How to Wash Your Tennis Shoes and Sneakers and Keep Them Smelling Clean

Read this informative article and learn how to wash your sports shoes so they look great and smell fresh and clean!

Dirty shoes can create one of the worst smells in the world. The more you wear them, the worse they get, especially if your feet sweat profusely. One of the secrets of having shoes that won't stink up the whole neighborhood, is to learn how to wash your tennis shoes and sneakers and keep them smelling clean!

A Quick Wash

If the outside of your tennis shoes or sneakers are dirty, but the inside soles don't smell bad, you can simply do a quick wash of the outside. First, brush off any mud and loose dirt with a brush.

Then, check the rubber soles of your shoes. If there are scuff marks and other stubborn stains on the soles, mix together some Comet cleanser and just enough tap water to make a paste. Moisten a stiff old toothbrush and dip it into the solution. Then, scrub the marks off and rinse the soles clean with water.

To clean the upper part of tennis shoes and sneakers, you can carefully use a moistened Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and tap water to rinse them clean. I'm a firm believer in this product. So far, the magic erasers have taken off every type of grease, dirt and grime on every surface I've put them to. Or, if that doesn't do the trick- I'd be shocked if it didn't, though- try using an old soft toothbrush and a multi-purpose cleaner like 409 brand or Greased Lightning.

After you've rinsed your shoes clean with tap water, wipe them off with an old towel. Finally, set them out in the direct sunlight to dry. The sunlight will help whiten white tennis shoes and sneakers. It will also help deodorize the insoles and keep them smelling clean.

A Thorough Wash

For a thorough wash of your tennis shoes and sneakers, you can pop them in your washing machine. Remove the laces, if applicable. Then, use one of the above-described methods to scrub off stubborn stains first. You can place them in a mesh laundry bag, but it's not necessary. The advantages of using a mesh bag are that it prevents the rubber soles of your shoes from making marks on the drum of your washer. It also prevents the shoes from rubbing each other. Plus, it will keep your shoelaces from getting tangled up in the agitator, or becoming lost.

Next, fill the washing machine with water. I use the "warm" water setting. If you're going to wash your tennis shoes or sneakers alone to keep them smelling clean, the "small" setting works well. Then, pour a half cup of laundry detergent in the drum. You can also OxyClean or a detergent booster to help get your shoes cleaner. Allow the washer to agitate a minute or two, then pop your tennis shoes or sneakers in your washer.

Finally, remove your shoes from the washing machine. Hang the laces, if applicable, up to air dry. Stuff each tennis shoe or sneaker with old newspapers to help revive their shape while they air dry as well. Again, set them out in the sunlight to dry.