How to Wash Kids Tennis Shoes

As a parent, you already juggle a lot of daily chores and responsibilities. Among these is ensuring your kids’ gear, including their tennis shoes, are clean and in good condition. Whether your child is an aspiring tennis player wearing court-specific tennis shoes or simply active in everyday sneakers, keeping those shoes clean not only improves their appearance but also extends their lifespan. This guide is designed to help you understand the best practices for washing kids tennis shoes, catering to various materials and styles.

how to wash kids tennis shoes

Understanding Different Materials

Before you toss your child’s tennis shoes in the wash, it’s crucial to know what they are made of. Tennis shoes can be constructed from a variety of materials including leather, synthetic materials, canvas, and combinations thereof. Each material demands specific care. Leather requires gentle cleaning to prevent cracking and should not be soaked to avoid damage. Synthetic materials are generally more water-resistant and easier to clean, but care is needed to maintain the shoe’s integrity. Canvas shoes are easier to wash but may require longer drying times.

Identifying the material of your kids’ tennis shoes will dictate the cleaning method you choose.

Pre-Cleaning Steps

Start by preparing the tennis shoes for washing. This initial step helps to remove any loose dirt and debris that could potentially cause issues during the washing process. Begin by knocking the soles of the shoes together outdoors to shake off any loose dirt. An old toothbrush or a soft brush can be used to scrub away dried mud or dirt. Next, remove the laces and insoles as these should be washed separately to ensure a thorough clean and to protect the shoe’s structure. Using a soft cloth or sponge, wipe down the exteriors of the shoes with a mixture of mild soap and warm water to remove any remaining surface dirt.

Washing Kids Tennis Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you’ve prepped the shoes, it’s time to move on to the actual cleaning. The method you choose will depend on the shoe material:

For Leather Kids Tennis Shoes:

  1. Create a cleaning solution by mixing a bit of saddle soap with water until it’s well-dissolved.
  2. Apply the solution gently using a soft cloth, scrubbing very gently.
  3. Wipe off any soap residue with a damp cloth.
  4. Allow the shoes to dry naturally, away from direct heat or sunlight.

For Synthetic Youth Tennis Shoes:

  1. Prepare a soapy mixture using mild detergent and warm water.
  2. Hand wash the shoes gently using a sponge or brush.
  3. Rinse thoroughly to ensure no soap residue is left on the shoes.
  4. Dry the shoes in a well-ventilated area.

For Canvas Junior Tennis Shoes:

  1. If the manufacturer indicates that the shoes are machine washable, place them in a pillowcase and set the washer to a gentle cycle with cold water.
  2. For lighter stains or when not fully soiled, spot clean with a soapy cloth.
  3. Rinse the shoes under cold water.
  4. Always air dry to prevent the canvas from shrinking.

RELATED: Review of New Balance Kid’s 696 V4 Hard Court Shoes

Drying Tips

Proper drying is as crucial as the cleaning itself, especially to prevent the growth of mold or the onset of unpleasant odors. Avoid placing tennis shoes near radiators or in direct sunlight to prevent heat damage. To help the shoes retain their shape and to absorb moisture, stuff them with newspaper. It’s important to change the newspaper a few times until the shoes are fully dry.

Maintaining Clean Tennis Shoes for your Child

To keep your kids’ tennis shoes cleaner for longer, consider using a water repellent for materials like canvas and synthetic, which can prevent stains and ease future cleaning. Address stains as soon as they occur with regular spot cleaning to prevent permanent discoloration. Deodorizing the shoes with baking soda left inside overnight can also help neutralize odors.

Tennis Shoe Cleanliness is Surprisingly Simple!

Washing your kids’ tennis shoes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right materials and methods, you can efficiently clean and maintain their shoes, whether they are pounding the court or just romping around the playground. Remember, the key to long-lasting footwear lies in regular care and proper cleaning techniques. The longer your child’s tennis shoes are kept clean, the more money you save on future pairs! (related: how expensive is youth tennis?) By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure that your child’s tennis shoes are always ready for their next adventure.