How To Wash Tennis Shoes? Machine & Hand Washing

Keeping the shoes clean and wanting to look perfect is one important thing that you might be wanting while playing tennis. Washing the filth and stains off tennis shoes is no more difficult. Because I am going to give you a complete solution on how to wash tennis shoes in no time.

Tennis shoes can get mucky and stained quickly and require proper cleaning from time to time. No matter, if you are practicing alone, keeping your tennis shoes clean and shiny gives you another level of mental satisfaction.

That’s why we have prepared a comprehensive DIY guide on cleaning tennis shoes by sharing our personal experiences as well. This guide works for all shoes including Adidas, Nike, Denim, and Jordans.

So, let’s learn how to wash and dry tennis shoes without any further ado!

But, here are a few things that must be wondering about somewhere in your mind.

When should I wash my tennis shoes?

Tennis footwear requires washing every few months. Luckily, it is easy when it comes to washing athletic shoes and it covers some really quick steps. Stick to this article, as we are going to reveal all the steps that can make your tennis shoes nice, clean, and shining bright again.

Why should I clean my tennis shoes?

To keep your athletic shoes looking new and neat you should be cleaning them when required. Sometimes, the fabric or material of the shoes absorbs the mud stains quickly. Therefore, before letting that happen you should clean them up to retain the look of your shoes.

Moreover, wearing clean and shiny shoes makes you mentally relaxed. Strange?

Let’s try washing your tennis shoes by using the real quick methods — including washing machine and hands.

Note: Not every type of shoe allows machine washing. There are so many types of shoes but footwear made of leather, suede, rubber or vinyl shouldn’t be directly put down in the washer.

Different Methods to Wash Tennis Shoes

There are various methods for cleaning tennis shoes. These methods are very helpful when it comes to shoe cleaning. We have listed some of the best ways to wash shoes.

The following methods allow you to clean the shoes and keep them fresh and smelling at the same time.

  1. Toothbrush Method
  2. By Hands
  3. By Washing Machine
  4. Using Shoe Care Kit

How to Wash Tennis Shoes? DIY Guide

How To Wash Tennis Shoes?
In this picture: Two Players Showing Their Tennis Shoes

Before knowing how to wash your tennis shoes, it is important to keep a few things in your mind. We have covered all the necessary steps to follow towards having your brand new-looking tennis shoes back.

Don’t Do: After washing your tennis shoes, don’t use them on the same day. Let them stay dry for at least a complete day or some more time. Otherwise, it can damage your shoes. You must take care in the same way as when cleaning a tennis ball.

What will you need?

The tools and materials that you’ll need to do the perfect job are as follows:


  • Washing Machine
  • Towel
  • Laundry Bag
  • Drying Stand or Basket (optional)
  • Cleaning Brush


  • Detergent
  • Baking Soda
  • White Tissue Paper
  • Shoe Conditioner (optional)
  • Shoe Polish (optional)
  • Cloth Protective Spray (optional)

How to Wash Tennis Shoes by Hand?

washing tennis shoes by hands
In this picture: Women preparing tennis shoes for washing by hands

If you are not so sure about putting down your sneakers straight in the washing machine then washing them by hand is a good way too.

Let’s see how washing your tennis shoe properly works without a washing machine.

There is an effortless way to clean tennis shoes so they look new and bright by washing them by hand. Just simply soak your shoes in warm water for 30-40 minutes. Soaking shoes in warm water works wonder for muddy shoes.

This will allow easy removal of the built-up dirt. Using a toothbrush is helpful while removing stains and filth.

Washing your favorite pair of kicks by hand would require you a few things to ultimately clean them.

Grab the following things:

  • Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • A Good Detergent
  • Clothes / Towels
  • Tub / Sink

Keeping the above-listed things in your hand, open your shoelaces and start washing your tennis shoes following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Put water on the toothbrush to eliminate the stains.
  2. Use a cloth to wipe away the excess water from the shoes. Some areas might take more time to scrub and remove stains than others.
  3. Add detergent to the two cups of water and make a foamy liquid.
  4. Swish it and soak the toothbrush in.
  5. Scrub the filthy spots down to the rubber sole to clean them perfectly.
  6. Now, dip the sponge in water and wipe away all the bubbles.
  7. Take a clean cloth to dry.
  8. To neat the laces as well, put them in a small zippered bag/pouch and throw them in the washer. Or you can wash shoe laces separately later on.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Most fabric and athletic shoes can be washed easily. While on the other hand some shoes including shoes made of leather, rubber, suede, etc should not be washed directly in the washer.

