How To Clean Sneakers That Are Downright Filthy

20 March 2019
Sneakers
Suede shoes? White upper? All hope is not lost if you follow these tips

Sneakers are really having a moment. Once relegated to the back of the closet or the gym locker alone, they used to be considered unfashionable.
They were the quintessential "dad shoe" - so called due to the fact that men mindlessly wore them with bootcut jeans with sagging bottoms, hopefully in a daze from the sleeplessness that accompanied their first foray into fatherhood.

But now, you can wear sneakers with jeans and be deemed stylish. You can wear sneakers and a suit and be considered a trendsetter.
The sneaker is all-encompassing and versatile, and never has it been so popular as it is today.

While everyone will have a pair or two, part of the joy comes with that first unboxing of fresh kicks. There's the smell, the sheen, and of course - the blemish-free soles and upper.

And then you go outside and life happens.

If your favourite kicks have suffered a cruel blow from food stains, mud, and even coffee - fear not.

Whether you're trying to rehab suede, leather or mesh, here is your guide to making sneaker dreams come true.

Stained White Sneakers
Use cleaning solution and water

If you're dealing with a white leather shoe that's suffered some nasty stains, you'll need to remove the shoelaces and place them in a bowl filled with water and two to three tablespoons of dish soap.

Dip the laces a few times and rub them together to help get the stains out. After repeating the process, leave them to soak.

For the undersole, remove any rocks, dirt or debris with a small tool like a mini screwdriver. Then scrub the undersole with a firm-bristled brush that's been dipped in a mixture of shoe cleaner solution and water.

Wipe the shoe down with a white microfiber cloth. You might balk at the thought of having to buy a towel specifically for cleaning your sneakers, but believe us when we say it makes a difference.

Microfiber is great for picking up stains, especially on white shoes.To clean the shoe upper, opt for a medium or medium-firm brush and get to scrubbing.

It normally doesn't take more than one go and, once the shoe is dry, use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean any leftover stains.

Dirty suede sneakers
Use Suede brush and magic eraser
The first instinct when it comes to suede sneakers, is to frantically scrub them as soon as you've spilt something on them.

This merely pushes the dirt into the suede, so instead gently wipe the junk off the shoe and let it dry before grabbing the secret weapon: a suede brush. Slide the brush over the affected area to get rid of any remaining dirt and particles.

Then, clean the shoe more thoroughly by starting with the undersole. Scrub the shoe until it's clean, using a medium-firm brush dipped in the shoe cleaning solution and water mixture.

Suede uppers, by their very nature, are going to be more challenging. But by taking a soft brush and avoiding using too much of the foam cleanser, you can get rid of most stains.

Avoid making it too damp as this will ruin the suede. Scrub lightly - in one direction, as scrubbing back and forth will mess up the material - until you start to see the stain get lighter.

Let the shoe dry before attempting another round of cleaning; it can take up to four rounds of washing and drying before they are returned to their original glory.

A brass brush can also do wonders for suede shoes, breaking up the material if it feels stiff after drying. The brush works to revive suede after cleaning. Once the shoe is dry, rub Mr. Clean Magic Eraser wherever the dirty area is.

Filthy mesh shoes
Use a soft brush

Again, start by removing the laces and letting them soak. Start cleaning the undersole with your shoe cleaner solution and water mix, using a medium or soft brush so as not to damage material like soft rubber.

To get stains off mesh uppers, it can take multiple cleaning sessions. Using a microfiber towel to scratch at the mesh with your fingers is a way of picking up the dirt.

Like the white sneakers, use shoe cleaner to wash the uppers. Dip the brush in your solution and move it in a circular motion over the stain.
Scrub and wipe until it starts to return to its original colour, which might take a few attempts.

Keeping sneakers clean all-year round

To ensure your sneakers stay fresh, use a repel spray after cleaning. This prevents water-based stains from forming on your shoes and also protects the material.

Most importantly, dress for the weather: suede shoes should never be worn on rainy days.


Via GQ Australia