Care and cleaning of your sneakers


Hot topic in the world of shoes and in particular sneakers: maintenance and cleaning. Above all, buying quality and products made with noble materials will make the difference and will allow to extend the life of your sneakers. However, the maintenance also plays a big role for the durability. I'll give you my best tips on how to care for and clean your favorite pairs of sneakers, so that they last longer and get a second youth.

At Lace Go, we offer canvas sneakers, leather sneakers, suede sneakers and even bi-material sneakers. But be careful, leather is not maintained in the same way as nubuck or suede! Throughout the article, you will find tips and tricks from our team in cleaning and maintenance of sneakers, and as I’m super nice, I give you some additional advice thanks to our guest-expert in the field, Doc Sneaker.

Our tips will be divided as follows:

1/ The Do & Don't to maintain your sneakers

2/ Focus on material: white and leather sneakers.

3/ Focus on material: suede and nubuck sneakers more fragile?

4/ Focus material: canvas sneakers more dirtier?

5/ The expert's opinion: Doc Sneaker.


1/ The Do and Don't to maintain your sneakers

Although your suede or canvas sneakers do not require the same method of maintenance and cleaning, some practices remain fundamental if you want to see your favorite sneakers last in time.  Here are the do and don't, in other words the practices to avoid and those to keep in mind when buying your sneakers.


Regular maintenance will help you keep your sneakers for longer. Once a week, dust and wax the leather with a suitable cream and then brush the sole. This will prevent walking creases and dirt from settling in. And above all, space out your wear.

Store your sneakers flat in a dry and clean place like a closet or a shoe cabinet.

Use wooden shoe trees or newspaper to keep your sneakers in shape and prevent them from sagging.

Waterproof your sneakers (with a suitable waterproofing product) to avoid stains. Natural materials such as leather, canvas and suede "drink" water, which, if not properly dried, can cause yellow stains and smell damp.

Let them air dry by removing the insole to ventilate.


Avoid using aggressive cleaning products such as bleach when cleaning, as this can damage natural materials such as smooth leather or suede.

Do not dry your sneakers near a heat source (radiators for example).

Avoid storing your sneakers in a humid environment, as this may cause some parts such as leather or suede, which are natural materials, to become moldy.

Avoid using a washing machine, even for canvas sneakers, as this can damage the textile fibers.

Avoid wearing your sneakers every day. Moisture, perspiration and regular walking will damage your favorite pair of sneakers more quickly.




2/ Focus on material: white and leather sneakers

Maintaining white sneakers, especially leather ones, requires a little work. But above all, regular cleaning, using appropriate products, will allow you to give them a second life. Finally, it is possible to maintain your sneakers at lower cost and at home easily!

Step 1 - Dusting

Brush the leather with a classic brush but not too abrasive to avoid scratching the leather. Small tips, toothbrushes work very well, and it allows you not to scratch the leather.

The use of a sponge, a cotton swab and a microfiber cloth is also possible and complementary.

Step 2 - Gently clean

The shoe upper

Rub with a damp cloth or a make-up remover cotton (be careful not to soak it with water) with cold soapy water.

Use Marseille soap, washing powder, make-up remover or white vinegar and rinse with cold water (be careful with hot water, which can damage certain fragile materials).

Tip: For dirt marks: Use a little Marseille soap and warm water.

Tip: for grass marks: A little alcohol at 90° and water. Be careful to dry the leather well.

Tip: For stubborn stains: A cotton ball lightly moistened with nail polish remover or alcohol vinegar and water. Be careful to dry the leather well to avoid stains.


Wax is made of cotton, so it can be easily washed like your canvas.

Use Marseille soap or washing powder on the heel and tongue inserts of your wax sneakers to clean the dirt.

Rinse thoroughly with a soft cotton cloth or a soft brush and very little water to prevent the fabric from fading or becoming damaged.

Tip: The tongue can be easily cleaned by removing the laces beforehand.

The outsole

Brush gently with a toothbrush and a little toothpaste to restore the whiteness of the previously dusted rubber and leave to act.

Wipe the sole, insisting on the more raised parts such as the heel or the front, after having rinsed with a soft cloth.

Even if the sole is sewn, be careful not to put too much water on it as it could seep into the sneaker or make yellow stains.

Tip: Use baby wipes if the traces do not go away, inexpensive and effective.

The laces

Put your shoelaces in the washing machine.

Tip: If residue or stains remain after washing, you can soak them in a little diluted white vinegar.

