I play a lot of tennis, and I’ve gotten really good at cleaning my tennis shoes.  I get asked all the time if my shoes are brand, they are usually not, but I’ve developed a great system for getting my tennis shoes very clean.  Whether you are playing on outdoor hard courts or clay courts your tennis shoes will most likely become dirty very quickly.  As you play your feet begin to perspire, the perspiration wets the shoes, and then the dust sticks to your shoes.  You may also be drinking a sports drink on change-overs, drinking it fast, dripping the stick substance onto your face, clothes and shoes; the dust will stick to this immediately.  If you are ready to learn how to get your shoes looking like new, keep reading.

Supplies you will need:  a bucket big enough to fit your shoes in, soft scrub brush, dish detergent, pre-wash spray treatment.

Step one:

The first step and maybe the most important is to prep your tennis shoes for washing with a good pre-soak.  I like to fill up a bucket with cold water, and it is important to use cold water to make sure you don’t shrink or fade the colors of your tennis shoes.  Add a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent to your cold bucket of water, and place your shoes in the bucket.  Get the shoes nice and wet, and make sure they get submerged below the water level of the bucket.  Let the shoes soak for 15-20 minutes.

Step two:

Remove your shoes from the cold bucket of water after 15-20 minutes.  Spray them down with your pre-wash treatment.  Now take a soft scrub brush and lightly scrub the soles, and bottom part where the sole almost meets the fabric.  Unless your scrub brush is very soft you may want to avoid scrubbing the fabric parts of your tennis shoes, as it may pill or pull the fabric and make it fuzzy.  After scrubbing the shoes down, let them sit for another 5-10 minutes.

Step three:

Place your shoes into the washing machine.  Make sure to set the wash cycle to gentle, along with making sure it is cold water wash, and cold water rinse (avoid warm or hot water).  I like to tie my shoe laces as well, so they do not get caught on anything in the machine.  You do not need to add additional soap, as the pre-treatment and soak should have added enough soap to the shoes. 

Step four:

Once the shoes have completed their cycles in the washing machine, remove them and place them outside to air dry.  Do not put your shoes into a dryer, as this will cause premature wearing out of the shoes.


Congratulations!  You should now have a very nice clean pair of shoes ready for your next tennis match.