dirty sneakers

How to Wash Sneakers by Hand: The Best Way

Sneakers are an integral part of our daily wardrobe and a must-have for any outfit. These shoes provide us with both comfort and style, making them perfect for all kinds of occasions. But like every other piece of clothing, they will eventually get dirty, smelly, and stained as time passes by. To ensure that your sneakers retain their glorious look over the years then it is important to know how to wash them correctly by hand!

In this extensive guide, we’ll be delving into all the information you need to understand about hand-washing sneakers. You will learn which supplies are necessary for the process, what steps should be taken, and how to take care of different types of kicks. After reading this article, cleaning your shoes efficiently and making them look brand new will no longer remain a mystery!

What You'll Need

Before you start washing your sneakers, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • A basin or sink
  • Mild detergent
  • Warm water
  • Soft-bristled brush or cloth
  • Clean towels
  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Baking soda (optional)

Steps Involved in Washing Sneakers by Hand

Now that you have all the materials you need, it’s time to start washing your sneakers. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Remove the laces and soles from the sneakers. This will allow you to clean the sneakers thoroughly, and it will also protect the laces and soles from damage.
  2. Fill the basin or sink with warm water and add a few drops of mild detergent. Stir the water to mix the detergent evenly.
  3. Dip the soft-bristled brush or cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the sneakers, paying special attention to areas that are particularly dirty or stained.
  4. Rinse the sneakers thoroughly with warm water to remove any residual soap and dirt.
  5. If those pesky stains won’t budge, try sprinkling some baking soda on the areas of your sneakers that need it. Allow the baking soda to work its magic and sit for a few minutes, then carefully scrub away the stains using a brush or cloth.
  6. Once you’ve completed washing your sneakers, give them a good squeeze to get rid of any extra water, and place them on a nice, clean towel to air dry.
  7. If your sneakers have a lot of cushioning or padding, stuff them with newspaper or paper towels to help them retain their shape as they dry.

Caring for Different Types of Sneakers

It’s important to be aware of the type of sneaker you have so you can properly care for it. To make sure your sneakers remain in tip-top shape, here is a helpful guide to help you maintain different kinds of footwear:

  • Leather sneakers: Clean leather sneakers with a damp cloth and a small amount of mild soap. Avoid soaking the leather, as this can cause it to dry out and crack.
  • Canvas sneakers: Canvas sneakers can be washed by hand, as described in the steps above.
  • Suede sneakers: Suede sneakers should only be cleaned with a suede brush, as using water can cause the suede to become discolored or damaged.
  • Synthetic sneakers: Synthetic sneakers can be washed by hand, as described in the steps above.
suede sneakers
Suede Sneakers - make sure to clean them with a suede brush


Washing sneakers by hand is a simple and effective way to keep them looking as good as new for longer. With the right materials and the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to clean and care for your sneakers effectively. By taking the time to clean your sneakers regularly, you’ll not only extend their lifespan but also ensure that they look their best every time you wear them!

Good luck, and enjoy your freshly washed kicks!