June 3


How to Wash Tennis Shoes

By Teddy

June 3, 2023

Tennis shoes are essential footwear for athletes and individuals who lead an active lifestyle. Their versatility and comfort make them a popular choice for various activities, including tennis, running, and casual wear. However, with regular use, tennis shoes can become dirty, smelly, and unappealing. Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial to extend the lifespan of your tennis shoes and keep them looking and feeling their best.

Why is it important to wash tennis shoes?

Regularly washing your tennis shoes offers several benefits. Firstly, it helps remove dirt, mud, and stains that accumulate over time. This not only improves the appearance of your shoes but also prevents the buildup of bacteria and germs. Additionally, washing your tennis shoes eliminates odors, making them more pleasant to wear. Lastly, cleaning your shoes helps maintain their structural integrity, ensuring they provide the necessary support and cushioning for your feet.

Preparing your tennis shoes for washing

Before you begin the washing process, it’s essential to prepare your tennis shoes properly. This involves a few simple steps to ensure effective cleaning and prevent any damage.

Removing shoelaces and insoles

Start by removing the shoelaces from your tennis shoes. This step allows for thorough cleaning and prevents tangling or damage during the washing process. Additionally, take out the insoles if they are removable. Cleaning these separately ensures that all parts of your shoes are properly cleaned and dried.

Brushing off dirt and debris

Use a soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush to gently brush off any loose dirt or debris from your tennis shoes. Pay close attention to the crevices and seams where dirt tends to accumulate. Removing surface dirt before washing prevents it from spreading and making the cleaning process more challenging.

Handwashing tennis shoes

Handwashing your tennis shoes is a suitable method for delicate materials, shoes with intricate designs, or when you prefer more control over the cleaning process.

Using a mild detergent

Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as they may damage the shoe’s materials. Mix the detergent in the water until it creates a soapy solution.

Scrubbing the shoes

Immerse your tennis shoes in the soapy water and use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub them. Pay attention to areas with stubborn stains or discoloration. Be careful not to scrub too harshly, especially on delicate materials, to prevent any damage.

Rinsing and drying

After scrubbing, rinse your tennis shoes under running water to remove any remaining detergent. Ensure that all soap residue is washed away. Squeeze out excess water gently without wringing or twisting the shoes. Place them in a well-ventilated area to air dry naturally. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources as they can cause the shoes to deform or fade.

Drying and storing tennis shoes

Proper drying and storage techniques are essential to maintain the shape and condition of your tennis shoes.

Air-drying the shoes

After washing, allow your tennis shoes to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. Ensure that they are placed on a clean and dry surface. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can fade the shoe’s color or cause shrinkage. It’s crucial to be patient during this process to prevent any damage.

Stuffing the shoes with newspaper

To speed up the drying process and help maintain the shoe’s shape, stuff them with crumpled newspaper. The newspaper absorbs moisture from the shoes, promoting faster drying and preventing them from losing their structure.

Avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources

While drying, keep your tennis shoes away from direct sunlight, radiators, or any other heat sources. Excessive heat can cause the shoes to warp, shrink, or lose their adhesive integrity. Opt for a cool and well-ventilated area to ensure proper drying.

Tips for maintaining tennis shoes

To keep your tennis shoes in excellent condition and extend their lifespan, follow these maintenance tips:

Cleaning after each use

Wipe off any visible dirt or stains from your tennis shoes after each use. This simple step prevents the accumulation of dirt and makes the cleaning process more manageable in the long run. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove surface debris.

Avoiding harsh chemicals

When cleaning your tennis shoes, avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, or strong detergents unless specified by the manufacturer. These substances can damage the materials, fade colors, or weaken the adhesive.

Replacing worn-out parts

Regularly inspect your tennis shoes for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice worn-out soles, loose stitching, or damaged insoles, consider replacing those parts. This ensures that your shoes continue to provide the necessary support and comfort during physical activities.

Washing your tennis shoes regularly is essential for maintaining their appearance, hygiene, and longevity. Using gentle handwashing methods, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odors while preserving the shoe’s materials and structure. Remember to air dry them and store them appropriately to preserve their shape and condition.


Can I wash my tennis shoes in a washing machine?

It is not recommended to wash tennis shoes in a washing machine as the heat and agitation can damage the shoe’s structure and adhesive. Stick to gentle handwashing methods for optimal results.

What should I do if my tennis shoes have stubborn stains?

For stubborn stains on your tennis shoes, create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stained areas and let it sit for a few minutes before gently scrubbing with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly and repeat the process if necessary.

Can I put my tennis shoes in the dryer?

No, it is not recommended to put tennis shoes in the dryer as the heat can warp or shrink the shoes and damage their structure. Air drying is the preferred method.

How often should I wash my tennis shoes?

The frequency of washing your tennis shoes depends on how often you use them and the activities you engage in. As a general guideline, aim to wash them every few weeks or when they become visibly dirty or smelly.

Should I use bleach to wash my tennis shoes?

It is best to avoid using bleach when washing tennis shoes unless specifically instructed by the manufacturer. Bleach can damage the shoe’s materials and cause color fading. Stick to mild detergents and gentle cleaning methods for optimal results.

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