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How to Clean Your Basketball Shoes – Pro Tips

How to Clean Your Basketball Shoes

Typically, basketball shoes are a critical investment for any basketball player. Taking care of your sneakers will not only prolong their life but also protect your feet by reducing slip-ups. Cleaning your sneakers can give you a good grip on the court and even improve your overall playing experience.

Additionally, a good pair of clean and comfortable shoes can enhance your performance and even boost your confidence. That said, dirty sneakers can give a negative impression about your personal appearance, which is why you’ll have to keep them clean at all times.

Without further ado, here are some quick tips for keeping your basketball shoes squeaky clean:

Step 1: Get Rid of Any Dust


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The first step is to get rid of any dirt, stain, or debris that might be stuck on your basketball shoes. To effectively remove dirt, you will have to use a scrubbing brush. Use a moist cloth to wipe away mud before it has time to set in. Afterward, use a toothpick to remove stones from the sole of your shoes.

Step 2: Remove Inner Soles


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Remove the inner soles from the shoes and soak them in a solution made of strong vinegar and water. This helps kill any bacteria and also neutralize any foul odors. If your soles are white, you can add a little toothpaste in the mixture to give them a brighter finish. Before reinserting the inner soles, you can sprinkle a little baking soda to help with odor control.

Also, remove the shoelaces to make it easier to reach all the areas of your shoes. Wash the shoelaces and scrub them by hand to remove any stains. You can also toss them in the washing machine.

Step 3: Cleaning With Warm Water


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Prepare a gentle cleansing solution with warm water and mild washing detergent or dish soap. Swish the solution around until it becomes a bit bubbly. You should never use harsh detergents like bleaches or abrasive cleaners as they are likely to degrade the quality of your shoes. It is also wise to avoid softeners and cleaners with scent as they can cause a greasy residue on the shoe sole and affect its traction.

Step 4: Use Toothbrush or Scrubbing Brush

Dip a cloth in the mixture and use it to wipe away stained surfaces. You could also use a scrubbing brush or toothbrush to get rid of stubborn stains. A toothbrush can help you get to hard-to-reach areas like the seams.

Step 5: Cleaning Under Running Water

Once you have removed the stains, dampen a clean cloth in plain water and wipe away the soapy residue. Don’t soak the shoes in water or place them under running water.

Step 6: Dry on Air

The last step is to air dry your shoes at room temperature. You can leave them in an airy spot or use a clean cloth to wipe away the moisture before drying them first. You shouldn’t store your shoes while still wet or place them under direct sunlight.

If there is moisture inside the shoes, you can stuff them with newspaper as you wait for them to dry. However, don’t use artificial heat sources like hair and clothes dryers since they are likely to cause cracking or shrinking and will eventually lose shape. Do take note that for leather sneakers, you can apply leather shoe treatment or conditioner.

Tips: How to tie your basketball shoes Perfectly

Don't Do This When Clinning Your Basketball Shoes:

Do not use strong chemicals or washing detergents. Using harsh chemicals like bleach and alcohol can dry out your shoes’ soles. Instead, protect them by using an eco-friendly detergent.

Don’t dry your basketball shoes using artificial dryers. Heaters and dryers tend to release very high heat which can alter the shape of rubber and even damage your shoes. Therefore, it’s better to air dry them at room temperature.

Don’t put your shoes in the washing machine. This is particularly important if your pair of basketball shoes are expensive or they truly mean something to you. Placing them in the washing machine can result in discoloration or damage. You definitely don’t want to take the chance.

Avoid softeners and detergent with scents. Detergents with scent can leave your soles with a greasy residue that can affect your game.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you put basketball shoes in the washing machine?

There has been an unending debate on whether it is safe to put your shoes in a washing machine. In some instances, cleaning your shoes in a washer is discouraged since it can discolor or damage them.

On the other hand, it has been said that basketball shoes can survive in the machine for 1-2 cycles. This is, however, risky since you can’t be sure that the shoes will get the best results. For that reason, it is best not to toss your shoes into the machine if they are expensive or valuable.

It is particularly wise to consult with the manufacturer’s recommendation and see if they advice putting the shoes in a washing machine.

How to wash Adidas shoes in a washing machine?

Some sneakers like the ones from Adidas can be cleaned in the washing machine. Here are the steps you should follow if you are planning to clean them that way:

  • Remove the laces and store them in a mesh wash bag
  • With a soft scrubbing brush, remove the excess dirt and debris
  • Once you have removed the dirt, toss the shoes together with the laces in a washing machine. It is important to place a load of old clothes or towels in the washer in order to prevent damaging the shoes.
  • Add a bit of liquid detergent and set the machine to run on delicate cycle with cold water. Also, allow extra rinse to thoroughly remove the soap residue.
  • Air dry the shoes.

How do you get sweat stains out of basketball shoes?

There are shoes that don’t have adequate ventilation which can only lead to excessive sweating. Also, when players are playing, drops of sweat can fall on the shoes.

To effectively get rid of sweat stain, you can use salt. Simply mix half a cup of table salt, 2 tablespoons of detergent, and water in a bowl to form a paste. Then, apply the paste on the sweat stains for a few hours before cleaning with a damp cloth.

You can also use vinegar to get rid of stain sweats. Prepare a mixture of vinegar and water then spray on the surface with sweat stains. Leave for a little while and wash after.

How do you clean basketball shoes for grip?

Courts and other playing surfaces can become slippery. When this happens, your basketball shoes will likely lose their grip, and it will be impossible for you to maintain your balance.

If this happens, make sure that you regularly clean the sole of your shoes in order to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris. Debris and loose dirt can make your shoes lose traction.

Once you have removed the debris, wipe your shoes with a damp cloth and apply a good grip lotion. There is a vast selection of grip lotions on the market. Most players also apply sweat or saliva on the soles of their shoes so as to improve traction.

Final Word

There is no better way to keep your basketball shoes in shape than by cleaning them regularly. Knowing how to clean basketball shoes will ensure that you wear them for years to come. Just like most products, shoes tend to last longer when they are properly taken care of.

Besides, clean shoes will help maintain your traction during the game and even keep you looking your best.

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