June 10


How to Clean Skate Shoes

By Teddy

June 10, 2023

Skate shoes are not just a fashion statement; they are essential gear for skateboarders. However, skate shoes tend to accumulate dirt, stains, and unpleasant odors over time. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your skate shoes while keeping them looking and smelling fresh. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning skate shoes effectively.

Importance of Cleaning Skate Shoes

Cleaning skate shoes is crucial for maintaining their durability and performance. When dirt and grime accumulate on the soles and uppers, it can affect the grip and flexibility of the shoes, making it harder to control the skateboard. Additionally, neglecting to clean skate shoes can lead to the growth of bacteria and fungi, resulting in unpleasant odors and potential foot infections. By regularly cleaning your skate shoes, you can prolong their lifespan and enjoy a better skateboarding experience.

Supplies Needed for Cleaning

Before you begin cleaning your skate shoes, gather the necessary supplies. Here are some items you will need:

  • Mild detergent or shoe cleaner
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Old toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloth or sponge
  • Towel
  • Shoe deodorizer (optional)
  • Waterproof spray (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Skate Shoes

Cleaning skate shoes is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to get your shoes looking clean and fresh:

Step 1: Remove the laces and insoles
Start by taking out the laces and insoles from your skate shoes. This will allow you to clean them more thoroughly.

Step 2: Brush off loose dirt and debris
Use a soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush to gently remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface of your skate shoes. Pay attention to the areas around the sole and the stitching.

Step 3: Prepare the cleaning solution
Fill a bowl with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent or shoe cleaner. Mix it gently to create a soapy solution.

Step 4: Clean the shoes
Dip the brush or toothbrush into the soapy solution and scrub the shoes gently. Focus on areas with visible stains or dirt. Use circular motions to loosen the grime and clean the entire surface of the shoes, including the soles.

Step 5: Rinse the shoes
Once you have scrubbed the shoes thoroughly, rinse them with clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that all the detergent is washed away.

5. Removing Stains and Odors

Sometimes skate shoes can develop stubborn stains or unpleasant odors. Here are a few methods to tackle them:

Removing Stains

  • For fabric or canvas skate shoes, you can mix baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stained areas, scrub gently, and then rinse.
  • For leather or suede skate shoes, use a specialized cleaner or follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove stains.

Eliminating Odors

  • Sprinkle baking soda inside your skate shoes and let it sit overnight to absorb odors. Vacuum or shake out the baking soda the next day.
  • Alternatively, you can use a shoe deodorizer spray to freshen up your skate shoes.

Drying and Maintaining Skate Shoes

After cleaning, it is essential to dry your skate shoes properly to prevent damage. Here’s how:

  • Gently pat the shoes with a towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Stuff the shoes with crumpled newspaper or shoe inserts to maintain their shape and aid in drying.
  • Avoid direct sunlight or using heat sources like hair dryers, as they can warp or shrink the shoes.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

Tips for Prolonging the Life of Skate Shoes

To ensure your skate shoes last longer, consider the following tips:

  • Rotate your shoes: Having multiple pairs of skate shoes and rotating them will reduce the wear and tear on each pair.
  • Avoid harsh conditions: Limit exposure to excessive heat, water, and rough surfaces that can damage the shoes.
  • Apply waterproof spray: Use a waterproof spray to protect your skate shoes from moisture and stains.
  • Regularly clean and maintain: Make it a habit to clean your skate shoes after each session to prevent dirt and grime from accumulating.

Cleaning skate shoes is a necessary task for skateboarders who want to maintain the performance and longevity of their footwear. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can easily clean your skate shoes, remove stains and odors, and ensure they stay in optimal condition for your next session. Remember to adopt good maintenance practices and take preventive measures to extend the life of your skate shoes.


Q1: How often should I clean my skate shoes? It is recommended to clean your skate shoes regularly, ideally after each skate session. This will help prevent dirt and grime build-up and maintain the performance of your shoes.

Q2: Can I put my skate shoes in the washing machine? While some skate shoes may be machine washable, it is generally not recommended as it can damage the shoes’ construction and materials. It’s best to clean them manually using the appropriate methods.

Q3: Can I use bleach to clean my skate shoes? Bleach can be too harsh for most skate shoes and may cause discoloration or damage. It is best to use mild detergents or shoe cleaners specifically designed for cleaning shoes.

Q4: How long does it take for skate shoes to dry? The drying time for skate shoes can vary depending on factors like humidity, materials, and how wet they are. On average, it may take 24 to 48 hours for skate shoes to air dry completely.

Q5: How can I remove stubborn odors from my skate shoes? Apart from using baking soda or shoe deodorizer sprays, you can also try placing your skate shoes in a sealed bag along with odor-absorbing materials like charcoal or coffee grounds. This can help eliminate stubborn odors.

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