And no, just rubbing the dust off with a dirty cloth or a brush isn’t acceptable either.
Machine wash is only good for your canvas sneakers. Even with those, you can expect the quality of your shoes to degrade or their colour to fade.
Leather, mesh and suede need more care to stay young and shiny. It’s not tough to keep men’s shoes in tip-top condition but you do need to put a little time and effort into it.
Here’s how it’s done.
How To Clean Sneakers
- First up, remove any caked-on dirt by knocking the soles together. Use a microfiber cloth to remove the excess mud.
- Now, start spot cleaning. For sneakers, you can use Helios Super Sneaker Cleaner.
- Avoid using water or wipes. Instead, try dabbing white vinegar on any noticeable stains or scuffs.
- If that doesn’t make your sneakers sparkle, move to the deep clean stage.
- Remove the laces and insoles. Take warm water and add a mild detergent to it.
- Add a few drops of dish wash soap or shampoo. Use the brush to gently scrub the surface to form lather.
- Use a towel to remove the excess water.
- You can wash the laces in your washing machine. If they’re frayed, replace them with fresh ones.
- After air-drying your sneakers, store them in your shoe closet or a box, preferable away from the sunlight.
How To Clean Leather Shoes & Boots
- Remove the laces from your shoes and throw them in the washing machine if they’re dirty.
- Use a soft cloth or a brush to clean dirt and debris that may be stuck to the shoe’s leather surfaces.
- Make a solution of warm water and dish soap. Take a soft cloth and dip it into the mix. Wring it out and wipe the surface of the shoe to remove tough stains.
- Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off the soap. Towel dry your shoes.
- Apply leather polish to protect it from stains and add shine.
- Let your shoes or boots dry in the open air. Avoid putting them in the sun or by a heater. This may cause the leather to fade or crack.
How To Clean Suede Shoes
- Put a crumpled paper inside the shoes before cleaning so they can hold their shape.
- Use a soft, clean towel to rub the dirt off. Avoid rubbing too vigorously as suede is a delicate material.
- Remember to rub in the direction of the grain of your suede shoes.
- Use a hardy suede brush to restore your shoes. Doing so regularly will revitalise your suede shoes instantly.
- It can also help you get rid of light stains and deep cleaning.
- Coat your shoes with a finishing spray. It’ll protect your work and make your suede waterproof.
How To Clean White Canvas Shoes
- Remove the shoelaces.
- Fill up a bucket with lukewarm water and 1 cup of baking soda.
- Add a drop of laundry detergent.
- Soak your shoes and laces in the bucket for an hour.
- Take them out and use a brush to scrub the stains away.
- Place them somewhere cool and dry, away from the direct sunlight.
How To Clean Mesh Shoes
- Use a soft shoe brush to gently scrub away the dirt. Be sure to maintain a softer degree of pressure than you might use for a heavier material like leather.
- Take a mixture of warm water and a gentle laundry detergent. The consistency shouldn’t be too sticky.
- Avoid bleaching agents while cleaning white or light-coloured mesh shoes. It can cause discolouration and damage the material.
- Apply the cleaning solution using a soft cloth. Use the brush if you’re dealing with a stubborn stain.
- Keep a bowl of clean warm water to rinse the cloth if the stains are many. You don’t want the stain to spread due to dirty cloth.
- Use a clean cloth to remove the excess soap and water. Avoid dunking the shoes in water.
- Place them in a cool, dry spot, away from direct sunlight. Let them be until they are fully dry.
- Coat your shoes with the invisible layer of Vetro Power Footwear Protection to keep them from staining again.
- A single application will protect your shoes for 12-18 months, depending on the usage.
Now that you know how to clean your shoes, no matter the material, make sure your shoe rack is in tip-top condition.
Tennis and athletic shoes are designed to withstand rigorous wear and tear, but they can quickly become dirty. Luckily, both leather and fabric shoes can be cleaned in a washer. If you’re not sure, check the manufacturer’s website for cleaning instructions. If you have a standard top-loading washing machine, always clean the shoes with a load of towels to help balance the bulk of the shoes. In a high-efficiency, top-loading machine or front-loading machine with no center agitator, there’s less need to balance the load.
