Tips & tricks to clean your sneakers

Tips & tricks to clean your sneakers

Sneakers will always remain popular - they never go out of fashion! You can wear them while working out, you can combine them with in a sporty outfit or in a more classy ‘casual chic’ style... In short, it's footwear for everyone who loves to combine style and comfort! But how do you take care of them?


Sneakers get dirty often, especially during cold and rainy days. Someone can spill something on your shoes, step on your toes or you might even wear them during a festival or concert this summer. Luckily in most cases there’s something you can do to fix this. Follow our steps or watch the video below. 

1. Remove laces

Firstly, you need to remove the laces from your shoes. Try to remove most of the dirt and put the laces in a little bag in the washing machine. Let them air dry and they’ll look brand new!

2. Know which material you’re dealing with

Sneakers in different materials

Before you start cleaning, you should know exactly what material the sneakers are made of. The upper parts of the sneakers are usually made of canvas, leather and synthetic leather. Canvas is easy to recognize, but how can you tell if a sneaker is made of leather or not?

Real leather is supple and feels soft, while synthetic leather is more rigid. Leather has a very pronounced smell, while synthetic leather has a more chemical smell. 

Here’s what you can do per type of shoe:

Canvas sneakers

Let's say you stepped in an oil slick crossing the street, or perhaps dropped a big greasy French fry on your new sneakers (it happens to the best of us). Use a toothbrush or a small & sharp brush, which you can find at our shop, to get to hard-to-reach areas. Use a shoe cleaner and scrub gently onto the canvas. The oil stain should come right out!

Leather or synthetic sneakers

After a while leather can dry out and become rigid. It’s important to clean your shoes regularly with cleaning wipes. When your shoes are completely clean and dry you should polish them with the correct colour (the same colour as your shoes or a neutral one). Shoe polish, which you can buy in one of our shops, nourishes the shoe and prevents it from drying out.

Suede sneakers

Suede is a very delicate material that requires special treatment. First, wipe off the dirt of the shoes with a brush and grease stains with a suede gum. It’s better to avoid suede becoming wet but if there are tenacious stains, you can always mix shoe cleaning detergent with lukewarm water. Dab a soft brush in this, but make sure the brush isn’t too wet. Dab the shoes dry with the microfiber cloth. Doing this in a rotating movement will remove the humidity out of the leather and the suede will look brand new.

Learn more about it in our special How to clean suede and nubuck shoes blog >>

3. Start cleaning

To be able to reach to every part of your shoe, we advise you to stuff your shoes with paper towels or tissues for example. Don’t use old newspapers, because the ink might blemish your shoes. Then you can:

  •  use a cloth to remove any large pieces of debris from the shoe and the shoe soles.
  • brush your sneakers clean with a shoe cleaner and rinse them with some water until you are happy with the result.
  • let the sneakers dry. Don’t let them dry in the sunlight as they might shrink and change colour.

In the video below you can find the detailed instructions. The sneaker cleaning products that are shown can be found in your nearest MISTER MINIT shop.