1 (edited by timbo400 December 16th, 07 12:27pm)

Topic: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

Older Threads didn't do much so here post your questions and hopefully a member will answer them smile

There are 2 things when it comes to sneaker care.

- Cleaning/Restoration
- Maintainance

They both sound the same but Cleaning and Restoration obviously won't happen very often unless you went through dog shit or had a big night and Maintainance should happen every month or so.


Basic maintainance keeps the shoe clean, working, not fall apart etc etc. If you do this, you'll have to clean yo sneakers less and less. Majority is if you're bothered and whatever, so I usually do it once every 4-6 months or whatever.

- Clean them laces every few months! Dirt and shit builds up hella in laces, depending if they white/white laces or coloured depends on how you clean. White/Whites usually clean easily with some warm water and soap or bleach diluted with water. Coloured/Patterned laces are recommended with only soap and water.

- Dry Brush/Wipe that shit! When you can, use a brush (One usually with medium/hard bristles) that's not wet and brush that crap off. This usually removes dirt and dust,  but the thing I found is when I leave little stains such as dirt/scuffs or some random foreign substance and ignore it, usually more and more dirt builds up on it and makes it a BITCH to clean. After brushing you can follow up with abit of windex on smoother leathers or midsoles. Don't use that shit on Nubucks, Mesh, Suedes, Cement, Felts, etc etc

- Sneaker Protectant: I apply that stuff (Or I try to) when I obviously get a new sneaker, after about 6 months or so when I've cleaned them I apply the sneaker shit so it's "dust" resistant and water proofed. I havn't seen it go to good work really... but I do it too make me fell safer. I use "Tana - water proofer" and "Water+Stain Protector" from Rebel. Both do same job, the spray is fairly gay for price so I get it for free.

- Vacuuming: I dunno about you others, but I vacuum the insides of my sneakers whenever I go vacuuming, I remove the insole, give that a suck, then go at it on the inside (Use the brush head if theres any problems). Vacuuming usually keeps out SOME odors and shit. This is a must if you've worn you sneaks near the beach or some sandy anus place.

- Storing: If I have some sneaks that I've worn once and won't wear again for a while I normally store them. What I do to prepare the store is leave them in a dry, cool and non-sun exposed area BEFORE I put them back inside the box.. that usually (To me) like lets all that shit die hopefully (I usually also do that basic maintainace on them) After I either Glad-wrap the mofos and stuff the insides of the shoes with paper/newspaper OR put back into box with paper/newspaper filled inside the sneaker. Add those silica packs if needed.
NOTE: Also Like what onefiveseven said, if you have older shoes that in my experience have foam or so on the midsole, the silica over a long period of time dry out and leave the foam/midsole VERY dry and in most case give the sneaker premature cracking or flaking! I say remove silica packs after a few months or year or 2

Ok most of that is common sense, It's pretty much to enlighten or whatever for  newer kids and hopefully some of you kinda lost. I'm sure some others like Hans or someshit will school us some sick tricks. Anyway here is my cleaning help:


Now when it comes to cleaning, theres some no-brainers and theres some tricks that's like mum's secret recipes shit.. hopefully this'll help out! feel free to add

- Basic cleaning: Soap + Water with a soft bristled toothbrush is a must for all sneakers! Make sure the brush is not contaminated with colours or dirt from a previous clean. Brush softer on more delicate materials such as suedes, nubucks etc etc. If you reach a fresh stain, remove as much as possible so you don't smudge it. If the toothbrush ain't working, sometimes I step up the ammunition abit with some heavy duty Brushes, be wary though, this shit can fucc up alot of suede/nubuck and shit.. I've ripped up some suede/nubuck sneakers by using it... then it worse when you see the colours in the water..

- Materials Specifics:

Leathers: Basic shit, water+soap, sometimes you can use that windex or "bam" shit from your local supermarket. If there's scuffs or some hard to fuc off stain, I use Magic Eraser (Also from Supermarket in cleaning section)

Rubbers/Midsoles: Basic stuff again, sometimes I apply bleach diluted though.. makes the job hella easy. Just careful when using bleach though it can f**k up if you splash/spill some in the wrong areas. Magic Eraser also works

Nubuck/Suede/Felt: SOFT brush with soap/water. This material is probably one of the hardest to clean since the material is delicate. Remove stain softly, Sometimes I apply handwash (Dettol Handwash mix) to it directly and scrub it in a circular motion. If there's a oil stain (I.E. Foods/Grease) use warm-hot water to "melt" or soften the shit.
Try also: Carpet cleaner OR Suede/Nubuck Cleaner (From Footlocker)

Patent Leather: Easiest to clean imo, use windex or bam to clean and keep it shiny smile Magic Eraser also works

Cement: It's the same method like nubuck imo, be careful with cleaning products near it.. I've never cleaned cement before.

