How to make your child's sneakers look like new

FamilyKids & Teens

  • Author Laura Jackson
  • Published August 7, 2018
  • Word count 596

Kids will be kids so it is useless to tell them to be more careful while they play outside. Most probably they will not even hear you let alone understand you. But accidents happen all the time. After a whole day spent in the muddy streets, your child’s dirty sneakers are definitely not a sight for sore eyes. Why don’t you cast all thoughts of tossing the sneakers aside and avail yourself of some tips on how to make those shoes look like new again?

There are plenty of methods to clean shoes at home without you having to pay an arm and a leg for it. Of course, choosing the right way to do it depends on the material of which the shoes are made. So before you take up any action, make sure to identify the material.



If your child’s sneakers are canvas, the easiest thing you can do is to wash them in the same way you would wash any other piece of clothing. It is quite possible to wash non-canvas shoes as well but you need to make sure that the manufacturer’s instructions allow it.

  • Before you throw the sneakers in the washing machine, remove the laces and by means of a brush try to eliminate any loose dirt.

  • To not damage the drum of the washing machine, you’d better put the shoes in a pillow case or a fabric bag.

  • Put a couple of towels, too.

  • Remember to wash white shoes with warm water, and coloured ones- with cold water.

  • For bad smells’ removal, add a few drops of vinegar.

Hand wash

It is amazing that you can clean most sneakers by hand with store-bought detergents that you probably can find under your sink or in the laundry room. Do not panic, the whole process is a piece of cake! Pour a few drops of the cleaner into a bowl of water and use a brush (you can even use an old toothbrush) to remove the dirt. If the sneakers are white, you can add some baking soda to the mixture. In case, there are tougher stains, replace the cleaner with a shampoo.

No matter which way of cleaning the shoes you choose, allow them to dry properly.


Believe me, you do not want to clean suede with water because you may risk damaging the matter. Take a trip to the nearest shoe store and buy a specialised suede eraser solution. Again, by means of a brush scrub the solution into the affected areas (in only one direction).

It is fine if you cannot find the right suede cleaner. Fortunately, there is another effective method of cleaning suede sneakers- white vinegar! If there are some pesky stains, blot them with a cloth soaked in a vinegar. After you are done cleaning them, dry them off with a towel.


If the sneakers are leather, for the best results, rub a specialised leather cleaner into the shoes and they will look like new in an instant. Or, you can also use a toothpaste (white!). Dampen a little bit the shoes and use a toothbrush to scrub toothpaste and then clean the shoe by wiping. After drying them off, you will be amazed at how clean your leather shoes are!

Another tricky way you can benefit from is to use baby oil. It is not so effective against tough stains but it is perfect for everyday cleaning. Simply wipe the leather sneakers down with a sponge coated in baby oil.

Article written by Laura Jackson - a writer and owner of

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