How to Clean YOUR Sneakers

By: Nikash Ganguli

Sneakers have transcended their initial athletic purpose to become cultural icons within the fashion and streetwear realms. Brands like Jordan, Yeezy, and Nike have released models that are not just footwear but investments and collector’s items. Taking care of your sneakers ensures they last longer, look better, and can even retain or increase their value over time. Here’s a thorough step-by-step guide on how to keep your kicks in pristine condition.


Welcome to Sole Groove, the essential blog for hip-hop aficionados and sneaker enthusiasts. Dive into the vibrant intersection of beats and sneakers, where major music headlines and the freshest kicks meet. (opinions are all my own)

  1. Regular Cleaning


Frequency is Key: Clean your sneakers regularly, not just when they get noticeably dirty. A quick wipe after each wear can prevent dust and dirt from setting in.


Material Matters: Use a soft brush for general cleaning. For delicate materials like suede, opt for a special suede brush and cleaner. For leather or synthetic materials, a mild soap and water solution works well.


Technique: For tough stains on canvas or leather, use a soft-bristled brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent. Scrub gently in a circular motion. Rinse with a damp cloth and air dry.


Suede Care: Suede requires special attention. Use a dry brush to remove dirt. For stains, apply a suede cleaner with a brush, then dab with a microfiber cloth. Avoid water for general cleaning as it can stain suede.


  1. Decreasing Creasing with Shoe Trees


Shoe trees are not just for high-end dress shoes. Using them in your sneakers can prevent creases and help retain their shape. Cedar shoe trees also absorb moisture and keep your shoes smelling fresh. Insert shoe trees whenever you’re not wearing your sneakers, especially right after a day’s wear when they’re most susceptible to creasing.


  1. Proper Storage


Avoid Sunlight: Direct sunlight can fade colours and degrade materials over time. Store your sneakers in a cool, dry place away from windows.


Use Original Boxes or Clear Containers: Storing sneakers in their original box or clear, stackable containers can protect them from dust and make organization easy. If space allows, keeping them unstacked will prevent deformation.


Silica Gel Packs: Placing silica gel packs in your storage boxes can help control moisture and prevent mold growth.


  1. Handling Odors and Sweat


Odor-Eaters: Consider using sneaker balls or odor-absorbing inserts when you’re not wearing your shoes. They can keep your sneakers smelling fresh.


Sweat Management: If you wear your sneakers frequently, consider investing in moisture-wicking socks to keep sweat away. This can prevent odors and the breakdown of interior materials.


  1. Cleaning Sock Lint with a Fabric Shaver


Over time, the interior of sneakers can accumulate lint and fuzz, especially from socks. This not only looks unsightly but can also create an uncomfortable wearing experience. A fabric shaver is a perfect tool for gently removing this lint, restoring the inside of your shoes to a cleaner state. Be gentle and careful not to damage the interior fabric of the shoe.


  1. Special Tips for Popular Models


Jordan 1s: This classic silhouette is known for its leather construction. Use a leather conditioner after cleaning to keep the leather soft and prevent cracks.


Yeezy Boost 350: The primeknit upper is delicate and prone to snagging. Use a soft, damp cloth for cleaning and avoid brushes.


Nike Air Max: Mesh areas can collect dust and dirt. Use a soft, dry brush for these areas before any wet cleaning to prevent mud formation.


Adidas UltraBoost: Remove the insole and laces before washing. You can gently clean the primeknit upper with a soft brush and soap solution. Allow to air dry.


  1. Lace Cleaning


Laces can harbor a lot of dirt and can make even the cleanest sneakers look dingy. Remove laces from your sneakers and soak them in a solution of water and mild detergent. Agitate gently, rinse thoroughly, and let them air dry before re-lacing.


  1. The Resale Value and Secondhand Market Advantage


Boosting Resale Value: A well-maintained pair of sneakers can significantly increase in resale value. Collectors and enthusiasts are willing to pay top dollar for sneakers in excellent condition. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and careful wear can keep your sneakers looking as good as new, appealing to buyers in the resale market.


Secondhand Market Strategy: Buying used sneakers at lower prices and refurbishing them can be a profitable strategy. With the right cleaning techniques and care, you can restore sneakers to a “like-new” condition, wear them yourself, or resell them at a higher price. This approach not only allows you to enjoy higher-end sneakers for less but also to potentially turn a profit.


Maintaining your sneakers is as much about regular care as it is about understanding the market dynamics if you’re interested in resale. Whether you’re a casual enthusiast or 

a serious collector, investing time in the upkeep of your sneakers will pay off in their longevity, appearance, and potential resale value. By following these steps, you ensure that your favourite pairs continue to look fresh off the shelf for years to come, or even turn a profit in the vibrant sneaker resale market.


Do you guys upkeep your sneakers? Hopefully if you don’t this article will help you start your journey, sneakers cost a lot of money…make sure you take care of them!


Thanks for reading Sole Groove! Entering the realm where streetwear and hip-hop music collide has been an authentic experience. Until we groove again, keep your playlists current and your kicks fresh.

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