How to Clean Basketball Shoes

The number one method to preserve your favorite pair of basketball shoes is to clean them. Sure, you can use expensive products to help improve traction and stickiness, but over time, any pair of shoes gets worn out. By cleaning them routinely, you help improve traction, and you also help preserve the soles of your shoes.

Whether it is a pair of shoes you’ve owned for 2 or 3 years, or a new pair of kicks you just invested in, you want to take care of these shoes. Step one in the process is to clean them routinely!

 So, when time comes for you to clean your favorite shoes, what will you use, and which methods will you take to clean them? These are a few things to consider when cleaning your basketball shoes.

The exterior: 

When cleaning the exterior of your shoes, you want to start by removing debris, small rocks, or other items which might be stuck on the groves/soles of the shoes.

Once you’ve done this, you should take a soft brush (toothbrush), and clean the outsole.

A good solution is to mix warm water with a small amount of liquid detergent you use to clean your clothing.

Choose detergents with low-scent and non-abrasive cleaning solution. Create a soapy mixture and dip your brush into the solution you’ve created.

You should use a soft cloth or sponge to wash the sides of the shoes. Simply apply a small amount of the solution onto the sponge, and begin to wipe away dust or other dirt on the sides and sole of your shoes.

In order to remove the detergent and soapy solution, use a damp small cloth after you’ve cleaned the entire surface of the shoe. Removing the soap will allow the shoes to dry evenly, and avoid damage (internal and externally). Once finished, simply allow the shoes to air-dry prior to moving to the interior or putting them in your closet.

If there are stuck on stains or very dirty areas on the shoes, you can repeat the above steps several times to remove those areas of dirt.

The insole: 

When cleaning the insole of your shoes, you are doing so more to avoid odors and harsh scents. Simply remove the insole after each use (the bottom of the interior of your shoes).

You can use the same soapy mixture (made above to clean the outsole) in order to clean the interior sole of your shoes. Allow the insole to dry completely prior to placing it back inside the shoes.

You can always purchase replacement insoles after many attempts if you can’t eliminate odors. But, cleaning them regularly should eliminate this problem.

Leather surfaces :

When cleaning leather, you might not want to apply the soap-solution mixture. In such cases, there are leather cleaners you can use. Simply apply a small amount on a damp cloth, and rub this into the dirty areas of the leather.

Toothpaste is another highly used solution on leather stains on shoes. Simply take a small amount and apply it to your fingertips.

From there, rub this into the dirty areas on your shoes, until the stains aren’t visible, and quickly remove the debris (toothpaste) with a damp cloth.

Washing machine :

This is a method which most shoe-owners stay away from. If, however, you want to use the washing machine, make sure you read the label inside your basketball shoes prior to throwing them in, to ensure you can place them in a machine.

Also use a soft/mild soap detergent, rather than something highly scented. Keep in mind shrinkage may occur with drying, so it might be best to air-dry the shoes, if you choose to place them in the washing machine to clean them.

Specific cleaning solutions :

If you purchase cleaning agents made for sneakers, again, make sure you read the labels of your favorite shoes prior to applying these cleaning agents.

Some are very harsh/abrasive, and may cause damage to the sole, leather, or other areas of the shoes. If they are safe however, simply read the instructions on the bottle/jar of the shoe cleaner you purchase, and follow those instructions while cleaning.


There is more than one solution to cleaning your favorite pair of basketball shoes. The one you choose is ultimately up to you. However, it is important that you do this routinely, if possible after each use, in order to preserve the lifespan of your favorite shoe.

Cleaning them will also help preserve traction and grip, help keep the insole intact, and keep your favorite kicks looking good as well. Make sure you follow these simple steps when cleaning your favorite shoes, in order to maintain them for several uses to come.

About the Author Michael Jordan

This is Michael Jordan, a 26 years old guy. Besides my study and part time job, I'm passionate about playing basketball, cycling and exercising. is the place where I'm sharing my thoughts on the internet and I love the way here!Follow Our Guide and Be a NINJA Basketball Player with US!Keep following my blog Post and enjoy playing basketball like a pro!

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