Mesh: Bleach/Water and scrub into. It's dangerous since I use a fuckload of bleach to kill the scum stains... careful that bleach does bleed through mesh, remove insoles/laces and whatever so that bleach/other stuff don't do any damage.

Clear Shit: Bubbles and whatever, Apparently "seaglow" does wonders, but i just use a cotton tip with metho spirits. Magic Eraser also works but it can make it "scratched" i think.

Embroidery: Bleach on a toothbrush. If it's coloured embroidery, use soap.

Insoles: Strong Brush with soap. I heard carpet cleaner is good too smile

Stitching: Baby Powder*

Denim: Denim Cleaner? haha Looking for a good medium

Hemp: Dry wash it using just a brush*

Animal Skins: (FURS/HAIRYS/SAFARIs) Leopard print, Bear Hair, Tiger, Pubes whatever; Never cleaned this, looking for a person with his knowledge


Common stains, there's some mother methods out there! Here are some smile

Gum: Depending on where it is on the shoe, I use metho spirits on majority of it If it's high on the shoe (On leathers, suedes etc etc), use eucalyptus oil on it. Only small dabs are needed if not you'll have a koala smelling shoe.

Animal Shit: Warm/Hot water to remove majority of it then use a brush, scrub soft with soap so the shit don't fly up or spray on you/shoe.

Wine/Drinks/Urine: Use soap and water first, apply heavily diluted bleach if stains persist.

Deep Dirt: Happens when dirt builds up in creases and cakes form. Just stretch the sneakers using your hands and clean the dirt normally.

Jean Stains: On leathers, use magic eraser. On softer materials, try using soap with a brush. To prevent them happening either: Cuff your denim/Soak them

Grass Stains: Use water first with a small brush. If that doesn't work, remove the stain depending on the material like stated above

Lint/Balls of cotton: After a few wears, lint transfers from socks and pants. Removal is a bitch! EASIEST WAY IS: Using a sticker (I have those huge bomb-up stickers jacked from post office) and plaster it along the affected areas. This will remove the majority of the weaker ones without leaving any residue. Another tool is fine sand paper, careful wear you rub it though smile


I have no knowledge on this besides midsole paint damage.

Common Damage:
- Paint on midsole cracking
- Midsole falling apart
- Foam rot/destruction
- Repaint/Retouching
- Restitching


Ok here is some MORE info for Frequently Asked Questions (Thus FAQ for noobs)

Q: Will bleach yellow my sole/netting/mesh/_____?
A: If miss used, yes it will. Remember to use it in moderation and clean off ALL residue when using bleach.

Q: How do I clean ________?
A: Read Above you noob.

Q: Are Clear soles clearable and re-iceable?
A: Yes, Using the product seaglow, it is VERY dangerous; use at YOUR own risk (Infamous for removing soles from the shoe as it breaks down plastics and shit) Find the product using the internet.

Q:How do I clean the Insole if it's stuck down? (Common on AF'1s)
A: Unlace the sneakers then remove as much dirt/dust/hair using a vacuum cleaner, proceed with a brush that clean fit and soap. It's hard to clean if you don't want your sneaker wet. I shall show pics soon. Or with a few yanks you can remove the sole as it's only abit of glue holding it down smile

Q: Does Ironing creases out on sneakers work?
A: Temporarily yes, once you bend the sneaker they will ALL come back! Don't bother unless you're stuffing the sneaker for show or wearing them using a "anti-creasing" device (Find out yourself)

Q: Can Spray paint fix be used to restore a colour?
A: No, don't use it on ANY materials! Only one I'd use it on would be maybe a midsole on SMALL touch ups.


Equipment List

- Soft/Hard Used/New Toothbrush: Get one that you WON'T use again. Or a brand new one is just as good. Generally softer brushes are good for prints or delicate materials. Use hard for everything else.

- Hard Brush: This is for soles, tough materials and hardcore stains. Must have for beaters.

