How to Clean Basketball Shoes

Keep your basketball shoes clean and grippy so you can keep your eye on your next shot. Follow our tips and tricks for keeping your kicks clean, the soles sticky and your head in the game.

Cleaning Instructions

Follow our do's and don’ts below when cleaning your basketball sneakers.


  • Remove stones from the soles: If outdoor basketball is your jam, your shoes might have dirt and stones in the grooves of the soles. Pick out any clumps of earth and stones with a toothpick.
  • Wipe off excess dirt: Use an old toothbrush or another soft brush to wipe off any excess dirt and dust from the soles of your shoes. Be careful not to scrub the material areas of the shoe.
  • Wash with soap and water: Make a mix of warm water and a little bit of eco-friendly laundry detergent. Gently apply the mixture to your basketball shoes with a clean wash cloth.
  • Rinse clean: Either rinse the wash cloth or use a clean one dipped in warm water, and wipe the excess cleaning detergent from the shoes.
  • Dry at room temperature: Pat dry any excess water on the shoes and allow them to dry naturally at room temperature. Don’t put your shoes near a heater as heat can change their shape.
  • Refresh the laces: Wash your shoelaces with a little soap and water or replace them if they have any rips or tears. Broken laces can cause injury and take you out of the game.
  • Air out the insoles: Remove the insoles of your basketball shoes and allow them to air out to freshen them up.. You can wash and dry the insoles with the cleaning tips above and when dry, sprinkle a little baking soda on the insoles to soak up any lingering smells.


  • Put your basketball shoes in the washing machine: Machine washes are too harsh for shoes and can damage or discolour the materials.
  • Put your basketball shoes in the dryer or by a heater: High heat can change the shape of rubber so don’t risk ruining your shoes by always hand drying them and leaving them to air out at room temperature.
  • Use strong washing detergent or harsh chemicals: Always use eco-friendly laundry detergent. Chemicals like alcohol and bleach can dry out and crack the soles of your shoes.
  • Use detergent with scents or softeners: These types of detergents can leave a greasy residue on the soles of your shoes which can impact your game.

Here are some more tips and tricks for keeping your basketball shoes in the best condition possible.


White Soles: If you want to clean your white basketball shoes, help keep the white sole bright by adding a bit of toothpaste to the soap and water mix used in the steps above. This will help keep your white shoes bright.

Spot Clean: If you stain your shoes, clean them as soon as you can. Stains that aren’t cleaned quickly can remain on material long term. Follow the steps above to clean them.


Once you’ve conquered the cleaning, focus on conquering your competition. With clean basketball shoes, you can hit the court with more stability and traction. If that’s not enough, treat yourself to new kicks. Shop for basketball shoes