4 Steps On How to Clean Basketball Shoes Like a Pro

If you have high-quality basketball shoes they probably weren’t cheap, which means you want to keep them for as long as you can. But at the same time, you want to be able to wear them for your games, right? That means you need to learn how to clean basketball shoes properly, so you can wear them, and keep them looking great, which is what we’re going to go over here.

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The Tools You Need

  • Basketball Shoes – Of course, you’re going to need your shoes in order to be able to clean them, right? Your shoes should be made of a good quality material, not canvas or leather (because these are definitely not designed for playing basketball) but likely a synthetic or composite material. These are going to be much easier to clean and actually won’t require as much in the way of hardcore cleaning.
  •  Soft-Bristled Brush – You’ll want a toothbrush or a shoe brush that you can use to scrub the outside of the shoe and get off as much dirt and debris as possible. Don’t get anything with hard bristles as this can cause scratching or wear through the shoe as you’re scrubbing. A soft brush will help you get off only what you want, without damaging the shoe underneath, which increases the length of time you can use it.

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  • Water & Laundry Detergent – Mix some warm water with just a little bit of laundry detergent. You want only enough to get a little bit of soapiness to the mixture, but not so much that you’re going to have bubbles everywhere. This is going to be used to clean the dirt and debris off the shoes. Make sure you don’t use abrasive cleaners or water that is too hot as this can damage the shoe.
  • 2 Sponges – A soft sponge can be used to help you wash the shoes with your laundry detergent and water mixture. This helps you scrub a little harder than you can with a bristled brush and still gets the shoes clean. You’ll also want a sponge to get any additional water and detergent off the shoes when you’re done scrubbing them. You don’t want to leave that soap there as it can dry and result in streaks on your shoes or even stiffening or softening (depending on the detergent).

Getting Started


The first thing to do is get your shoes out and use your soft-bristled brush to get off everything you can. You don’t need any water or soap or anything else at this stage. Just use your brush to get off anything that you can. Much of the dirt and definitely all of the debris should come off the shoes in this step. Make sure you put just enough pressure to get the dirt off but don’t scrape the shoes too hard as this can cause damage.


Mix together the water and laundry soap and apply it to a soft sponge. Scrub the mixture into the shoe with only as much force as is necessary to get the stains out. You don’t want to scrub too hard because it’s just going to wear you out and possibly start breaking down your shoes over time.


Once you’ve scrubbed all the stains off, use thesecond sponge with water to wipe off any and all detergent that you can. You don’t want to leave anything behind that can cause damage or premature wear to your shoes.


When you have all of the soap and as much excess water as you can off the shoes, set them somewhere to air dry. Don’t try to dry them more quickly with heat or a hair dryer and definitely don’t put them in a machine to dry as this can cause damage and shrinking.

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So what did you think of this tutorial? Do you think it’s something that you’ll be trying out soon with your own basketball shoes? No matter how good of care you actually take off your shoes, chances are they are eventually going to get dirty, and you’ll need to do something.

Take a minute to look over this tutorial and you’ll be ready when that moment comes, so you can get your shoes in the best shape possible, right away. It’s definitely going to prolong their life and keep you a whole lot happier at the same time.

Let us know what you thought of this article in the comments and definitely let your friends know how they can clean up their shoes properly.

Sara Smith

My name is Sara Smith, the proud owner of the blog and the writer of all the articles that you can see on this website. It is my goal to share my knowledge to all of you and to provide valuable learnings in one way or another.

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