Cleaning Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes can easily become smelly when they are used often. Cleaning tennis shoes and athletic shoes without damaging them can be a real chore. This is a guide to cleaning tennis and athletic shoes.


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February 16, 2016 Flag
3 found this helpful

Has the white leather on the edges of your tennis shoes turned dingy? I have found a simple way to successfully clean this. All you need is soap, water, and a battery powered toothbrush. Wet the toothbrush bristles, turn the brush on, and push the bristles against a wet bar of soap. Scrub along the nooks and crannies of the leather carefully, rinsing the brush and scrubbing once more. Then wipe clean. Very easy and cheap! Here are the before and after photos. Amazing difference!

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February 17, 20160 found this helpful

My high heel sneakers will thank you. I may even try this on the spats I bought in '39 (they're yellowing prematurely). Thumbs up!

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August 12, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

To keep your shoes white and clean use Soft Scrub bleach and an old towel to clean the white parts on the shoe. White rubber can get dirty really fast so you could do this as many times as you want, but make sure to clean all the dirt out of the cracks first so you don't get mud everywhere.

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April 23, 2013 Flag
2 found this helpful

I spray the tennis shoes with Shout laundry stain remover and rub off dirt with a rag. Then I take a water dampened rag, wipe shoes off and wipe dry. Next, I polish over the shoes and the laces with white polish. I wipe off any excess with a dry rag and let the polish dry.

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April 27, 20130 found this helpful

I too used to use shout or spray and wash on tennis shoes but there's a new product in town! Totally Awesome! It really lives up to it's name and works wonders on white tennis shoes ( on anything really) and its available at most dollar stores for a buck. For years I have been throwing them in the washer, that's right in the washer they come out looking like new.

My kids always hated when I polished their white shoes they said it looked phony. So I started washing them on the advice of the shoe salesman and lo an behold he was right. Just like new. Now I spray them with awesome and then just wipe them off but for the heavy odor and dirt I spray them with the awesome and toss the in the washer ...and voila! New shoes =)

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September 24, 2006 Flag
0 found this helpful

Can you put new balance tennis shoes in the washing machine?

Barbara from Portland, Oregon

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September 26, 20060 found this helpful

And for a quicker way to make the runners look better, wipe them down with a Mr. Clean magic Eraser- my old runners are now quite spiffy looking

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August 17, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, I am from South Africa and would like to know what Mr Clean Magic Eraser is. I also put my running shoes in the washing machine, but they tend to loose support on the sides. Any comments?

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April 14, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I messed up my SpaceJams, the 11s. They can't seem to get back that pretty shine. Surely someone knows hot to create a homemade cleaner to get back that shine on the leather part. Can you help me?

By Shawty

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May 6, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hmm I do not know how to create a home care leather cleaner. However, when there are stains you may use white erasers and lightly erase the marks away.

If you want the leather to be back to its new condition, it is better to send it service at shoe cleaning stores.

or purchase a leather cleaning kit for leather handbags. I have lot of handbags and I use "apple care" leather creams. What I do is clean the targeted leather item, followed by moisturizer cream. It always makes my bag shine and look brand new again.

Put the cream on a piece of clean cotton cloth and rub onto the leathers gentles in circular motions.

Also please remember to do a small patch test on your shoes before applying the creams though.

Hope this helps. Good luck

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July 14, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

When trying to clean white tennis shoes in the washing machine, drop in one plain, regular aspirin tablet along with whatever detergent you wish to use. For some reason, the shoes will come out whiter.

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November 6, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a pair of Ryka (ryka-rocker) open-back tennis shoes. They are very light grey/taupe? Does anyone have any idea of how to clean them? I really don't want to wear them out anymore. I'm embarrassed. These shoes were so comfortable from the very start. I cannot afford to buy another pair now. These are not old, just a few months.

By djw from southern IN

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January 28, 20150 found this helpful

I have a pair of ryka canvas shoes that I occasionally machine wash on the delicate cycle in cold water. They came out very clean and held their shape well.

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June 26, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have black scuff marks on the side of the hard rubber soles of a pair of Nike Air Force Ones Tennis shoes. How do I get these scuff marks out!

By jhemhadah from Camden, SC

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June 26, 20090 found this helpful

First I would try an ordinary rubber eraser. If that did not do it; I would try a piece from a "Magic Eraser" sold for cleaning. One of those should do it.

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June 27, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with what Jilson said. Try a pencil eraser or a Magic Eraser that is sold for cleaning.

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October 7, 2004 Flag
0 found this helpful

Spray your new canvas shoes with spray starch (for ironing) to keep the dirt from settling in the fibers. Easier to clean, too.

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