How to Keep Your Kicks in Great Shape!
- by Chazz Demaria
- May 12, 2021
Keeping shoes clean can be an uphill battle. White or light-colored shoes are always going to get dirty no matter what you do. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep your sneaks looking fresh! Upon taking your shoes out of the box, depending on the material you’ll want to cover generously with a spray protectant that is meant for the fabric type. If you wear your shoes daily it’s probably a good idea to wash weekly or switch up with another pair so you aren’t wrecking them every day.
Sneaker Cleaning Kits
For sneakers with uppers made of delicate materials like suede or knit, consider the Angelus Foam Tex Cleaning Kit. The gentle foaming cleaner won’t heavily saturate material and will leave your shoes squeaky clean. The shoe cleaner kit comes with a 5.7-ounce bottle of cleaner, a hog hair cleaning brush, and a microfiber towel, which is great for lifting dirt and stains.
Pink Miracle (pictured above) has remained a popular shoe cleaner since 1985. You just need a little bit of the brand’s USA-made concentrate to tackle grime and grit on your favorite pair of kicks. Today, Pink Miracles’ Shoe Cleaner Kit, which comes with the solution and a stiff brush, has over 7,600 reviews on Amazon and a cult following.
Another all-in-one option, Deadstock Los Angeles’ Shoe Cleaner Kit (pictured above) includes a shoe cleaner that can be used on all types of materials including vinyl, leather, rubber, cotton, plastic, and knit. It also comes with two kinds of brushes for tackling various surfaces, plus a microfiber cloth, water- and stain-repellent spray, and shoe deodorizer. Deadstock’s kit should leave shoes looking refreshed, but in case of an unsuccessful cleaning, the brand offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
For those on the go, consider Sneaker Lab’s Shoe Wipes (pictured above). The versatile wipe can be used on suede, nubuck, leather, canvas, mesh, and various other knits. Each wipe contains bioengineered bacteria that break down the dirt at the molecular level, instead of soap or harsh chemicals. The innovative wipes come in a pack of 12 and should wipe off dirt with ease.
CREATING A DIY SNEAKER CLEANING MIX WITH HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES
For a DIY shoe cleaner mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and a cup of water. Use a cloth or old toothbrush to scrub your sneakers until clean. Works on leather and canvas. This method also apparently works with 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1/2 a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide/water combo.
Recommended Shoe Cleaning Methods by Material
Carefully remove dust from the shoes’ surfaces using a nylon brush. With a soft cotton cloth, apply a liquid cleanser made specifically for suede. Cover the shoes’ surfaces completely. Once the shoes are dry, use the brush to restore the nap. Suede erasers can be used to clean scuff marks.
Polish leather shoes every third or fourth time you wear them. Apply shoe polish with a horsehair applicator. Let polish set, and then buff shoes with a soft cotton cloth. Over time, the wax polish will dull the sheen of the shoes and block the pores of the leather. To remove buildup, use a cleaning solvent designed to dissolve oil-based stains. Apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the cleaning with another application of waterproofing spray. After the shoes have dried, polish them once more to restore the oils.
Everyone’s got a pair of beat-up Chuck Taylors, right? Good thing they’re made of a cotton canvas that’s super easy to clean. Just brush it with a sneaker cleaner that’s mixed with lukewarm water and leave them out to dry. (They’ll look darker at first but give them an hour or so and they’ll look white as new.) Or, you can create a homemade cleaning paste with baking soda and an equal amount of half water and half hydrogen peroxide. Apply the mixture all over your shoes with a brush and let them sit for four hours. The mixture will have hardened and you can just shake off the hard bits and wipe off any remainder with a soft cloth or paper towel.
All-Weather Shoe Sprays to Check Out
- Crep Protect Spray
Crep Brand has exploded in recent years in terms of popularity and it is what many sneakerheads go to in terms of an overall stain-resistant/Dirt protectant spray.
- Kiwi Rain and Stain Protector
Some of the best waterproof sprays for shoes are made by Kiwi. This brand is basically devoted to protecting footwear. In addition to warding off rain damage, this spray also protects against other liquids (think spilled wine).
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