Care instructions for the best way to clean shoes are discussed at the end of this article:

Step 1: Reading The Instruction Label. Check the inside of the shoes and read the instructions given on the label. Follow the care tips that the manufacturer has provided.

Step 2: Removing Inner Soles & Laces. It is always a good idea to take off the laces. In this way, the laces do not get tangled while allowing the complete washing of the shoes. Take the inner soles out of the shoes.

Don’t Do: Do not be harsh if it doesn’t come out swiftly. Some innersoles are not removable therefore, you can put laces and soles in a mesh bag and put them in the washer.

Step 3: Removing Stains. Use a toothbrush or washing brush to dust off the excess dirt from your shoes. Next, make a mixture of 2 tablespoons of baking soda, about 4-5 drops of dishwashing detergent, and add enough water to form a paste.

The use of baking soda to clean the shoes has also proved helpful in removing the mud spots. Dip the toothbrush in the mixture and scrub over the stains, leave it for 10-15 mins and wipe it with a damp sponge or cloth.

Step 4: Washing. No matter which way you go while washing. Whether you clean out your sports shoes in the machine or by hand, try only using liquid laundry detergent.

Remember: Do not use powdered detergent, vinegar, or bleach as it may harm the soles. In addition, avoid using fabric softener or conditioner since it gives a layer that catches more dirt and closes in the smell.

Step 5: Dab & Dry. Now comes the main question, how to dry tennis shoes? It would be the best way to dry them in the open air instead of putting them in the dryer since its heat can shrink them. Stuff the inside of the shoes using rags. It will absorb the moisture while making them dry in less time.

However, if you have washed your soles separately, press them down in a towel to absorb the moisture. To dry them completely, put them under the sunlight. The same is the process for the laces as well.

You can also disinfect/sanitize your shoes to be extra careful. There is no shame, we are all extra careful.

How to Wash Tennis Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Washing Tennis Shoes in Machine
In this picture: Tennis shoes placed in the washing machine

When going out, you always want to look your best from head to toe. But a person’s personality is judged by his shoes, right? How clean are his shoes and how does his footwear look?

As we have talked about earlier, wearing tennis shoes seems so admirable but they also get stained quickly.

Fortunately, it is no more effort to clean the muddy shoes. Do you know what the best part is? You can wash them in the washing machine and it will hardly take some of your time.

But you might have the question, are tennis shoe machine washable? Yes, tennis or any type of shoes are machine washable. So, don’t worry, and let’s do some wonders with your shoes.

Although, washing tennis shoes in the machine is quite an easy and quick method. However, let’s give the proper steps to make it easier for you.

So, let’s see how to use the washing machine for washing shoes.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Before getting into deep about cleaning shoes in the washing machine, you might be thinking, which shoes are machine washable?

Before you start washing, first check the shoe label for the recommendations that the shoe company has provided.

In general, athletic shoes made of a material such as nylon, cotton, and polyester can be washed in the machine. Since the shoes made with these materials are durable, therefore they are not damaged when washed this way.

It means tennis shoes can be washed in the washing machine. Here are the steps below to get a perfect job done.

What will you need?

  • A Netted Bag
  • Laundry Detergent (liquid)
  • Rough Towels
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • Cream Cleanser

Once you have gathered all the required things, now you can start cleaning with the following steps:

Step 1: Firstly, separate the laces and soles of your shoes.

Step 2: Now, you can wash your laces separately in case they are way too dirty. By using detergent, and an old toothbrush you can clean them. You can also use detergent balls in the washing machine. But make sure, you put tennis shoes in a mesh bag.

The other easy way is to just put the laces inside a mesh bag so that it will not wrap around the parts and throw them in your washer.

Step 3: Again wash your insoles separately otherwise follow the instructions on the label. If your insoles are not machine washable then you can clean them by hand.

Washing insoles in the machine could also cause excess water to store inside it and may take days to dry. In that case, use a sponge or rough cloth to wipe the insole using a soapy mixture.

Once you are done doing that, put in some baking soda and leave it overnight. This will eliminate bad odor.

