Sneaker Trends

How to Wash Your Sneakers so They Look Brand-New Again

Tehrene Firman

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Photo: Stocksy/Maja Topcagic

After a fall filled with hikes, apple picking, and all sorts of adventure, your sneakers could probably use a little TLC. But don’t worry: There are some easy ways to make your favorite pair of shoes look brand-new again and the best part? It’ll hardly take you any effort at all.

Whether you want your former shiny white kicks to reappear or want to make now-dull colors pop again, all it really takes to get the job done is a few different materials you already have hanging out in your home. And get this: There’s even a way to use your washing machinehello, timesaver—without causing any damage to your beloved tennies. When you’re ready to give your kicks a serious makeover, here’s how to wash sneakers at home.

1. Put them in the washing machine

According to Reddit users, the best method is to remove the soles and laces, then put your shoes in a mesh sweater bag and wash them in cold water with your regular laundry soap on a medium spin speed. After they’re done, don’t put them in the dryer—just let them air-dry. And as for your laces, let them soak in a bowl of warm, soapy water for an hour, rinse them off, and let them air-dry.

2. Clean them with baking soda and a toothbrush

If your white sneakers could use a refresher, grab a toothbrush. After mixing up 1 Tbsp of baking soda, 1/2 Tbsp water, and 1/2 Tbsp laundry detergent in a small bowl, lightly work it into your shoes to get rid of any dirt and other marks on the surface.  After your shoes are completely coated, let them sit overnight. Once they’re ready, the mixture will be dry and you can use your toothbrush and a little water to remove it…and reveal the bright white once again.

3. Hand wash them

Not so sure about throwing your precious sneakers in the washing machine? There’s a simple way to hand wash them, too. Fill up your sink with warm water and some laundry detergent, then soak your shoes. According to Reddit users, using a toothbrush can help remove any dirt that’s built-up. Then after they look squeaky-clean, set them out to air-dry.

It turns out Meghan Markle’s white sneakers are actually affordable. Or, find out what Amazon reviewers have to say about these cult-favorite dad shoes.

This story was originally published on October 24, 2018; it was updated on November 24, 2018. 

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