Menu Close

How To Clean White Basketball Shoes – Easy Step By Step Guide & Cleaning Hacks

How To Clean White Basketball Shoes

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.

Cleaning Shoes By Hand

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

Use a clean cloth or soft bristle brush to apply the solution to the shoe. Avoid using a stiff brush as this can damage the shoe’s upper. Then, wipe your shoes with a damp cloth to remove the soapy water.

5. Clean Insoles And Inserts

You can clean your insoles and inserts with the same solution you used for the shoes. Make sure you rinse off the excess soap.

6. Air Dry

When you have finished, air dry your shoes in a well ventilated area. Avoid drying them in direct sunlight or with a hairdryer as this can cause them to lose their shape and width.

Cleaning White Basketball Shoes With Toothpaste

How To Clean 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

Another option for stubborn stains is baking soda and white vinegar. Mix a tablespoon of each with a little warm water and apply it to your shoes with a cloth. Use this as a prewash before applying the detergent solution.

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?

Cleaning Shoe 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.

Cleaning Shoes Using A Washing Machine

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

Air dry your clean shoes in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight.

Avoid using the dryer as this is likely to warp the shoes.

Turn Up The Heat For Beat-Up Basketball Shoes

If your shoes are beat-up already, you may be past the point of worrying about a little damage. If that is the case and the dirt is really ingrained, you can use a hot water cycle.

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

How To Take Care Of Basketball Shoes Useful Tips

Dry Before Storing

Always dry your basketball shoes before putting them in the closet. This goes for every time you wear them, even if you have just been practicing getting a good shot!

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

Never clean basketball shoes with strong chemical detergents, especially bleach. Bleach reacts with materials used in the shoe’s construction, and can cause serious corrosion!

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?

This really depends on what you want them for. White shoes show up dirt very easily, particularly if you wear them outdoors playing with the best in ground basketball hoops. If you’ve got your heart set on white kicks, keep in mind that they’ll need some extra TLC.

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.


There you have it – that is all you need to know about how to clean white basketball shoes! Hopefully you now know how to clean your basketball shoes, as well as keep them clean and at peak quality for longer. White sneakers tend to collect dust and stains easily, but there are ways to get them looking fresh once again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *