How to Clean Trainers in 5 Easy Steps

How to Clean Trainers in 5 Easy Steps

Nov 09 , 2021


Tags - How to Clean Trainers

No matter how hard you try to look after your trainers and watch every step you take, it’s inevitable that they’ll get a bit dirty.

Whether it’s summer and you’re off exploring or going to a festival, or if it’s winter so it’s all wet and muddy, knowing how to keep your trainers clean will help you keep them looking box-fresh.

And this way, you won’t have to keep investing in a new pair every time you head out.

Believe it or not, even the most dirty and damaged trainers can be saved with the right cleaning techniques, so don't throw them out just yet.

Here are 5 steps to cleaning your trainers.

1. Remove Dried Dirt

First things first, getting the old dirt off your trainers is the first step in before you begin a deep clean.

Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people just dunk their manky trainers into hot water and do nothing but smear the dirt around.

So, start off by tapping them against the wall outside to loosen any of the mud that’s attached.

Then, take a soft bristle brush and gently rub this over the entire body of the shoe to remove any top layers of dirt.

It’s worth noting here that you’ll need the right type of brush for the right kind of shoe, i.e. different ones for suede, fabric or leather uppers, but if you cannot get hold of one, an old toothbrush would generally work.

For the sole, if there are any tricky bits of dirt that won’t come off with a brush, you can use an old butter knife to really get into the grooves.

2. Soak the Laces

Once your trainers are all prepped and ready, you’ll want to remove the laces and clean these separately.

Sure, you can easily replace laces with a new pair, but there’s really no need when they can be easily cleaned.

A good way to do this, is by mixing up a solution of your usual laundry detergent with a warm cup of water and soak the laces in this for a couple of hours; if they’re super dirty, add a stain remover.

Once soaked, take them out and give them a little scrub before rinsing out the solution, then lay them flat on a towel and let them air dry naturally at room temperature.

3. Cleaning the Uppers

Now, there’s a few supplies you’ll need to clean the uppers of your trainers.

But, a cost effective way is to mix a generous amount of washing up liquid into a bowl of warm water, and using a soft cloth, gently wipe over your shoes.

Now, whilst this may work for shoes that are not too bad, for tougher stains this won’t be enough.

In this case, combine a tablespoon of baking soda and white vinegar with warm water to form a thick paste; if your mixture is too runny just add some more baking soda. Then, use a stiff brush in circular motions and start scrubbing.

However, if this doesn’t work, you can use bleach. Most people are scared to use bleach because they think they can’t, but as long as you dilute it, it can work wonders!

To do this, use one part bleach to five parts warm water then use the same technique as above; if a cloth doesn’t work, stick with an old toothbrush.

Finally, rinse and repeat as required.

4. Scrub the Soles

Once your uppers are sparking again, it’s time to tackle the soles. Even though these are going to get dirty again, you still need to clean them to ensure your kicks are looking fresh.

If the soles are smooth, using the washing up liquid solution and a soft cloth technique above will work just fine; for textured soles, use a toothbrush.

For extra dazzling soles, you can dip the toothbrush into bleach (not diluted this time) and tackle away any pesky marks. Let the bleach sit on the soles for about 10 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.

5. Let Them Air Dry

Hooray! Your trainers are looking brand new again, so the last thing you want to do now is not dry them correctly and cause any more damage.

First, open out the trainers’ tongues and if the insides have gotten a little soggy, stuff some old, scrunched up newspaper inside. Side note: newspaper will help to keep their shape too.

Then, simply allow them to air dry naturally overnight. Avoid tossing them in the dryer or applying heat directly as this can damage the shoe’s construction or even shrink them!

Rounding Up

Yes, cleaning trainers requires some effort but it’s always a good idea to act quickly rather than letting any dirt and stains build up.

In other words, give your trainers a quick clean after every wear, otherwise it will only make it harder to clean later.

And, once they are clean and looking brand new again, spray them with a shoe protector which will act as an invisible barrier and protect them against any dirt, liquids and stains.

Furthermore, storing trainers correctly will have an impact on their lifespan too, so always make sure they’re thoroughly dry before packing them away.

Please get in touch to find out more.

In the meantime, check out our entire range of comfortable shoes here.

You may also like:

  1. Our Top 6 Tips to Get Bad Odor Out of Shoes
  2. 6 Genius Tricks to Make Your Shoes Last Longer
  3. How to Keep White Trainers Squeaky Clean?