How to Clean Basketball Shoes – Complete Guide

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Complete Guide How to Clean Basketball Shoes

In this guide, we will explain how to clean basketball shoes from start to finish. You will learn how to remove excess dirt, prepare a suitable cleaning solution, tackle stubborn stains, and properly dry your shoes without causing any damage.

We will also discuss optional steps such as deodorizing and applying protective measures to enhance the lifespan and freshness of your basketball shoes.

Can Basketball Shoes Be Washed?

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Basketball shoes can be washed, but it is not recommended to wash them in a washing machine. Washing machines can damage the materials and the shape of the shoes, and cause them to shrink or crack. The best way to wash basketball shoes is by hand, using a mild detergent and a soft brush.

When Does Basketball Shoes Need To Be Cleaned?

Basketball shoes undergo intense wear and tear on the court, resulting in dirt, grime, and odors. Regular cleaning is essential to maintain their performance and extend their lifespan.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning basketball shoes, providing expert tips and sharing personal experiences to help you keep your kicks in pristine condition.

Basketball players subject their shoes to a constant barrage of dirt, dust, and grime, both on indoor and outdoor courts. These shoes face spilled sports drinks, sticky residue, and stubborn outdoor court remnants.

Cleaning them not only maintains their visual appeal but also ensures their performance and functionality remain intact.

Also Check – Why Do New Basketball Shoes Hurt Your Feet? Tips & Tricks

Cleaning Basketball Shoes – Guide

To make this guide informative and practical, we have combined personal experiences with insights from industry experts. By following our step-by-step instructions, you can confidently clean your basketball shoes and restore them to their former glory.

So, lace up your shoes, gather the necessary materials, and let’s delve into the art of cleaning basketball shoes.

Materials Required

  1. Soft-bristle brush
  2. Mild detergent or shoe cleaner
  3. Microfiber cloth or soft towel
  4. Water
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Paper towels
  7. Shoe deodorizer (optional)
  8. Shoe protector spray (optional)
Complete Guide How to Clean Basketball Shoes

Remove Excess Dirt

Before starting the cleaning process, remove any loose dirt or debris from your basketball shoes. Gently tap the soles together or use a soft-bristle brush to brush away dirt from the outsoles.

Prepare Cleaning Solution

Fill a small bowl or basin with lukewarm water and add a mild detergent or specific shoe cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the shoe’s materials. Mix the solution until it forms a soapy mixture.

Spot Cleaning

Dip the soft-bristle brush or toothbrush into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the areas with stains or dirt marks. Use circular motions and be cautious not to apply excessive pressure, as it may damage the shoe’s surface. Focus on the upper, midsole, and any other soiled parts.

Clean Shoe Laces and Insoles

Remove the shoelaces and soak them in the cleaning solution. Use your fingers or a toothbrush to scrub away any dirt or stains. Rinse the laces thoroughly with water and let them air dry.

If your insoles are removable, gently scrub them with the brush and clean them separately.

Wipe Down the Shoes

Dampen a microfiber cloth or soft towel with clean water and wring out any excess moisture. Wipe the entire shoe, including the uppers, midsoles, and outsoles, to remove any remaining soap residue.

Drying the Shoes

Stuff the insides of your basketball shoes with paper towels to help maintain their shape and absorb excess moisture.

Avoid using direct heat sources such as hairdryers, as they can cause the shoes to deform. Let your shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from sunlight or direct heat.

Optional Steps

(1) Deodorize: To combat unpleasant odors, sprinkle some shoe deodorizer or baking soda inside the shoes. Let them sit overnight, then shake out or vacuum the powder before wearing.

(2) Protect: Apply a suitable shoe protector spray to create a barrier against future stains and spills. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

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Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Proof Waterproofing

Also Read:

  • The Easy Way Of Cleaning Sneakers In Washing MachineRead More
  • How To Clean Your Leather Boots The Right Way – Step By Step
  • 7 Proven ways to Eliminate odor from smelly shoesRead here
  • How To Style Chelsea Boots: What To Wear With Ankle BootsClick here


Regularly cleaning your basketball shoes is crucial to maintaining their performance, appearance, and longevity. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the proper materials and techniques, you can keep your kicks in top-notch condition. Remember to spot clean, wipe down, and air dry your shoes, and consider using additional steps like deodorizing and protecting for optimal care. With proper maintenance, your basketball shoes will continue to support you on the court for many seasons to come.

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