Dirt and mud trapped in the soles of your basketball shoes can interfere with your performance on the court. Not only will the dirt you leave on the court announce that you were there, it may also cause you to lose your traction during a game. A dirty pair of basketball shoes also takes away from your personal appearance. A bright, laundered uniform can lose its luster relatively quickly in the shadow of grungy pair of sneakers. Knowing how to clean your basketball shoes will keep you looking your best and injury-free when you are shooting hoops.
Remove loose, dried dirt that is stuck in the soles of your basketball shoes, using a stiff brush. A boot brush will work great for this process, requiring you to rub the brush back and forth over the soles. Do this outside to prevent making a big mess indoors.
Place the basketball shoes in a sink and rub a damp cloth over the soles to remove any of the dirt residues. Rinse the cloth in between with clear water to remove the dirt that has accumulated. Continue the process of cleaning the soles with the cloth until the soles show no more signs of dirt.
Wipe the top and sides of the basketball shoes with a damp cloth to remove dirt that has built up in these areas. You can also add a squirt of dish soap to a damp, nylon scrubber sponge for extra stubborn stains. Rinse the sponge periodically to remove the dirt. Continue the process of scrubbing and rinsing until the stains disappear.
Dampen a melamine foam sponge and lightly run it over the exterior of your basketball shoes. The melamine sponge will help to remove grease stains or tar from the shoes, as well as any other ground in dirt. You can purchase melamine foam sponges in the cleaning aisle of the supermarket.
Buff the basketball sneakers dry with a soft cloth. Remove as much moisture as possible using the soft cloth, and lay the shoes in a warm area to dry thoroughly. You can then touch the basketball shoes up with some shoe polish once they are dry to remove any further evidence of wear.
Purchase more than one pair of basketball shoes. Purchase a pair for the indoor court, a pair for the outdoor court and an additional pair for yard work and every day wear. If your shoe laces are beginning to look a bit tattered, replace them. You would be surprised at how much a pair of new laces improves the appearance of your basketball shoes. Keep a package of baby wipes in your gym bag. You can use the baby wipes to wipe down your basketball shoes each time you wear them.
Do not wash your basketball shoes in an automatic washing machine or completely immerse them in water. Not only is there always a possibility that the shoes will shrink, you also stand the chance of damaging the material.