The Best Way to Clean Your Knit, Leather or Suede Sneakers This Summer

Sneakers these days come in a variety of materials and that makes keeping them clean more difficult as there are different ways to clean various materials.

When the summer starts and we all finally take out our white sneakers to wear, one of the biggest challenges that come with wearing white sneakers is keeping them clean. Some people enjoy when white sneakers get dirty, saying that they provide character to the shoes, whereas some people need their white sneakers to be in pristine condition at all times.

Sneakers these days come in a variety of materials and that makes keeping them clean more difficult as there are different ways to clean various materials. Your shoes can be made of leather, canvas, suede, knits and countless other materials, forcing you to learn the different cleaning and maintenance methods specific to each material.

Image: Jason Markk

There are incredible sneaker care products from the likes of Jason Markk, Crep Protect and Reshoevn8r to help clean and protect your shoes. I personally prefer to use Jason Markk for all of my sneakers and I use a variety of their products to accommodate for the variety of materials on my sneakers. I use the basic cleaning solution, the standard and premium brushes, suede brush and eraser, repel spray, quick wipes, and more.


White leather sneakers are arguably the most low maintenance white sneakers as leather is incredibly easy to keep clean. It is relatively difficult to stain the leather as long as you roughly wipe off anything that may cause a stain, like a drop of mustard or ketchup. If you are able to give them a clean when they look dirty with a basic cleaning solution or even a dish soap with a soft bristle, most leather shoes will be relatively easy to keep clean. If you are able to spray the shoes with a repellent product, it will drastically increase your chances to keep your shoes clean.


With the rise of popularity of knit sneakers due to the comfort of the material, a lot of people own shoes with a knit upper, whether it is the Flyknit from Nike or the Primeknit from adidas. One of the most common mistakes of cleaning a knit upper is when people use a stiffer bristle brush on knit upper, causing the knit material to fray and become damaged. An easy way to clean knit shoes is to throw the shoes in a laundry bag and throwing them in the wash.

Image: Jason Markk


Most of us own a pair of shoes with a canvas upper like a pair of Converse or Vans, and they are arguably one of the toughest materials to clean once it gets dirty. The best way to keep them clean is to spray a repellent product before you wear them for the first time but you can also clean them with a cleaning solution and a combination of soft and stiff bristle brushes.


Light coloured suede sneakers are most likely the hardest to keep clean as suede can be a tricky material to clean. One of the most common mistakes that people make when cleaning suede sneakers is using a cleaning solution and brush on the suede before doing any pre-treatment on the material. Suede should be brushed with a moderately stiff dry bristle brush to get rid of any excess dust and dirt that are on the sneakers and when people attempt to clean them without doing this crucial step, they are essentially spreading the dust and dirt throughout the shoes. If it’s just a single spot of the suede that is dirty, try getting a damp microfiber cloth and spot cleaning the shoes to minimize the spread of the foreign materials. With every pair of suede sneakers, it is best to spray the shoes with a non-damaging repellent product such as the Jason Markk repel spray.

Image: Jason Markk

Do you have any tips on how to clean your sneakers this summer? Share with us in the comment section below.

Featured Image: Me von Isle

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