How To Clean Brooks Shoes 

Brooks shoes are popular for exercising. However, if you use your Brooks running shoes outdoors, they can eventually become dirty. So, how do you clean your Brooks shoes? 

You can clean Brooks shoes by handwashing them with a gentle detergent or spot-cleaning them with a little toothpaste and a soft brush. You should avoid machine washing them as this can degrade the shoe’s delicate fabric. Air dry them in a well-ventilated area and don’t place them in the dryer. 

This article will explore how to wash Brooks running shoes without ruining them. I’ll discuss cleaning insoles and laces, drying shoes, and eliminating unpleasant odors. Let’s get started! 

How To Clean Brooks Shoes

If your Brooks shoes are dirty, there are a few methods to clean them. The 2 main acceptable cleaning methods for Brooks shoes include: 

  • Handwashing them in cold water with a gentle detergent
  • Spot-cleaning dirty sections with toothpaste and a soft brush 

Brooks recommends you handwash running shoes by following these steps:

  1. Remove the insoles and laces to wash separately.
  2. Remove any excess dry mud and dirt with a soft-bristled brush.
  3. Prepare a mild detergent and cold water solution in a sink or container large enough to accommodate your shoes.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth to apply the solution to the shoes, gently dabbing it on the shoe. 
  5. Rinse the microfiber cloth and dab it on the shoes again to remove the excess detergent. 
  6. Allow your shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated and sunny area. 

If your Brooks shoes have patches of dirt on them, and don’t require a full clean, you can use toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to clean them. Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Place scrunched-up paper towels or newspaper into your shoe to prevent the insoles from getting wet. 
  2. Wet (but don’t drench) the mesh material and apply some toothpaste to the dirt areas. 
  3. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush the toothpaste into the mesh in a circular motion. 
  4. Rinse the toothpaste off with a wet microfiber cloth. 

Cleaning the Insoles and Laces

A mild soap is ideal for the insoles. You can also make a paste of baking soda and water or a liquid solution of one part white vinegar to 2 parts water. Scrub the insoles with a sponge and let them air dry.

You may machine wash the laces as long as you put them in a mesh bag. Then let them air dry because placing them in the dryer may result in shrinkage and damage to the plastic tips. You can also handwash them in the sink with dish soap. 

If the shoelaces are white, you can submerge them in some warm water with a small amount of bleach and laundry detergent. This will help remove stubborn stains and give them a bright white color.   

Can Brooks Be Washed?

It can be tempting to throw your Brooks shoes in the washer with your other dirty laundry. However, this isn’t a recommended method for cleaning these shoes. Brooks explicitly states on their website to never throw your shoes in the washer or dryer. Doing so may damage both machines and possibly your shoes, making it a costly exercise.  

Brooks can be washed by hand and air-dried. You should use cold water and a gentle detergent. This will keep your shoes clean and looking like new and help ensure a longer shelf life.    

How Do You Wash Running Shoes Without Ruining Them?

Since a washer and dryer may ruin your Brooks, let’s explore the best alternatives.

You can wash running shoes without ruining them by handwashing them only. Avoid harsh detergents and scrubbing them, as this can weaken or tear the running shoe’s delicate fabric.  

Though Brooks has various shoes for different athletic activities, most are made with similar materials. Brooks shoes are made from at least 30% recycled materials and are covered in a mesh or knit upper.  

How Do You Clean Mesh Material Shoes?

You clean mesh material shoes by hand washing them or using toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. You can use a gentle laundry detergent or a specialized sneaker cleaning product or kit. 

Here’s a list of some high-quality sneaker cleaning products to consider:

  • Reshoevn8r Premium Shoe and Sneaker Cleaning Solution
  • Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner
  • Sneaker Lab Shoe Cleaner Wipes
  • SneakerErasers Instant Sole and Sneaker Cleaner
  • Shoe MGK Shoe Cleaner Kit
  • Reshoevn8r Sneaker Cleaner Brush Set

How To Dry Brooks Running Shoes 

Once the sneakers have been cleaned, Brooks recommends stuffing them with newspaper or paper towels to absorb the excess water and maintain their shape. Then, let them air dry.

You should airdry Brooks running shoes. Avoid placing them in the dryer because the high temperature can warp the shoe’s shape and even shrink them. It can also damage the adhesives. 

Shoes should be left to dry in a well-ventilated room, and you can use a fan or dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.  

How To Remove Unpleasant Odors from Running Shoes

Running shoes are the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive, and this can cause unpleasant odors. 

Washing your running shoes can eliminate odors but it’s sometimes not enough. If your running shoes are still smelly after cleaning them, here are some tips to consider:  

Here are some other things to consider trying:

  • Place your running shoes in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. The low temperature will kill most of the bacteria, helping to eliminate the smell.
  • Give your shoes a 24-hour break after each use to allow enough time for the bacteria to die.
  • Change your socks regularly, and consider wearing socks made from microfiber blends or merino wool.
  • Apply a few teaspoons of baking soda to the insoles, making sure you tilt the shoe, so it gets into the toe box.
  • Create an equal part vinegar and water solution to mist into the shoe and allow 30 minutes for drying.
  • Sanitize the shoes with a UV light product like Sterishoe.

Final Thoughts 

There are plenty of ways to keep your Brooks shoes clean, using professional or household products. Hopefully, this article has armed you with all the tools you need to keep your Brooks looking new, sanitized, and free of unpleasant odors.  

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