How To Clean Sneaker Mesh Without Destroying Them

There are a lot of sneakers out there in the market, which is understandable considering their popularity. In this day and age, some sneakers might even have neon lights installed! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves first here, because I’m here to discuss mesh sneakers. As the name states, mesh sneakers are sneakers that are mostly made up of mesh. Mesh sneakers are made to be breathable and help keep your feet cool and dry. However, they are notoriously known to absorb anything they touch or come in contact with easily. Therefore, people might find it hard to clean them. Worry not, as I’m here to help guide you in the process of eliminating dirt and stains from your shoes. If you’re interested, follow along with this easy guide of how to clean sneaker mesh! There are some tricks down below that you can copy, tricks that I have personally tried and witness can succeed.

WHAT DOES MESH MEANS ON SHOES?

You might be surprised to learn about it, but mesh is a multiple-meaning word. For the sneaker community, though, mesh is a kind of fabric that is used to make sneakers. They are generally made of polyester and nylon. Most of the time, the mesh can be found on the upper part of your sneakers. People like me who love to wear mesh sneakers will find it adorable to wear them, as they are really comfortable on your feet.

CAN MESH SNEAKERS BE WASHED?

how to clean sneaker mesh

People who have mesh sneakers will find that they are a little bit different from other kinds of sneakers. They will be a little bit tougher to clean, as mesh is a kind of fabric that can easily absorb anything that gets into contact with them. Therefore, I’m going to give a leeway this time and say that mesh sneakers can be washed using a washing machine. 

Cleaning mesh sneakers with a washing machine will definitely help your cause, as it’s certainly faster and more effective. Most of the times, I clean my mesh sneakers using a washing machine, so there’s no need to worry about the risk of damaging it. Here’s how to clean sneaker mesh properly:

  • Prepare a soft brush and gently brush it across your shoes to get rid of some loose dirt and stains. Even though your washing machine can clean most of the dirt, I prefer to do some manual work first in order to get the best result
  • Remove the shoelaces from your mesh sneakers
  • Insert the shoelaces and your mesh sneakers inside a mesh bag (ha! A mesh sneaker inside a mesh bag). Make sure to have two different mesh bags, one for the shoelaces and the other for your sneakers
  • Put both mesh bags into the washing machine. Turn it on and let the machine do its work
  • As soon as the washing machine finishes its job, remove them and dry them if they’re not completely dried yet
  • Put the shoelaces back on!

HOW TO CLEAN MESH SNEAKERS ACCORDING TO EXPERTS

There is no definite way of how to clean sneaker mesh. I might have my own say, but so do other people. Before getting to the main topic, let’s discuss what experts have to say about cleaning mesh sneakers. I’ve tried this method too, and I know that it’s an effective way to clean your mesh sneakers as well. 

  • Prepare the necessary kits which include wet tissues, a microfiber cloth, a foam cleaner, and a shoe brush. 
  • As usual, remove the shoelaces from your shoes.
  • Use a soft brush to clean the upper part of your mesh sneakers. If you have a foam cleaner for shoes, make sure to apply it on your brush.
  • Rinse the shoes with warm water to get rid of the foam and dirt altogether. 
  • If dirt is still present, make sure to wipe the dirty spot with a wet tissue. 
  • Dry the shoes by using a microfiber cloth and leaving them in a room temperature area.

How To Clean Sneaker Mesh According To Experts

A. CLEANING KITS NEEDED AND THEIR FUNCTION

– Shoe Cleaner

A special shoe detergent needed to clean your favorite and precious mesh sneakers. 

– Apron

Not an obligatory item, but it will come in handy when we’re talking about keeping your shirt clean while washing your mesh sneakers

– Premium Brush

Used to clean the upper part of your shoes that is made of mesh. In some occasions, an upper part of the shoe can also be made up of canvas, suede, leather, synthetic leather, knit, nubuck, and many more. 

– Medium Brush

Used to clean your mesh sneaker’s midsole section. 

– Standard Brush

Used to clean your mesh sneaker’s outsole section.

– Small Brush or Toothbrush

This type of brush will come in handy when it comes to cleaning the inner part of your mesh sneakers that is usually hard to reach. 

– Microfiber Cloth

Used to wipe mesh sneakers clean from dirt and stains. 

– Shoe Tree

Essential item to keep your mesh sneaker’s basic structure intact. 

– Container/Pan

Used to store water that will be mixed with Shoe Perfume in order to generate a certain odor for your shoes.

