Never ignore the shoes you sweat in.
Tennis shoes are one of the most versatile shoes out there. You can wear them to play, to work out, or just to run errands.
But no matter what you use them for, it’s important to keep them clean. That’s because sweat and dirt can build up over time and cause your shoes to smell bad and harbour germs.
Let’s clean your tennis shoes.
- Do not put your tennis shoes in the washing machine if the care label says “Hand wash only”.
- Do not machine wash tennis shoes with suede or leather lining.
- Do not dry the tennis shoes in the dryer. This can ruin the shape and the shoes may shrink. The heat in the dryer can also cause the shoe material to fall apart.
- Never use hot water for cleaning tennis shoes. High temperatures can cause the shoes to warp. Instead, you can use lukewarm water for cleaning.
- Remove the laces and insoles if they are removable.
- Add a teaspoon of laundry detergent to half a cup of water. Mix the solution well.
- Soak the laces in the solution for about five minutes.
- Dip a toothbrush in the solution and scrub the insoles.
- After five minutes, take out the laces from the solution. Scrub them with the toothbrush.
- Rinse the laces and the insoles with clean water and let them dry.
- Brush off the dirt and dust from the tennis with a soft-bristled brush
- Wipe the tennis shoes with a cloth. This will remove leftover dust and dirt from the shoes.
Tennis shoes, especially white ones, are prone to getting stains.
Tennis is played on four types of courts, namely, hard courts, clay courts, grass courts, and carpet courts. Depending on the court you play tennis on, your shoes will get different stains.
Following are some methods for removing different types of stains from tennis shoes.
Grass stains are common on tennis shoes. Fresh grass stains are easier to remove.
To remove a fresh grass stain, mix one part water and one part vinegar. Soak a cloth in this solution and rub it on the grass stain. Once the stain lifts, wipe the shoes with a clean damp cloth. Leave the shoes to air dry.
If the grass stain does not come off, you can use baking soda to remove them.
Using Baking Soda to Remove Grass Stains from Tennis Shoes
- Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of water in a bowl. Stir to form a paste.
- Apply this paste to the grass stain. Scrub the stain gently with the toothbrush.
- Leave the paste on the shoes for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, wipe off the paste with a damp cloth. Make sure to remove all the paste from the surface. You can also wash your dirty tennis shoes after treating the stain.
- Let the shoes air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area.
Mud stains are pretty common on tennis shoes, especially if you played a set or two on a wet court. Mud stains can be difficult to remove from tennis shoes, but the following method can help.
- Wipe off as much mud as you can from the shoes using a damp cloth.
- Mix one tablespoon of laundry detergent with half a cup (4oz) of water. Stir thoroughly to make a soapy solution.
- Dip the toothbrush into the soapy solution and scrub the stain. Scrub gently to avoid damaging the shoes.
- Wipe off the soapy solution from the shoes using a clean and dry cloth.
- Leave the shoes in a shaded but well-ventilated area to air dry.
If you play tennis on a hard court or carpet court, your shoes are more likely to get scuff marks. Scuff marks can also be caused by shoes rubbing together.
- Apply a pea size amount of toothpaste to the scuff mark.
- Wet the toothbrush with water and scrub the scuff mark. Scrub gently in a circular motion to foam up the toothpaste.
- Wipe off the toothpaste with a damp cloth. Make sure to remove all the toothpaste from the surface. The toothpaste will leave a white residue on the shoes if it is not removed completely. You can also rinse the shoes with clean water to remove the toothpaste.
- Let the shoes air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area.
After removing the marks and stains, you can proceed to clean the tennis shoes.
Cleaning tennis shoes is essential to maintain them in good condition. It will also help to prolong the lifespan of your shoes.
How to Clean Tennis Shoes Using Baking Soda
Besides cleaning and deodorizing, baking soda can also disinfect tennis shoes.
- Baking Soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Liquid soap
- A toothbrush
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Stip to form a cleaning paste.
- Apply the cleaning paste to the tennis shoes with a brush. Make sure to scrub every shoe part, including the tongue and the outsole.
- Leave your shoes for around one hour.
- After one hour, mix one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of hydrogen, and half a tablespoon of liquid soap. Stir to make a paste.
- Dip the toothbrush into the paste and scrub the shoes with it. Scrub gently in circular motions to avoid damaging the shoes. You can also clean the laces with this paste.
- Rinse the tennis shoes with clean water. Make sure no residue is left on the surface of the shoes.
- Dab the shoes with a soft cloth to soak the excess moisture. Let the shoe air dry in a well-ventilated area.
This method can brighten up your white tennis shoes. However, before using this method on colored tennis shoes, test the cleaning paste on an inconspicuous part of the shoe. Doing this will help to avoid any damage to the shoes.
You can also wash white mesh shoes and white sneakers with this method.
Check out the video tutorial here:
How to Wash Tennis Shoes
Washing tennis shoes is essential to remove sweat and bacteria that can cause infections. If you wear tennis shoes regularly, you should wash them once a week.
