How To Clean Mesh Shoes: Scrub ‘Em Quick, Make ‘Em Slick!

 In Sneakerhead, Sneakers

Scored those turbo-charged Pegasus 41s? Bet you’ll be cheesin’ hard, right? But hold up, if you’re all about that outdoor or sports life, you know the deal with mesh shoes. That super airy, breathable fabric, usually rocking polyester or cotton, is a staple. And like any legit Nike runners, these babies are prone to get grimy. Mesh uppers? They suck up every speck of dirt they meet, real mess magnets. But are you really gonna toss your fresh mesh kicks after all that effort to cop ’em? Hell No! Whether it’s mud, grass stains, or even sticky gum, there’s a trick for every mess. Read on for the slickest step-by-step guide on how to clean mesh shoes spotless and with minimal fuss.

And if you wanna keep all your kicks looking fly, we got you too. Gear up, ’cause every shoe’s got its own vibe and needs. Check out these killer guides to boss up on cleaning every pair you rock:

How To Clean Mesh Shoes: Two Ways Guaranteed to Slay

Before you jump, here are some quick tips. First, you gotta ditch the hunt for tools and grab the all-in-one SneakerAid kit. It’s your sneaker-saving arsenal with soft & hard brushes, top-tier cleaning serum, and a microfiber towel. Everything you need to crush that dirt on any shoe type.


One more thing. Don’t forget that mesh sneakers are tricky with their tiny holes that let stains sink deep. Act fast & smart on any dirt or spills to prevent those stains from setting in for good. Plus, since mesh can snag or pill with rough handling, always use a soft brush. Now let’s roll to the best two methods on how to clean mesh shoes.

Cleaning Mesh Shoes By Hand

how to clean white mesh shoes

  1. Toss 1 tsp of mild detergent into warm water and stir until smooth. Better aim for light suds, nothing gooey or frothy. Pro tip: Ditch the bleach to avoid trashing your materials and dulling those colors.
  2. Pull the laces from your shoes and pack them with a microfiber cloth to catch any drips. 
  3. Grab a soft-bristled brush to gently swipe away the dirt from your shoes. Then, hold the brush perpendicular and use light, easy strokes. Go easier than you would on tougher materials like leather. 
  4. Soak a soft cloth in your cleaning solution and gently scrub your shoes in circles. For tougher spots, use a brush dipped in the same solution for a deeper clean. Remember to rinse the cloth in clean water then and now to keep it fresh as you go.
  5. After scrubbing with the detergent solution, rinse your cloth thoroughly, wring it out, and go over your shoes again to wipe away any soapy residue. Make sure to squeeze out the cloth well to remove excess soap before the final wipe.
  6. Give your midsoles a tough clean with disinfectant wipes or a Magic Eraser. Just make sure to keep them away from the shoe’s upper. No wipes? A damp paper towel with a few drops of bleach will do the trick. Also, keep it strong on the bottom, and gentle on top!
  7. Finally, let your shoes air-dry in a cool, dry spot for 24 hours, like a shed or shaded outdoor area. However, don’t even think about blasting them with a hair dryer or anything like that. Also, avoid garages and basements where airflow is limited. Once dry, remove any stuffing, re-lace, and if you’re in a hurry, point a household fan at them to speed up the drying process. And you’re all good folks!

Cleaning Mesh Shoes Using a Washing Machine

How to wash mesh shoes

Just a quick heads up: Mesh is pretty delicate, so we strongly recommend cleaning mesh shoes by hand. But hey, if you’re feeling a bit lazy or pressed for time, using the washing machine isn’t a disaster. Basically, it can get the job done without too much hassle if you follow the right steps.

First, yank those laces out from top to bottom and stash ’em in a sock, tie it up tight. Then, stuff your sneakers into a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase, twist the end, and secure it with a rubber band to keep everything snug. Remember, not all kicks are washer-friendly, so peep the care label first. So, toss the pillowcase and socked laces into the wash, cushion the load with rags, and add a cup of your go-to detergent. Set your machine to the “Delicate” and “Cold” cycles to keep it gentle. After all, mesh is chill but not when twisted out of shape. 

Post-wash, air-dry your shoes for a day in a spot that’s cool and shady. You can speed things up with a fan if you’ve got one. And you’re good to go.

Now, How to Get a Stubborn Stain Out of Mesh Shoes?

If those earlier methods didn’t kick that old stubborn stain off your mesh kicks, no worries, we’ve still got your back. So, here’s how to tackle those tough marks like a pro.

  1. Brush Off the Stain: Use a soft brush to gently remove any dried spots. Also, be sure to brush in one direction to avoid damaging the mesh.
  2. Create a Cleaning Paste: Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar into a paste.
  3. Apply the Paste: Dab the paste onto the stain using a paper towel. Then, let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse Off: Wet a paper towel and rinse the paste off thoroughly.
  5. Blot and Dry: Pat the area dry with a paper towel to soak up excess water.
  6. Support the Drying Process: Insert a small cloth inside the shoe to help it keep its shape as it dries.

Done Sprucing Up Your Mesh Sneakers? Peep What’s Next

You know we’re blessed that our mesh running shoes clean up easily, right? But cleaning them isn’t the only key to their long life, storing them right matters too. So, make sure to check this handy sneaker-storing playbook. And here’s an extra pro tip: throw in some shoe trees while you scrub to keep the shape tight and the clean deep. Alright, fam, that’s the wrap! Don’t forget to stay locked to our blog for all the latest on bots, drops, sneaker care, and more. Catch ya later, homies!

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