How Do I Wash My Sneakers?

Sep 19, 2017

We were never taught how to tell our patients to wash their shoes in podiatry school but it’s a question I get asked ALL the time- and for good reason. Sneakers can get nasty. Let’s all face it our sneakers take a beating! Internally from all the sweat and externally they tromp through mud, dirt and grass. Two of my least favorite things are when I take my new sneakers out for a few runs and they look 6 months old and when my kids come home from school with their new sneakers completely filthy.

I’ve tried a few methods at cleaning my families’ sneakers and here are my personal tips for keeping your sneakers clean and looking new!

SPOT WASH – if there are just small areas to clean I use water mixed with laundry detergent and take a toothbrush or bristle brush and scrub it out. This is a good technique for marks on the soles but tougher on the deep dirt.

WASHING MACHINE – (this is my favorite) – unlace the shoes because junk builds up in the eyelets and put them in a pillowcase or laundry bag to prevent them from twisting around things. Get as much of the dirt and debris out of the soles as you can. Take the inserts out and throw your sneakers, inserts and bagged laces in with a couple old towels to prevent banging. Set the wash on delicate. Use liquid detergent and cold water.

DRYER? – To dry or not to dry… I personally like to air dry. I’ve put sneakers in the drying before (either with a special rack or with the towels) and I think it affects the material. Don’t get me wrong when my kids need there sneakers back quickly or I’m washing an old pair they go right into the dryer but I find the material shrinks down a bit and becomes weaker. I like to put the sneaker and inserts separately in the sun or on the counter and let them air dry.


Lace them up and it’s like you’ve got a brand new pair of sneakers!

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