B. SNEAKERS ANATOMY AND REASONS TO USE CLEANING KIT FOR PARTS OF THE SNEAKERS

  • The Upper Part of the Mesh Sneakers: As the name states, it’s the upper part of your mesh shoe model. You need to use two different brushes to clean this part. Premium Brush will be used in order to prevent damage to the upper part of your sneakers, while a small brush will come in handy when you’re trying to wipe additional stains that are small and hard to clean.
  • Midsole: The side sole section of a mesh sneaker. To clean the midsole, we suggest you use Medium Brush, as midsoles can often get damaged and dirty due to usage.
  • Outsole: or the lower part of a mesh sneaker: To clean a sneaker’s outsole, you can use a standard brush that is strong and sturdy. This way, dirt and stains from your outsole might be cleaned easily. 
  • Insole: The inner part of your mesh sneakers that also acts as a cushion to make your foot more comfortable. It’s better to remove the insoles from your mesh sneakers before cleaning them. However, don’t force it if it’s not possible. To clean the insole, you can use a premium brush as well as a toothbrush, as they can reach parts that are harder to clean.

C. HOW TO CLEAN SNEAKER MESH?

Prepare the mesh sneakers that you want to clean

how to clean sneaker mesh

A pair of dirty mesh sneakers that need to be freshen up. 

Prepare the material needed to clean your mesh sneakers

Prepare the Shoe cleaner, apron, Premium Brush, Medium Brush, Standard Brush, Small Brush, Microfiber Cloth, 2 pieces of Shoe Tree, and a container to store water and Shoe Perfume. 

Remove the laces from your Mesh Sneakers

It’s recommendable to remove the lace from your shoe. You can clean the laces separately later on. 

Insert the Shoe tree in your Mesh Sneakers

This is an essential step, as a Shoetree will be important to maintain the shape of your mesh sneaker when it’s being washed. If you don’t have one, make sure to buy them, especially if you’re using a washing machine. I can say with confidence that my shoes are still in great condition due to the help of shoe trees. However, make sure to remove the insole before inserting a Shoe tree. 

Dry-clean the Sneakers

Before washing the mesh sneakers with water, we need to brush the upper part and midsole with a premium brush to wipe off debris and dirt that is often found on the mesh sneakers.

Wash the Outsole and Midsole

During this cleaning stage, you can use a Standard Brush. I’d love to use all my strength when cleaning the outsole, as it’s naturally the dirtiest part of mesh sneakers. Outsoles are also strong enough to withstand strong brushes, so go all out!

As soon as you have finished cleaning the outsole, you can proceed by cleaning the midsole with a Medium Brush. This time, patience and diligence are needed, as there will be a lot of dirty spots that are hard to clean.  

Wash the Inner and Outer Section of the Upper Part of Your Mesh Sneakers 

how to clean sneaker mesh

For the outer part, you can use a Premium Brush in order to prevent any damage or scratches on your shoes. Gently rub the brush across the shoes before wiping it with a microfiber cloth to absorb the water. 

After dealing with the outer part, you can proceed to the inner part of the shoes. This time, you can use a small brush, as it’s handy enough to reach small and narrow spaces inside the shoes. 

Detailing

how to clean sneaker mesh

Use a wet microfiber cloth to clean the details of your mesh shoes that are still dirty, which is usually found on the midsole or outsole section of your mesh sneakers. Then, clean your shoelaces by soaking it inside a bucket of water that has been mixed with the Shoe Cleaner. After cleaning it with your bare hands, you can dry the laces with a microfiber cloth. 

– Drying Process

how to clean sneaker mesh

Dry off your shoes by using a fan. As an alternative, you can also dry it by waving your hands or placing the shoes in a cold area with minimal moisture. Try not to dry the sneakers by placing it under direct sunlight, as it can damage the glue or paint of said shoes. 

– Finishing 

How to Clean Mesh Sneakers Without Destroying Them

Once all necessary parts are dry, then you can place the insole back inside the shoe. The same thing also goes for the laces. Now, your mesh sneakers are back in action and look fresh again!

D. DOS AND DON’TS

Do’s

  • Brush gently with your feelings! Never treat the mesh sneakers poorly if you don’t want to damage them. 
  • Use a Premium Brush or a soft and gentle brush to clean the upper part of your mesh sneakers. Never use standard brushes to do this job.

Don’ts

  • Don’t try to brush the upper part of your shoes with all your might, because mesh is a sensitive material that can get easily damaged.
  • Use your mesh sneakers for extreme outdoor activities.

E. SHOECARE

  • Don’t store your sneakers in a moist area
  • Clean your mesh sneakers immediately after usage
  • Put a silica gel inside your mesh sneakers
  • Avoid using your mesh sneakers during a bad weather

HOW TO CLEAN MESH SNEAKERS WITH HYDROGEN PEROXIDE?

how to clean sneaker mesh

You can clean mesh sneakers with hydrogen peroxide. But to do this method properly, you’re going to need some more items in your possession. Besides hydrogen peroxide, you have to prepare baking soda and water. Mix all three materials together to create a soapy paste. Make sure to use a toothbrush as well. 

  • Create the mixture that I have mentioned before
  • Put a part of the mixture on your brush. 
  • Gently rub the brush across your mesh sneakers
  • Wait for around 30 minutes before rinsing your mesh sneakers in the sink
  • Leave them to dry before storing them once more

 Personally, I love using this method, as the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is effective to eliminate stains from your shoes.

