How to clean your trainers
By Gavin Jewkes, 27 March 2014
Arguably, a pair of Vans or Converse looks at its coolest when properly scuffed up. But for anyone who wants to take theirs back to a time before mud and sticky dance floors, here is how to salvage them:
1. Remove the laces and wash them in the washing machine. Or, alternatively, buy a new pair. Fresh laces can shave months off the signs wear and tear.
2. Remove any excess dirt by giving them a vigorous rub with a dry cloth.
3. Then, add some anti-grease soap to warm water and use a toothbrush to clean your shoes. As with a deep-tissue massage, circular motions work best.
4. Finally, depending on how much soapy water you use to remove the stains, stuff your shoes with newspaper to absorb any excess moisture. Leave them to dry naturally, as putting them on a radiator will weaken the glue and alter their shape.
The first and last rule of wearing suede is to avoid doing so in rain. If, like us, you’re prone to a bit of suede renegading and do decide to step out in the wet, here’s how to repair any inevitable damage caused:
1. Again, this is where the toothbrush comes into its own. Probably best to use a different one to the one you use to brush your teeth – but hey, we’re not here to judge. Use it to buff off any offending bits of dirt. Don’t get too over zealous, though, as you could cause little bald patches to form in the suede...
2. Stubborn stains demand more attention. Try dissolving some washing detergent in warm water and then, with your trusty toothbrush, work it into the suede.
3. Pat dry, son. Gently, gently.
Would you wear your trainers to go swimming? No. Then putting them in a washing machine shouldn't be on your radar either, as it's essentially the same thing and will almost definitely, completely ruin them. Instead, clean them up by doing this:
1. Wipe your trainers down with warm soapy water, using a clean cloth.
2. If you're feeling experimental, a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water works brilliantly... but only if you live somewhere warm enough to leave them outside and let the sun do its magic afterwards.
3. To remove marks on the soles, try rubbing them with a cloth soaked in some of your girlfriend's nail polish remover.