How To Wash Tennis Shoes: The Complete Guide

Tennis shoes are an essential part of any athlete’s wardrobe. Not only do they provide the necessary support and cushioning for your feet, but they also help to protect your joints and muscles from injury during intense physical activity.

However, like any other type of footwear, tennis shoes can get dirty and smelly over time. This can not only be unsightly, but it can also cause irritation and discomfort for the wearer. Therefore, it is important to clean your tennis shoes regularly to maintain their appearance and functionality.

In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to effectively clean your tennis shoes, as well as some tips and tricks to help make the process as easy and effective as possible.

To clean tennis shoes, you will need the following items:

  • A soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • A small bowl or bucket
  • Mild detergent or soap
  • Warm water
  • A clean cloth or sponge
  • Baking soda (optional)

Step 1: Remove any excess dirt or debris from the shoes. Use the soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently loosen and remove any dirt or debris that is stuck to the shoes. Be careful not to use too much force, as this can damage the shoes.

Step 2: Mix a small amount of mild detergent or soap with warm water in the bowl or bucket. Stir the mixture until it is well combined and foamy.

Step 3: Dip the cloth or sponge into the soapy water and gently scrub the shoes. Focus on areas that are particularly dirty or stained. Use circular motions to work the soap into the material of the shoes.

Step 4: Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining soap and dirt. Use the brush or toothbrush to scrub any stubborn areas and make sure the shoes are completely clean.

Step 5: Allow the shoes to air dry completely. Do not put the shoes in the dryer or use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process, as this can damage the shoes. Instead, stuff the shoes with newspaper or paper towels to help them retain their shape and absorb any excess moisture.

Step 6: Once the shoes are completely dry, you can use a small amount of baking soda to help remove any lingering odors. Sprinkle the baking soda evenly over the inside of the shoes, making sure to coat all surfaces. Let the baking soda sit for several hours or overnight, then shake it out before wearing the shoes.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean your tennis shoes and remove dirt, grime, and odor. Regular cleaning can help extend the life of your shoes and keep them looking and smelling fresh. Additionally, by removing dirt and debris, you can help improve the performance of your shoes and ensure that they remain comfortable and supportive. Overall, cleaning tennis shoes is a simple and effective way to maintain the integrity and appearance of your favorite footwear.

Factors to Consider When Washing Your Shoes

When washing your shoes, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you clean them properly and extend their lifespan. These include:

  • The material of the shoes: Different materials require different cleaning methods. For example, leather shoes should not be washed with water, as this can damage the material and cause them to become stiff and discolored. Instead, use a leather cleaner or conditioner to clean and protect the leather.

  • The type of dirt and stains on the shoes: The method you use to clean your shoes will depend on the type of dirt and stains they have. For example, if your shoes are covered in mud, you will need to use a brush to remove the mud before washing them. If your shoes have stains, you may need to use a specific stain remover to remove them.

  • The type of washing machine you have: If you plan to wash your shoes in a washing machine, make sure the machine is large enough to accommodate your shoes and that the shoes will not damage the machine. If your shoes are too large or too heavy for your washing machine, it’s best to wash them by hand.

  • The type of detergent you use: Choose a gentle detergent that is specifically designed for washing clothes and avoid using harsh chemicals, as these can damage your shoes. Also, avoid using too much detergent, as this can leave a residue on your shoes and cause them to become stiff and uncomfortable to wear.

  • The drying method: After washing your shoes, allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again. Avoid using a hair dryer, as the heat can damage the material of your shoes. If your shoes are wet inside, stuff them with newspaper or other absorbent material to help them dry faster.

How Often Should I Clean My Tennis Shoes?

When it comes to how often you should clean your tennis shoes, the answer really depends on how often you wear them. If you only wear them occasionally, then you can probably get away with cleaning them once every few months. However, if you wear them on a daily basis, then you’ll need to clean them more frequently – at least once a week.

There are a few tell-tale signs that your shoes need to be cleaned, such as if they start to smell bad or if the fabric starts to look dirty. If you notice either of these things, it’s time to break out the soap and water (or shoe cleaner) and give your shoes a good scrubbing.

Cleaning your shoes regularly will help extend their lifespan and keep them looking their best. So even though it may be a bit of a hassle, it’s worth taking the time to clean your tennis shoes on a regular basis.

Is it OK to wash tennis shoes in the washer?

It is generally safe to wash tennis shoes in a washing machine, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid damaging your shoes. First, you should always remove the shoelaces and any other removable parts, such as insoles or orthotics, before washing your shoes. This will help ensure that your shoes are cleaned thoroughly and will prevent the laces from getting tangled in the washing machine.

Next, you should use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Hot water and harsh detergents can damage the materials in your shoes and cause them to break down or fade. You should also avoid using any bleach or fabric softener, as these can also damage your shoes.

After washing your shoes, you should allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again. Avoid using a dryer or exposing them to direct heat, as this can cause the materials in your shoes to shrink or become misshapen. If your shoes are particularly wet, you can stuff them with newspaper or towels to help them retain their shape as they dry.

In general, it is safe to wash tennis shoes in a washing machine as long as you take the proper precautions and use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. This will help keep your shoes clean and in good condition without damaging them.

What to do After Putting on a New Pair of Sports Socks

After putting on a new pair of sports socks, it is important to wash them before wearing them. This will remove any dirt or bacteria that may be on the socks.

To wash sports socks, use a mild detergent and warm water. Wash the socks in a washing machine on a gentle cycle.

If the socks are very dirty, you may need to wash them by hand. Rinse the socks thoroughly and allow them to air dry.

Will washing tennis shoes get rid smell?

Assuming you’re referring to sweaty smells, the short answer is yes. Washing your tennis shoes will definitely help get rid of any unpleasant smells. But there are a few things you can do to make sure they stay fresh and smell great for longer.

First, always allow your shoes to air out after wearing them. This will help prevent the build-up of sweat and bacteria that can cause shoes to smell bad. If possible, try to wash your shoes after every wear. If not, at least once a week should do the trick.

When washing your shoes, use a mild detergent and cold water. Hot water can break down the materials in your shoes and shorten their lifespan. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing again.

You can also sprinkle some baking soda inside your shoes before storing them away. This will help absorb any moisture and odors. Just be sure to vacuum it out before wearing again.

Following these simple tips should help keep your tennis shoes smelling fresh and looking new for longer!


Ravi is an avid tennis fan and a passionate blogger. He has been following the sport for years and has developed a deep understanding of the game. Ravi loves to analyze every aspect of a tennis match, from the players' tactics to the mental game. As a blogger, Ravi shares his insights on a variety of tennis-related topics, including the latest news and updates, player profiles, and analysis of major tournaments. His writing style is engaging and informative, and he always strives to provide his readers with unique perspectives and valuable insights. When he's not writing about tennis, Ravi enjoys playing the game himself and is a regular player at his local club. He also enjoys watching other sports and is a keen follower of football and basketball.

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