Many people choose white sneakers for their bright, clean look – the trouble is, they don’t stay clean very long! To avoid discoloration that is impossible to remove, it is crucial to clean your basketball shoes regularly. If you want to know how to clean white basketball shoes without damaging them, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve included all the dos and don’ts about cleaning basketball shoes, as well as a step-by-step guide teaching you how to clean your shoes. You’ll find a variety of methods to choose from depending on the severity of the dirt and the materials your shoes are made of.
Follow these steps on a regular basis to keep your basketball shoes clean.
1. Clean New Stains Or Soiling As Soon As Possible
By cleaning new stains as soon as possible, you can prevent the dirt from building up.
The sooner you clean your shoes, the more willing the dirt will be to loosen.
2. Use A Dry Brush
First, use a dry brush to brush off any excess dirt. In fact, you should do this step after every game, so that the dust does not build up and become hard to remove.
3. Make A Mild Cleaning Solution
Harsh laundry detergent can damage your shoes. Make a solution by mixing a small amount of mild detergent with warm water. Very little detergent is necessary – a few drops will do it.
4. Use A Dampened Soft Cloth And/Or Soft Brush
5. Clean Insoles And Inserts
6. Air Dry
Cleaning White Basketball Shoes With Toothpaste
For harder to remove dirt, toothpaste can work wonders. Simply add a little toothpaste to your detergent-water solution and follow the same steps described above. If the stains are extra stubborn, try gradually increasing the ratio of toothpaste and detergent to water.
Cleaning White Basketball Shoes With Baking Soda And White Vinegar
Cleaning White Basketball Shoes With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide works wonders for extra stubborn stains. First, mix tablespoon each of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Let it sit for 15 minutes before applying it with an old toothbrush.
Avoid getting hydrogen peroxide on the rubber soles.
Cleaning Shoe Components
Now you know how to clean your basketball shoes, but what about the extra components?
- Shoelaces: To remove lint from shoelaces, soak them in warm water until softened. Gently pull off the lint using tweezers.
- Rubber Sole: Most of the best shoes for basketball have rubber soles. Use cold water on them and apply soap with a soft shoe brush.
- Leather Panels: Leather panels are sometimes used to provide more support. Use a soft brush dipped in vinegar to loosen the dirt. Next, mix baking soda and lemon juice and rub onto the panel with a cloth. Rinse and repeat!
- Canvas: For canvas shoes, use a sponge soaked in ammonia solution or a cleanser designed specifically for canvas.
- Nylon Uppers: Dip nylon uppers in hot water with a little mild detergent. Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. If necessary, rub the uppers with a soft bristle brush.
Cleaning Shoes Using A Washing Machine
Cleaning basketball shoes using a washing machine can be abrasive, so exercise caution.
Consult Your Shoe Manufacturer’s Recommendations
Check whether the shoe manufacturer advises against putting them in a washing machine.
Try The Gentle Wash Cycle And Low Spin Cycle
If you decide to machine wash your shoes, make sure to use the gentle wash cycle on low spin. Also, put a few towels in with the shoes to give them some cushioning.
Air Dry The Shoes
Avoid using the dryer as this is likely to warp the shoes.
Turn Up The Heat For Beat-Up Basketball Shoes
Special Considerations For Different Materials
- Leather: Just like with leather panels, first loosen the dirt with a brush dipped in vinegar. Then rub a paste made from baking soda and lemon juice on the shoes and repeat a second time.
- Suede: A block eraser can work well to remove marks from suede. For tougher stains, use the leather method.
- Mesh Material: Mesh is especially fragile, so use a cloth rather than brush to apply the detergent solution.
- Knit Material: Knit material should be treated the same as mesh. If the holes are bigger, be extra gentle.
How To Take Care Of Basketball Shoes: Useful Tips & Tricks
Dry Before Storing
Check For Damages
Routinely check your shoes for damages such as rips in the uppers or tears in the outsoles.
Damaged shoes should be repaired or replaced immediately as they can result in tripping or falling.
If you’re in the market, learn about the best women’s basketball shoes here.
Avoid Strong Chemical Detergents
Common Mistakes To Avoid
Do not make these mistakes when you clean your basketball shoes:
- Do not use bleach or other strong detergents as they are highly corrosive.
- Do not use a stiff bristle brush as it causes unnecessary wear and tear.
- Do not use a washing machine to wash your shoes if you can avoid it. A pair of basketball shoes can probably survive only one or two runs through a washing machine before getting visible damage.
- Do not use a hair dryer or tumble dryer to dry your shoes – rather wait for them to air dry as excess heat can cause shoes to lose their shape.
- Do not leave your shoes in the gym bag too long as they can de-shape or develop bad odors.
If you don’t often play basketball but this article has given you a hankering for it, find the best portable basketball hoops here.
Should I Buy White Basketball Shoes?
Frequently Asked Questions
You get white basketball shoes white again by cleaning them with a solution of mild dish soap and water. Use a soft cloth or brush to clean the shoes, then remove the soapy water with a damp cloth. If this does not remove all the dirt, try using toothpaste or hydrogen peroxide.
Yes, you can wash white basketball shoes. It is not recommended to use a washing machine, but there are a few different methods you can use to wash them by hand. The simplest is to use a mild cleaning solution – add some toothpaste to get an extra bright kick. You can also use a pre-wash of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
You clean white basketball shoes with baking soda by mixing it with white vinegar to form a paste. Rub this into your dirty shoes with a cloth. You can also mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and apply it to your shoes with an old toothbrush – but make sure to avoid the rubber soles.
No, you cannot wash white shoes with bleach in the washer. You should never use bleach to clean basketball shoes as it is highly corrosive. It is also best to avoid using the washer as it can be damaging. If you are pressed for time, make sure to use a gentle cycle on a low spin.
You clean white sneakers with toothpaste by adding a dab of it to your detergent mixture. The most effective solution seems to be a bowl of water, a dab of toothpaste and a few drops of mild detergent such as dish soap. You really do not need a lot of either.