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You are currently viewing How To Wash Tennis Shoes – The Complete Guide

How To Wash Tennis Shoes – The Complete Guide

The more frequently you play a game of tennis, the dirtier your tennis shoes will become. We all have a favorite pair of shoes that we believe is lucky or simply the most comfortable when running around the court, and these get heavily worn over time. To remove the more apparent signs of excessive wear like grass smudge marks and refresh insoles that badly need some deodorizing, it is necessary to wash your tennis shoes. But what is the best way to go about that? Just run through our instructions below to understand more about how to wash tennis shoes.

Step 1: Attack the Insoles

Take the insoles out of the tennis shoes. These get washed on their own and are not part of the main wash.Use a plastic washbowl. Add some water that’s not overly hot, but not tepid either. Use a washing detergent and add an appropriate amount. Get a brush with reasonably soft bristles or if you don’t have one, try a cloth of some kind (an old t-shirt torn into sections will do in a pinch).

Dip the brush or cloth into the water to soak it and begin scrubbing the insole. Depending on how much the stains or gravel has been ground into the material, you might need to apply some force with this and take your time. A sponge (artificial or real) is useful to mop up any of the detergent that remains once the cleaning process has been completed.

Even after a thorough wash, should the insoles still be odorous, then try placing baking soda on the insoles, insert into a Zip lock bag, give it a good shake, and then leave it until morning. This should resolve the issue.Failing that, an old trick is to combine water and vinegar and leaving them to soak for half a day. Follow this up by again using baking soda, heated water and a fragrant oil to refresh the insole.

Step 2: Washing Machine to the Rescue

Most tennis shoes are machine washable. Check the label to make sure before use. Take out the laces to avoid them getting caught up in the metal washing bin and snapping. The laces can be washed by putting them into a fabric pocket or a pillowcase in a pinch.Use a brush to disperse visible caked-on mud and dirt that’s stuck to the shoe. Doing so will deliver a better result.

We suggest washing a pair of best tennis shoes along with a few bathroom wash towels. The towels add some soft protection to the load and avoid the tumbling around during the wash or spin cycle that could damage the shoes. Older towels are best because newer ones sometimes have color dye or particles that will separate and contaminate the shoes.


Apply a liquid washing solution to the machine. Do not use a powdered solution because it tends to deposit inside the tennis shoe. To remove unwanted odors, vinegar is a good solution to sprinkle in the wash bin. Oil, such as pine, is a useful disinfectant, but it must be almost pure.It is important only to use the “delicates” cold cycle to avoid hot water changing the form and shape of your shoes.

Step 3: Hand Washing

With shoes that are over $100, it is worth considering hand-washing. Liquid detergent and warm (not hot) water, is best. Use a scrub to brush against the sole, midsole, and outer sole until they are clean. A cloth is also suitable if a brush is not available. Use a sponge to mop up any detergent.



You can dry a pair of wet tennis shoes on the lower heat setting. There is some risk to this because the heat could potentially warp the shape of the shoe. It is a good idea to wrap up the shoes in a towel to avoid damage through direct exposure to heat. Place shoe laces inside a pillowcase to dry them too.Be sure not to leave the shoes unattended. Check the heat level or the response to the heat level careful and frequently.

In this step, you might figure out that the old glue might not be tight enough. When drying, this process will eliminate water & soap that expose all the scratches, cracks or any damage taken by the shoes. For tightening the glue, we've made a list of best glues for tennis shoes on TennisInformation.net. 

Step 5: Drying Outside via Air Drying

The other option is air drying. Here, the drying process is slower. Direct sunlight may alter the colors on the side of the shoe that is directly exposed to the bright rays. It is a good idea to position the tennis shoes beneath a table or in a location that is outside in the warmth but covered to avoid discoloration during the drying process. Stuffing a small hand towel inside each shoe is a smart way to help the shoe maintain its original shape.


Final Words

Above is the complete guide on how to wash tennis shoes. Tennis shoes are very essential equipment every tennis player has so please take care of your lovely shoes! If you follow the upper steps, I think your shoes will be well protected from dirt. Thank you for visiting the website & if you have any question, feel free to contact me via email or comment section!

Roy Howard

Hi everyone, I'm Roy - the owner of this Tennis Blog. I've been a semi-professional tennis player for 5 years and had some experiences in a few tournaments. I now love to play tennis in my free time and coach the kids on the tennis court. I hope I do make some good advice to all of my readers here! Many thanks and please enjoy my blog!