Fashion, Featured, Style

Trainer Cleaner Alternatives: How To Get Your Trainers Clean For Cheap

Want to keep your trainers clean but don’t want to waste your money on overpriced trainer cleaner? Our definitive guide has you covered on everything from suede to canvas, mesh to leather.



A post shared by Vivian Frank (@vivianfrank) on

In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra who was disliked by the gods for his arrogance, self-aggrandizement, and deceitfulness. His punishment when he died and reached the underworld was to be forced to roll an immense bolder up a hill only to watch it roll back down the other side. He had to do this for all eternity and it’s where the phrase ‘Sisyphean Task’ comes from. The only reason the Gods didn’t punish him with cleaning the mesh on a pair of trainers is because Flyknit hadn’t been invented yet. It’s almost impossible to keep clean and when you’ve got it dirty, which is inevitable, it’s bloody hard work to get them clean again. Your best bet is going to be to mix together a small amount of either washing up liquid or detergent with some warm water and gently go at the mesh with an old toothbrush. If that doesn’t work – and if the mesh is white it might not – you’ll want to invest in a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and use that.


Much like Gremlins, you should never get suede wet. Spending an extortionate amount of cash on a pair of nice trainers and then only being able to wear them when the weatherman says you can might seem like a pain but that’s just the way it is. To mitigate any damage from puddles or an unpredicted shower, you’ll want to apply some suede protector as soon as you’ve bought them. If some idiot spills a bit of their pint on yours then a quick and easy solution to any damage they sustain is to get a suede eraser and a brush, using the eraser to scrub off the unsightly spots and the brush to clear off excess dirt.


A post shared by Converse ILS (@converse_ils) on

Everyone should own a pair of white Converse but keeping them looking box fresh is a nightmare. What you’ll need is a bucket, some warm water mixed with a small amount of mild detergent or soap, an old toothbrush, and some toilet roll. Brush off any excess dirt before you get started and then just get the toothbrush wet and scrub. And scrub. And scrub… then scrub some more. Once you’ve got them as clean as possible stuff them with the toilet roll to ensure they keep their shape and leave them in the sun to dry.


These are easy: just throw them in the washing machine in a pillowcase on a cold wash.


A post shared by B/R Kicks (@br_kicks) on

The bottom of your trainers need love too. Mix up a bowl of warm water with a bit of soap in it and use the rough side of a kitchen sponge to remove the initial layer of dirt. After you’re done with that take a toothpick and remove any dirt stuck in the grooves of the sole. Wash it down again with a fresh soapy mix, dab dry with an old towel and you’re good to go.


Fresh white leather trainers – Stan Smiths, Air Force Ones, Reebok Classics – look great when they’re fresh but really take a hit when you get them even a little bit grubby. If you want to get them back to looking as good as they did when you first slipped them on you’ll need a bowl of warm water mixed with 2 tablespoons of dish soap and 5 tablespoons of baking soda. Dip an old toothbrush in the mix and then gently scrub the shoe. Once they’re looking fresh, dab them dry with a paper towel and you’re done.


A post shared by FlorianThiel (@lucky__luciano____) on

The midsole is pretty easy to keep clean if it’s a darker colour, you just need to remove any excess dirt and then use the soft side of a kitchen sponge dipped in some warm soapy water to gently scrub it clean. Dry this off with a towel and you’re done.

White outsoles that have started to discolour need some extra TLC. Just repeat the above stages but when you’re finished touch them up with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Good as new!


Nobody knows. The most effective technique we’ve seen is gentle hand washing and prayer.



New This Week

250+ pieces land on Topman every week

White Zip Neck Short Sleeve Jumper
Black Rose Jacquard Shirt
Black And White Check Harrington Jacket
Cobalt Blue Printed Sweatshirt
Nicce Khaki Camouflage Jacket