- Flathead Screw Driver: Remove pebbles and stuff from the soles or cracks on the sneakers.

- Soap

- Bleach

- Water/Hot Water


Keep watch bitches smile

If there are blank things or italic'd or Asterisked answers, it means that I am experimenting on it smile

I have teh penises.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

so, you gonna post up your cleaning service number?
do you do pick up and delivery ?

kc, ok la?

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

Awesome Thread


Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

Sometimes I also get f**ked up stains.

Like the ones on suedes and shit, Usually it's gum or some weird shit and it sticks on more shit and builds up and becomes rock hard.

Sometimes you gotta cut that shit off sad. Use like mini cutters (nail cutters) or some shit.

I have teh penises.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

maybe some sort of nail file would work?

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

sticky for noobs please.

why is it so?

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

i commend you for your effort
but surely you can think of a better descriptive word than "shit" all the time?


8 (edited by timbo400 June 3rd, 07 1:43pm)

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

haha my bad, shit's become part of my daily vocab. it's bad sad

edit: 32 "shit"s in my first post. fuc

I have teh penises.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

I found tooth paste does a good job on white's (They did a fine job on my Superstar's). A dab on a wet fine brush and presto, minty fresh.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

stuck it

nice stuff timbo


Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

yo...ok...how the hell do i clean the stitching threads, generally around  the toe box...most of my white kicks...well the majority of my shoes are white based....the stitching has gone black...how does one get them back to crispy white.

Ive got BAM at home but that ish seems really corrosive so Im yet to put it near my shoes.

12 (edited by timbo400 June 3rd, 07 4:35pm)

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

For the BAM, use it diluted on more smooth materials such as leathers.

For stitching, try scrubbing pretty hard through the areas, THEN using a cotton tip dipped with bleach rub the affected stitching. Remember to scrub again to remove all bleach after.

EDIT: If you got suede be careful, I've never put bleach on suede. I shall do it soon though smile I got a pair of beaters to try crap on.

NOTE: to test the cleaning products on a test patch before going over the whole shoe.

I have teh penises.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

timbo you must be mad bored you've been posting feircly all w.e lol.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

brilliant thread timbo!

gotta try out that magic eraser

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

timbo . whats this magic eraser look like ? is it a pen , cloth , spray . i have looked for it at safeway but i cant turn it up ?

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

^looks like a piece of foam


ive used it before and its superb for deep dirt stains on leather. dont scrub too hard or it might remove some of the leather since it is slightly abrasive.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

do you wet it or just go it dry.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

you use it damp.

Just dip it in water so it ain't mega wet,

it makes screech like noises when using it. Sorta like when you rub the soles on a basketball court.

I have teh penises.

19 (edited by onefiveseven June 3rd, 07 8:41pm)

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

I'd like to add that I'd avoid cleaning real suede and nubuck with soap and water.  That method works ok with the synthetic crap that Nike uses but it can ruin genuine  suede.  You're better off using an alcohol based cleaning spray (something like the Foot Locker suede & nubuck cleaner).  A fine grade of sandpaper can also be useful if you need to remove isolated marks and stains (denim bleed for example) from suede.

Be careful with using bleach on white mesh too.  Although it works in the short term it can turn yellow over time.  I've had good results using Vanish Oxi action upholstery cleaner in the past...

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help


I forgot to add suede/nubuck cleaner!


I have teh penises.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

awesome advice

just completed restoration/maintenance duties following some of this info.

nice work

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

how can i clean my ct x nb 577's? (yellow) i haven't read all of timbo's thread, (but i will). the toebox i filthy (memphis can attest to this!)
can i throw them in the washing machine???

"...and that's why he's the greatest player in the world"

MSML for life

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help


Post pics if possible and I will step by step do a noob fix guide!

If not send them to me and I'll clean them for a small fee smile (Money Back guarantee/Sneaker Insurance)


I have teh penises.

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

^yo timbo if your foreal i have some id's that are coming your way!

Re: Cleaning/Restoration Thread Help

hi dr timbo,

-on a trip to thailand i once had some runny faecal matter than ran down my leg and onto my sneakers ......

-i also have a tendency to run through cow paddocks in the dark

-i once met a squirter who once satisfied squirted herself on my sneakers

-sometimes whilst ejaculating over a nEw PaiR oF FiYaH KiCkS i CrEaM all over them

im sending my sneakers your way