Let’s face it: There’s a lot of ways for your sneakers to get dirty. From muddy yards to grimy sidewalks, it sometimes seems like the world is conspiring to ruin your white tennis shoes with every step you take. If your athletic shoes get grimy, though, don’t fret: it’s really easy to wash sneakers.

Get Unlaced
Before you come in to wash your sneakers, do a bit of prep work at home. Start by removing the laces. The nooks and crannies in the eyelets are a great place for gunk to collect, and pulling laces will allow for the best cleaning of this trouble spot. Some people wash their laces with their sneakers, but to keep them from becoming a tangled, knotted mess, you’ll need to put them in a small mesh laundry bag. A lot of people just buy a new pair of laces and start fresh.

Do the Advance Work
There’s a chance there’s a lot of mud or other dirt clinging to your shoes, so brush or bang all debris off them before you do laundry. You don’t need extra dirt or grass clippings floating around your next wash. While you’re prepping, spray them with pre-treater like Shout to get the worst stains out.

Bag and Wash Them
Place your unlaced, pre-treated shoes into a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase to provide a bit of protection. To keep your shoes from rattling around in the washer, toss a couple towels, sweatshirts or other heavy items into the machine. As with any other type of laundry, use the recommended amount of detergent – adding more will just leave detergent residue on items, making them less than perfectly clean. Wash the load on a cold cycle.

Air Dry
Even the cool cycle on a commercial dryer is too hot for shoes to dry, so you’ll want to take them home and let them air dry in front of a fan or heat register.

Have any additional questions about the best way to wash sneakers? The Laundry Basket’s staff is always on hand to provide expert laundry advice for self-service customers, and we accept shoes for our wash/dry/fold customers.