How to Clean New Balance Sneakers

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Clean New Balance Sneakers

New Balance has earned a reputation for comfort, quality, and style thanks to its vast selection of running, training, walking, and lifestyle sneakers.

However, keeping your New Balance kicks looking fresh requires diligent cleaning.

This comprehensive guide will cover how to clean New Balance sneakers of all material types using proper techniques.

We’ll also explore preventative care, storage methods, stain solutions, and when to enlist a professional for cleaning.

With the tips here, New Balance fans can keep their sneakers looking pristine and extend their lifespan.

The Importance of Regular New Balance Sneaker Cleaning

Consistent cleaning is crucial for maintaining New Balance sneakers in like-new condition. 

Here’s why it matters:

-removes dirt, debris, and stains that wear down materials prematurely. Dust and grit also lead to faster sole wear.

-Cleaning helps materials retain color vibrancy, especially on white midsoles. Dirt builds up and diminishes brightness.

-prevents foul odors that develop from sweat, bacteria, and general wear.

-Avoid using improper cleaning techniques that can degrade or discolor materials.

-Extends lifespan so you get your money’s worth.

-Less frequent replacements equal cost savings.

-restores aesthetic appeal so sneakers stay stylish.

-allows sneakers to be safely worn multiple times between washes.

Developing a Sneaker Cleaning Routine

Consistency is key for clean sneakers. 

Follow this routine:

-Inspect after each wear and spot clean scuffs immediately to avoid set-in stains.

-Fully clean sneakers every 5-7 wears with brushing, surface washing, and odor removal.

-Deep clean with machine washing every 20–30 wears when grime builds up.

-Use protective sprays before first wear and after each deep clean.

-Disinfect insoles monthly to prevent bacteria and odor.

-Store properly between wears to avoid dirt exposure or compression damage.

-Adjust cleaning frequency based on wear habits, environment, material type, and color.

Assembling the Ideal New Balance Sneaker Cleaning Kit

Gather these supplies to effectively clean all sneaker elements:

-Medium-bristle brush for brushing off dried dirt

-old toothbrush for scrubbing crevices and textured areas

-Soft cloth, sponge, or brush for applying cleaners

-Cotton swabs and/or soft scrapers for hard-to-reach spots

-mild liquid hand soap for general cleaning

-Sneaker cleaner solution for tougher stains and marks

-Whitening soap or toothpaste for brightening midsoles

-antibacterial spray for disinfecting and deodorizing

-soft microfiber towel for drying

-laundry bag for machine washing

-Soft bristle electronics brush for mesh areas

-Protective sprays for repelling future stains

-Replacement laces and inserts

Avoid harsh cleaning products that may degrade sneaker materials.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Hand Cleaning

Follow this method for regular surface cleaning:

  1. Use a medium-bristle brush to remove dried dirt and debris from the outsole, midsole sides, and tread. Knock off the dust from the upper.
  1. Remove laces and inserts if possible. This allows full access for cleaning the tongue area, sides, and interior walls.
  1. Mix a mild soap-like dish liquid or specialized sneaker wash with warm water in a bowl. Dampen a soft cloth or brush in the solution.
  1. Gently scrub stains, scuffs, and stuck-on dirt on the upper, sides, heel, and toe areas with the damp cloth. Apply more solution and gently rub to make it grime-free.
  1. Use an old toothbrush dipped in the solution to scrub crevices, textured areas, and areas with intricate details like logos. Use cotton swabs for small spaces.
  1. Carefully clean mesh fabric areas using a soft electronic brush and a mild soap solution. Avoid excess rubbing to prevent fraying or tears.
  1. Rinse all exterior areas with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue, which can degrade materials if left on.
  1. Allow shoes to air dry completely at room temperature, away from direct heat or sunshine, before re-wearing them. Stuff them with paper to help them retain shape as they dry.
  1. Replace any laces and inserts removed before wearing them again.

Repeat this cleaning process regularly to prevent excessive buildup between washes.

Deep cleaning with machine washing

For a thorough clean of heavily soiled sneakers:

  • Check the sneaker tag to confirm washing machine cleaning is allowed. Some state ‘hand wash only’.
  • Remove laces and inserts that can tear or be damaged in the machine.
  • Place sneakers inside a laundry bag and zip them securely. This prevents banging around the damage.
  • Wash on a gentle, cool setting with mild detergent. Warm water can shrink or warp some materials.
  • Allow to fully air dry like new, away from heat sources, before wearing again. Stuff with towels to hold shape.
  • Skip the dryer, which can lead to excessive heat damage to glue, materials, and decorations.
  • Limit machine washing of new balances to only when truly needed, around every 20–30 wears.

Caring for Specific Sneaker Elements and Materials

New Balance sneakers are constructed with a range of textiles that require specialized care:

Leather and suede uppers

-Use a suede brush weekly to bring up a nap and prevent matting.

-Spray protectants repel future stains.

-Allow to fully dry between wears.

Deep clean with a leather cleaner and soft brush

Mesh Fabric Panels

-Gently hand wash only to avoid snags.

-Rotate pairs frequently to minimize odor buildup.

Textile Knit Uppers

-Pretreat stains immediately to avoid setting

-Wash by hand or delicate machine cycle

-Reshape while drying by stuffing with socks.

Foam Midsoles

-Avoid solvents that degrade foam.

-Use mild soap and a brush to clean the scuffs.

-Stuff with towels when drying to prevent shrinkage.

Rubber Outsoles

-Remove debris trapped in the treads.

-Scrub with an old toothbrush and soap.

-Whiten yellowed areas by brushing baking soda paste.

-Taking these sneaker material factors into account means a damage-free clean.

