Gym shoes go through a lot of wear and tear. Those group fitness classes, time on the treadmill, rides on your bike, or dusty hikes are bound to play a role in not keeping your shoes looking clean and fresh. Or maybe you’re a little clumsy — like me — at times and have had more than one incident that involved spilling a coffee or smoothie onto your shoes. But fear not, friends. Whether you need to quickly dust them off or clean up a spill, we’ve got you covered with some tips for keeping your sneakers looking brand new at all times.
1. For Spot Cleaning
Magic Eraser — A Magic Eraser is one of the most affordable ways to keep your gym shoes spotless. If you have stains, marks, or scuffs on your shoes, all you have to do is use the Magic Eraser to quickly scrub them clean.
Baby Wipes — Baby wipes are gentle enough to clean your little ones, kitchen messes, and yes, even your gym shoes. Simply wipe them in a circular motion on any spots on your shoes that need a quick clean-up.
Cleaning Wipes — Similar to baby wipes, cleaning wipes will perform the same function when cleaning your sneakers. Using cleaning wipes is quick, easy, and efficient, and you’re likely to have some on hand. You can also make your own cleaning wipes to travel with.
Tide To-Go Pen — A Tide To-Go Pen is a superconvenient way to get rid of any marks or stains on your shoes. You can keep one in your gym bag, car, or purse and be good to go just in case anything happens to your shoes.
2. For a Deep Clean
Dishwasher Soap + Water + Toothbrush — When your sneakers need more of a deep clean as opposed to spot cleaning, a gentle way to do this is to use dishwasher soap and water. You can utilize this method by rinsing your shoes under warm water, then dabbing a toothbrush into your water and dishwasher soap mix. You can then directly apply the toothbrush onto your shoes and will be able to get into all the creases in crevices to eliminate any dirt and grime left over from your workout. Rinse them again when you’re done and allow them to air dry. Pro tip: stuff them with dry paper towels to help them maintain their shape during this time.
White Vinegar — It may not have the most attractive smell, but white vinegar is a pro cleaning tool. All you have to do is use a toothbrush soaked in white vinegar for hard-to-clean areas, or simply dip a paper towel or towel into the vinegar and apply it to your shoes for an overall clean.
3. For Smelly Shoes
OK, we all sweat, but sometimes sweat odor gets stuck in our shoes, and nobody wants a whiff of that. There’s other times when the smell isn’t a bodily odor at all, but from something that may have gotten stuck on your shoes. Take a close look at your shoes to figure out what’s causing the smell. If it’s something on the outside of the shoe, try one of the deep-cleaning methods listed above. But if it’s coming from the inside, you can try these other methods.
Resealable Bag + Freezer — A quick way to get rid of the smell from your shoes if you’re in a pinch is by sealing them in a large resealable bag then putting them in a freezer overnight. By morning, your sneakers should smell nice and fresh.
Essential Oils — If you already have essential oils at home, they can be used as the perfect odor-eliminating technique. Lavender, tea tree, and peppermint oils carry antibacterial properties that can add a lovely freshness to your shoes. Simply add a couple drops to each shoe, mix one or more of the oils in a spray bottle to keep on hand and spray into shoes, or dab a cotton ball into your oil of choice and leave one in each shoe.
Dryer/Fabric Softener Sheets — You can use dryer or fabric softener sheets by rolling them into a ball and stuffing a couple inside each shoe. This not only gets rid of the moisture that may have been accumulated after your workout, but also keeps your shoes smelling nice and fresh.
In addition to these tips, don’t forget to keep your gym shoes in a well-ventilated area and out of direct sunlight to keep them looking fresh!