Getting your sneakers muddy after a run can be quite disturbing. This is because mishandling your shoes while in such a state could cause irreversible damage. It is essential to learn how to properly clean muddy shoes to avoid spoiling them.
This article explores different methods you can use to clean your shoes and restore them to their original state. But if you would like some cozy waterproof shoes that you can clean by throwing them in the wash, visit Vessi.com.
That said, let's see how you can clean muddy shoes.
1. How to Wash Muddy Shoes By Hand
- Let the Mud Dry
The first thing to do with muddy shoes is to let the mud dry. Any attempt to remove the mud before it dries will only push the dirt deeper into the material, which could cause permanent staining. Set the muddy running shoes near an air vent or fan them to make the mud dry faster.
You shouldn't air-dry your muddy shoes out overnight because they will get dump again by morning. Plus, to avoid getting your floor or carpet dirty, you should place the muddy shoes on a newspaper.
- Remove the Mud
Once the mud has caked, it will be easier to remove it from your shoes. All you need at this point is a blunt instrument or a stiff scrub brush. Use a brush to tap the dried dirt off. You could accomplish the same effect by banging the shoes together at the soles. This will cause the caked mud to break apart and fall off. Remove as much mud as possible using this method.
If there is some persistent residue on your shoes, you can scrape them off with a spoon or a nail file. Finally, take a dry towel and use it to scrub the shoes so that you remove the leftover mud or dust.
- Make a Cleaning Solution
After removing the dirt mud from the shoes, mix a small amount of warm water with laundry detergent.
- Remove the Laces and Inserts
The shoelaces make it difficult to ensure your shoes are thoroughly clean since they conceal some hard-to-reach places. Remove the shoelaces and pull the tongue up and open your running shoes wider. If you find mud under the inserts, you should remove it immediately since leaving it could cause mold and odor development.
- Scrub with an Old Toothbrush
Now, use the toothbrush to scrub the cleaning solution into your shoes. Be sure to wash off the stains as thoroughly as possible and ensure even the dirty, hard-to-reach areas are stain-free. If you don't have a toothbrush, you can use a shoe polishing brush. You should also use a brush to clean the inserts if you removed them.
Remember to wash the laces, insoles, and outsoles with the mild cleaning detergent or with some soap and water, and then dry them with a soft cloth.
Finally, use some paper towels to blot the soapy mixture out of the shoe fabric and air dry them.
2. How to Clean Muddy Shoes in the Washing Machine
For this method, you'll need
- a washing machine
- liquid detergent
- a brush
- a couple of towels
Before we embark on washing your muddy sneakers, you should sprinkle some baking soda in each shoe and leave them to sit overnight. Remove the residue in the morning.
- Remove the laces and place them somewhere they won't get tangled up, like in a wash bag and throw them into the washer.
- Then, wipe the mud and debris off your sneakers using a brush or soft toothbrush and place them in the washer together with some towels. About 4-6 old towels will suffice; they are meant to prevent the sneakers from banging against the machine during the cycle. If you feel like your sneakers are too delicate, you can put them inside a mesh laundry bag before placing them in the washing machine. You could also remove the dirty insoles for cleaning in the washer.
- You will want to choose a delicate cycle so that you wash your shoes with the slowest spin speed. This will help maintain balance in the washing machine as the cycle runs. Then, place some liquid detergent into the cold water and turn the machine on.
- NOTE: After you wash and rinse, you'll have to dry your sneakers. A word of caution; do not place your shoes in the dryer to dry them. The direct heat in the tumble dryer can destroy the glue holding your sneakers together. Additionally, it could cause shrinkage of the shoe fabric and cause your shoes to warp permanently.
- To dry your shoes, you'll have to air dry them in a cool and ventilated place. However, if you are in a bit of a rush, you can place your shoes close to a fan. Additionally, you should place several paper towels or a newspaper inside each shoe to retain their shape as they dry.
3. Cleaning Muddy Shoes With Baking Soda
For this method, you'll require an old toothbrush, a tablespoon of baking soda, and some warm water. Mix these ingredients in a bowl and make a paste.
- Dip the brush into the mixture and apply the paste onto the shoe. You should apply the mild cleaning solution directly to the stains.
- You should scrub in the mixture in a circular motion to let the baking soda soak into the shoe material.
- Once the stains are covered, let the shoe sit with the solution for about 30 minutes and then scrape off the excess paste.
- With a hose, rinse the shoes with water and use a wet rag to rub off the solution. Repeat this step until the stains completely disappear from each shoe.
How to Wash Sneakers of Different Materials
One of the best materials for running shoes is nylon mesh. It is a breathable fabric that stretches with the foot shape of the runner. Unfortunately, it can get dirty quite easily as you move through dirt or mud while exercising. The best way to clean these sneakers is to gently rub the stains with a towel soaked in the cleaning solution and wipe it over with a soft wet rag.
Since leather is less impermeable than mesh, you should avoid cleaning it with your washer. It's enough to clean these shoes with some soap and water since the dirt doesn't absorb into the leather.
Knit shoes are soft and pliable; more delicate than other fabrics. To clean such shoes, you should use mild bath soap with some cold water. Rub the stains in a gentle manner with a cloth to remove mud stains.
Canvas running shoes are among the most durable, and you can clean them with the methods in this article.