29 answers

Best Way to Clean Sneakers?

Hi everyone,
Yesterday we went to a pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin for Halloween. It was lots of fun, but it was very, very muddy there and now our sneakers are all filthy (of course all 3 of us have WHITE sneakers! LOL). Some mud even got inside my daughters' sneakers somehow... I was wondering what the best way to clean them is? Can you put sneakers in a washing machine!? LOL. I thought once the dirt would dry it would come off easily, but no such luck :o( Thanks for any tips you may have!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hey everyone, sorry took so long to reply.
Thanks to everyone for the tips!
A special thanks to those who reminded me what bleach does to sneakers! I had actually considered that until some of you said not to use bleach - then I remembered what happened last time I did that a few years ago- yellow sneakers!!! lol I guess I don't learn :p
I ended up using the magic eraser - worked wonderfully! And I threw my daughters in the wash with towels since they were stained a bit on the inside (not that it matters all that much - but they ARE new so it's nice to have them LOOKING new, ya know...hehe)
Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers

Depends on what kind of material it is made of, whether you can toss it in the washer. And if you do do this, maybe put it in a "lingerie" mesh bag first. **OH! But do NOT throw it in the dryer... dry it outside in the sun.

Try the "Mr. Clean- Magic Eraser." You can get it from any grocery store in the cleaning supplies aisle. This thing works on mostly anything, even marks on walls and carpets.

Or, try a toothbrush and literally scrub it off. Try apply a spray cleaner... or "upholstery" or "carpet" type cleaning sprays, and then let it sit, then use a brush to clean it off. But don't use anything with "clorox" in it or you will get "bleached" spots.

Or, try the kind of stain cleaning sprays for babies... the kind that removes vomit and poopoo and etc. There are enzymes in it that is supposed to remove blood, grass, mud etc.

Good luck,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

My favorite shoe cleaner is a diaper wipe. They really are terrific at making the shoes look newer. I've diaper wiped and used the clothes washer depending on time and how dirty the shoes were. Good Luck.

Even as runner for many years, I spent big bucks on shoes. I didn't like wearing them filthy dirty, so I would use spray and wash or the like and wash them in COLD water. I never put them in dryer. They never shrank and it never ruined any of my shoes.

More Answers

Depends on what kind of material it is made of, whether you can toss it in the washer. And if you do do this, maybe put it in a "lingerie" mesh bag first. **OH! But do NOT throw it in the dryer... dry it outside in the sun.

Try the "Mr. Clean- Magic Eraser." You can get it from any grocery store in the cleaning supplies aisle. This thing works on mostly anything, even marks on walls and carpets.

Or, try a toothbrush and literally scrub it off. Try apply a spray cleaner... or "upholstery" or "carpet" type cleaning sprays, and then let it sit, then use a brush to clean it off. But don't use anything with "clorox" in it or you will get "bleached" spots.

Or, try the kind of stain cleaning sprays for babies... the kind that removes vomit and poopoo and etc. There are enzymes in it that is supposed to remove blood, grass, mud etc.

Good luck,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

Use Colgate Toothpaste and scrub the dirt off with an old toothbrush. But use the white paste, not a colored gel one. And avoid the color on the tennis shoes, it'll bleach it. But works great on the white shoes. Just use a wet washcloth to wipe when done.

Throw them in the washer!

Try Nail Polish remover (after you get the dirt off). It works great at getting shoes back to white, but be careful not to use it on any color other than white.

Take them outside and spray them with a hose until the mud comes off. Put them in the washing machine after that (if they're canvas.) Good luck. :)

Soak
Send through the washing machine with soap
Bleach in washing machine
Neutralize bleach with vinegar
Rinse in washing machine
Dry in front of the refrigerator (motor's heat)
Do not put in dryer (degrates adhesive)

Even as runner for many years, I spent big bucks on shoes. I didn't like wearing them filthy dirty, so I would use spray and wash or the like and wash them in COLD water. I never put them in dryer. They never shrank and it never ruined any of my shoes.

Another (old and effective) way: rinse in bucket with warm water and change water every 2-3 hours. Most mud will be gone by now. Then using any old brush, just scrub to keep cleaning them off. Remove from water and sit outside but not under direct sun. Voila'!

If the sneakers are canvas, you can toss them in the washing machine. If they're leather, you need to clean them with a sponge. If the mud stained the leather, try a Magic Eraser - it lives up to its name.

Good luck!

