Bestshoeshub is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


How to Clean Basketball Shoes: Best Method with Pro Tips!

How to Clean Basketball Shoes
Written by Benedikt Meyers
Last Update: August 23, 2023

It’s so important to keep your basketball shoes clean, not just for their own sake, but also to ensure that they last as long as possible. If you can keep your basketball shoes at least fairly clean, they should last longer. Basketball sneakers should be hand-washed and air-dried as often as possible for maximum results. In today’s article, we’ll go through the many methods for keeping your basketball sneakers clean.

How to Clean Basketball Shoes – The Best Way!

How to Clean Basketball Shoes

There are several methods you can use to clean basketball shoes. The way you use to clean basketball sneakers should be determined by the type of footwear you have, as well as the quantity of filth or stains you want to eliminate. It would be preferable if you tried to clean basketball shoes as frequently as possible so that they would not require a thorough wash after extensive use. The more you clean your shoes, the more prone to the damage they become. If you wash your basketball sneakers at least once every other activity, you will notice a substantial reduction in the need to wash them.

Clean your basketball shoes by hand

Clean your basketball shoes by hand

1. Remove new spots or soiling as quickly as possible

The less exposure dirt, filth, and other contaminants have to build in, the quicker it would be to remove them. If maintaining the appearance of your basketball shoes is important to you, wipe them after each use. The only limitation is if your basketball shoes are made of a material that absorbs moisture, such as mesh, canvas, or suede. In this situation, allow caked-on dust to dry before brushing it off with a hard brush, and then begin cleaning. Use a sturdy brush, such as a shoe brush or a toothbrush, if you’re coping with dried-on mud or dirt. Use a gentle, slightly moistened washcloth if the dirt or other muck is still wet.

2. Make a gentle cleaning agent

Fill a basin or medium bucket half with hot water. Add a small amount of a mild detergent and swirl it around until the solution becomes slightly bubbly. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, bleaches, or strong detergents or agents. Before you begin cleaning your shoes, remove the laces. You may wash them separately using the same liquid.

3. Clean your shoes with a dampened cloth or a gentle brush

Soak your brush or cloth with a cleaning solution. Clean your shoes thoroughly, wiping them down, and wetting the brush or cloth again if necessary. Use your fingers under the towel or toothbrush to move into creases and seams. On persistent stains, brush more firmly in a circular motion. If wanted, add a small drop of white toothpaste onto your soaked toothbrush or cloth.

4. Wash away detergent residue and allow shoes to air dry

Wet the towel slightly with warm water. Do not submerge your shoes inside water or wash them underneath the faucet. If the shoes have surface dampness, you should gently clean them with a hand towel first. Then just place them in a well-ventilated, warm location. Never use a clothes drier, hairdryer, heater, or any other form of artificial heat, since this might result in shrinkage or cracking. If the inside of your shoes is wet, put some newspaper within while they dry.

Clean the different components of your basketball shoes

1. Use toothpaste to scrub stained soles

Wipe away any stains using a toothbrush and a drop of white toothpaste, soaked in a washing solution of hot water and a drop of mild dish detergent. Wipe away any residue with a wet towel and repeat as necessary. You could also create a paste by mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda with a small quantity of water until it reaches the texture of toothpaste. Using a toothpick and a sharp, dry brush, remove any pebbles or debris stuck between your shoe soles.

2. Use toothpaste on leather surfaces and components as well

Using a dry cloth or gentle brush, remove surface dirt off the leather. Scrub the leather using a clean, moistened cloth soaked in clean, hot water. Apply a small drop of white toothpaste on your fingertips, then immerse them inside warm water. Scrub the leather in a round motion, then brush away excess toothpaste and dust with a wet towel. Dry the surfaces with a clean towel before allowing the leather to air dry completely.

3. Clean your shoelaces separately

Unless you separate your shoes and laces, you won’t be able to clean them thoroughly. You may moisten and wash the laces with the identical mild cleaning solution as your shoes once they’ve been removed. Alternatively, you may put them inside the washing machine. It’s recommended to replace your shoelaces if they’re damaged, worn out, or soiled.

4. Use the same cleaning solution on insoles and inserts

Insoles and inserts should be removed and cleaned in the same manner as your shoes. Before re-inserting them, let them dry entirely. Before placing them back in, sprinkle a little baking soda over them for scent prevention. You can put them inside the washing machine, although you face the risk of damaging them. You may also deodorize your shoes overnight by placing a dryer paper inside each sneaker.

Things to avoid

1. Do not use a washing machine or a dryer

In most situations, the manufacturer of your shoes will advise you not to use a washing machine and a clothes dryer on them. Machine washes are extremely harsh for basketball shoes, causing material degradation or discoloration. Although a short spin may seem appealing, it can cause long-term damage to the seams and soles. Frequent drying cycles are particularly harmful.

2. Do not use heaters or vents

Try to air-dry your basketball shoes wherever possible. High heat may alter the structure of rubber, so avoid damaging your basketball shoes by hand drying them and allow them to dry at normal temperature. That might not be obvious at first, but it can significantly reduce the duration of your basketball shoes.

3. Do not use harsh chemicals or strong detergents

It’s also a good idea to avoid using rubbing alcohol, aromatic laundry detergent, or bleach to clean your basketball shoes. Such chemicals can leave a sticky residue behind, while some of the more powerful types might even fracture the soles. These detergents might also leave an unpleasant odor on your shoes’ soles. Always use an environmentally friendly washing detergent.


1. How do I get my basketball shoes to stop smelling?

Ans. Take away the insoles from your basketball shoes to allow them to air out properly. That should keep them smell good for a long time. If your basketball shoes remain to odor, wash them. Once the insoles are dry, put a small quantity of baking soda on them to help absorb the odor.

2. How can I maintain the whiteness of my basketball shoes?

Ans. In a cleaning mixture of cool water and dish detergent and put a drop of white toothpaste. Clean your basketball shoes with the resultant solution. Using a clean towel, wipe away any residual solution from your shoes.

About the author

Benedikt Meyers

Benedikt Meyers is an accomplished executive with significant experience in global sales and marketing, product development, and supply chain for the apparel and footwear industries. He’s a skilled relationship builder who has lived in Asia for 10 years and visited the world to develop key alliances with industry partners in order to meet production and supply demands in ever-evolving markets.

Leave a Comment