Make sure, the next morning, you brush the baking soda off your shoes. Place the inner soles back in your shoes and you are good to go! Easy Peasy?

Step 4: If your shoes have too much mud and soil then brush them with a soft old brush (toothbrush). Remove as much dust and mud with the brush as you can. In this way, it becomes easier to clean them.

Now put some cleaner on a rag and scrub onto the shoes then gently wipe away with the help of a damp sponge or cloth.

Step 5: Put your tennis shoes inside a mesh bag closed at the top so that they will not knock around in your washer.

Step 6: Next, throw the mesh bag in the washing machine along with some old towels to balance the load inside the washer. Do not use new towels since they could trickle excess color that could stain your shoes and spoil their look.

Step 7: Adjust your washing cycle to cold water and set the slow or no spin option. Additionally, do not use powder detergent as it has the chance to get stuck in the shoes. Use the liquid detergent of your choice instead.

Step 8: Once the cycle completes, take out the mesh bag and remove your shoes and laces. Load the inside of the shoes with clean rags to keep their shape the same after they get dry. Try to place your shoes under bright sunlight this will enhance drying speed.

Step 9: While it is not recommended to use a dryer unless you have a rack. Enfold the shoes in old towels and set your dryer to a fine air setting. Keep checking the dryer to make sure the shoes are not damaged by the warm air.

Step 10: Once everything is dry, string back the laces and place the insoles. Now, you confidently go out with your brand-new-looking and fresh-smelling tennis shoes.

How to Clean White Tennis Shoes?

Cleaning white tennis shoes is quite a bit of a job. White shoes easily get stains and require proper cleaning every other day after being used.

The bright side of telling you about cleaning white shoes is that bringing your old white shoes back to life is no more difficult.

Let’s see how it works.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Whenever you are going to wash tennis shoes make sure to dust off the extra mud with the help of a soft brush. This way the cleaner works better on the shoes.

Here are the important steps for cleaning white tennis shoes.

Step 1: Separate the shoelaces and inner soles to clean the inside of your shoes.

Step 2: Adjust your washing machine to a gentle cycle and use cold water.

Step 3: Use a detergent when the washer is half-filled with water. Add the best shoe cleaner to get good results.

Step 4: Add your shoes to the washing machine.

Step 5: Take out the shoes and dry them under proper sunlight and open air.

Washing White Tennis Shoes by Hand

Don’t want to put your tennis shoes in the washing machine? No problem, let’s wash them with our hands. In this method, you can also use the dishwasher.

Step 1: Make a paste for washing. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda, and one-half tablespoon of water, and mix a one-half tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to make a consistent paste.

Step 2: Apply the paste using an old brush. Hold the shoe firmly and scrub the paste on the stains.

Step 3: Apply another coat of the paste.

Step 4: Put the laces in the remaining paste and stir it.

Step 5: Set your shoes and laces in the sun for about 3-4 hours to let dry. The more bright and hot the sun is the more white and bright your shoes will get.

Step 6: Wipe off the extra paste and place the insole and laces. Your white and bright shoes are ready to wear.

Cleaning Suede Tennis Shoes

As we all want to keep an admiring fashion statement and that could be possible only when you keep yourself up to date from head to toe.

Moreover, wearing good shoes means a good personality (especially when you are a tennis pro) and for that Suede shoes are the best styling selection.

To give a classy touch to your attire, suede shoes are exactly what you should go with.

Although wearing suede shoes makes you feel confident, classy, and comfortable but maybe not be for every area or environment.

What we don’t like is when suede shoes get filthy and need proper cleaning. But the sad fact is that suede shoes can easily get stains, which can make you feel upset.

Don’t worry, we have a complete cleaning solution for your suede shoes as well.

So, when you try some good and true tricks to clean your suede shoes, you can wear them again confidently.

Let’s see some reliable and real tricks to help you clean your suede shoes.

After reading these tips you will know completely about how to clean suede shoes.

What will you need?

  • A Suede Brush/ Wire Brush
  • White Vinegar
  • Rough Cloth
  • Eraser

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Start brushing off the dust particles from the shoe surface. If you do not have a suede brush then a toothbrush would also do fine. Start moving the brush swiftly back and forth in the direction where the suede adjusts.

So, begin with a light hand and apply a little pressure where there is stubborn dust stuck to the shoes.

