The Washing/Cleaning Shoes and Apparel Thread


Hall of Fame
Forgive me if there is already a thread on this topic but I haven't seen anything so perhaps it's worth starting one (or another one if that's the case.)

Please add questions/tips/info about washing or cleaning tennis footwear and apparel.

Some topics/questions to start with...

1: How do you wash the sand/clay out of shorts/tops when you can only use a low temp wash? (30c) This happens to my white synthetic/climalite type shorts around the pocket, they have to be washed at a low temp with similar colours etc and also I use a detergent free liquid so I don't damage the fabric (overkill?) and it leaves some red tinges around the pocket.

2: Tips for cleaning sand/clay off the more complicated tennis shoes which are made of different materials. E.g. Barricades, Vapors, Fila Prossimos which have some plastic type materials on them and that sort of mesh that absorbs the sand/clay.

Cleaning some shoes like Fila Alfas is quite easy as they are just leather so a warm cloth/brush will do.

I've had limited success with the more complicated shoes by using a travel type washing liquid (comes in a small tube) and a toothbrush and hot water but it's a bit labour intensive and they don't come up as new, but they look ok I suppose. Rather wary of putting shoes in the washing machine.

3: Which washing liquids/powders do people recommend for delicate/polyester type fabrics which wick away moisture (like climalite/climacool/dri-fit/Yonex Very Cool and so on.)

I've been using Nikwax tech wash which is designed for breathable waterproofs like Gortex and so on. However it might be a bit too mild and it's fairly expensive.

Is detergent free liquid/powder necessary?

That should do for now. Please feel free to add your own questions/topics too.

jim e

You asked for opinions so here is mine.
People reported before that specific types of detergent needs to be used on those types of fabrics, but I have used the regular liquids that procter and gamble makes( Cheer, Tide, All,they are all the same,just different colors),along with a scoop of oxyclean, and washed them on high temp.and line dried, with no problems after many many washes, so I have no reason to change, as some of those shirts / shorts have been used a lot,and washed a lot.
As far as shoes are concerned, I leave them as they are,as it looks like that you use them. They wear out after a while anyways.


Hall of Fame
Pretty much what jim e said i do. i'll use "spray & wash" on a certain stain and scrub it under warm water to make sure i get that first before throwing it in with the rest of my clothes.


For shoes, stick them in the washing machine at low temp when they get really dirty, will take off 80% of the dirt and make them look a bit new. I did it with my Nike breathe free II before they broke and they turned out great. I do it with all my shoes and works like a dream.


New User
Two strict guidelines for pretty much all my gear: COLD WATER, VERY LIGHT AMOUNT OF SOAP/DETERGENT.

For my shoes:

Pull out insoles and wash by hand, cold water, light detergent, air dry.

I fill up a bucket with water from the hose outside, use a couple of drops of dish detergent. Stick my shoes in, let them soak for 5-10 minutes or so. Then I use a soft bristled brush and scrub the whole shoe gently. After this I rinse them off with the hose, spray them down with spray n' wash, or oxyclean spray, stick in the washing machine, gentle cycle, cold water, no detergent. When they are done I set them out to air dry. If it is not hot I put them in front of a fan inside the house. You don't want mold in your shoes!

For my dri-fit/clima cool/etc:

For bad stains, pre-soaking cold water is a must, no soap/detergent needed, just soak for 30 minutes or so. Then pull out of soak, hit problem areas with spray n' wash, or oxyclean spray. Throw in washing machine, cold water, light or no detergent. When finished hang dry.

Following these methods, my shoes and clothes have never discolored, and I always manage to get them very clean. My clothing goes out of style before it wears out. The soles on my shoes wear out, but the tops look almost new.

Good luck!