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How to Clean Basketball Shoes – White & Nike Shoes with Mesh

Last Updated May 13, 2024 Last Updated February 28, 2024 by Brian Aquino

Clean basketball shoes not only improve your appearance but also your performance. Dirty shoes will slip and slide in the court, resulting in poor performance and causing injury sometimes. No matter how expensive the shoes are – they’ll get dirty just like others. If that’s the case and you are wondering how to clean basketball shoes, here we’ll discuss step by step guide to clean white leather and mesh material basketball shoes.

Dirty shoes look off in the court, plus, they lose traction and ground grip. Nothing looks uglier than a white pair of shoes turning yellow if we don’t clean them properly. Outdoor basketball jams might have noticed mud stains stuck on the mesh. It is recommended to follow this shoe cleaning guide for durability and to maintain traction by removing debris from the grooves.

Note: Clean basketball shoes not only look fresh but also keep your feet and toes fungus free. We advise cleaning sports shoes after every game to prevent them from odor and to maintain good hygiene.

how to clean basketball shoes


How to Clean Basketball Shoes – Cleaning Instructions

Basketball shoes are designed to enhance your performance on the court while protecting your feet from the dirty ground. Hence, it’s your duty to return the favor by keeping them clean too. Below is the step by step guide to clean basketball shoes;how to clean white basketball shoes

  1. Unlace the shoes and take out the removable insole
  2. Take a toothpick to remove small stones stuck in the grooves of the outsole, outdoor basketball shoes intend to have a lot of them
  3. Use a soft-bristle brush or a clean cloth to eliminate dirt from the shoes
  4. Mix a small amount of mild detergent (dish liquid) in warm water until it forms some bubbles. Avoid harsh chemical detergents and bleaches
  5. Moisten a soft clean cloth in the mixture and on the stains until they are wiped away. For hard stains, repeat the process with a little extra force – rub in a circular motion
  6. If the pair is white basketball shoes, mix a small amount of toothpaste in the mixture
  7. Damp the toothbrush in the mixture and gently rub the outsole, toothpaste will give extra white shine to the sole
  8. Once you are done cleaning all the stains, wipe out extra soap using a wet cloth
  9. Soak inner soles in white vinegar and water mixture to kill all the germs. Wash inner soles and laces separate in a washing machine or in a small tub
  10. Place them all in the airy area to dry at a normal temperature – avoid direct sunlight

Check our selected best women’s basketball shoes.


How to Clean Nike Shoes with Mesh

Mesh shoes are comfortable due to increase breathability. However, they intend to grab dirt and mud quite easily, especially on the outdoor courts. Nike Company makes great basketball shoes out of mesh, lightweight and soft. Follow these instructions to clean Nike shoes with mesh;how to clean nike shoes with mesh

  1. Remove inner soles and laces, soak inner soles in a mixture of white vinegar and water for in-depth germs and odor cleaning
  2. Remove all the stones from outsole grooves with the help of a toothpick
  3. Do not rush to scrub wet mud on the mesh or canvas material, it will worsen the stains. Let the mud get dry out first
  4. Scrub away the dried out mud using a dry clean towel
  5. Make a gentle cleaning mixture by adding mild detergent in warm water
  6. Take a clean cloth, damp in the mixture, and scrub the shoes thoroughly to clean all the stains
  7. Dip a toothbrush in the detergent solution and scrub the outsole for deep cleaning
  8. Wash inner soles and shoelaces in a washing machine or small tub
  9. Once you are done with cleaning all stains, wipe out extra soap using a wet cloth
  10. Place them in the dry area to allow them to dry in the air. Avoid dryers, or placing them close to heater or vents

 Here are the best looking basketball shoes of 2024.


Tips to Take Care of Basketball Shoes

Tired of smelly shoes? Do your shoe de-shape after a few weeks? Well, below are the best ways to take care of basketball shoes – follow this routine and your shoes will stay tip-top for a very long time;

  • Always clean your shoes before storing them
  • Leave your basketball shoes in the air after every game to prevent odor build-up
  • Remove all the stones and dirt stuck in the outsole grooves with the help of a toothpick to maintain the grip
  • A gently and quick clean after every game would be better for longevity
  • Never store shoes in a shopping bag or a plastic bag – it is recommended to store them in their original shoeboxes

Fond of playing on outdoor courts? Here are the most durable outdoor basketball shoes.


Things to Avoid

Follow these precautions while cleaning basketball shoes

  • Do not wash your basketball shoes in the washing machine. Although they are washable in the machine with a gentle wash cycle on the low spin – but do not take the risk of affecting shoes’ lifespan by washing them in the machine
  • Do not place shoes close to the vent, heater, or in the dryer to dry them
  • Avoid using strong chemical detergents, bleach and alcohol to wash stains on the shoes
  • Never store basketball shoes dirty, always clean them after every game and leave them in the air to prevent odor build-up
  • Do not leave shoes in the bag for too long, they de-shape and become uncomfortable
  • Depending on the frequency of games – do in-depth cleaning once a week or month (or after every 3rd game)

Also, read about how to clean a basketball.


Final Verdict

Basketball shoes are a good investment and we all should take care of the pair. Dirty shoes will not only look off in the court but also lose ground grip due to dirt. Clean shoes will provide you firm footing and confidence to perform to the best of your skills.

It is advised to keep your basketball shoes clean for their durability – otherwise, you’ll end up spending on new pair every couple of months. We have provided a complete guide on how to clean basketball shoes, even if they are white basketball shoes or Nike shoes with mesh. Furthermore, follow our instructions to take care of the shoes to experience the best performance during every game.

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Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

Can you put basketball shoes in a washing machine?

Do not put your basketball shoes in a washing machine to wash them. It is recommended to clean them by hand. There are chances that the washing machine will ruin the material and glue, resulting in loosening up and de-shaping the pair. However, if you are in a hurry and the washing machine is the only option to clean shoes, we advise running a gentle wash cycle on a low spin. Also, add a couple of towels to prevent shoes from the metal tub.


What can I use to clean white basketball shoes?

A mixture of mild detergent and toothpaste in hot water is good enough to clean white basketball shoes. The detergent will wipe out the stains and toothpaste will give an extra bright kick to white shoes. Make sure to use very little detergent, eco-friendly would be better – avoid strong chemical detergents and bleach.


What is the best way to take care of basketball shoes?

The best way to take care of basketball shoes is to clean them after every game, place them in the air to get dry before storing them. Do not store them right after you wear them, always let them get some air to prevent odor build-up. Always store them in their original shoe boxes instead of throwing them in a plastic bag or a backpack.


How do you clean your basketball?

This is how you clean your basketball;

  1. Make a mixture of mild detergent in hot water, mix until it forms some foam
  2. Damp a clean cloth or towel and gently rub the basketball surface
  3. Repeat the process with some force on hard stains
  4. Take a bristle brush, dip in the detergent mixture and scrub the basketball to remove dirt from the grooves
  5. Once you are done wiping all the stains, wipe out leftover soap with the help of a wet cloth
  6. Let the ball in the air to dry