How to Clean Leather Tennis Shoes

Besides maintaining your fitness for the tennis match, make sure you maintain the fitness of your leather shoes too. Not only do they play an important role in the sport but come in the steeper price range too. Just because of the material! Thus, one should know how to clean leather tennis shoes.

You can call leather one of the most durable materials for tennis shoes. It owns tons of advantages to gift you. Let us just highlight some benefits that leather tennis shoes can give you.


  • Style.
  • Additional protection.
  • Comfort. 
  • Snug fit.
  • Water-resistance.
  • And most importantly, easy to clean!

So, you cannot just treat the shoes casually! 

Now that you know the importance of maintaining leather tennis shoes, let’s know how to clean it. Here, we have provided a simple guide so that you can follow and keep the pair in fine shape.  

The First Step

  • Exclude the Extras

Take out the shoelaces and insoles at first. We will tell you the way of cleaning them separately after the shoe cleanup. 

The Second Step

  • Light-clean the Outer Layer

Your second step should not be deep-cleaning the shoes, rather light-cleaning them. So primarily, you will need to work with the exterior of the leather tennis shoes. 

Wet a paper towel and wring it out to make it a bit damp. After that, wipe down the exterior of the pair gently to take out surface dirt. 

Now, wait for 10 minutes to dry off the shoes. 

The Third Step 

  • Magic Eraser Method

Coming as a scrubber, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can help refresh white leather tennis pair. All you need is to moisten and wring it out so it remains damp, not drippy. Now, rub out all the grime and dirt on the pair until they are clean. Also, use it to clean the shoes’ outsoles too. The scrubber has the power to lift up the stubborn dirt with ease. 

However, one bad trait of Magic Eraser is that it tends to shred. So after you are done, you may find foam crumbles coming off on your shoes. Make sure to wipe it out with a damp paper towel since moisture can damage the leather. Also, it is important that you dry the pair thoroughly. 

  • Impact of Ivory Soap

Now, it’s time for deep-scrubbing. Use an Ivory soap bar and lather up a sponge or wet cloth. Apply the bar to the shoe’s upper in gentler and smaller circles. This will help move the stain. 

After scrubbing it, wipe out the residue or excess soap using a damp cloth. And lastly, dry off the pair using a clean cloth.

  • Paste Process

If you want to clean the outer part of the leather tennis shoes and get a minty-fresh vibe altogether, then making a scrubbing paste can be great. You will just have to mix the ingredients mentioned below:

  • Non-gel white toothpaste: 1 tablespoon.
  • Baking soda: 1 tablespoon
  • Warm water: 1 tablespoon.

Blend them until they become a paste. You can add a bit more baking soda or water to make the paste thicker. Now apply it to your pair with a clean cotton rag or toothbrush. Make sure to give a gentle scrub in circular motion until the shoes are free of stain. 

Use the damp rag to wipe off and proceed to dry the pair thoroughly. You can also repeat the step if the stains are still visible. 

The Last Step

  • Keep in Good Shape

It will be great if you stuff your leather pair with newspaper. This will not only help absorb dampness quick but also preserve the shape.

  • Cleaning Extras

It is also essential that you clean the insoles and shoelaces too. You can clean the former with a mild detergent diluted in warm water. Use a soft cotton rag or brush to remove the stains from the inserts effectively. 

For the shoelaces, you will need to fill a small container with warm, soapy water. Then soak the shoelaces for 10 minutes. After that, scrub them and leave them to dry off completely.

Some Do’s and Don’ts: 

  • Although the cleaning frequency depends on your wearing frequency, but if you wear the leather tennis shoes 3-4 times a week, then it’s essential that you deep clean them after every 2-3 weeks. 
  • Make sure you use the right shade of polish and avoid applying it on grime or dirt. 
  • If your shoes are not dirty but emitting odor, then you can place the shoes in the freezer overnight. Usually, the microorganisms cause the stink and doing so can kill them.
  • Never put leather tennis shoes in dryer. This can cause damages to the material and make it shrink. 
  • Never put the pair through washing machine. They are never meant to be immersed in water. Also, they are not meant to ensure this kind of motion. The shoes might come out of machine with great-look and smell, but machine-washing them can break them down and fall them apart quick. 
  • Never use bleach for cleaning leather tennis shoes. It will not only be too harsh for the pair but also can burn the leather. Not just that, it can also lead to discoloration. 
  • Make sure you avert direct sunlight while you dry off the tennis shoes. The heat can end up making the leather material crack faster. It will be great if you let the leather pair dry at room temperature.


The more you will treat your leather tennis shoes with respect, the longer durability they can provide you with. So, if you want to keep them in good condition for several years, you must make a schedule for their maintenance. 

Cleaning the pair will not only give a brand-new look to your shoes but also help them emit fresh fragrance. 

So, you can already guess how much essential it is to clean the shoes at least once every 2-3 weeks.

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