The Art of Sneaker Care

In todays modern world of high fashion and looking good, one often overlooked fashion accessory is a good pair of sneakers. There are countless brands, models and designs available, and whilst many years ago sneakers were mainly reserved for use in sports, nowadays they are standard issue in most people's everyday wardrobe. Obviously, the growth in the popularity of wearing sneakers has increased the need for wisdom in sneaker maintenance. Maybe some among us can afford every few months to simply exchange their increasingly dirty and worn sneakers for a new pair, but those of us with economical concerns or who wish to invest our money in other things, should definitely be thinking about sneaker care. With careful sneaker maintenance, we can extend the life, look and feel good factor of an average pair of sneakers, for not just months, but maybe even years!

Keep It Simple

A first and very simple tip for sneaker maintenance is to give them a regular wipe with a damp cloth, as well banging them together to keep the soles free from dirt. This is, of course, not exactly rocket science, but you'd be surprised how often such a straightforward method of sneaker care is overlooked by sneaker owners. It's best at least once week, to give your pair of sneakers a good rub down with a wet cloth in order to remove all the superficial dirt, dust and mud that can build up on their outsides, as well as making sure that the soles are also kept clean. Mud and dirt is generally removed once it's dry by knocking the soles of a pair of sneakers together firmly, but a stick or other pointy object might be necessary to get off chewing gum or little stones, which so easily get wedge in the groves of sneakers' soles.

The Magic Touch

The above mentioned basic methods for maintaining kicks can be supplemented by a few other tricks, which will do a world of good for your sneakers in the long term. One good option for sneaker maintenance is the use of a magic sponge. There are several brands of these available on the market. Once you have selected one based on price or convenience, you will also need a simple dish towel, some paper towels, an old toothbrush and a soap. Place the sneakers to be cleaned on the dish towel and wet the magic sponge. Begin scrubbing hard the rubber parts of the sneakers. The magic sponge may begin to deteriorate, but that's just what it's designed to do, so keep going until the sneakers are well buffed. Dry them with the paper towels. Next put some wet soap onto the toothbrush and using a circular motion, begin scrubbing any stains on the material part of the sneakers with the toothbrush. Then wipe with a wet paper towel to remove any left over soap and finally, gently scrub with the magic sponge. The sneakers can then be left in the sun to dry.

Going Deeper

Another important method in maintaining kicks, which could either be used in combination with the methods already mentioned or as a stand alone way of sneaker care is to give the sneakers a deep clean. For this it is necessary to buy one of the many shoe cleaning solutions on the market, to have a good, firm shoe brush and to fill a bowel with warm water, around 40 degrees Celsius should be just fine. Wet the brush with warm water and apply shoe clean. Use the brush to scrub the sneakers until a good lather has been worked up. As necessary rewet the brush and apply more shoe cleaner. Keep going until the sneakers have been well scrubbed. A handy tip, as mentioned in the previous section, is to use an old toothbrush to scrub less accessible parts of the sneaker. The last step is to wipe them down with a towel using a twisting motion and leave to dry naturally. Laces are best unthread from the sneakers and soaked in a bowel of warm water with detergent or even just put in a standard wash in a washing machine.

Protect and Store

The final technique that we can mention in sneaker maintenance is to make sure that your sneakers are well protected. For canvas sneakers, a basic fabric stain and water repellent such as Scotchgard can be sprayed onto them. For leather or suede sneakers, specialist stain and water repellents are available. Dryer sheets can be inserted into sneakers in order to mop up any moisture in them that can lead to bad odors. Lastly, sneakers can be stored in a shoe bag and kept wrapped in a shoe box until it's time to wear them.

Many of us take sneaker care for granted, but pay the price as even just a few weeks after purchasing them, our sneakers are starting to look well worn. However, by just investing a little money and effort in sneaker maintenance, we can keep our sneakers in pristine condition for many months and maybe even years!

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