Lookin' Good
sneaker-cleaning hacks will keep these white sneaker clean.
Keep Your Kicks Fresh With These Genius Sneaker-Cleaning Hacks

New shoe smell not included.

by Jailynn Taylor
Jackyenjoyphotography/Moment/Getty Images

Sneaker culture does not mess around when it comes to kicks. Serious sneakerheads won't even wear their prized pairs out of the house for fear of scuffs and creasing, but if you take care of your shoes, you can give the illusion that your shoes are fresh out of the box. Keeping sneakers in mint condition is no easy feat. Luckily, TikTok has the best hacks for cleaning sneakers so they always look brand new.

Cleaning hacks are great, but you can also avoid ever having to use them by following some sneaker-cleaning ground rules. According to sneaker enthusiast Symphony Clarke, known as TheThriftGuru on TikTok, you can keep even the whitest sneaker looking fresh by keeping three basic rules in mind.

  • Keep a pair of beater shoes on hand: "Many sneakerheads keep at least three pairs of beater shoes, which are shoes you don't mind getting dirty,” says Clarke. “I [only] wear the shoes I love on special occasions. This helps lower my risk of messing up some of my nicer shoes.” The next time you’re heading to a concert or a packed bar or club, follow Clarke’s lead and slip on a pair of shoes you won't regret getting dirty.
  • Study up on your sneakers’ materials: The second step for maintaining an awe-worthy pair of sneakers is understanding shoe fabrication. "Most shoes you purchase are leather-based, [like] your Jordans or Air Force 1's,” explains Clarke. “These types of shoes are easier to clean because you can wipe them down. Suede shoes, on the other hand, can be tricky to clean.”
  • Use what you’ve got at home: Clarke’s last tip is to keep calm if you do wind up scuffing up your favorite pair of shoes. Don’t panic and don’t think you have to shell out major bucks to get your favorite sneakers looking their best. "People think you need some fancy solution to clean your shoes, but honestly, a hot towel and some detergent will get your kicks back straight,” says Clarke.

There are tons of ways to keep your favorite kicks looking fresh enough to impress even the most intense sneakerheads and many sneaker-cleaning hacks can be done with products you have around your house right now. Ahead, 10 of the quirkiest, cleverest TikTok sneaker-cleaning hacks that’ll give your sneakers a fresh-out-the-box look.

Start With Laundry Detergent

Clarke says the simplest way to get those sneakers back up to standard is with a warm cloth and a bit of liquid detergent. When selecting a detergent to clean your shoes with, be mindful to reach for a dye-free detergent because blue detergent can stain your shoes.

Try This Old School Stain Remover

Fels Naptha's Laundry Bar is an old-school stain-removing soap. It’s also one of TikTok user’s @stephanieboothrealtor's go-to sneaker cleaners. When it comes to removing dirt from clothes and shoes, this soap gets the job done every time.

Get Your Sneakers Pearly White

When you want to get deep into the cracks and crevices of your sneaker’s soles, a good old-fashioned toothbrush will do the trick every time. @stephanieboothrealtor recommends adding a little water to the toothbrush, scrubbing the Fels Naptha Soap with the head of the toothbrush, and then getting to work.

Erase Stains Magically

Is there a more satisfying experience than watching TikTok user @kara.schab take a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser straight to her Converse and remove worn-in stains? I don’t think so. This set of 10 Magic Erasers has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on over 2,500 Amazon reviews, proving that it’s one of the internet’s favorite cleaning tools. "One thing I use [them] on all the time are the edges of the white soles of my tennis shoes. It makes them look like new," wrote one happy customer.

Use Dish Soap For A Night And Day Difference

This Dawn spray bottle is changing the sneaker-cleaning game as shown by Tiktoker @taylor_mckinsey. In her sneaker-cleaning hack video, she sprays down a pair of worn-in Vans with Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray and gives them a good scrub. When she holds up one clean and one dirty show, the two are like day and night. This dish spray alone removed most of the grime.

Scour Away Tough Stains

Brillo pads are great for getting caked-in dirt out of your sneakers as @Taylor_McKinsey shows in her Vans cleaning video. The abrasive texture does most of the heavy lifting, so you don't have to.

Give Your Sneakers An Oxy-Soak

TikTok user @bethsasser recommends filling your sink with hot water, pouring in about a cup of OxiClean, and letting your sneakers soak in the mixture for about an hour. Although the Oxiclean soak is just the first step of her elaborate sneaker-cleaning process, it might be enough to get your kicks looking brand new.

Swap Soap For White Vinegar

Another everyday item that can take your shoes from a five to a 10 is plain old white vinegar. TikTok user @bethsasser put her pre-soaked sneakers into the washing machine on a cold water cycle using white vinegar instead of laundry detergent. When she pulled the shoes out of the washer machine, they looked fresh out of the box.

(Wire) Brush Your Kicks

If you want a more detailed clean TikTok user @solefresh_soleclean recommends using a wire brush to get into those hard-to-clean creases, especially the ones around the edge of the sole that are so hard to keep clean. Simply dip the wire brush into your favorite sneaker cleaner and get to work.

Spruce Up Seams With Compressed Air

As a final step, @solefresh_soleclean takes sneaker cleaning to the next level using compressed air. After you’ve loosened up the debris and dirt in the seams of your shoes, try using a compressed air duster to blast out all those stuck-in bits. This is the final touch to getting your sneakers display case ready.