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How To Clean Running Shoes With Mesh How To Clean Running Shoes With Mesh


How To Clean Running Shoes With Mesh

Keep your running shoes in top condition with our featured guide on how to clean mesh shoes. Follow these expert tips to keep your footwear looking and smelling fresh.


Running shoes with mesh uppers have become increasingly popular due to their breathability and lightweight design. However, over time, these shoes can accumulate dirt, sweat, and unpleasant odors, making them less appealing and hygienic. Cleaning your running shoes with mesh is essential not only for their appearance but also for their overall performance and longevity.

Regularly cleaning your running shoes will help maintain their structural integrity, improve their breathability, and prevent the buildup of bacteria and odor-causing microbes. While cleaning your running shoes with mesh may seem like a daunting task, with the right techniques and supplies, you can restore them to their pristine condition and ensure they remain fresh and odor-free.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of cleaning running shoes with mesh uppers. We will cover everything from gathering supplies to drying the shoes properly. Whether you’re a casual runner or a seasoned athlete, these cleaning tips and techniques will help keep your running shoes looking and performing their best.


Gathering Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your running shoes with mesh, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies. Having everything ready will ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning process. Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  1. Soft-bristled brush: Use a brush with soft bristles to gently scrub the mesh without causing any damage.
  2. Mild detergent: Look for a detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can potentially damage the mesh or alter the shoe’s color.
  3. Warm water: Prepare a basin or sink with warm water to use for cleaning the shoes.
  4. Microfiber cloth or sponge: These gentle cleaning tools will help you remove dirt and grime from the mesh without causing any abrasions or scratches.
  5. Old toothbrush: An old toothbrush can be handy for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as the shoe’s sole or the crevices between the mesh panels.
  6. Odor neutralizer: If your shoes have developed any unpleasant odors, consider using an odor neutralizer spray or powder to eliminate the smells.
  7. Room for ventilation: Ensure you have a well-ventilated area where you can air dry your shoes after cleaning.

Once you have gathered all these supplies, you’re ready to move on to the next step: removing surface dirt from your running shoes with mesh.


Removing Surface Dirt

The first step in cleaning your running shoes with mesh is to remove any surface dirt or debris. This will make the subsequent cleaning process more effective. Here’s how you can tackle surface dirt on your shoes:

  1. Remove the laces: Start by untying and removing the shoelaces. This will give you better access to the entire shoe and allow for a thorough cleaning.
  2. Knock off loose dirt: Take your shoes outside and gently tap them together to dislodge any loose dirt or debris. You can also use a soft brush to brush off any visible dirt.
  3. Use a damp cloth or sponge: Moisten a microfiber cloth or sponge with warm water, and gently wipe the mesh uppers. This will help remove any remaining surface dirt or stains. Be sure to wring out the cloth or sponge so that it is damp, not dripping wet.
  4. Clean the outsole: Use an old toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush to scrub the outsole of the shoes. Pay close attention to any grooves or traction patterns to ensure all dirt is removed. Rinse the brush frequently to prevent dirt from being transferred back onto the shoes.

Once you have removed the surface dirt, you can move on to the next step: cleaning the mesh uppers of your running shoes.


Cleaning the Mesh

Cleaning the mesh uppers of your running shoes is crucial to restore their cleanliness and breathability. Here’s a step-by-step process to effectively clean the mesh:

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution: Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Mix the solution gently to create a soapy mixture.
  2. Submerge the shoes: Immerse your running shoes in the soapy water, ensuring that the mesh uppers are completely submerged. Allow them to soak for 15-20 minutes. This will help loosen any dirt or stains and soften any dried-on mud.
  3. Gently scrub the mesh: Using a soft-bristled brush or a sponge, gently scrub the mesh uppers in circular motions. Focus on areas that are particularly dirty or stained. Be careful not to scrub too vigorously, as this can damage the mesh.
  4. Pay attention to details: Use an old toothbrush or a soft brush to clean hard-to-reach areas or tight spots, such as the areas around the lace eyelets or the seams. This will ensure a thorough cleaning.
  5. Rinse the shoes: Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water. Make sure to remove all the detergent to prevent any residue from drying on the mesh.
  6. Inspect and repeat if necessary: Take a moment to inspect the shoes and check if there are any remaining stains or dirt. If needed, repeat the cleaning process until you’re satisfied with the results.

Cleaning the mesh of your running shoes will not only enhance their appearance but also maintain their breathability. Once you have finished cleaning, the next step is to tackle any lingering odors that may be present in your shoes.


