How to Keep Your Sneakers Clean This Winter

All performance footwear will start to smell eventually, regardless of the anti-microbial materials used in them, or how many mesh layers are there in your sneaker. You will need these tips on keeping your shoe right, unless of course you are a pro athlete who gets a new pair for every game. Don’t be the smelliest guy on the bus. Here are some great ways to keep your sneakers looking good and smelling their best.

Sneaker Balls

sneaker balls

Remember them? There were good reasons why your mom used to keep them in your gym back. These are mini deodorizers, and they are strong too. They can help your shoes when you keep them in the cramped gym locker or they are in transit.

Spray It Down


Essential oils such as rosemary, lemon, tee tree, lavender and even peppermint can be put to good use. For even better results, combine the oil with distilled water and vodka. This will eat up the odors between uses. White vinegar is good too. For desperate cases, soak your shoes in a sink of water and white vinegar to clean out the bacteria that is causing that stench.

Store Shoes with a Cedar Block

cedar block

The old cedar trick where you keep a block of wood in your underwear drawer to keep moths away can help you fight odor as well.

Mr. Clean

mr. clean

Mr. Clean can do the trick. While the Magic Eraser may not be able to banish bad smells, the sponge is sure to take away any scruff marks or dirt stains that make you feel less shiny out on the field.

Clean Immediately After Using

dirty shoes

Your shoes are going to be smellier, if you let the bacteria sit in its fibers. It gets worse the longer you allow this. It’s true for the scruff marks and stains too. It’s going to be easier for you the sooner buff the abrasions. Keep a sponge in your gym bag. This way, it will be easier for you to clean the shoe before putting it back in your bag.

Let Them Breathe

storing sneakers

Stacking up shoes might make your room look neater, but even the best room freshener cannot help you. For better results, store sneakers in an open air environment to let them breathe before the next big game.

Use the Washing Machine

cleaning sneakers

Yes, most footwear brands advice against using the washing machine for a thorough washing, however, sometime a spin in a whirlpool is all a shoe needs. But before doing so, remove the insoles and the laces. Add a neutral detergent. Wash with bulky items such as towels or sheets to make it gentler.

Pull Out the Tongues

shoe tongue

This seems simple, but if you are putting mean miles on your shoes be sure to unlaces and pull open uppers as much as possible after use. This extra air flow will let your sneakers breathe and keep odors from being trapped.

Baking Soda

baking soda

Baking soda is very powerful. Sprinkle into your basketball shoes, runners, cleats, or trainers after the workout to deodorize sweaty shoes and keep them smelling clean. If there are any mesh layers in your shoes, then shake the powder loose before wearing again to avoid puffs of white clouds with each step.