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How to Wash Tennis Shoes? – A simple Guide 2019

A Step by Step Guide Along with Do’s and Dont’s on How to wash Tennis Shoes

how to wash tennis shoes

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Tennis Shoes are not for only players or athletes but they are for everyone. Whether you love tennis shoes for sports activities or you simply use them in your daily life because of the comfort and ease they offer, you have to clean them very often.

Many people procrastinate because of the myth that washing tennis shoes are a daunting task. In this article, we are going to bust this myth and will let you know how you can wash your tennis shoes following a simple start.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Get Rid of Laces and Insoles:

Your shoelaces and insoles are the most difficult part of the shoes to wash because of the dirtiness they have. Start washing your tennis shoes by just removing the shoelaces and any other removable inserts or insoles.

If your shoelaces are too dirty to wash, then replacing them with a new one is a good idea as they are not going to cost you more than a few bucks. Moreover, it will give a new look to your shoes.

You can wash the laces with other clothing by just putting them in a laundry bag. Handle the insoles in a different manner and keep them separate from shoelaces.


  • Make a solution of baking soda by just mixing it with hot water. Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with a cup of hot water.
  • Take a cloth and dip it into baking soda solution and wipe the soles.
  • Leave them in the air while cleaning.
  • To get rid of smell coming from insoles, sprinkle baking soda on the insole of the shoes. The baking soda absorbs smell and moisture. This home remedy works well if you only want to get rid of the odor coming from inside of the shoes instead of washing the shoes.

Step 2: Wash Your Tennis Shoes:

You can easily wash most of the shoes in cloth washer without any issue. If you still have doubts about your tennis shoes, just go to the manufacturer’s website and check out the cleaning instructions for your tennis shoes. Yes, most of the shoe manufacturers offer the shoe cleaning guidelines.

Now let’s start the actual mission.

  • Start the cleaning process by just rinsing the shoes with tap water to get rid of soil or any dirt.
  • Now, place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag. Ensure you are using warm water and a heavy detergent with many same-colored towels. (Towels are used while washing the tennis shoes to avoid unnecessary sounds produced in the result of shoes striking different parts of the machine)
  • Select a lower speed for the washer to keep it in the balanced form. (In the case, if you got a washer with adjustable speeds)

For expensive and new shoes, we won’t recommend machine washing. Try hand washing for expensive shoes as it is more gentle. For hand washing, follow the following steps:

  • Prepare a washing solution by mixing a mild detergent (liquid) into warm water.
  • Take a soft brush and scrub it all over the shoe after dipping it into the detergent solution.
  • Wipe away residue using a damp cloth with a gentle touch.  

Note: You can wash any leather or fabric tennis shoes in the washer until the manufacturer of the shoes has instructed not to do so.

Now we are done with the washing shoes. Keep reading to find what’s next.

Step 3: Dry Your Shoes:

 Do’s of drying your tennis shoes:

  • Use white cotton towels or simply a white paper for stuffing your tennis shoes in order to prevent color transfer and the actual shape of the shoes.
  • If you have to use a dryer to dry your tennis shoes, then go for the air-only dryer cycle. (Although we don’t recommend it until it’s a must/necessary).

Don’ts of drying your tennis shoes:

  • Don’t use high heat clothes dryers to dry your tennis shoes. As high heat can damage their shape, support, and fit.
  • Don’t use newspaper to stuff your shoes because the ink will be transferred to shoes.
  • Don’t keep leather shoes in sunlight for drying because the direct sunlight and heat exposure can result in the cracks on the shoes. To speed up the drying process, you can go for a circulating fan.

Step 4: Doll Up Your Shoes:

how to wash tennis shoes

When it comes to beautifying your tennis shoes after washing, you have multiple and easy ways to do it. But first of all, ensure that tennis shoes are completely dry.

You can go for shoe polish in different colors such as white or black for dolling up your shoes. To hide problematic areas of shoes, a permanent marker works a way better than anything else.

You can find many leather conditioners online or nearby stores in your town for your leather tennis shoes. These conditioners keep your shoe leather in a good state and prevent cracks.

For canvas shoes, we will suggest you go for a fabric protective spray as this spray will prevent dirt and stains.

Can I Wash Sneakers in my Dishwasher?

Many of you may find this question bizarre, but if you search on google for guides on how to wash tennis shoes, you will come up such stories that people are using the dishwasher to wash their tennis shoes.

Well, for shower and athlete shoes, you can put your shoes in the dishwasher.

But you should not. Why?

Because putting the shoes in the dishwasher can extremely damage them as the hot water and mechanical action of the water will clean soil but the detergents used in the process are extremely harsh. These detergents can destroy their leather, fabric, and color. The high heat can result in shrinkage of shoes and even it can melt some parts of the shoes.

So, use the dishwasher for washing dishes only and for washing your tennis shoes, follow the steps we have shared in this guide.

Here, we are done with our guide. We hope you have found the answer on how to wash Tennis Shoes. Have you got any questions or suggestions to ask from us? Drop in the comments section and we will cover them in our next write-up.  We would love to hear from you.

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