Removing Lingering Odors

If your running shoes with mesh have developed lingering odors, it’s important to address them to keep your shoes fresh and pleasant to wear. Here are some effective methods to eliminate odors from your shoes:

  1. Air them out: Begin by removing any inserts or insoles from your shoes and let them air out. Place your shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry naturally for several hours. This will help dissipate any trapped odors.
  2. Use baking soda: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside your shoes and leave it overnight. Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties and can help neutralize unpleasant smells. In the morning, simply tap out the excess baking soda.
  3. Try vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the inside and outside of your shoes with the vinegar solution. Vinegar is effective in eliminating bacteria and reducing odors.
  4. Use odor neutralizer products: Consider using specialized odor neutralizing sprays or powders designed for shoes. These products work by neutralizing and eliminating odors at their source.
  5. Place dryer sheets or odor-absorbing packets: Insert dryer sheets or odor-absorbing packets inside your shoes and leave them overnight. These can help absorb any remaining odors and leave your shoes smelling fresh.

Remember to thoroughly air out your shoes and remove any remaining odor neutralizers before wearing them again. These techniques should significantly reduce or eliminate any lingering odors in your running shoes with mesh.


Drying the Shoes

Properly drying your running shoes with mesh is crucial to prevent mold and mildew growth, as well as to maintain their shape and integrity. Here are some steps to ensure effective and safe drying of your shoes:

  1. Remove excess moisture: After cleaning and rinsing your shoes, gently squeeze out any excess water from the mesh uppers. Avoid wringing or twisting the shoes, as this can damage the materials.
  2. Paper towel or microfiber cloth: Stuff the shoes with crumpled paper towels or microfiber cloths to help absorb the moisture and maintain the shape of the shoes. Be sure to change the paper towels or cloths every few hours if they become saturated.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources: Place your shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or high heat sources, such as radiators or heaters. Excessive heat can warp or damage the materials of the shoes.
  4. Allow sufficient drying time: It’s important to be patient and allow your shoes to dry naturally. Depending on the humidity level and airflow, it may take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for your shoes to fully dry.
  5. Check the insoles: If your shoe’s insoles have become damp or soaked during the cleaning process, remove them and allow them to air dry separately. This will help prevent any bacterial buildup and prolong the lifespan of the insoles.
  6. Test for dryness: Before wearing your shoes again, make sure they are completely dry. Gently touch the inside of the shoe and feel for any moisture. If the shoes still feel damp, continue drying them until they are fully dry.

By following these drying techniques, you can ensure that your running shoes with mesh dry thoroughly and maintain their structure and freshness.


Tips and Precautions

Cleaning your running shoes with mesh requires some care and attention to ensure optimal results without damaging the shoes. Here are some additional tips and precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions: Before cleaning your running shoes, check if the manufacturer has provided specific cleaning instructions. Following their guidelines can help protect the integrity of the shoes.
  2. Spot test: If you’re using a new cleaning agent or method, perform a spot test on a less visible area of the shoe to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage to the mesh material.
  3. Avoid machine washing: While it may be convenient, machine washing can be too harsh for running shoes. Excessive agitation can damage the mesh and compromise the shoe’s structure.
  4. Don’t immerse the whole shoe: Only the mesh uppers need to be cleaned. Avoid submerging the entire shoe, as this can damage adhesives or affect other materials like leather or suede.
  5. Avoid excessive brushing: While brushing is necessary to remove dirt, be gentle to avoid damaging the mesh fibers. Scrubbing too vigorously can cause the mesh to fray or tear.
  6. Dry in a well-ventilated area: Proper airflow is essential for drying the shoes effectively and preventing the growth of mold or mildew. Avoid drying them in enclosed spaces or near damp areas.
  7. Regular maintenance: To prevent excessive dirt buildup and odors, make it a habit to clean your running shoes regularly, especially after intense workouts or outdoor activities.
  8. Store shoes properly: When not in use, store your running shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help maintain their shape and prevent moisture buildup.
  9. Replace when necessary: If your running shoes show significant wear and tear, consider replacing them. Worn-out shoes can affect your running performance and may lead to discomfort or injuries.

Following these tips and taking necessary precautions will help you keep your running shoes with mesh clean, fresh, and in good condition for longer periods.



Keeping your running shoes with mesh clean and fresh is essential not only for their appearance but also for their performance and longevity. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help preserve the breathability, structural integrity, and overall hygiene of your shoes.

In this article, we have outlined a step-by-step guide on how to clean running shoes with mesh uppers. From gathering the necessary supplies to removing surface dirt, cleaning the mesh, eliminating lingering odors, and properly drying the shoes, each step plays an important role in ensuring a thorough and effective cleaning process.

Remember to take the necessary precautions, such as spot testing new cleaning methods, avoiding excessive brushing, and drying the shoes in a well-ventilated area. Additionally, regular maintenance and proper storage will help prolong the lifespan of your running shoes.

By following these guidelines and incorporating these cleaning techniques into your routine, you can keep your running shoes with mesh looking and performing their best. Not only will your shoes maintain their fresh appearance, but you’ll also enjoy a more comfortable and odor-free running experience.

So, lace up your freshly cleaned running shoes and hit the road with confidence, knowing that your trusted footwear is in top shape to support you on your running adventures.