The best way to keep your kicks looking clean and smelling fresh day in and day out is to give them a whirl in the washing machine.
Keep in mind, though, that if they’re made from special materials, leather, or suede, it's best to clean them by hand. You don’t want to change the fit of the shoes or harm their integrity. As for your favorite cotton canvas or nylon sneakers, you can machine clean them easily and effectively, right at home.
Follow these 8 hacks to wash your sneakers and they will look as good as the day you picked them up.
The upper part of your shoes and soles attract dirt differently, so to remove the excess correctly, you should first let them dry completely. You can then use a stiff brush to clean them thoroughly.
If the outside of the shoe has some gunk lingering, grab a sponge and soak it in a gentle dish soap and warm water mixture. Apply on the shoes while scrubbing away the debris. This way you will ensure you don’t accidentally transport an invasive species to a new area.
Use a mixture of warm water and liquid detergent to gently wipe off the insoles from any dirt and stains. If you still notice an unpleasant smell, put them closed in a bag along with some baking soda, and let them stay overnight. This is the perfect way to neutralize most odors.
After removing the laces from your sneakers you can either brush them using a soap and cold water, or machine wash them. If you chose the second option, make sure that you pin them into a bag or pocket first, so they don’t get lost in the machine.
Start your washing machine on a delicate cycle. Put your comfy sneakers in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase and add the laundry detergent. You can also throw in a little baking soda if your shoes are white. Avoid using bleach if you don’t want the patterns on your sneakers to deteriorate.
Don’t skip this important step: Put a towel or two into the washer drum to cushion the shoes as they bounce around in the machine.
If you are concerned about bacteria and athlete's foot fungus, consider disinfecting your sneakers while washing them. Pine oil disinfectants are most effective and safe to use. They are usually added at the beginning of the wash cycle, and they will successfully prevent the spread of any bacteria and fungus to occur again.
The best option is air-drying your sneakers. However, if you have to put them into the drying machine, never select the high heat setting.
Pro tip: Stuff your sneakers with white cotton towels or white paper to prevent them from losing the original shape, or any color transfer.
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