HOW TO CLEAN MESH SNEAKERS WITH DILUTED BLEACH?

how to clean sneaker mesh

Using a diluted bleach can only be a viable option for white mesh sneakers. Even if you’re applying bleach to mesh sneakers, I still recommend you to proceed with care, as bleach can easily break any sensitive material. 

  • Prepare a pair of gloves and use them when dealing with bleach
  • Mix bleach with water in a ratio of 1 to 5. 
  • Dip a soft brush and rub it across your mesh sneakers.
  • If the bleach has eliminated all stains and dirt, rinse the shoes with water and dry them before storing them where they belong.

HOW TO CLEAN MESH SNEAKERS WITH TOOTHPASTE?

Some people do not own hydrogen peroxide in their house. Therefore, toothpaste is a good alternative to clean mesh sneakers. Coincidentally, they both have gone through the same steps when it comes to how to clean sneaker mesh. You simply need to apply the toothpaste on a toothbrush or gentle shoe brush. Then, rub the brush across the shoes in a circular motion. After waiting for some time, you can rinse the shoes with water and dry them before storing them back where they belong.

HOW TO CLEAN MESH SNEAKERS WITH OXICLEAN?

how to clean sneaker mesh

My last alternative to clean a pair of mesh sneakers will be to use Oxiclean. After the test I’ve done, I noticed that Oxiclean is effective to clean mesh sneakers as well. Make sure to follow these simple steps:

  • Remove the laces from your mesh sneakers
  • Brush your shoes to eliminate loose dust and dirt
  • Apply Oxiclean that has been mixed with water and scrub it across your shoes
  • Wipe the shoes clean and let them get completely dry. Your mesh sneakers are ready to be used once more!

HOW DO YOU CLEAN WHITE MESH SNEAKERS?

You can clean white mesh sneakers with all the methods that I have mentioned above, either with homemade items or with a washing machine. However, the most effective way of how to clean sneaker mesh will be to use diluted bleach. If you want to use this method, make sure to look up! Just remember to use gloves to protect your hands from the bleach!

HOW DO I PROTECT MY WHITE MESH SHOES?

It’s hard enough to clean mesh sneakers on their own, let alone if you own white mesh shoes. Don’t worry, though! As long as you keep them from extreme weather or bad terrain, there’s a high chance that your mesh sneakers will be safe. Make sure not to leave them under direct contact with sunlight as well! Oh, one last thing: don’t scrub the upper part of your shoes with standard brushes.


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QnA

Does baking soda and vinegar clean shoes?

Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean mesh sneakers. However, I still recommend using a shoe cleaner or mild detergent to clean mesh sneakers.

How do you whiten yellow mesh shoes?

Yellowing can happen when you do something wrong in the cleaning process. Therefore, you should repeat the process with the right method in order to get rid of the yellow pigments.

Yellow stains might also appear due to your neglection in cleaning your mesh sneakers. Therefore, you should try and clean them regularly. Try this method if your shoes are already starting to get yellow:

  • Remove the shoelaces from your sneakers
  • Prepare a small amount of bleach and mix it with a bucket of water
  • Use a brush and soak it inside the mixture
  • Brush it across the shoes slowly. Make sure not to hurt your hands when cleaning your shoes (wear gloves!)
  • Rinse your mesh sneakers with water
  • Let them dry for a while. Do not leave them outside and under direct contact with the sunlight

How do you clean mesh shoes without ruining them?

With the right method and tools, you can clean your mesh sneakers without ruining them. Use Premium Brush to clean the upper part of your shoes and standard brush to clean the outsole.  

Cleaning mesh sneakers with the right tool is essential, but doing it the right way is as important as well. That’s the reason why you should be extra careful when cleaning a pair of mesh sneakers. Take your time and clean them gently and slowly. If you brush them too hard, there’s a good chance that it might get damaged!

After cleaning the mesh shoes with the right method, you also need to learn how to take good care of them. A great way to do that is to store them in a nice box. Plus, keep them away from direct contact with the sunlight!

How do you get sweat stains out of mesh shoes?

If your mesh sneakers still have stains, then you better use a toothbrush or small brush to clean those parts, as they can effectively erase stains in a narrow space. Thankfully, you can also use other homemade items to help clean sweat stains, such as toothpaste or mild laundry detergent.

  • Prepare a toothbrush or small brush and toothpaste or mild laundry detergent
  • Apply the toothpaste or mild laundry detergent to your toothbrush
  • Rub the brush carefully on the dirty section of your mesh shoes
  • When you’re done and are satisfied with the result, rinse the shoes with water
  • Leave them in front of a fan to let them dry for a while

SUMMARY

Having a pair of mesh sneakers is certainly a great idea for any shoe lovers. However, you should know the right trick how to clean sneaker mesh without damaging them. After all, mesh fabrics are sensitive and can get easily damaged.