Summer is full of activities requiring sneakers, sports shoes, sandals, and boat shoes. These pose many cleaning challenges and opportunities. Let’s go over some tips and tricks!

Challenge #1: Get Your Running Shoes and Sneakers White Again!

  • Always start with dry shoes. This will make mud and debris brush off easily!
  • Remove laces and insoles and brush clean, soaking in a solution if necessary.
  • Using dish soap & water, liquid laundry detergent, or a specialty product, clean the body and base of the shoe.
  • Add a dab of baking soda to remove stubborn scuffs where needed
  • Rinse the body and base of the shoe with a clean microfiber cloth dipped in water.
  • Air dry ONLY, avoiding heavy sunlight if possible!

Check the care label or manufacturer’s website to see if your shoes are machine washable! If so, remove the laces and place them in a delicates bag. If the laces are really yucky, I pre-treat them with a stain remover and then throw them in the wash. Toss the shoes into the machine and wash on cold with liquid laundry detergent. Never dry your shoes in the dryer! Air-dry and if needed, leave in sunlight for a short amount of time.

For quality cleaning tools check out Maker’s Clean Premium Products. They are reliable and will never leave you hanging!

Challenge#2: Sport Shoes

Very similar to the runners mentioned above, consider if these are machine washable. You may need to get a specialty cleaner if there are stubborn stains like dirt or grass. These are usually easy to find and are a good way to care for your shoe investment!

It’s recommended to clean sports shoes often! After each round, I like to let our golf shoes dry, then brush them clean of dirt and debris. I wipe them down with a damp cloth and let them air dry. Also, never store your shoes in the car! First, it’ll make your shoes and car smell terrible! Second, the glue and materials of the shoe can be seriously damaged by extreme heat.

Challenge#3: Sandals: Leather, Suede, Crocs, & Flip-Flops

Let’s talk leather. It’s worth investing in a good quality leather cleaner. Begin by brushing off dirt, then wipe with a leather cleaner, and allow to air-dry.

For Crocs and flip-flops you can either hand-wash or put them in a delicates bag and toss them in the washing machine on cold.

Challenge#4: Stinky Shoes!

No matter who you are or how many shoes you have, EVERYONE knows what it’s like to have a pair of smelly shoes. Let’s take a look at some solutions to this pesky problem:

  • UV and sunshine can kill odors! Leave your stinky shoes out in the sun to freshen them up (beware of sunlight that is too harsh, as it can damage fabrics and leathers…).
  • Wear sock liners where possible! You can get no-show liners that absorb sweat. Sweat lingering in our damp and dark shoes leads to smells!
  • Add DIY shoe powder in before use: 1 part corn starch & 1 part baking soda!

Keeping your shoes fresh and clean will allow them to have a longer life and look better in the process! Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to keeping your kicks clean this summer!

For more cleaning secrets check out our E-Book Bundle! It has 3 e-books (The Complete Guide to Essential Oils, My 3 Wave Cleaning System, 50 DIY Cleaning Recipes) and will get you started with all your cleaning needs!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on

Looking for a BETTER & EASIER Way to Clean Your Home?

Cleaning Expert Melissa Maker is here to help with her game-changing 3 Wave Cleaning System that will help you clean your house faster and easier than you ever thought possible!

Learn More About The 3 Wave Cleaning System

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here