Tips for Cleaning Knit Shoes and Removing Stains

Tips for Cleaning Knit Shoes and Removing Stains

Whether you’re an avid sneakerhead or just someone who loves comfortable footwear, there’s no denying that knit shoes have become a popular choice in recent years. Not only are they stylish and versatile, but they’re also extremely comfortable. However, with their unique material, taking care of knit shoes can be a bit tricky.

If you’ve ever wondered how to clean knit shoes properly, look no further. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of cleaning knit shoes like a pro. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to remove dirt, stains, and odors while keeping your favorite knit shoes looking fresh and new.

First, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies for cleaning your knit shoes. You’ll need a soft brush or cloth, warm water, mild detergent, and a clean towel. It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the delicate knit fabric. Once you have all your supplies ready, you’re ready to start cleaning!

Step 1: Remove the laces and inserts from your knit shoes. This will make it easier to clean the shoes and ensure that you’re able to reach all areas. If the laces are dirty, you can clean them separately by soaking them in warm water and mild detergent.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your knit shoes, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Mild detergent: Choose a gentle detergent that won’t damage the fabric of your shoes.
  • Soft-bristle brush: A soft-bristle brush or toothbrush will help scrub away dirt and stains without causing damage.
  • Microfiber cloth: A microfiber cloth is ideal for gently wiping down your shoes.
  • Warm water: You’ll need warm water to mix with the detergent for cleaning.
  • Towel: Use a towel to dry off your shoes after cleaning.
  • Optional: Stain remover: If your knit shoes have stubborn stains, you might want to have a stain remover on hand.

Once you have gathered all of these supplies, you’ll be ready to start cleaning your knit shoes and restoring them to their original condition.

Remove Excess Dirt and Debris

Remove Excess Dirt and Debris

  • Take the knit shoes outside and gently tap them together to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  • If there is still dirt or debris stuck on the shoes, use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the affected areas.
  • Be careful not to scrub too hard or use a brush with stiff bristles, as this could damage the knitted fabric.
  • For stubborn stains or dirt, dampen a cloth with water and gently dab the affected areas. Avoid soaking the shoes, as excessive moisture can also damage the knit.

By removing excess dirt and debris, you’ll have a clean surface to work with when moving on to the next step of cleaning your knit shoes.

Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Before you start cleaning your knit shoes, it’s important to prepare a cleaning solution that will effectively remove dirt and stains without causing any damage to the fabric. Here’s a simple recipe to make your own cleaning solution:

  1. Gather the Ingredients: You will need mild dish soap, warm water, a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush, and a clean cloth.
  2. Mix the Cleaning Solution: Fill a bowl or basin with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap. Mix until the soap is dissolved and the water becomes soapy.

Important Note: Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals as they can damage the knit fabric.

Test the Solution on a Small Area

Test the Solution on a Small Area

Before applying any cleaning solution to your knit shoes, it’s important to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. This will allow you to check for any adverse reactions or potential damage to the material.

Here is how you can test the cleaning solution on a small area of your knit shoes:

  1. Choose a small, hidden spot on your shoes, such as the inside of the tongue or the back of the heel.
  2. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the solution.
  3. Gently rub the damp cloth or sponge onto the chosen area in a circular motion.
  4. Check for any color fading, bleeding, or discoloration. Also, observe if the material becomes stiff or loses its elasticity.
  5. If there are no adverse effects, proceed with cleaning the entire shoe using the tested solution. If there are any negative reactions, stop immediately and try a different cleaning method.

Testing the solution on a small area will help you avoid potentially damaging or ruining your knit shoes. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Scrub the Shoes Gently

Once you have prepared the cleaning solution and removed the laces, it’s time to scrub the shoes gently. Start by dipping a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush into the cleaning solution.

Apply the cleaning solution onto the shoes using gentle circular motions. Be careful not to use too much pressure as it can damage the knit material. Focus on areas with stains or dirt, and make sure to cover the entire shoe.

If you are dealing with stubborn stains, you can let the cleaning solution sit on the shoes for a few minutes before scrubbing. This will help break down the stains and make them easier to remove.

Continue scrubbing the shoes until you have covered all areas. Pay extra attention to the soles and the areas where the knit material meets other materials, as these areas tend to accumulate more dirt and grime.

Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the shoes, use a clean cloth or towel to wipe away any excess cleaning solution. Make sure to remove all the residue to avoid leaving any marks or stains on the shoes.

If there are any remaining stains or dirt, you can repeat the scrubbing process or use a stain remover specifically designed for knit material.

After scrubbing, let the shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers or heaters as they can cause the knit material to shrink or warp.

Following these steps will ensure that your knit shoes are thoroughly cleaned without causing any damage to the material.