If the filth is still not dry then let it parched. It is often seen that when you keep brushing the wet stains it makes the dust particles sit in the suede making it harder to remove in the long run.

Step 2: Next step, start using an eraser on the stains to get rid of them. Using a suede eraser would be even better at this step. But don’t worry If you don’t have it.

A normal stationary rubber would also be fine to rub on the suede.

Note: Don’t go too hard on your suede shoes when cleaning. As a result, it can damage the suede on your shoes.

Step 3: If the stain still won’t go away then apply white vinegar or any rubbing alcohol for better cleaning. Using rubbing alcohol is found very helpful to aim for better cleaning.

It helps break the grit into small particles hence allowing proper cleaning of the shoes. Keep patience while doing this step and keep putting the vinegar on the stained area to effectively eliminate it.

The purpose of using vinegar is not to dip the shoes in it but to dampen the spot over them.

Step 4: At last, use a suede protector which is available with the best quality. Remember, that not all protectors are made the same.

Now you can have your suede shoes on and go out with a chic and attractive look.

Cleaning Leather Tennis Shoes?

Leather tennis shoes never go out of fashion. It is a perfect chic addition to your wardrobe. However, the real job that comes up is cleaning leather shoes.

You may not be planning to go outdoors but your shoes should be sparkling clean when you are ready to. Let’s see how to clean leather tennis shoes.

What will you need?

  • Eraser
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking Soda
  • Warm Water
  • Soap

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Magic Eraser. Take a wet magic eraser and make sure it is not that dripping wet. Start scrubbing it on your shoes, especially the areas containing stains. Rub it on the soles as well. You will be surprised how much dirt it takes out of your white leather shoes.

Then, gently wipe away any foam to not let the moisture set in the leather. Otherwise, it can harm the leather.

Step 2: Prep Scrubbing Paste. Prepare a paste if there are some stubborn stains. You can also use this paste to enhance the cleaning process further.

Mix 1 tablespoon of toothpaste (non-gel/ white), 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of warm water. You can add more water or baking soda if you feel like having a thicker paste.

Step 3: Grab soap. Now, lather up a wet sponge (white sponge preferred) and a wet cloth. Start swabbing the sponge softly on the stains to move them.

Apply soap on the upper part of the leather shoes to make them shine. Try to spend more time on shoe uppers because that’s the main visible part of your shoes.

When you’re done with this part, dry up the shoes with a damp clean piece of cloth.

Step 4: Cleaning Shoelaces. Hey, wait! You’re not done yet. What about the shoelaces? How to wash your grimy shoelaces?

Having lit and clean shoelaces would be complementary now to your new-looking white leather shoes. To do so, fill up warm soapy water in a bowl and soak them for 10 minutes.

If your laces have become tattered, we would suggest a cheap and easiest way to have new ones for your clean pair of shoes.

How to Wash Waterproof Tennis Shoes?

Cleaning Waterproof Tennis Shoes
In this picture: A person pouring water on shoes

The upside of having waterproof tennis shoes is that they are made of special rugged quality to wear outdoors. The durable water repellent or DWR quality has now become famous in the past few years.

The downside of DWR is that it is easily decomposed with normal use and wear. Therefore, waterproof tennis shoes demand special care.

Over time, your shoes lose their waterproofing feature. To maintain the quality and waterproofing of your tennis shoes, follow some of the tips listed below.

What will you need?

  • Cloth (microfibre)
  • Appropriate Waterproofing Wax
  • Shoe Cleaning Gel
  • Shoe Brush
  • Newspaper

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Clean your shoes. First of all, you would need to clean the shoes. For waterproofing the shoes, it is important to have a clean shoe surface. This way your shoes will have better water-repelling factors.

Step 2: Remove Laces. Before you start washing your waterproof tennis shoes, unstring your laces and insoles.

By doing so, your shoes will dry up quickly. As the insoles retain the water inside thus making it longer to dry the shoes.

Furthermore, any weak area or spot of the DWR can allow the water to store in the fabric. But removing the laces makes it a lot easier to coat the boot.

Step 3: Waterproofing. Once you have cleaned your shoes choose the waterproofing wax according to the type of shoes you have.

Apply the wax on wet shoes instead of dry shoes for better results. Let sit for 4-5 mins then wipe the excess.

