How To Clean Basketball Shoes? A Quick Answer

Our article will include many tips to help you wash your basketball shoes and present the cleaning specifications for different types. Stay tuned!

How To Clean Basketball Shoes? 

A pair of basketball sneakers need lots of care and maintenance.

There are three effective clean methods: washing them by hand, cleaning shoe components, and using a washing machine as a last resort. 

Let’s take a closer look at each case.

Cleaning by hand

  • Step 1: Scrub the soiling and new dirt so that you give less time for the new stains to set in, making it easier to wipe them away. 
  • Step 2: Use a brush to scrub the shoes’ surface of crud; you should use a stiff-bristled brush and apply enough pressure.
  • Step 3: It’s time to make a cleansing solution by pouring warm water into a medium-sized bowl or bucket before adding mild detergents, such as soap. Swish it until bubbles pop up, and avoid using chemicals and bleaches at all costs!
  • Step 4: Moisten the soft brush or use a wet cloth to wipe your footwear. Start from the inside using your fingertips and scrub more forcefully if handling stubborn gunk. 
  • Step 5: Use a dry soft cloth to clean your basketball shoes again, but remember not to sink them in water. 
  • Step 6: Place the newly cleaned ones in an airy, warm place to let them dry. It is not recommended to fasten the drying process with the help of a radiator or hair dryer. 
  • Step 7: The shoes’ interior is quite hard to dry completely, so you could put some newspapers inside to absorb excess water, but this step is optional. 

Read more: How To Wear A Basketball Jersey

Cleaning shoes’ components

The sneakers look good after thorough cleaning.
  • Step 1: Start from the stained insoles using white toothpaste and a brushing tool, or else, you could create a cleaning solution to wipe the dirt on the insoles
  • Step 2: Move to the leather components, like the basketball sneaker’s side panels. Dampen your soft brush or cloth with water and manually clear the debris.
  • Step 3: Clean components made of canvas or other absorbent materials with warm water and gentle soap. 
  • Step 4: Dunk the shoelaces in a cleansing solution and wash them carefully by hand. If they are frayed or torn, replacing them is the best idea. 
  • Step 5: Let your footwear dry by placing them in a well-circulated area. 

Using the washing machine 

  • Step 1: Read the manufacturer’s manual, as some washing machines are unsuitable for shoe-cleaning purposes. 
  • Step 2: Go to the setting and choose the cold water option. Add some clothes and towels to reduce the interaction and diminish potential damage.
  • Step 3: Use less detergent than normal. 
  • Step 4: Avoid using the air dryer function of a washing machine; it is ideal for placing them under full sunlight and letting them dry. 

Read more: How To Clean A Basketball

What Are Some Special Considerations For Different Materials?

How to clean leather basketball sneakers

Leather sneakers are the most popular type thanks to their look, but they quickly get stained if not adequately cleaned. It is advisable to clean them regularly with a mild soap solution and a brushing tool. 

How to clean suede basketball shoes

The suede material is hard to maintain, so cleaning your suede sneakers every time after wear to avert scuff marks or stains using a specialized brush or suede rubber would be best. 

How to clean knit basketball shoes

Avoid harsh detergents, like abrasive cleaners or bleaches, at all costs if you plan to clean a pair of sneakers made of knit. Don’t use artificial heat to dry them as well. 

Read more: How To Choose A Basketball


After reading our post, you can answer How to clean basketball shoes? It is not a complicated task, but be careful with different materials to have the best cleaning method for each. 

Thank you for your genuine support, and have a nice day!


How do I clean my insoles to reduce odor?

It is straightforward: remove the insoles, use a wet brush to clear the dirt, and air dry them thoroughly before putting them back. 

How often should I clean my shoes?

The answer depends on many factors, such as the frequency of wearing or their materials, yet you should generally clean them twice a week or even after every wear. 

What to do if your sports shoes are still dirty after cleaning?

Repeat the above-recommended steps if they are still dirty after cleaning, or you should buy a new pair because the old one’s quality has degraded.

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