Because there’s no better time for self-care, and shoe-care.

As we’re (hopefully) all doing our part in flattening the curve by staying home and practising social distancing during this global pandemic, it’s a great opportunity to really reconnect with ourselves and also catch up on all the things we said we would do but were too busy/distracted to.

In a world where almost everybody has a sneaker collection, we thought there may be no better time to take them out for a thorough cleaning, so we’ve put together a simple guide to how you can clean your sneakers. Scroll down to learn how to refresh your favourite kicks.

1. Brush off dust and dirt

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After knocking your shoes to release dirt, use a brush to scrub off any stains and scuffs on the surface. There are different types of brushes on the market that cater to specific types of materials from canvas to leather. If yours are in suede, Jason Markk offers suede eraser for stains and a special brush for reviving the surface.

2. Wipe and rub to rid stains

 
 
 
 
 
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For more stubborn stains, use a microfibre towel and start rubbing to help lift it up. Alternatively, you can also use quick wipes, such as these ones by Sneaker Lab or those by Crep Protect, which you should also keep in your bag/wallet for easy cleaning on-the-go.

3. Deep clean with soap

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If your sneakers require further attention, dip your shoes into a bowl of hot water, then add shoe-cleaning solution to your brush and start scrubbing back and forth gently in a circular motion. Use a clean toothbrush for hard-to-reach places. Work up a lather so that the solution can get to work, breaking down the dirt and stains. Jason Markk’s premium shoe cleaner is a star favourite of most sneakerheads, but if you have a wide range of materials to deal with other than leather, Reshoevn8r’s shoe and sneaker cleaner is more of an all-purpose choice. For delicates such as suede, try Angelus Foam Tex.

 
 
 
 
 
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Again, be mindful that you’re using different brushes for specific parts of your shoes. While a medium brush can be applied on all parts of your shoes in most types of materials from leather to nubuck and rubber, hard brushes should be kept only for the soles, and use soft-bristle brushes for more delicate surfaces such as suede and Flyknit. Reshoevn8r sells them all in a set.

4. Wipe out excess and leave to dry

 
 
 
 
 
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Remove excess soap with a microfibre towel, reapply soap and hot water and scrub again when necessary. For white canvas sneakers and white soles, apply non-gel whitening toothpaste with a clean, old toothbrush and leave it for 10 minutes for porcelain white results. Air dry your sneakers overnight.

5. Laces

Though you can clean your laces by throwing them into the washing machine or scrub it with brush and cleaning solution, it’s much easier to purchase a fresh new pair of new laces, which will instantly breathe new life into your favourite kicks.

6. Weatherproof

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Shield your sneakers from moisture and stains by coating them in weatherproofing spray. Crep Project’s waterproofing miracle mist is a recommended choice for longterm protection, while Jason Markk’s repel spray has a better smell which makes it a popular choice. No matter which brand you go for, remember to always follow instructions on the bottle.

7. Proper storage

 
 
 
 
 
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Cedar shoe trees are not only for formal leather shoes, they also work great for sneakers to maintain the shape and absorb moisture after a day of wear. Be sure to choose ones with a slightly round toe and a metal spring design, ensuring a better fit for different kinds of kicks in your collection.

Cindie Chan
Style Editor
Fashion blogger turned editor, Cindie has spent over seven years covering all things stylish in the digital world. When she’s not busy poring over the latest covetable releases or attending the most talked-about fashion events in town, you’ll find her enjoying some precious downtime with her newborn son and sweet dog Rosy.