June 1


How to Clean the Bottom of Basketball Shoes

By Teddy

June 1, 2023

Proper maintenance of basketball shoes significantly impacts performance and longevity, with cleaning the soles often overlooked. This guide elucidates the importance of clean basketball shoes, provides a list of necessary cleaning materials, and offers a step-by-step walkthrough on cleaning. Enhance your game and extend your shoes’ lifespan with these practical tips. Let’s dive in!

Why Cleaning Basketball Shoes is Essential

Impact on Performance

Playing basketball with clean shoes isn’t just about aesthetics, it directly affects your game. The dirt and grime accumulated at the bottom of your shoes can hinder your performance by reducing traction. When traction is compromised, so is your agility and speed on the court.

Increasing Lifespan

Regular cleaning of your basketball shoes extends their lifespan. Dirt and grime can degrade the material of your shoes over time, causing them to wear out faster. By cleaning your shoes regularly, you can avoid premature wear and tear, saving yourself the cost of frequent replacements.

Materials Needed for Cleaning

For Basic Cleaning

For a basic cleaning routine, you will need:

  • A soft brush (an old toothbrush works great)
  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap

For Deep Cleaning

For a deeper cleaning, you might need:

  • A stiff brush
  • A Magic Eraser or similar product
  • Shoe cleaner solution

Steps for Basic Cleaning


Start by removing any loose dirt or debris from your shoes using the soft brush. Make a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap.

Cleaning Process

Dip the soft brush in the soapy water mixture and scrub the soles of your shoes gently. Be careful not to saturate the shoes, especially if they are made of sensitive materials. Rinse with clean water and let them air dry.

Steps for Deep Cleaning


Just as with basic cleaning, start by brushing off any loose dirt or debris. If the dirt is really stubborn, you might need to use a stiff brush.

Cleaning Process

Apply the shoe cleaner solution according to the instructions on the bottle. For most products, you’ll need to let the solution sit for a few minutes. Then, use a Magic Eraser or similar product to scrub the soles. Rinse with clean water and let them air dry.

Pro Tips for Maintenance

To maintain your basketball shoes in the best condition, try to clean them after each game or practice session. This might seem like a lot, but regular cleaning will prevent the buildup of stubborn dirt and grime, making the process quicker and easier each time.


  1. Can I clean my basketball shoes in the washing machine?
    • It is not recommended. The harsh environment of the washing machine can damage the structure and material of your shoes.
  2. How often should I clean my basketball shoes?
    • Ideally, after each game or practice session. At a minimum, clean them when you notice the traction reducing.
  3. Can I use any type of soap for cleaning?
    • It is recommended to use a mild soap, as harsh chemicals can damage your shoes.
  4. Can I dry my basketball shoes in the sun?
    • Direct sunlight can damage certain materials. Air drying your shoes indoors is the safest method.
  5. Does cleaning really extend the lifespan of basketball shoes?
    • Yes, regular cleaning can prevent premature degradation of the material, extending the lifespan of your shoes.


Cleaning the bottom of your basketball shoes is a crucial routine that every player should follow. Not only does it impact your performance on the court, but it also extends the lifespan of your shoes. The process is simple and does not require any special tools or products. So, why not give it a try?

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