Rinse the Shoes Thoroughly

Once you have finished scrubbing the shoes, it is important to thoroughly rinse them to remove all traces of the cleaning solution and any remaining dirt or stains. Follow the steps below to ensure a thorough rinse:

  1. Fill a basin or sink with clean, lukewarm water.
  2. Place the shoes in the water and agitate them gently to loosen any residual dirt.
  3. Using your hands or a soft brush, scrub the shoes once again in the water to further remove any remaining dirt.
  4. Empty the basin or sink and refill it with clean water.
  5. Rinse the shoes by placing them back into the water and swishing them around to remove any soapy residue.
  6. Repeat the rinsing process until the water runs clear and there are no more suds or dirt coming off the shoes.

Note: Make sure to rinse both the exterior and interior of the shoes, especially if they are lined or have any fabric insoles. This will help to remove any lingering dirt, odors, or cleaning solution.

Once the shoes have been thoroughly rinsed, gently squeeze out any excess water and pat them dry with a clean towel. To speed up the drying process, you can also place them in a well-ventilated area or use a fan. Avoid using direct heat, such as a hairdryer or radiator, as it can damage the knit material.

Remove Excess Water and Let Them Air Dry

After cleaning your knit shoes, it’s important to remove any excess water to speed up the drying process and prevent water spots or damage to the material. Follow these steps to effectively remove excess water and ensure your shoes dry properly:

  1. Gently squeeze out water: Start by gently squeezing your shoes to remove any excess water. Be careful not to wring or twist them, as this can stretch or damage the knit material.
  2. Blot with a towel: Take a clean, absorbent towel and gently blot the shoes to soak up the remaining water. Press the towel against the knit material without rubbing or scrubbing to avoid causing any damage.
  3. Stuff with paper towels: Once you’ve removed as much water as possible, stuff the shoes with clean, dry paper towels. This will help absorb moisture from the interior and maintain the shape of the shoes while they dry.
  4. Let them air dry: Place your knit shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight. Allowing them to air dry naturally helps to prevent shrinking or warping of the knit material. Avoid using a dryer or heater, as this can cause damage.
  5. Check periodically: Check on your shoes periodically to ensure they are drying evenly and to remove any excess moisture from the paper towels. Replace the paper towels if they become saturated.

By following these steps and allowing your knit shoes to air dry properly, you’ll help prolong their lifespan and keep them looking their best.

Enjoy Your Clean Knit Shoes!

Congratulations! Your knit shoes have been successfully cleaned and are now ready to wear. Follow these tips to ensure they stay clean and fresh:

  • Store properly: After cleaning, make sure to store your shoes in a cool, dry place. Avoid keeping them in a damp or humid area, as this can promote the growth of mold or bacteria.
  • Protect from dirt: Consider using a protective spray or coating on your knit shoes to help repel dirt and stains. This will make future cleanings easier and keep your shoes looking their best.
  • Regular maintenance: To prevent excessive dirt build-up, try to clean your knit shoes regularly. Spot clean any visible stains or marks as soon as possible to avoid them becoming harder to remove.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: When cleaning your knit shoes, be cautious about using harsh chemicals or bleaches. These can damage the fabric and affect the color or texture of your shoes. Stick to gentle cleaning methods and products designed specifically for knit shoes.
  • Air dry: After cleaning, allow your shoes to air dry naturally. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause the knit fabric to shrink or warp.

By following these tips and maintaining a regular cleaning routine, you can keep your knit shoes looking fresh, clean, and ready to wear for a long time. Enjoy stepping out in style with your newly cleaned knit shoes!


How often should I clean my knit shoes?

It is recommended to clean your knit shoes once every few weeks or whenever they appear dirty.

Can I put my knit shoes in the washing machine?

No, it is not advisable to put your knit shoes in the washing machine as it can damage the delicate fabric. Hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning knit shoes.

What materials do I need to clean knit shoes?

To clean knit shoes, you will need a soft brush, mild detergent, warm water, a towel, and a shoe cleaning solution if desired.

How do I remove stains from my knit shoes?

To remove stains from knit shoes, create a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Gently scrub the stained area with a soft brush. Rinse with water and pat dry with a towel.

Can I use bleach to clean my knit shoes?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach on knit shoes as it can damage the fabric. Stick to mild detergent and warm water for cleaning.

Can I use a shoe cleaning solution on my knit shoes?

Yes, you can use a shoe cleaning solution specifically designed for knit shoes. Follow the instructions on the product carefully to avoid any damage to the fabric.

How long does it take for knit shoes to dry after cleaning?

The drying time for knit shoes can vary depending on the weather conditions and how wet they are. It is best to air dry them in a well-ventilated area and allow at least 24 hours for them to fully dry.


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