Sneaker Week

How to Clean Every Stain Out of Your Sneakers

Just when you thought you were being ~really~ careful.

By: Noah Lehava

What with our journalistic endeavors into the sneaker-lined lairs of the biggest collectors in the world, we’ve learned that taking care of your shoes is an art unto itself. Even if you don’t fall into the same camp as the aforementioned sneakerheads, anyone who owns a pair they love and spent money on can appreciate keeping their sneakers box fresh for as long as possible. And because every life situation can lead to its own set of sneaker-ruining hazards, Jason Markk, the creator of the sneaker cleaning kit, breaks down everything you need to get rid of a stain.

 

The Basics

“Start by dry-brushing the shoe around the stain with a suede brush or our premium brush. Spot-treat the stain, and blot using a microfiber towel while simultaneously applying enough pressure to absorb as much of the stain as possible. Avoid wiping with the microfiber towel, as this could potentially cause the stain to spread.”

 

When you attempt to be athletic for two seconds in $500 sneakers...

The stain: grass

“Grass stains will usually be found along with dirt stains. Start with dry-brushing to remove any top-layer dirt and dust. Proceed using the basic steps for cleaning (above). For synthetic leather material, the stain normally comes off using our Premium Solution and a standard brush and the microfiber towel.”

 

When the weather report goes horribly wrong...

The stain: mud

“Cleaning mud or tar can be very messy. Please ensure you have plenty of our Premium Microfiber Towels and a cleaning apron before going forward. You’ll need a tool in order to break down dry, compacted mud such as a flathead screwdriver or something similar. For dry mud, start by dry-brushing any loose mud. Use a flathead screwdriver to break down mud in crevices. For wet mud, use plenty of our microfiber towels to wipe and absorb excess mud.

“Start with cleaning the under-soles, next, midsoles, and lastly, uppers. It’s important to blot with a microfiber towel and not wipe, as this will cause the mud to spread. Mud contains oils, and usually oil stains only lighten and will not completely remove from delicate materials once it has bonded with it. The sooner you clean the shoes, the better the result will be.”

 

When you ambitiously wear your new sneakers and get blisters...

The stain: blood

“If possible, wear gloves before you begin cleaning for sanitary reasons. Immediately blot the stain using a microfiber towel to absorb as much blood as possible. Do not soak the area, as blood breaks down easily when wet and will begin to spread. Proceed to treat the area using the basic steps of cleaning.”

 

When the lid on your americano decides to pop off...

The stain: coffee

“Coffee stains tend to easily clean up because its base is water. As soon as the spill occurs, we recommend using napkins or our microfiber towel right away to absorb the stain. Wrap a shoe tree with a microfiber towel, and insert it into a shoe to aide in building a structure on the shoe. This will prevent the coffee stains from being left over in the creases. Having a microfiber towel inside the shoe while cleaning helps to absorb the stain from the inside as well.”

 

When your Uber takes a wrong turn so you decide to walk-run instead...

The stain: scuff

“Scuffs usually clean off, but oftentimes the scuff is deep and has torn into the material. For top-layer scuffs, use a microfiber towel and apply moderate pressure with a back-and-forth motion to buff the scuff out. Be careful; avoid applying heavy pressure, as it will remove the paint and/or ruin the texture.”

 

When you day drink in the park all day...

The stain: wine

“Red wine is very concentrated and acidic and will stain the material quickly if not addressed immediately. It’s important to blot the wine stain with napkins or our microfiber towels. Next, apply small amounts of water to the stain to help with diluting the wine. When you proceed to clean the shoe, use hot water to continue lifting the wine stain. The stain will mostly lighten up, but it may not completely remove.”

Part of the series:

Sneaker Week

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