How To Keep Your Sneakers Clean

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How To Keep Your Sneakers Clean

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood

15 July 2015

Sneaker obsessives often reveal themselves by going to extreme lengths to keep their ultra-rare kicks completely spotless. This even includes never ever wearing them. These guys are quicker on the draw with a baby wipe than any new mother, they have a golf caddie’s sixth sense for reading the topography ahead and they won’t get dressed in the morning without first consulting three different weather apps. Let there be no doubt, sneakerheads are fastidious people.

The rest of us just want to know how to keep our sneakers cleaner for longer, and what to do when disaster strikes in the form of puddles, mystery party badges or worse.

Gone are the days when we would simply sling our soiled canvas Converse into a pillowcase and then into the washing machine. Modern times demand modern measures. Here, Mr Eugene Tong, independent fashion consultant, streetwear aficionado and “recovering sneaker addict”, shows us how.

01. Spot-clean them

Knock the soles together to dislodge dirt and use a damp cloth to wipe away superficial marks. Jason Markk Quick Wipes are ideal for an on-the-go once-over. For the rubber soles, use a damp Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

02. Deep-clean them 

Apply a few drops of Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner to a wet shoe brush, shake off and then scrub gently all over to a foam. Use a toothbrush for hard-to-get-to places or for more delicate areas such as mesh or suede patches. Wipe off with a towel and repeat all over. With canvas shoes, dab and twist with the towel to help lift the stain and dry the canvas.

03. Relace them

Fresh laces instantly lift the appearance of your sneakers. Remove the laces and either replace them with new white ones or else soak the soiled ones in washing detergent and then place in a garment bag and put in with a hot white wash.

04. Protect them

After you have allowed the newly cleaned shoes to dry naturally (never put them near direct heat), lay down a towel and spray with a stain and water repellent. For canvas shoes, use Scotchgard. For premium leather or suede, use Jason Markk Repel.

05. Store them 

Lay tumble dryer fabric sheets inside the shoes to help draw out moisture and deodorise them, especially if you regularly wear your sneakers without socks. Space permitting, the best way to keep your sneakers box fresh is to store them in their original box, ideally in dust bags. Take a Polaroid picture of your shoes and attach this to the outside of the box for easy reference.

Film by Mr Jacopo Maria Cinti