Step 3 - Nourish the leather

Using a body cream or a shoe polish specially designed for the material, gently massage the leather to make the product penetrate, insisting on the walking folds, then polish to make it shine.





3/ Focus on material: suede and nubuck sneakers more fragile ?

Over time, suede tends to get sanded and blackened. But don't panic, it is NOT a fragile material, any more than smooth leather! It is possible to give a second youth to your suede very easily with a little patience and regularity.

Step 1 - Dusting

Remove excess dirt with a "scraper", or a classic brush but not too abrasive to avoid scratching the suede. Do not forget the outer sole.

Step 2 - Cleaning

If the encrusted dirt persists after dusting, use a crepe brush specific to the maintenance of suede and nubuck. You can press a little harder.

Brush in both directions the suede of the upper and the toe of your sneakers with the brush to remove the dust. Use dry or with a specific suede product.

Tip: You can also use a mixture of 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for stains.

Tip: Use some "terre de sommières" on any stains and leave it overnight. This will absorb the greasy stains and moisture.

Tip: Use a suede gum, very effective against stubborn stains and others.

Be careful not to use too much water to avoid yellow stains on the suede.

Step 3 - Nourish the leather

Spray a special suede cleaning spray on the upper and brush again to restore the suede or nubuck to its original shine.

To polish and shine the suede, use a suede renovator and scrub with a brass brush.



4/ Focus material: canvas sneakers more dirtier?

Step 1 - Dusting

Brush energetically the canvas with a classic brush but be careful not to pull the textile fibers.

Step 2 - Clean gently

Especially if your fabrics are white, rub gently with a cloth soaked in baking soda and water.

You can add a little lemon, dishwashing liquid or white vinegar to the microfiber cloth.

For other darker fabrics and wax, a little water and Marseille soap will do the job.

Let dry in the open air and away from a heat source.

Be careful with the mesh which is quite fragile, do not rub too hard as this could damage the canvas.

Steps valid for all types of material

Step 3 - Storage

Often neglected, this is a crucial and very important step if you want to preserve your leather sneakers.

Genuine leather is a natural and therefore organic material that requires attention: it will stretch, bend and mark. The maintenance of vegetable tanned leather and without metal is even more fragile because it is the raw material, without any addition. All the components of your sneakers, such as your soles, linings, seams or even the skins and canvas for example, will deteriorate over time. It's inevitable. What's also inevitable is perspiration. It is composed mostly of water and is often acidic. Natural materials such as suede, leather and other skins will therefore absorb the moisture caused by perspiration.

Tip: let your sneakers breathe and dry between each wear, in the open air and avoiding a source of heat too strong!

Then, store your sneakers in a closet, flat, or in dedicated airtight boxes, avoiding cardboard that can easily get wet. The professionals of the shoe industry will never repeat it enough: the wooden shoe trees are your allies! They allow your favorite sneakers to keep their beautiful shape but also to avoid the wrinkles of too marked steps which are made during the drying of your pair.

Tip: be careful to choose the shoe tree according to your shoes and your expectations! For example, plastic shoe trees are cheaper but do not absorb the moisture of the pair and often do not respect the initial shape of the sneaker.

Step 4 - Waterproofing

Waterproof your sneakers with adequate products, if possible outside. Spray about 20/30 cm from the sneaker.

3 tips to avoid bad smells:

Sprinkle a little baking soda in your sneakers.

Place lemon peels in your sneakers to absorb foul odors.

Place a tea bag on the inside lining of each pair. Black tea is an effective anti-odour ally.




5/ The expert's opinion: Doc Sneaker

"Maintaining your shoes should be a habit for you. The more you take care of your shoes on a daily or weekly basis, the better you will keep them in good condition. “

As sneaker specialists, we recommend the use of cleaning wipes for daily cleaning. Contained in a good packaging that you can store and take everywhere, they have the advantage of being a practical use. Many brands have designed wipes that are quite effective according to studies and user feedbacks.

For a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, we recommend you to use a pack composed of a washing solution, a bristle brush and a microfiber cloth. These products have the advantage of being used several times with the same quality of result. They are suitable for materials such as leather, suede, mesh, or fabric. They can also be used to treat all accessible parts of the shoes (soles, tongue, upper, laces,...)

After each cleaning, protect your pairs with a nanotechnology-based waterproofing agent. It protects the pair and prevents the transfer of water inside breathable materials and membranes such as Gore-Tex®. Thanks to its effective waterproofing properties, the breathability of the treated surface remains without loss. This product repels dirt and regular use extends the life of every surface.


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