How Often to Clean Tennis and Athletic Shoes
Tennis and athletic footwear requires cleaning every few months. Fortunately, washing most athletic shoes is easy and takes only a few simple steps. Before you wash your shoes, vacuum them inside and out with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt or stones from hard-to-reach crevices. Expensive or new shoes should be hand-washed using a soft-bristled brush and a solution of mild liquid detergent and warm water. Scrub, and rinse with plain water.
The Spruce / Lara Antal
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Washing machine
- Mesh laundry bag
- Drying rack (optional)
- Heavy-duty detergent
- Baking soda
- White tissue paper
- Shoe polish and conditioner (optional)
- Fabric protective spray (optional)
|How to Wash Tennis and Athletic Shoes|
|Dryer Cycle Type||Air-dry|
|Special Treatments||Wash in mesh bag and with towels|
Remove the Laces
Begin your shoe cleaning project by removing the laces and putting them in a mesh laundry bag to keep them untangled. Toss them in with a load of laundry, or set them aside to wash with your shoes. If your laces are fraying and weak, replace them.
Clean the Insoles
Remove the insoles from your shoes, and wipe them down with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Set the insoles aside to air-dry while you wash the rest of the shoe.
If the insoles are smelly, sprinkle them with baking soda to absorb odor and moisture, or replace them. This method can be done frequently, even if you're not cleaning the rest of the shoe.
Wash the Shoes
Begin by rinsing the outside of the shoes with cool water to remove any loose dirt or soil. Next, place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag. Using warm water and a heavy-duty detergent like Persil or Tide, wash them with a load of similarly colored towels. If you have a washer with adjustable final-spin speeds, select a lower speed to prevent the washer from becoming unbalanced.
Dry the Shoes
Remove the shoes from the washer, and let any residual water drip away. Next, place them on a drying rack in a well-ventilated space to air-dry. Stuff your shoes loosely with white cotton towels or white tissue paper to prevent color transfer and help them retain their shape. Don’t use newspaper because the ink may transfer and rub off on your socks.
If you must use a dryer, select the air-only cycle. Never use a hot setting: High heat can warp the shoes, melt glue, and cause them to fall apart.
Polish and Protect
When your shoes are completely dry, you can use white, black, or an appropriately colored shoe polish to touch up any scuffs on leather shoes. Be careful, though, because the polish will stain. Then, use a leather conditioner to keep the exterior supple and prevent cracking. For canvas shoes, a fabric protective spray will help repel dirt and stains between cleanings.
Storing Tennis and Athletic Shoes
If you don't think you'll be wearing your sneakers for a while, they can be packed away in a shoebox, plastic tub, or drawstring shoe bag. Always clean your sneakers before storing them, as residual dirt and oils can cause yellowing.
If the soles become detached, repair your tennis shoes with shoe glue, and let them dry for at least 24 hours. Unfortunately, most rips or tears in tennis and athletic shoes are difficult to fix. Usually, you'll need to replace them.
Treating Stains and Scuff Marks on Tennis and Athletic Shoes
If your canvas shoes have an oil or food stain, follow guidelines for removing the specific stain. For scuff marks on leather or faux leather shoes that are too dark for shoe polish, clean with a paste of baking soda and a bit of water. Dip a cloth in the paste, and gently wipe away the scuff mark. Wipe away any residue with a damp cloth. For dark shoes, a permanent marker in a matching color can work wonders to hide scuffs and other blemishes.
They’ll look as bright and white as the day you bought them.
Nothing feels better than rocking a new pair of white Vans, whether you like the classic authentic style, lace-less slip-ons or stacked platform. They’re a crisp addition to any outfit — pair them with everything from a chic maxi dress to a perfect-fitting pair of jeans.
But no matter how careful you are, wearing anything white (think jeans, shirts, or shoes) can sometimes feel like a disaster waiting to happen. One step in a dirty puddle or fumble of your morning cold brew and all of a sudden, your new kicks don’t look so great. And even if you aren’t accident-prone, just normal wear can turn your sneakers from bright white to dingy gray in no time.
Instead of spending the whole day worried about how or when you’re going to stain your shoes, be ready to tackle any smudge, spill or mystery stain with these must-know tips and tricks from the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. Our experts spill their secrets to getting sneakers super-clean, using products you likely already have at-home.
