As a basketball player, one of your biggest investments is basketball shoes. You use them during your practice, game, and even when you are not playing. However, irrespective of how much they cost, they will get dirty with time.
Apart from the off look of dirty basketball shoes, they also affect the performance drastically. The buildup of grime reduces shoe traction that will eventually cause you to slip and slide in the court. So, it’s crucial to keep them in suitable condition to play your best. And that is possible only when you regularly clean your basketball shoes and always follow the maintenance instructions.
Typically, the cleaning method for the basketball shoes is the same as for other shoes with bit of changes. You just need to show some love to your shoes, and they will stay in perfect shape for a long time.
Today we will cover all the necessary steps to clean your basketball shoes and the key tips to keep them in tip-top shape.
How to Clean High Top Basketball Shoes?
You can clean your high top basketball shoes by following the given steps:
Step 1: Remove the Dirt and Stains
After you use your high-top basketball shoes, dirt and grime will definitely set in them. If you can, it is advisable to remove dirt after every wear. This may seem a bit of effort, but it can protect your shoes in the long run and keep them new and clean.
Right after use, clean your shoes and remove all dirt and grime on them immediately. However, if your high-top basketball shoes are made up of absorbent material such as mesh, suede, or canvas, let the mud and dirt dry for some time. Once it is dried, brush it off with a stiff brush and start the cleaning process.
Tip: For shoes other than absorbent material, a soft-bristle brush will also do the task. Move the brush in to and fro manner and remove all the dirt and mud. You can also use a dampened cloth to remove the moist gunk or mud.
Step 2: Make a Cleaning Solution from Products at Your Home
Cleansing Solution: Bring half a bucket or bowl of warm water and add a few drops of any mild detergent or dish soap present at your home. Mix the soap well until it becomes a bit bubbly.
Baking Soda Paste: For soles, baking soda paste also works best. To make baking soda paste, add a few spoonfuls of baking soda into a bowl and add few water drops to make a thick paste with a toothpaste-like consistency.
Tip: While you make a cleaning solution with products at home, don't use any harsh detergent, chemical, bleach, or cleaner. They can fade the color of the shoes or destroy the fabric.
Step 3: Wipe Off Dirt with Cleansing Solution
Remove the shoelaces before using the cleaning solution.
Now take a cloth and moisten it with a cleansing solution. Don't soak the cloth fully in solution. Start wiping the shoes thoroughly with a cloth. You can re-soak the cloth to clean the shoes properly. Scrub a bit aggressively at places where stains are deeply set in.
To clean the shoe soles, put a dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush and start moving it circularly so that the entire scuff can dissolve. You can also use the cleansing solution or a paste of baking soda and water.
For creases, seams or corners, use a toothbrush or fingertip under the cloth to remove the dirt and stains. Use a toothpick or a stiff and dry brush to pick out pebbles or dirt trapped in shoe treads.
Tip: If your high-top basketball shoes are white or made of leather material, add a tiny amount of toothpaste to the dampened cloth or brush or in the cleansing solution and clean the surfaces. However, toothpaste works best for leather panels.
Tip: If your shoes have canvas or other absorbent material, it is better to use the cleansing solution with the help of a soft bristle brush. However, you can scrub the dirt off aggressively on canvas or absorbent material.
Step 4: Remove the Soapy Solution
Finally, remove the soapy solution from the shoes with the help of a slightly damp cloth with plain water. Make sure all the sourness is wiped away, along with dirt and grime. Also, wipe away the toothpaste or baking soda paste.
Tip: Do not put your shoes in water or under the faucet. It can destroy the shoe's fabric and binding.
Step 5: Clean the Shoelaces and Insoles
Your shoe insoles and shoe laces also need cleaning for better performance. Clean the shoelaces and insoles with the same cleaning solution. Dampen them in the solution and scrub off the stains and dirt. Else you can give them a round in the washing machine. You can also clean them the same way as you cleaned the shoes in step 3.
Step 6: Air Dry Your Basketball Shoes
Dry all the surface moisture with a dry cloth. You can do so by wiping the dry cloth all over the shoes. After that, let your shoes air dry.
Air-dry the insoles, inserts, and shoelaces. Once they are air-dried, sprinkle a few pinches of baking soda on insoles to control the odor.
Tip: At the final steps, don't use a hairdryer, radiator, clothes dryer, or any other heat source to dry the shoes. This method can cause the shrinking of the fabric or cracking of the bindings around corners and seams. Stuff some newspaper inside the shoes to keep the shoes in normal shape. It will also help dry any dampness that leaked inside the shoes.
Once dry, you can wear your clean, high-top basketball shoes for the next practice session.
Can You Clean High Top Basketball Shoes in the Washing Machine?
There are mixed reviews regarding putting your shoes in the washing machine. We do not recommend you clean your footwear in the washing machine. Though it didn't take much time to do the job, it can cause lasting damage to your soles, seams, and uppers. After 2-3 cycles, your shoes will be discolored and damaged.
If you really want to clean them in the washing machine, it's advisable to read the manufacturer's guide. Your manufacturer's guide will recommend whether to put them in the washing machine or not.
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