Preventing Stains and Damage Between Cleans

Implement these tips to keep New Balance sneakers spotless between full cleaning sessions:

  • Spray protectants like Crep Protect on uppers before first wear and after each wash. This repels splashes and stains. Reapply after around 6–8 wears.
  • Rotate your sneaker wear to allow each pair a full 24 hours to dry out, which prevents odor buildup.
  • Immediately hand wash any new stains, then dab dry with a cotton cloth so they don’t set in and spread.
  • Use a brush or soft cloth to wipe dirt and dust off the uppers after each wear. This prevents scratches and abrasion damage.
  • Store properly with shoe trees, stuffing, or paper to retain shape and not compress materials.
  • An ounce of preventative care saves hours of tougher stain removal down the road!

Troubleshooting Stubborn New Balance Sneaker Stains

If stains develop, tackle them based on the cause:

Grease and oil stains

Apply baking soda paste and let sit for 1 hour.

Scrub gently with a soft brush, then rinse well.

Mud or dirt stains

Allow the mud to fully dry, then brush off the debris.

Wash with warm, sudsy water.

Scuff Marks

buff gently with a rubber eraser.

Dab some white toothpaste on a cotton swab and lightly rub.

Old Stains

Soak in 50/50 vinegar and water mix for 1 hour.

Wash with a sudsy mixture and rinse.

For any abrasions or damage to material integrity, consult a professional cobbler or opt to replace the sneakers so they don’t degrade further with wear.

When to Seek Professional New Balance Sneaker Cleaning Help

Consider enlisting professional sneaker cleaning services if:

-Stains have set in deeply and won’t budge.

-Adhesives or stitching are damaged.

-Materials have yellowed severely.

-The mesh has begun fraying or tearing.

-Rubber soles are badly cracked.

-Insoles have considerable wear or a permanent odor.

The intense cleansers and methods pros use can restore even the most damaged sneakers to like-new condition.

Storing New Balance Sneakers Properly

Use these storage tips between wears:

  • Keep materials stored away from direct heat and sunlight, which degrade materials faster.
  • Store upright on sneaker shelves rather than loose on the floor to avoid compression damage.
  • Fill with paper or towels if not using shoe trees to retain shape.
  • Keep pairs in breathable mesh or canvas bags rather than fully enclosed plastic bags.
  • Alternate wear between multiple pairs to maximize the lifespan of all
  • Display favorite pairs on shelves versus stowing away in boxes to enjoy the style.
  • Proper storage extends a sneaker’s wearability, so you get your cost per wear down.

Preventing Odor in New Balance Sneakers

Unpleasant foot odor can develop inside sneakers from sweat and bacteria buildup. 

Follow these tips to keep New Balance shoes smelling fresh:

  • Remove inserts and wash regularly, either by hand or on a delicate machine cycle. Allow to fully air dry before replacing.
  • Sprinkle baking soda directly on inserts and inside sneakers, then sit overnight to absorb odors before vacuuming up.
  • Treat insoles monthly with an antibacterial spray containing oregano oil, thyme oil, or silver nanoparticles. These natural ingredients kill bacteria.
  • Place dryer sheets or charcoal air-purifying bags inside shoes while storing them to maintain freshness.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks to minimize sweat, changing them daily.
  • Alternate pairs frequently and allow 24-48 hours between wears for thorough drying.
  • Disinfect the shoe interior by wiping down with antibacterial wipes or sprays weekly.
  • With diligent odor prevention, New Balance sneakers keep smelling like new.

Selecting the Best New Balance Sneaker Model for Your Needs

New Balance offers an extensive selection of sneakers tailored for different activities and fit preferences. 

Consider these factors when choosing a pair:

Intended Use

Running: Look for stability, cushioning, support, and breathability engineered specifically for the biomechanics of running.

Walking: Opt for shock absorption, durable outsoles, and arch support to avoid injury during mileage.

Training: Seek cross-training shoes with lateral stability, midfoot support, and ankle comfort for agility.

Work and Daily Wear: Choose leather styles with slip resistance and a roomy toe box ideal for spending hours on your feet.

Sports Play: Require grip, ankle lockdown, and flexible materials like mesh or synthetics for optimal performance.

Fit and Sizing

Try wide and extra-wide options if you have broad feet. New Balance is known for accommodating all widths.

  • Certain collections, like Made in the USA or Kids, feature extended sizing ranges outside the norm.
  • Some categories offer customizable elements like swapping laces or inserting orthotics to get the perfect fit.
  • Take advantage of New Balance stores that provide gait analysis and fitting recommendations.
  • Doing research helps narrow the list down to your ideal New Balance sneaker match.

Common New Balance Sneaker Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Even seasoned sneakerheads make cleaning mistakes. 

Watch out for:

  • Machine-washing sneakers are not approved for it, which can damage glues and decorations. Always check the tag first.
  • using hot water settings that can cause material shrinkage. Lukewarm or cold water is best.
  • Neglecting to remove laces and inserts before washing leads to tearing and tangling.
  • using harsh household cleaners, solvents, or bleach that degrade fabrics. Mild soap prevents this.
  • over-brushing suede or nubuck areas, causing raised nap damage. Be gentle.
  • Storing wet shoes compressed together before fully drying, leading to misshaping.
  • Allowing glue and materials to dry in direct sunlight or near heat might cause them to break.
  • Assuming dishes are thoroughly sanitized, use antibacterial sprays regularly.
  • With proper techniques and care, costly damage during cleaning is avoidable.


New Balance sneakers require regular, thorough cleaning and care to maintain their appearance and maximize longevity between replacements.

Implement a routine using the proper supplies and gentle hand and machine washing techniques.

Watch for developing stains and treat them immediately before they spread or spread.

With the cleaning advice provided here, New Balance fans can keep even well-loved pairs looking like new.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top