How To Keep Your Sneakers Clean
Mr Eugene Tong, former style director of Details magazine and a devout sneakerhead, offers a step-by-step guide to maintaining box-fresh shoes
Sneaker obsessives often reveal themselves by going to extreme lengths to keep their ultra-rare sneakers 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 first into a pillowcase and then into the washing machine. Modern times demand modern measures. Here, independent fashion consultant and former style director of Details magazine, Mr Eugene Tong, a streetwear aficionado and “recovering sneaker addict”, shows us how.
FIVE GOLDEN RULES OF SNEAKER MAINTENANCE
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 Scotchguard. 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.