I had never thought of drying sneakers in the dryer till last year or that it would be ok. Until a friend who use to be a school teacher and is now the office manager for the preschool gave me this advice to dry them. Stuff the shoes with a newspaper wrapped with a paper towel to soak up any extra water. Throw in the dryer with a towel on sensitive cycle. It worked! I couldn't believe it. I was tired of his shoes stinking from not drying well enough or fast enough outside. He wears vans all the time and they didn't shrink or anything. I'm not too sure about leather shoes, but at least the other kinds should be ok.

Hi! I frequently need to wash shoes, slippers and flip flops around here. I get the best results from a tablespoon of detergent and a cup of vinegar or ammonia in the regular warm wash cycle. Then I just dry them outside.

If the shoes are cloth and they NEED it after the first wash, then you can use chlorine but I avoid it because it's a harsh chemical. Just let them sit out LONGER so the chemical dissipates.

Best wishes,

M.

I have cleaned my own sneakers in the diswasher. I sprayed them first with a spot remover then put them in the dishwasher. It worked really good.

Good luck!
R.

Yep ! I also am a fan of the Mr.Clean!

Throw them in the washing machine. You also might try the dishwasher. I wash baseball hats in the dishwasher because its a little more delicate, but I would do the washing machine.

are they leather tennies shoes or canvas, either or I throw mine in the washer but do not dry them I also add some bleach to the was, wash on low cycle add a tad of softner,

mine has never ruined been doing it for yrs.

I wash my kids' sneakers in the washing machine all the time, but first I hose them off if they are really muddy.

I do not put them in the dryer for fear of shrinkage, I just let them dry overnight.

good luck!

Yes you can put them in the washing machine. It will be loud, but it does a really good job. cold water is probably best.

Hi, I always throw our sneakers in with towels....they tend to float, so I put them in first, then the towels. I even spray them with stain remover first, they always come out sparkling clean. I don't dry, I tend to think it would dry out the leather....good luck!

Hi S.,

We went to the pumpkin patch last week too! When we got home everyone's sneakers came off and went right into the wash machine. I put them outside to dry and they are good as new.

If you find there are thorns (or sticky weeds) stuck to the bottoms of the shoes just use an old toothbrush to scrub them off.

I also scrubbed the laces in the sink with a touch of laundry soap.

Good luck!

Yes, whatever you do, don't put them in the dryer, my kids' sneakers shrunk that way!

I put both of my kids sneakers in the washing machine and then have them dry in the hot sun (we live in So. Cal). I do this every couple of weeks. My son's shoes are vans and a pair of lightning Mcqueen light up shoes and they all turn out very nice - the lights still work on the Cars shoes. My daughters are crocs and a pair of Kswiss. I also toss in my running shoes about once a month.

M.

hi S., I to am a stay at home mom of a 16month old lil girl... and muddy sneakers.. .been there if they are cloth u can def put them in washing machine, I recommend to air dry.. the dryer will shrink them or tumble them around and not look so new... or do it by hand (wash) Im the QUEEN of re-use... we should share stories.. lol

take care.. A. (stay at home mom of 1 lil girl)

My brother in law swears by Soft Scrub. He cleans his sneakers with Soft Scrub and a tooth brush every time he wears them, and they look brand new (even the soles).

Since your daughter's sneakers have mud on the inside, you probably need to put them through the washer and dryer. They'll be fine.

Yes, we've put sneakers in washing machine, comes out beautifully! Of course, read the instructions first to see whether it's "washable." You can also spray on the dirty spots first with the stain remover. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

You can wash them in the washing machine or dishwasher (of course take your dishes out before washing). Either way, try to get most of the mud off before washing them. Don't throw them in the dryer - when they are white, they'll turn yellow. You can also just try the magic eraser. It works! I've used it on my sneakers and flip flops!

My favorite shoe cleaner is a diaper wipe. They really are terrific at making the shoes look newer. I've diaper wiped and used the clothes washer depending on time and how dirty the shoes were. Good Luck.

I have put all kinds of tennies in the washer without any problems at all!! I have a special shelf I can put into my dryer that I can rest the shoes on, so that's how I dry them. But if you air dry--I'd recommend stuffing the toes w/paper towels til dry. If it's a canvas shoe, I even pre-treat and let sit for a few minutes. Another option for a quick clean-up is Magic Eraser. It cleans them up (along with white refrigerators, etc.) literally like magic!!

I just throw them in the washing machine.

I wash my kids shoes in the washing machine all the time. I just toss them in with the towels so they don't clunk around too much. :) The shoes are normal leather, cloth mixtures. I have even washed my DD all leather sandals without any problems. Like Susan said, just put them out in the sun to dry.
~N.

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