How to Clean Tennis Shoes Step By Step Guide

Practicing ideal cleaning procedures for your tennis shoes is paramount to achieve optimal performance of your tennis shoes. This is why we recommend the appropriate care and maintenance of tennis shoes, including regular washing. Below, we have highlighted how to clean tennis shoes using two different methods.

How to Clean Tennis Shoes

How to clean tennis shoes: dry brush and mild solution method.

Clean tennis shoes with dry brush and mild solution method

1. Step one: Start with a dry brush

The first thing you should get when you want to clean your tennis shoes is a dry, soft-bristled shoe brush. Use the shoe brush to remove dirt from the out sole, mid-sole and uppers. In case you do not have a shoe brush, you can always resort to improvising with an older toothbrush. It is a good alternative.

2. Step two: Create a mild washing solution

Next, you have to make a mild washing solution by mixing warm water with little quantity of laundry soap.

3. Step three: Washing the laces

Thereafter, you will have to remove your shoes laces. Apply the gentle washing solution, and massage the laces. Once you’re done washing the laces, rinse and dry them with a soft towel.

4. Step four: Washing the tennis soles

Apply the gentle washing solution to your shoe brush and brush the out sole and mid-sole of your tennis shoe. Once you’re done brushing it, use a soft cloth to dry it.

5. Step five: Wash and Blot

Now, it’s time to wash the uppers. Using the mild cleaning solution and your soft-bristled brush or any soft fabric, begin to clean the uppers of your tennis shoe. When you’re done washing the uppers of your tennis shoe, you can use a dry microfiber towel or soft fabric to blot and lift as much soapy moisture and dirt as possible. If there be any need, you may repeat the process to make sure that as much soapy residue and dirt are completely removed from the tennis shoes.

6. Step six: Air dry

Finally, the last step is to air dry your tennis shoes at room temperature.

Cleaning the Insoles of your Tennis Shoes

Every now and then, you may have to wash the insoles of your tennis shoes. It is in fact, one of the important steps in cleaning your tennis shoes. You start by removing the insoles. After removing them, repeat the same washing procedures that we used for the outsides of your tennis shoes. Once you’re done with the cleaning steps, make sure you air dry the insoles completely before you return them back in your tennis shoes.
Note: there are certain situations where odor persists. In these cases, we recommend that you replace the insoles of your shoes. You can always visit almost any sporting goods and tennis shoe stores to purchase your replacement insoles.

How to clean tennis shoes using the washing machine method

A lot of people are unaware that most shoes can actually be cleaned in the washing machine. In fact, some people warn against it. Indeed, there is an explanatory reason why using this method is not usually recommended. Nonetheless, if you follow our step by step procedures carefully, then you can be sure to have your tennis shoes come out looking sleek, neat, and ready to hit the court!

Keep in mind!
  • Washer Friendly Shoes: knit, canvas, rubber, fake leather (pleather), and plastic.
  • NOT Washer Friendly Shoes: real leather and suede.

Clean Tennis Hoes With Washing Machine Mathod

Step 1

Remove the tennis shoelaces and place them in a pillowcase or mesh wash bag. The reason for doing this is to make sure that grime doesn’t get caught underneath the laces and to prevent your shoes from getting tangled.

Step 2

With a soft brush, remove as much excess dirt and scuffs as you can.

Step 3

Put your tennis shoes, the bag containing the laces/insoles, and a couple of old towels/fabric into your washing machine. The reason for putting the towels is to balance the load. This will help to protect your tennis shoes from banging around inside the washing machine when it’s running.

Step 4

Add a small to medium-sized amount of liquid detergent (using powdered detergent can get some of the soap stuck in the shoes). Thereafter, start the washing machine with cold water on a delicate cycle with an extra rinse so as to extract lingering soap residue.

Step 5

Importantly, make sure you always air dry your tennis shoes. Also, keep them away from direct sunlight. Otherwise, this could affect the coloring on some specific shoes or worse, shrink them. We recommend that you put a dry cotton towel inside each shoe in order to ensure that their shape is maintained as they dry.
Note: do not throw your tennis shoes in the dryer or use a hairdryer. This is because the high heat can warp the soles.

Why the washing machine method is not recommendable

Having understood how to clean your tennis shoes using the washing machine method, it is only appropriate that we expound on the possible danger of using the washing machine to clean your tennis shoes.
Basically, putting your tennis shoes in the washing machine comes with the possibility of affecting the structure and the integrity of the foam. By implication, this can have a negative impact on the shoe’s ability to provide consistent cushioning or a responsive feel.
Regardless, if you must wash your tennis shoes in the washing machine, then avoid agitators. This is simply because washing machines that don’t have agitators are gentler and give extra room for shoes to move without restrictions.


Also, Don’t forget to check our Best Tennis Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

What if my tennis shoes are still dirty even after thorough washing?

We understand that it may be possible for your shoes to still look dirty even after following and repeating the washing procedures highlighted in this article. Usually, this is caused as a result of tennis shoes having endured a lot of trips up the court, or laps around the track. Hence, the best solution to this is to get a new pair of tennis sneakers. This will bring a fresh dimension to your continuous pursuit of development.

Final Words

In all, knowing and practicing how to clean tennis shoes the right way will help you to have each pair for years to come. We recommend that you always observe routine maintenance and cleaning so that you won’t have to run out and purchase a new pair of tennis shoes every time.
Remember, your tennis shoes are like any piece of equipment. Meaning, the better you take care of them, the longer and better they’ll also last and perform. Cheers to all tennis shoe lovers!

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