Whether you are a professional basketball player or a hobbyist who owns a pair of basketball shoes, you both know how important it’s to keep your shoes clean. Remember the first time you laid your hands on your new pair?
The fresh pair was inside a perfectly shaped rectangular box and smelled clean and crispy? And the first time you picked a pair, it looked so beautiful and clean.
But now, fast-forward three months. You’ve been wearing your shoes regularly and rushing back home after practice, stuffing the shoes in your bag, and not having the time to clean them even though you mean to.
If that sounds familiar, this “how to clean basketball shoes” guide is for you.
Know Your Shoes
Before we go on to tell you how to clean basketball shoes, let’s first take a look at the shoes. What is your pair of shoes made of?
Well, there was a time when basketball shoes were made entirely out of leather. But guess what? It made the shoes extremely heavy. So, the manufacturer changed tactics and switched to more lightweight materials, such as synthetic mesh and rubber.
What synthetic mesh does is, it provides the same amount of support and comfort leathers did but has a very important positive side, which is, it is light!
The rubber, on the other hand, helps you with your grip and balance. And the soles of the sneakers are generally made of rubber because of how good they are on wooden or asphalt floors.
Some other materials are also used to build basketball sneakers, such as – zippers, laces, ankle straps, etcetera, which are used only to make the sneaker a place of more comfort to you. Now that you understand your sneaker better, let’s talk about some proper ways of handling your shoes.
Where to Store
Storing your sneaker in the proper place is the first and the most important step in the overall wellbeing of your shoe. Hurriedly and carelessly throwing your pair in the gym bag after a particularly rough session or practice day is something we are all guilty of.
One can ask what the worst can happen to the shoes if we deal with them like this. Well, for one, it puts a lot of pressure on the seams staying stuffed inside your bag like that, and as a result, your shoes can very much lose their shape.
The second thing which is also very gross is the lack of airflow inside a bag can cause and add to the sweaty smell coming out of your shoes. So, what should you do?
Well, remember to store them in a place where there is proper air circulation. This way, your sneakers won’t stay dampened and will have enough time to air dry up before your next practice.
Once your sneakers are dry, store them in their original packaging box to make sure they don’t get kicked around your apartment. You could also try using sneaker-deodorizers to keep your shoes smelling fresh for longer periods.
Where Not to Wear
Although it feels like a needless thing to say, we all sometimes end up wearing our basketball shoes outside of the court. Well, something which might prevent you from doing it further is that your basketball shoes are not made for outside usage.
The materials and fabric used to make your shoes are specifically designed to wear indoors, and outside exposure to dirt and humidity doesn’t do your sneaker any favor. As a result, the grip gets loosened, and the shoes might get torn and discolored.
How to Clean White Basketball Shoes
Basketball shoes work hard — now let’s talk about what you all have been waiting for! we will share a few more tips to keep your shoes in shape and form and for them to last longer, cleaning is essential. Here, we will guide you step by step as to how you can do it.
Step 1: Remove Dirt
After a daylong practice, your shoes are likely going to be wet from all the perspiration. Allow them to air dry first. The next thing you need to do is, soft brush to wipe off all the dirt from the shoes.
To clean the stains from the shoe’s outward fabric, you can use a toothbrush. You can either use a sneaker brush, but if the shoe fabric has got wet mud on it and does not dry out, you can use a dampened cloth to remove the dirt.
If you are one of the rebels who tend to wear their basketball shoes outdoors, you are sure to find tiny rocks and stones inside of your sneaker. Remove them as well in this step.
Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution
The next thing you need to do is prepare the cleaning solution. For this, you can use warm water. Then put a small amount of laundry detergent in the running water or, in the case of it being leather shoes, special leather cleaners.
Please do not use harsh chemicals as they can seriously damage the sneaker fabric.
Step 3: Removing Insoles, Shoe Laces
You need to remove the insoles and laces from your shoes next. Wash them separately if they are excessively dirty either by hand with the cleaning solution you have prepared or in a washing machine.
Step 4: Use a Cloth to Wash Your Shoe
Now, soak a clean cloth in the cleaning solution and wash your sneaker. Start from the dirtier areas and slowly circulate the shoe. Remember not to swipe the cloth all over the shoe at once. That way, you will spread dirt to the cleaner areas.
Step 5: Rinse the Excess Soap off
In this step, rinse any access solution off of your shoes. Make sure the shoe does not have any soapy residue left as they will create odd-looking spots as your shoe dries.
Step 6: Dry the Shoes
The next step is very important as you don’t want to be left with an improperly dried shoe. Make sure you keep your shoes indoors at room temperature where your shoes can naturally dry off.
Please be careful not to put them under direct sunlight or use things like hair dryer. If you are in a hurry for them to air dry, just remember not to wash them during active practice days. Make the most of the lousy days.
Your basketball shoes deserve your proper care as they undoubtedly are one of your most important accessories. Make sure to properly clean them regularly to ensure their longevity and good performance.