With much of the world’s population forced to work from home to combat the coronavirus pandemic, people are finding it hard to deal with the sudden restrictions placed upon them. What first seemed like a fantasy — working from home and never having to leave your bed — has quickly turned into a struggle. If you’re like us, and are having trouble keeping yourself busy, you may want to give cleaning your sneakers a try.

All the sneakerheads stuck at home because school, university, or the office has shut down now have more than enough time on their hands to finally clean the entirety of their sneaker collection. Whether that means breathing new life into old beaters or just giving your more worn-in sneakers a quick clean, we’ll tell you exactly how to clean your sneakers.

Cleaning your sneakers seems simple until you actually have to do it. There are actually a lot of factors to consider, such as what material your sneakers are made of, what type of cleaning products you need to use, and how you should use them. To help you figure out how to clean your sneakers properly, we’ve put together a quick and painless guide and video that will have your sneakers looking box-fresh in no time at all.

While certain fabrics such as suede or mesh often require special treatment, this is our general guide to cleaning more versatile materials like leather or canvas. Check out the steps below and watch the full video on how to clean your sneakers at the bottom of the page.

What you need to clean your sneakers

A towel A brush of some sort Cleaning solution A toothbrush for hard-to-reach places Weather-proofing spray Whitening toothpaste An extra set of laces Magic sponges A microfiber towel Quick wipes A small bucket or container and some hot water Your dirty sneakers An apron or old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty

Scroll on for our step by step guide on how to clean your sneakers.

Step 1: Set up

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

To begin, set up your station so everything you need is within reach. Chefs call this "mise en place." Be sure to remove the laces from your sneakers.

Step 2: Remove dirt

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

Remove any excess dirt from your sneakers by knocking the soles of your shoes together and using a soft brush or damp towel to rub off any remaining dirt. This will already improve most surface-level scuffs.

Step 3: Spot clean

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

To spot clean your sneakers, use a quick wipe. Depending on the material, quick wipes should get most sneakers looking fresh in a matter of minutes. Our pro tip is to use a dab and twist motion, which will help lift whatever stain you’re tackling.

Step 4: Deep clean

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

If your shoes need extra attention, deep clean them. Do this by dipping your brush into hot water and then pouring some cleaning solution on to it. Apply the brush to the upper of your sneaker and gently scrub back and forth. Work up a lather so the bubbles get to work.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

Use a microfiber towel to remove excess soap and suds, and then inspect your work. If you feel your sneaker needs more attention, repeat step four. You can also use a toothbrush for hard-to-reach places. Another pro tip is to use a whitening toothpaste on white canvas, leaving the material porcelain white.

Step 6: Midsoles

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

Clean your midsoles like you cleaned the upper, using your brush and cleaning solution. But before you use those, another pro tip: take a magic sponge, dab a bit of water on it, apply some cleaning solution, and start gently scrubbing at the midsole. The magic sponge should make light work of dirt and stains, but if you feel you need a deeper clean, lather up your brush and scrub away. Use the microfiber towel to partially dry the midsoles.

Step 7: Laces

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

You can clean your laces in the washing machine or by scrubbing them with a toothbrush and cleaning solution. Our tip, though, is to use a fresh pair of laces, which can be purchased online or at a variety of sneaker retailers. It’s cheap and a much easier way to get your shoes looking fresh again.

Step 8: Dry overnight

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

Once you're done cleaning your sneakers, leave them to dry overnight.

Step 9: Weatherproof

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this JW Player video.

Once your sneakers are dry and you’ve re-laced them, take some weatherproofing spray and give your sneakers a good coating. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle, as they can differ from brand to brand. _

Now, watch the full video on how to clean your sneakers below:

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this YouTube video.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @Highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates to your inbox.

We Recommend
  • Nike ACG's Woven Slip-On Is the Perfect Sneaker-Sandal
    • Sneakers
  • Aimé Leon Dore's New Balance Dad Shoes Look Mighty Clean
    • Sneakers
  • Roger Federer's New On-Court On Shoe Is Actually Super Clean
    • Sneakers
  • Nike's 2024 Flyknit Sneaker Collection Is Textural Heaven
    • Sneakers
  • These Sneakers Are a Perfect Match for Valentine's Day
    • Sneakers
What To Read Next
  • Ronnie Fieg's Clarks Have Grilling Shoe Energy
    • Sneakers
  • The Miami F1 Grand Prix Was About Collaboration, Too
    • Sports
  • Apple's New iPad Pro Might Replace Your Laptop
    • Culture
  • District Vision's Beefy New Balance Shoes Are Now Twice as Nice
    • Sneakers
  • BMW's First-Ever Couture Car Is a Literal Supermodel
    • Culture
  • Reebok & Needles’ Beautiful Trek Shoe Is Back (& Now, a Clog)
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.