How to Wash Kids Sneakers

Are you wondering how to keep your kids’ sneakers looking and feeling fresh? Are your children constantly tugging at you to buy them the latest kicks on the market but you want a more cost-effective solution that still keeps their shoes looking nice? Worry no more! We have put together an easy guide for washing kid’s sneakers so that they remain clean, stink-free, and stylish.

How to Wash Kids Sneakers

In this article, we will explore various methods of how to wash kids sneakers as well as maintain the life and look of your children’s favorite footwear. Keep reading to learn all about keeping those kicks squeaky clean!

9 Best Methods on How to Wash Kids Sneakers

1. Machine Wash:

This is the most common method of washing kid’s sneakers and it involves using a washing machine to clean them. Before tossing them in the washer, make sure to remove any excess dirt or debris from the surface of the shoes.

Then, place them in a mesh laundry bag or wrap them in a pillowcase to protect them from getting damaged by other clothes or machines. Use cold water and a gentle cycle with mild detergent to avoid fading or shrinking the sneakers. Once done, let them air dry completely before use.

2. Hand Wash:

This method is best for delicate or expensive sneakers that cannot withstand the rough conditions of a washing machine. Start by removing any excess dirt and then fill a basin with cold water and mild detergent. Soak the shoes in the water for a few minutes and then gently scrub them using a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

3. Spot Clean:

For small and stubborn stains, spot cleaning is a quick fix to get rid of them without washing the entire shoe. Use a toothbrush or soft cloth and a mixture of mild detergent and water to gently scrub the stain until it disappears. This method is suitable for both machine and hand-washing sneakers. If the stain persists, try using a stain remover specifically designed for sneakers.

Spot Cleaning is a Quick Fix

4. Cleaning Wipes:

Cleaning wipes are a convenient and mess-free option for keeping your kid’s sneakers clean on-the-go. They come pre-moistened with cleaning solution and can be easily carried in your bag or car to tackle any unexpected spills or dirt. However, they may not be as effective as other methods and can be costly in the long run. If using wipes, make sure to dispose of them properly.

5. Baking Soda and Vinegar:

This natural cleaning solution is perfect for removing any odors from your child’s sneakers. Make a paste by mixing baking soda and vinegar together and apply it to the inside and outside of the shoes. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight before rinsing off with cold water and air-drying. This method is safe to use on both fabric and leather sneakers.

6. Lemon Juice:

Similar to baking soda, lemon juice can also help eliminate any unpleasant odors from kids’ sneakers. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a cloth or cotton ball and wipe down the inside of the shoes. Let them dry in the sun for a few hours for a fresh and clean smell. Lemon juice is also safe to use on all types of materials.

 Lemon Juice Can Also Help Eliminate Any Unpleasant Odors

7. Use a Magic Eraser:

For scuff marks or tough stains, try using a magic eraser to gently scrub them off the surface of the sneakers. Wet the eraser and rub it onto the affected areas in a circular motion until the marks disappear. This method is not recommended for delicate materials as it may cause damage. Using a white eraser instead of a colored one can also help avoid any potential color transfer.

8. Dryer Sheets:

Dryer sheets are not just for making your laundry smell good, they can also help remove any static or clinginess from sneakers. Simply rub the sheet onto the outside and inside of the shoe to get rid of any unwanted build-up. This method can also help freshen up shoes in between washes.

9. Stuff with Newspaper:

After washing your kid’s sneakers, stuff them with newspaper to soak up any excess water and help maintain their shape while drying. This will prevent the shoes from getting misshapen or damaged during the drying process. Make sure to change out the newspaper every few hours until the shoes are completely dry.

Following these methods will ensure that your kids’ sneakers remain clean and fresh for longer. However, it is also important to regularly maintain them by wiping off any daily dirt or debris and air-drying them after each wear. With these tips, you can now confidently keep your children’s favorite footwear looking new and smelling great without breaking the bank! Happy washing!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Wash Kids Sneakers

1. When washing kids’ sneakers, it is important to use a gentle detergent that is specifically made for delicate or sports shoes. This will ensure that the material of the shoe is not damaged during the washing process. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach as they can fade colors and weaken the fabric.

2. To remove tough stains from kid’s sneakers, try spot cleaning with a mixture of baking soda and water. This will help to lift the stain without damaging the shoe material. Just make sure to rinse off the baking soda mixture thoroughly before washing the entire shoe.

Cleaning With a Mixture of Baking Soda and Water

3. If your child has a hard time keeping their sneakers clean, consider investing in a protective spray or coating for the shoes. This will help to repel dirt and stains, making it easier to keep the sneakers looking fresh.

4. When drying kids’ sneakers, avoid using high heat as it can cause shrinkage or damage to the shoe material. Instead, opt for air-drying them in a well-ventilated area. You can also stuff the shoes with paper towels to help them retain their shape while drying.

5. To keep kids’ sneakers smelling fresh, sprinkle some baking soda inside the shoes and leave it overnight before shaking it out in the morning. This will help to absorb any odors and leave the shoes smelling clean.

6. If your child’s sneakers have removable insoles, make sure to take them out before washing the shoes. This will help to prevent any damage to the insoles and ensure a thorough cleaning.

7. For stubborn dirt or scuff marks on the rubber soles of kids’ sneakers, try using a magic eraser sponge. These sponges are gentle yet effective at removing tough grime without scratching the rubber.

8. As a general rule, it is best to avoid putting kids’ sneakers in the dryer as high heat can cause damage to the shoe material and compromise their fit. If you must use a dryer, opt for low heat or air-dry settings.

9. When storing kids’ sneakers, make sure to clean them thoroughly and let them dry completely before placing them in a storage container or closet. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, keeping the shoes fresh for longer.

10. Lastly, involve your child in the process of washing their sneakers. Teaching them how to care for their shoes will not only help to keep them clean but also instill responsibility and good habits that they can carry into adulthood.

Following these tips and tricks will not only help to keep your child’s sneakers looking clean and fresh but also extend their lifespan. Remember to always read the care instructions on the shoes before washing them and use gentle methods to avoid damaging them. By taking proper care of their sneakers, your child can continue wearing them for longer and save you money in the long run. So go ahead, let your kids run, jump and play without worrying about dirty sneakers! Happy washing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Wash My Kid’s Sneakers?

The frequency of washing your kid’s sneakers depends on how often they wear them and how dirty they get. Generally, if they wear their sneakers every day, it’s recommended to wash them once a week. If they only wear them occasionally, then you can wait longer before washing them.

Can I Put My Kid’s Sneakers in the Washing Machine?

Yes, you can put your kid’s sneakers in the washing machine if they are made of fabric or canvas. However, it’s always a good idea to check the label first to see if there are any specific instructions for cleaning. If there are no instructions, then you can wash them on a gentle cycle with cold water.

How Should I Dry My Kid’s Sneakers?

It’s best to let your kid’s sneakers air dry rather than putting them in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can damage the materials and cause them to shrink or warp. You can stuff some paper towels or newspaper inside the sneakers to help absorb excess water and speed up the drying process.

 Kid's Sneakers Air Dry


All in all, knowing how to wash kids sneakers is an important skill to have as a parent. Not only does it keep your kid’s shoes looking clean and fresh, but it also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your kid’s sneakers will last longer and continue to look great with each wash. So next time your kid comes home with dirty sneakers, don’t fret, just follow these tips and they will be sparkling clean in no time. So go ahead, let your kid explore and get dirty without worrying about their sneakers because now you know exactly how to clean them! Happy washing!

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Jennifer Branett

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