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How To Clean White Basketball Shoes

How To Clean White Basketball Shoes
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The thing with white shoes is that they attract attention. Your eyes just move to them of their own accord. And guess what? Dirt also gets attracted to them. White shoes are that brilliant.

In spite of how much dirt they attract, white sneakers are a must-have for every shoe closet, whether male or female.

But you will hardly feel confident in dirty white shoes. You won’t be able to hide from the glances that are thrown your way.

Admittedly, it will take a lot for you to maintain clean basketball shoes, especially if they are white. However, this maintenance is not so cumbersome as long as you do it as frequently as possible. Let’s get right into it.

How To Clean White Basketball Shoes
Photo by Nqobile Vundla on Unsplash

Why Care For Basketball Shoes?

There is more than one reason to maintain your basketball shoes, regardless of the color they come in. Here are a few:

  • Keeping your shoes clean and in top shape helps you stay at the top of your game.
  • Apart from how unpleasant dirty shoes look, they can adversely affect the quality of your game. The extra buildup of grime underneath your shoes reduces your traction, causing you to slip and slide around the basketball court. Having clean basketball shoes helps in eliminating this problem.
  • Keeping your shoes clean gets them to last longer. Clean basketball shoes will perform better and last much longer than those that are hardly ever cared for.

How To Clean The White Ones

Due to its unique color, extra care needs to be given to white basketball shoes. However, some things should not be done when cleaning white shoes. 

Converse Men's Chuck Taylor All Star Slip Sneaker, White/Black/White, 6.5 M US

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What Not To Do

  • The temptation to just send your shoes into the washing machine for a quick spin might be high, seeing as you won’t have to go through so much trouble. However, don’t use the washing machine to clean your basketball shoes. We repeat, do not wash your basketball shoes in a washing machine! Using the washing machine can cause serious damage to the soles and seams of your shoes. 
  • Do not use dryers, vents, or heaters to dry your shoes as prolonged drying sessions of this kind can also have such dire effects on your shoes. Over time, this will cause the rubber in your soles will be warped, thereby, shortening their life span.
  • When cleaning your shoes, please steer off harsh cleaning agents like bleach, alcohol, and heavy-duty laundry detergents. While bleach is very beneficial for fighting tough stains on white materials, together with alcohol, they can leave a greasy residue on your shoes. And sometimes, they dry out and crack the soles of your shoes.
  • Do not use anything apart from eco-friendly detergents to clean your shoes.

What To Do?

First, get the following supplies and tools ready for the cleaning session:

  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Magic eraser
  • A soft shoe brush or soft-bristled toothbrush
  • 2 soft cleaning cloths
  • White non-gel toothpaste
  • Paper towels

Now, that you have gotten what you need, let us proceed.

1. Brush Away Excess Dirt

With a dry shoe brush or toothbrush, gently brush away dirt from your shoe’s exterior. Endeavor to use a little pressure and maintain light, simple motions. Remember to pay attention to the outsole, midsole, uppers, and laces as well. The laces can be set aside to be washed later.

2. Create Your Cleaning Solution

In a bowl, mix 1 teaspoon (4.9 milliliters) of liquid dish soap or a little amount of mild laundry detergent into 1 cup (240 milliliters) of warm water.

The resultant water should be sudsy but still clear, so, the consistency is soapy but still not very frothy. Please avoid agents to prevent your white shoes from experiencing any form of discoloration.

3. Clean The Soles And Other Parts

Dip the magic eraser into the soapy water and wring it out to remove excess water. With short back and forth motions, wipe along the parts of your shoes made with rubber, plastic, or leather.

Keep using the eraser over these parts until all the stains and scratches on them are eliminated.

Don’t know where to get the magic eraser? Well, here is one to check out below.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original, Cleaning Pads with Durafoam, 9 Count

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4. Wash The Shoes

Use a soft cloth to apply the soapy water to the surface of your shoes in small circular motions. If there are difficult stains on your basketball shoes, it is all right for you to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Keep a second bowl of clean water close by so you can periodically rinse the cloth or toothbrush to ensure that you don’t spread the existing stains on the surface of your shoes.

You can soak the laces in the soapy water and wash after a while. Rinse and properly air dry them.

5. Get Rid Of The Soap

Wet another soft, clean cloth so it is damp, and not soaking. With the cloth, pat the soapy water and dirt off the exterior of the basketball shoes.

Avoid fully dunking the shoes in clean water to get rid of the soap, as the shape of the shoes can be adversely affected.

Also, do not wipe across the shoe’s fabric, so as not to, once again, spread dirt across the fabric. This step will not get the shoe completely dry but will lift off the excess soap from the surface of your shoes.

6. Allow The Shoes To Air Dry

After patting the soap off them, place the shoes in a well-ventilated spot at home to fully air dry. Let them sit for about 3 hours before you wear them again.

If you cleaned the shoes at night, leave them to sit overnight. If during the cleaning process, your basketball shoes got especially wet, you can fill them with paper towels to help them retain their shape as they dry.

Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels, Quarter Size Sheets, 16 Count

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7. Use Toothpaste To Fight Tough Stains

If your basketball shoes have heavy stains, you can eliminate them with white, non-gel toothpaste. Using toothpaste of other colors can leave stains on your shoes.

  • Using a toothbrush, simply put a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the parts of your shoes that are heavily stained. 
  • With a circular motion of the toothbrush, spread the toothpaste into a thin coat over the entire area.
  • Work the toothpaste into the fabric thoroughly and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  • With a wet soft cloth, wipe the toothpaste and dirt off your shoes. Endeavor that all the toothpaste is gotten rid of.
  • Then allow your shoes dry completely before putting them on again.

Final Words

The effectiveness of your cleaning routine is in what materials you use to clean your basketball shoes, as much as it is in the frequency with which you clean them.

Do not wait till your shoes become such an embarrassment before you clean them. Remember that dirty white basketball shoes get attention, too, albeit the wrong kind.

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