How To Clean and Wash Your Gym Shoes

How To Clean and Wash Your Gym Shoes

Authored by Marshall on January 1, 2024

Athletic shoes are a great gift to give yourself or another fitness lover. There’s nothing like a brand-new pair of squeaky clean, store-fresh sneakers. Unfortunately, they don’t always stay in great shape for long. Gym shoes are the foundation of any good workout, and they see plenty of wear and tear. 

Many athletes don’t put much thought into sneaker maintenance. But they should! Well-maintained gym shoes don’t just look better, but they also smell better, and it’s good gym etiquette to avoid bad odors when possible. 

In this article, we will discuss how to clean workout shoes and keep them smelling fresh. If you have any other questions, give us a shout. After years of sweaty sneakers, we have plenty of experience on this topic!

Washing Gym Shoes: Maintenance Essentials

Keeping your shoes clean and well-maintained requires consistent care. This means taking extra steps like:

  • Using Protective Products

Whether you’re worried about stains and scuffs or bad smells, there are various powders and sprays that help protect your sneakers from harm. While using these won’t guarantee pristine shoes forever, it can help keep them clean and easy to maintain. 

  • Considering Storage 

Storage makes a huge difference. Make sure that your gym shoes are clean and fully dry when you put them away. Direct sunlight is a no-no, as are extreme temperatures or any kind of moisture. Many athletes keep their shoes in the original boxes, shoe bags, or clean plastic containers. 

  • Cleaning as You Go

Cleaning filthy shoes is a lot harder than regularly maintaining them. That’s why we recommend a quick cleanup each time you put your shoes away. This might be as simple as brushing away visible dirt or sprinkling some odor-fighting powder into the soles.

How to Wash Gym Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Even well-maintained shoes can benefit from a big wash every now and then. Let’s follow the process step by step.

  1. Determine the Cleaning Method

Consider the type of shoes you have when deciding how to wash them. We recommend researching your shoes’ materials and care instructions before putting them in a washing machine. Some shoes are machine washable, while others could be damaged when cleaned that way. In general, we recommend hand-washing. 

  1. Get a Mesh Laundry Bag

If you are indeed putting your shoes in the washing machine, you’ll want to put them in a mesh bag for protection. You can also use a laundry bag for your shoelaces.

  1. Remove and Wash Laces and Insoles

Remove the laces and insoles to wash each separately. The laces can go in the washing machine in a mesh bag. The insoles can be wiped down with a solution made from water, mild soap, and baking soda. Both the laces and the insoles should be hung to dry before putting them back into the shoe.

  1. Wash and Dry Shoes

Spot-treat any visible stains as you would with clothing. Then, create a warm bath of detergent heavily diluted with water. Soak the shoes for 15 minutes, then scrub with a cloth while wearing gloves. You can also use a sponge on the bottoms!

Do not put gym shoes in the dryer. Set them out to dry in a well-ventilated space. If you want, you can stuff them with plain cotton towels to help maintain their shape. Do not wear or store your shoes until they have fully dried. 

How to Wash Athletic Shoes With Stubborn Stains and Odors

Struggling with stubborn stains? Try:

  • Baking Soda 

Baking soda isn’t just for baking! It’s also a great tool for shoes. Sprinkle it inside them to combat smells or mix with water to remove tricky stains. 

  • Use a Tool

A toothbrush or scrubby sponge can be an easy and effective way to remove stains from the great outdoors.

  • Replace the Insoles 

Can’t stop the smell? Your insoles may be the culprit. Luckily, they’re removable! It’s time to chuck them and get a clean, fresh pair. 

Let’s Get Moving!

Now that you know how to clean athletic shoes, it’s time to tie a pair on and head to the gym. At Jack City Fitness, we offer everything athletes need to succeed: 24/7 access, a rotating schedule of heart-pumping classes, and top-tier equipment and sports grounds. We also have the best fitness coaches and nutritional counselors. They’ll provide everything from advice on cleaning athletic shoes to a personalized cardio program with your goals in mind. All of this is available with a Jack City Partnership! 

Call (208) 999-1111 for a free fitness consultation and a chance to meet our team! Once you become a Partner, you’ll have immediate access to all our amenities. 

We can’t wait to meet you and help you meet your goals!


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