Come on. You have to admit shoes look much better if they are nice and clean. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to keep them clean, but it doesn’t take that much of your free time. In this article, you will find several ways on how to clean your shoes

Knowing the proper way is pretty important for you and your shoes and it also tells a lot about your personality. The research showed, that people who keep their shoes clean are more organized, creative, responsible and even motivated. 

Let me give you an example. Imagine dressing nice for a job interview and you combine it with a dirty pair of shoes. You can’t possibly think that’s going to look okay. Maybe you don’t realize it that much, but approximately 65% of people notice your shoes when they meet you personally, or just see you walking on the street. Some people even think, shoes are the most important part of your outfit and I can’t argue with that, especially if you own extraordinary pair of shoes you are really proud of. 

Okay. Enough talking. Let me show you ways how you can clean your shoes properly. It also depends on the material of your shoes. 

How to clean sneakers

At first, I will give you a typical way/steps how to clean your shoes, whereas it might vary on the material of the shoes. I highly recommend taking care of your shoes properly, as they will look fresh and perform as new. 

Step 1

Remove the laces and clean them separately. This step is not that important, but I recommend you do that if you want to clean your shoes properly. 

Step 2

You can start with a dry brush, just to get rid of any dirt on your sneakers. 

Step 3

Then you can mix a warm water with a bit of liquid detergent, until you see the bubbles.

Step 4

Wash the laces (if you removed them) in the mix you just made. Apply the same mix on the shoes with a soft brush or piece of cloth. Try to remove all the dirt possible. 

Step 5

I recommend using a microfiber towel for better results, but you can use a classic towel as well. Try to kind of dry your shoes, get rid of all the soap, moisture and dirt if there is still any.  

Step 6

Air-dry at room temperature. 


These steps are highly effective for typical sneakers and fabric shoes. 

6 steps to clean your sneakers

How to clean white shoes

White shoes are a great addition to many outfits. However, they are also easier to get dirty and harder to clean. Are you wondering how often you should clean your white sneakers? Well, ideally, after every wearing. I know most of you just rolled your eyes, but if you want to keep your white shoes white, you should do that. 

Step 1

Before you start cleaning any type of shoe, start with knocking them together to get rid of any unnecessary dirt. 

Step 2

Many white canvas shoes can be washed in a washing machine without any risk. However, many canvas shoes contain of other parts, made of different material such as leather or suede. Leather and suede cannot be run through a washing machine. 

Step 3

Remove removable insoles and shoelaces. Shoelaces can be either put in a washing machine, together with shoes or washed manually in soaping water. If you put your shoelaces in a washing machine, do NOT forget to put them in a pillowcase. When using a washing machine, you can use a warm water at a normal cycle, in order to keep the balance in a washing machine. If the shoes need an extra whitening, you can add a little bit of chlorine or oxygen-based bleach. 

For those white shoes that cannot go in a washing machine or you just do not want to risk it, mix a warm water with a liquid laundry detergent. Dip a microfiber cloth or a replacement and scrub away all the dirt and soil. Complete the process by wiping away any soap remaining on the shoes with a clean cloth. 

Step 4

Air-dry at room temperature. 

How to clean Leather shoes, Patent Leather and Faux Leather shoes

In my opinion, this is a bit easier than regular shoes. 

Start by wiping off any dirt and soil. 

Make sure you remove all the winter salt stains, which can be very difficult to clean. You can also prepare a mix made of cool water and distilled white vinegar, which will extremely help you, while getting rid of the winter salt stains. 

Let them dry for a while and then apply a commercial polish, renovating leather cream or similar product for a shoe leather care and let it dry and relax for a while. We also offer several products for your sneaker care to keep your shoes in a better condition. 

How to clean suede shoes

The key to keep suede shoes or any napped surface shoes look like new is a regular care.

Try to keep the surface/shoes as dry as possible and clean them with a soft brush.

In case your beautiful suede shoes get dirty, try to clean them as soon as possible. 

I haven’t personally used this method, but I heard it works. Gently rub the pencil eraser to get rid of any marks and scuffs. 

Never use your strength to clean suede shoes as you might permanently destroy the shoes. 

suede shoes

After you are done cleaning your suede shoes with a soft brush, let them dry at a room temperature. I highly recommend using a special product for suede shoes, as it prolongs the lifetime of the shoes as well as it makes them look fresh.

Can I put my shoes in the washing machine?

We have good news for you. Yes, you can! Most of the shoes can be run through a washing machine, but you have to be careful. It can also cause a permanent damage to your beautiful shoes. You have never tried that before? 

Okay then, I will give you steps on how to do that. But first, let me show you which materials are washer friendly and which are not. Washer friendly materials are canvasknitpleatherplastic and rubber. Not washer friendly materials are real leather and suede

Step 1

Firstly, remove as much dirt as you can with a brush. 

Step 2

Secondly, remove the laces. It’s not a must, but I highly recommend you do that. Then put your shoes and laces in a pillowcase or put them both in separate pillowcases if you have lots of them from your grandmother. 

Step 3

Toss it in a washing machine. I also recommend you put some old towels in, for example, to balance the shoes in the washing machine. Otherwise, they will have unintentional party in there and can be pretty beaten up afterwards. 

Step 4

Add a small dose of liquid detergent and run the washing machine with cold water (I have had enough of warm water). 


Step 5

Once again, air-dry your shoes at a room temperature. AVOID direct sunlight as it might shrink them or change the original color. Even if you are in a rush, NEVER put them in a dryer or use a hair dryer, as it will shrink the shoes and you can give them to your younger brother. 

As you could see, there are several ways on how to clean your shoes. What’s the conclusion? You should always keep your shoes clean. No matter where you are or where you go. If you get back home with dirty shoes, try to clean them straight ahead. Don’t leave it for later. It is only going to get worse. 

The dirt might get harder to clean, you might forget about it (which is always my case) and you definitely don’t want to do that before you go out, whereas you might not have enough time to do so. The best part is, your favorite pair of shoes will last longer and perform better if they are taken care of. 

Hopefully, you found what you were looking for and from now on, you will start cleaning your shoes properly! Please let us know if you liked the article. Thank you for reading. 

If you deny cleaning your shoes or you are just tired of it already, check out our newest arrivals or footwear at Streetammo. We promise you to find lots of interesting pairs of shoes ;) 

Stay tuned for more interesting and informative articles on our new journal page. Follow @streetammo on Instagram, to get the latest updates on what’s happening in streetwear and skateboarding world.