How to Clean Sneakers and Tennis Shoes After Significant Wear (2020)

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It’s always a shame when too much dirt or grass stains get caked onto your good sneakers, right? Even if they’re still usable, it feels like they’re not. But dirty, worn shoes don’t necessarily need replacing – did you know there’s a way to clean sneakers and tennis shoes after significant wear? It’ll save you money and save your favorite pair of sneakers.

So we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to cleaning sneakers and tennis shoes. With just a couple of choice products and a few cleaning techniques, you’ll be well on your way. Keep scrolling and peruse our guide, where you’ll find everything you need to get cleaning. Say hello to that old pair of sneakers, because they’ll be just like new!

You will love our editor’s curated product picks! FYI: We are an Amazon affiliate partner and may get a share of the sale of your purchase (at no cost to you).

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If you’ve got canvas sneakers that need cleaning, you can easily wash them in the washing machine! Remove the laces and use a brush to get rid of any loose dirt before you put them in the machine.

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You should also put your shoes inside a pillow case to protect the washing machine! Run it with cold water for colored shoes, or warm water for white shoes.

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And get some good detergent.

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Like these simple-to-use Tide 3-in-1 laundry pods; they’re convenient and they’ll clean your canvas shoes until they look new again!

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You can also hand-wash.

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Add some laundry detergent to a bowl of water and use a small brush (like the one here) to scrub the solution into your shoes—but don’t do this with suede!

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If the laces are dirty too, you can clean them with a cotton swab. You should also use a dry brush to get excess dirt out of the shoes before you clean them.

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You can also use these quick wipes.

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Don’t want to mix a solution of water and detergent? No problem. Just wipe down your shoes with these quick wipes and you’ll get rid of dirt buildup and more!

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Got oil on your shoes?

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Also, an easy fix; these MagicFiber Microfiber cleaning cloths are perfect for getting oil, smudges, dirt, and more off of your shoes without leaving any marks or streaks.

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You can get rid of scuffs with a regular old white eraser, or use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser too—they’re great for cleaning rubber surfaces. 

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Just dip a toothbrush in a mixture of rubbing alcohol and baking soda, and start scrubbing! Your soles will be back to a bright white in no time at all.

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Let the sneakers dry properly.

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Don’t dry them in the dryer or on the radiator; it’ll warp the rubber soles! Use a drying mat like the one seen here.

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