How to Wash Sneakers by Hand?

We all know how tough it is to wash a pair of sneakers. A lot of our readers asked us how to wash sneakers by hand, so we decided to talk about it today. 

Now, you may ask, why should you wash your sneakers by hand? Is there anything wrong with throwing them in the washing machine?

Well, the answer varies greatly depending on the type of sneakers you’ll be cleaning. If you’re using a canvas sneaker, you can throw that into the wash without a second thought. However, you’ll need to put in some towels along with the shoes, remove the laces, brush off the visible dirt, and put them in a laundry bag or a pillow cover to save the drum. 

But what if you aren’t using canvas sneakers? What should you do in that case? Well, you need to wash them by hand. In this article, you’ll learn how to wash sneakers by hand. So, let’s get started!

How to Wash Sneakers by Hand? Regular Ones:

In most cases, you don’t need to maintain a strict procedure while washing the sneakers by your hand. You can use anything, ranging from cleaning soap to detergent, and you’ll be fine. All you need is a cleaning agent, a bowl of water, and a cleaning brush. 

First, mix the cleaning agent in the water. You might want to sprinkle some of the water on the shoes before getting started. Once the shoe is mildly sprinkled with the water, you need to start scrubbing with your brush. 

At first, you need to take some water mixed with detergent and keep on scrubbing the shoe. Once you have scrubbed it enough and are sure that the dirt is more or less removed, you need to change the bowl of water and take a fresh new bowl. 

Then, keep on taking water from the bowl, and start scrubbing the shoe until all the detergent and the dirt is removed, and your shoe looks new! 

If you find the eyelets of your shoe to be stained or greased, use a cotton swab to clean them up. Before you start cleaning, you better remove the visible dirt with a brush, or you’ll only end up muddying your shoe. Then again, if there’s any oil on your shoes, you should use shampoos instead of detergent as they do a better job at cleaning these. 

No matter what, make sure that you don’t clean your suede sneakers with this method, or you’ll only end up damaging your shoes. In fact, you should check your sneakers’ care label before you start washing them with detergent. There are a lot of sneakers that don’t work well with detergent, and you better not expose them to it. 

How to Wash Sneakers by Hand: Suede Sneakers:

If you have a pair of suede sneakers, you should never clean them with detergent, or else you’ll only end up damaging them. There are different materials on the market that will help you clean this type of sneakers. Here’s how to wash sneakers by hand if they’re suede sneakers:

You can’t expose suede to water. What you really need is a suede cleaning solution. You can find these in most general stores, and even if you don’t find them at general stores, you’ll surely get them in any shoe store nearby. 

The trick is to dip the brush in the solution, and you need to apply the solution to the shoe. Make sure that you have enough solution on the shoe to clean it, but don’t go overboard with it as you’ll make the process only longer. 

Once you apply the solution to the shoe with the brush, you can use a napkin to press the outsole of the shoe gently. This will make sure that the solution is evenly distributed across the sneakers. 

Once you’re there, you need to start brushing the dirt and grease away. One important thing to note is that you can’t brush in many directions, but you should stick to a specific direction when you’re brushing your Suede shoe. 

What if you couldn’t find the suede cleaning solution? In that case, how to wash sneakers by hand? If this is the case, then you can use some vinegar. Follow the same procedure as the one before; just use vinegar instead of a cleaning solution. 

How to Wash Sneakers by Hand? Leather Ones:

How to Wash Sneakers by Hand if they’re made of leather? You can’t expect a clean wash if you’re planning on washing leather shoes with water. You can use different types of cleaning agents if you want to wash leather sneakers. 

The first thing you can use is a leather cleaner. Unlike the other procedures where you use a brush to clean the shoes, you need to use a soft towel to rub the leather sneakers clean. 

Then again, you can use toothpaste if you can’t find any leather cleaning agent. However, use white toothpaste as the colored ones can stain your sneakers. If you’re looking for some instant shine, you can also use baby oil. However, this method will not get rid of serious dirt. 

How to Wash Sneakers by Hand? Soles:

You can clean the bottom of your sneakers with an eraser. If you rub the bottom with an eraser, you’ll be able to get rid of the stains easily. You’ll also find special erasers in the shoe stores. If you have tough grimes sticking to the sole of your sneakers, you can clean them too. You can use sap remover to clean off the grime. If it’s liquid, you can keep your shoes in the freezer, as it will toughen the grime up so you can brush them off. 


A lot of people ask us how to wash sneakers by hand. We believe that it’s important to know how to wash sneakers by hand as it’s the best way to wash them. In this way, you can not only clean your sneakers, but you can also preserve them! 

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