There are two ways to wash tennis shoes, by hand or in the washing machine. However, check the label on the shoes before washing them. Some shoes are not machine washable and can only be cleaned by hand.
Before washing your shoes, spot-clean them if they have stains on them.
- Dishwashing liquid
- Warm water
- A toothbrush
- Fill a bowl with one cup (8oz) of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Stir to make a soapy solution.
- Dip the toothbrush into the solution and scrub the surface of the shoes. Make sure to scrub the outsoles as well.
- Fill the basin with 3 to 4 gallons of water. Add half a cup (4oz) of OxiClean into the water and mix well.
- Soak the tennis shoes in the basin for around 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take the shoes out of the basin. Gently scrub the surface of tennis shoes with the toothbrush. This will clean dirt and debris that is clinging to the surface. Do not forget to scrub the outsoles as well.
- Once you are done scrubbing, rinse the tennis shoes with clean water.
- Let tennis shoes air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area. Stuff the shoes with a paper towel to speed up the drying process.
- Laundry detergent
- Mesh laundry bag
- A toothbrush
- Rinse the shoes with water. Make sure to remove all the dirt and debris from the surface.
- Take out one tablespoon of laundry detergent into a bowl. Dip the toothbrush into the laundry detergent and scrub the shoes with it. Make sure to focus on stained areas.
- After scrubbing, put the tennis shoes in a mesh laundry bag.
- Place the mesh bag into the washing machine. Add one tablespoon of laundry detergent into the washer.
- Wash tennis shoes on a gentle cycle using cold water.
- Once the wash cycle is complete, take the tennis shoes out of the washer.
- Let tennis shoes air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area.
Deodorizing Tennis Shoes
Tennis shoes can often become smelly due to sweat and bacteria. If you want to get rid of the foul odor, then you should deodorize them every day. There are many ways to deodorize tennis shoes. Some of them are as follows:
Using Baking Soda
- Sprinkle one tablespoon of baking soda inside the tennis shoes.
- Leave the shoes for around five hours or overnight. During this time, baking soda will absorb the foul odor.
- Shake out the baking soda from the tennis shoes in the morning.
- Wipe the inside of the shoes with a clean cloth to remove the leftover baking soda.
- Crumple some newspaper and stuff them into the tennis shoes. You can do this once you take off your shoes in the evening.
- Leave the shoes overnight. This will allow the newspaper to absorb the foul odor.
- Remove the newspaper from the shoes in the morning.
Keeping Feet Clean
Keeping your feet clean is the best way to prevent your tennis shoes from smelling bad. Follow the following tips to keep your tennis shoes smelling fresh.
- Cut your toenails regularly.
- Scrub your feet properly every day with soap and water.
- Make sure your feet are dry before wearing the tennis shoes.
Caring and Storing Tips
- Wear socks that are made of cotton or other breathable materials. Socks will absorb sweat and keep your feet dry. Wearing breathable socks will also prevent tennis shoes from absorbing sweat.
- Avoid wearing the same pair of tennis shoes every day. This will give them time to air out and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Change your socks at least once a day. If you have been wearing tennis shoes for a long time, change your socks more often.
- If you are storing your shoes for a long time, ensure they are clean.
- Stuff the shoes with crumpled-up newspaper while storing them. Doing this will maintain their shape and keep them dry.
Can tennis shoes be washed?
Yes, tennis shoes can be washed. However, you should always check the care label before washing them. Tennis shoes with suede or leather trim should not be washed. Suede and leather are delicate materials that can get damaged with water.
How to clean tennis shoes with mesh?
To clean tennis shoes with mesh, mix one tablespoon of mild detergent with half a cup (4oz) of water. Stir thoroughly to make a soapy solution. Brush off the dirt and dust from the shoes with a soft-bristled shoe brush.
Dip an old toothbrush into the soapy solution and scrub the shoes. Scrub gently to avoid damaging the shoes.
Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove the soap. Leave the shoes in a shaded but well-ventilated area to air dry.
What can I soak my tennis shoes in to clean them?
You can soak your tennis shoes in a mixture of water and dish soap. This will clean as well as deodorize the tennis shoes.
Add around 4 tablespoons of liquid dish soap to a bucket filled with 3 gallons of water. Stir to mix the ingredients. Soak the tennis shoes in the bucket for around 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the shoes from the bucket and rinse them with clean water. Let the shoes air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area. You can also spot clean your shoes before soaking them in the bucket to remove stains.
How to clean tennis shoe soles?
Tennis shoe soles are made up of carbon rubber or blown rubber, or a combination of both. You can clean these rubber soles with laundry detergent and baking powder.
Mix equal parts of baking soda and liquid laundry detergent. Stip to make a paste. Dip an old toothbrush into the paste and scrub the rubber sole with it. Once the sole is scrubbed, wipe off the paste with a damp cloth.
After the paste is removed, rinse the rubber sole with clean water. Let it air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated area.
That’s it. Now you know how to clean tennis shoes. Cleaning tennis shoes is not a difficult task. You can easily clean them at home using some simple household items.
Remember to follow the caring and storing tips to extend the life of your favorite pair of shoes.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.