warm water and a mild detergent to clean your shoes. Be sure to have some old washcloths and old toothbrush on hand to use as you clean.

Set up your washing station. You'll want to cover your work area with newspapers to protect the surface. Fold an old bath towel in half, and place it under the shoes so you have an absorbent surface to catch all of the dirty water as you clean.

Remove any heavy soil from your tennis shoes before you wash them. Heavily soiled shoes or shoes that have soil trapped in the treads are best prepared by clapping together outside to loosen and remove the debris.

Remove the laces of your shoes and wash them in the basin of mild detergent. Rinse them well, and let them air dry.

Dampen an old washcloth in the water and detergent mix and wipe the entire surface of the tennis shoes with the exception of the bottoms, which will be cleaned last. Rinse and wet the washcloth again as needed to prevent redepositing the soil you have removed.

Use the toothbrush to remove any spots that are especially stubborn. Dip the toothbrush into the soapy water and scrub the spots gently using a circular motion.

Clean the bottoms of the tennis shoes once you have finished with the tops. Work with one tennis shoe at a time, and hold the shoe at an angle above the soapy water basin. Use the toothbrush to thoroughly scrub the bottoms of the shoes.

Wipe each shoe with a clean water to remove all traces of the detergent. Let the shoes air dry before putting the laces back on.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spot clean your tennis shoes frequently to avoid a heavier build up.
  • Don't forget to properly cover your cleaning area!

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