Step 4: Dry your Tennis Shoes. Let your shoes dry naturally. Do not put them straight under sunlight. Direct heat can cause insoles and leather to crack.

To speed things up a bit, you can put newspaper in your shoes to soak up the surplus moisture.

General Care and Tips for Washing Tennis Shoes

tips and care for tennis shoes
Tips and Care for Tennis Shoes

So far, we have discussed the best ways to wash tennis shoes. Does it end the caring of your shoes? No!

Once you have washed your tennis shoes, you should now be more careful to keep them in high quality and shiny condition.

To keep your tennis shoes clean and up to date, you have to give them proper care. This is not a big deal now as we have discussed each aspect of washing your tennis shoes in detail. Right?

Further quick general tips for washing tennis shoes are mentioned below to provide you with ease.

  • Use a brush to move the dust from your shoes.
  • Try to use a good-quality detergent
  • Dry with a damp cloth
  • Read the company care instruction label first
  • Wash with cold water

How to Maintain Tennis Shoes?

To maintain the good look of your shoes follow the following tips.

  • Wash your shoes gently
  • Don’t throw it straight in the washer, use a mesh bag
  • Use cold water while cleaning
  • Air-dry your tennis shoes
  • Take out the laces and insoles first
  • Keep cleaning from time to time

How to Protect Tennis Shoes?

Depending upon the type of shoes you can protect tennis shoes and increase their lifetime.

  • Use protective sprays
  • Try heel protectors/ guards
  • Go for sole protectors
  • Fill your shoes with charcoal bags
  • Store them in a cool place
  • Do not place them in direct sunlight
  • Use conditioner (preferred for leather shoes)

How to Store Tennis Shoes?

Placing your tennis shoes in the right place is as important as keeping them clean. You might not think it is an important part but it is.

  • Store your shoes in a wooden rack (wire rack is not preferred)
  • Don’t put them on the floor
  • Arrange them into categories
  • Use visible boxes with lids
  • Store in shoe bins (optional)
  • Assess yourself to DIY shoe hangers

Summary – Final Thoughts on Washing Tennis Shoes

With all that said, we hope you would have benefited from the washing tennis shoe guide. To sum up, we would like to mention that keeping your tennis shoes washed and ready to wear when going outdoors is essential. Wearing neat shoes enhances your personality.

While wearing the one looking admiring and twinkling bright like stars is a plus to your attire. Moreover, we all want to look perfect when going out. By following our step-by-step guide you can dress to impress with your perfectly washed tennis shoes.

I hope, now you are able to make your old tennies charming, attractive, and shiny again.

Did we miss anything? Just ping it in the comments section below. Or did you find this comprehensive guide helpful? Do share with your friends, tennis fellows, and family members.


1. Can you put shoes in the washer?

Yes without any doubt. You can put your tennis shoes in the washer. But make sure, you remove laces and insoles from your shoes. If you are going to wash shoes and laces together, then put the laces in a separate bag to protect them from getting tangled.

2. What is the best way to wash tennis shoes?

The best and quick way of cleaning tennis shoes is to put them into the washing machine. Use laundry soap and medium spin of the washing machine and cold water (warm water is not recommended). However, if you are not comfortable with this method, then washing your shoes by hand is a good way to go.

3. Can I use the hair dryer to dry up wet tennis shoes?

Absolutely not! A hair dryer or blow dryer can easily damage your shoes in no time. The more you expose your shoes to heat, the more damage is done. So, the best way to dry up your shoes is to place them in the open air or sunlight.

4. How often should I wash tennis shoes?

Well, there is no fixed rule but, generally, you should wash your shoes every 2-3 weeks to keep them shiny and good-looking. So, the main idea is to preserve the quality of your shoes while not letting them dry up too much.

5. How long does it take to dry shoes?

Tennis shoes or mesh sneakers, generally, take approximately one day to dry but it can take more time in some cases like in winter.

6. Can you put sneakers in the dryer or can shoes go in the dryer??

No way! Never put sneakers, tennis shoes, or gym shoes in the dryer. It can harm the quality of your shoes. Simply put your wet shoes in the sunlight or open air. That’s it.

7. Does laundry detergent damage shoes?

In general, no. Laundry detergent should not have any obvious impact on your shoe but you should not use an excessive amount of detergent. A moderate amount of laundry detergent will not only clean your shoes but keep them of good quality.

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