What’s up guys, I got some much needed advise on a rather easy and simple way to clean your kicks back into tip top shape. We’ve all done it before, using the old tooth brush to clean the dirt off of those Air Force Ones or old school Adidas, not knowing that you could get the very same results by simply just tossing them into the washing machine. Here’s a simple prep on how to safely clean your kicks back to restoration without all the hassle.
Rule 1: Preparation Is Key
The first thing to do is to remove the laces from the sneakers. You can toss them in the machine along with the sneaks, but you should wash them separately because a ton of dirt and grime collects around the eyelet, so you want to be sure that area gets maximum exposure to water and detergent.
Next, if the shoes are really dirty or muddy, brush them off with a rag to dislodge dirt, grass, etc. Then, spray them liberally with a laundry pre-treatment product like Shout or Resolve before the shoes go in the wash.
Rule 2: Know Your Washer Cycles
Washing machine cycles are differentiated mostly based on speed. That means that selecting the gentle cycle will subject your sneakers to a slower speed in both the wash and spin cycles, which will reduce the amount of friction they experience. That’s a good thing, because the less the sneakers get banged around, the less stress will be placed on them. So: Use the gentle cycle. If water temperature is a separate setting on your machine, choose cold; if water temperature is built into the speed of the cycle, opt for gentle.
Rule 3: Provide a Buffer
Another good way to protect sneakers from getting too banged up in the washing machine is to fill the rest of the load with something like towels, blankets, or sweatshirts. Just be aware when selecting those items that they’re going into the machine along with really dirty shoes, so maybe don’t wash your brand new white towels with your dirty Nike’s. It’s pretty common sense, of course, but mentioning that you should avoid washing anything delicate alongside heavy items like sneakers I guess is worth saying anyway.
Rule 4: Bag up the Laces
If you’re going to wash a set of laces in the machine, it’s a good idea to put them in a small zip mesh bag. The bag will allow the laces to get cleaned but will prevent them from winding around everything else in the load. You can buy a set of washable mesh bags for less than $10.
Rule 5: Don’t Overdo the Detergent
It’s so tempting, when we consider a washable item that’s quite dirty, to use a ton of detergent. More detergent feels like it should make something more cleanly! But that’s actually not true, because overusing detergent will leave soap residue behind, and that can make the shoes stiff and even lead to staining. So use a regular dose of detergent and resist the urge to add more.
In terms of what type of detergent to use, your regular old detergent will be just fine no need to go out and buy any specialty products.
Rule 6: Always Air Dry
Plenty of people put their sneakers in the dryer. Don’t be one of those people.
When the sneakers come out of the washer, they’ll only be damp—the final spin cycles will remove most of the wash water. Still though, it’s a good idea to set them to dry in front of or near a fan, open window, AC unit, or dehumidifier, all of which will help to speed up the drying time.
If the shoes have removable insoles, take them out to dry separately (you can also remove them prior to washing), and flip the tongue out over the toe box to allow more air to circulate through the interior of the shoe.
Once the shoes are dry, you can re-lace them and get back to the important business of looking awesome in your cool—and very clean—sneakers