How do I clean my white Vans?
First, you’ll want to whisk away any loose dust or dirt from the canvas fabric, so it’s easier to clean. You can do this with a soft brush (or even your vacuum’s round dusting brush) — just go over the fabric’s surface with it.
Next, mix up a thin paste of 1 tablespoon baking soda and ½ tablespoon each of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Dip an old toothbrush or soft brush into to the baking soda/peroxide paste and gently scrub your shoes. The hydrogen peroxide acts like an all-fabric bleach to whiten the canvas fabric and the baking soda helps scrub away scuffs and stains. Thoroughly wipe your sneakers with a clean wet cloth to rinse them. Be careful not to saturate them, but make sure you remove all of the cleaning paste and soil.
Last step: Clean the rubber outsoles with either the same paste you used on the fabric or with GH Seal star Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. That’s it! All you have to do now is air-dry your Vans in a cool spot.
Can I put my Vans in the washing machine?
We think it’s safest to wash any pair of shoes by hand, especially when they’re new. But we get it, sometimes you might be tight on time. If you want to give it a try, only canvas Vans should ever be put into the washing machine. (Never put leather Vans in your washer! Keep reading for instructions on how to clean those.)
Here’s the best way to wash your shoes in a washing machine: Place your sneakers in a mesh bag to help them keep their shape and toss in some old towels to balance and buffer the load. Select a delicate cycle on your machine, cold or warm water, and a low or moderate spin speed.
Skip the dryer. Instead, stuff the wet Vans with white paper towels and let them air-dry away from heat and sunlight.
How can I clean my white leather Vans?
Leather sneakers should always be washed by hand. You can follow the same recipe and technique on the leather and rubber outsole as with canvas Vans, just leave the hydrogen peroxide out of the mix. Gently brush the leather with the baking soda and water paste and rinse with a clean wet cloth.
One extra step? After they dry, apply a leather conditioner, like GH Seal star Furniture Clinic Leather Protection Cream to help keep the leather soft and supple.
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The Perfect Fit
Xelero Shoes is dedicated to helping you find the Perfect Fitting shoe. Our Therapeutic shoes are designed to accommodate a wide range of common foot issues. Available for Men and Women in Sizes: 6 to 14 and Widths: Medium to 6E, extra depth, with removal inserts for Custom Orthotics and AFO’s.
We have taken all the worry out of ordering shoes on-line. With Our Free Exchange and First Return on Us Policy, you may return or exchange any purchased shoe within 30 days, at no cost*. Final sale items are not returnable.
How to Break-in New Shoes
To help determine if the shoe is the perfect fit, we recommend you wear the shoe for 1 hour in the morning and late afternoon, on a clean dry surface. The shoes need to be in New condition when returned, shoes that are worn or scuffed are not returnable. So, take a couple of days to try them on and walk on a clean surface to make sure they fit properly.
What are Shoe Spacers?
Therapeutic shoes often include several inserts. In addition to the main insert with arch support, there are flat foam inserts called Spacers. The foam spacers allow you to adjust the fit of each shoe. Want a snugger fit (add a spacer), need more room (remove a spacer) for the perfect fit.
Need a different Size or Style:
- Send an email to: Xeleroshoes.com with your exchange request or
- Call: Customer Service at (866) 969-3338 to discuss your options with a Specialist or
- Visit: www.xeleroshoes.com to view our selection of Comfort Shoes and send us an inquiry.
First Return on Us and Refund Policy
Return unworn shoes within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Shoes must be completely clean on top, bottom, and show no indication of wear. Return shoes in their original shoe box with all shoe inserts, and shoe packing material using the pre-paid return label. We will issue a full refund when the shoes are received. An email will be sent confirming a refund has been processed. Please allow 10-14 days for processing. Please allow 7-10 days for processing.
*The first return is on us! *Any consecutive order returns the return shipping will be the responsibility of the purchaser. Returns received after 31 days will receive a 50% refund. Returns received after 45 days will not receive any refund. (Return window is calculated from the date of the delivery to you, to the date UPS scans the package for the return – transit times do not count in the 30 days.) We are sorry we cannot accept back worn shoes, and if returned, there will be no refund. Final Sale Items are not returnable.