Restore Sneaker Colors Using Everyday Items

Sneakers, those everyday companions that take us through miles of memories, often lose their vibrant luster over time. However, there’s no need to bid farewell to your favorite pair just yet. In this article, we’re diving into a simple, yet effective method to breathe new life into your sneakers, restoring their bright colors using readily available household products (if you prefer ready made cleaner, check this one that I have used too). This economical and eco-friendly approach not only brings back the charm of your worn-out kicks but also emphasizes the joy of DIY solutions in maintaining your cherished footwear. Let’s get started on this journey of transformation, turning those faded sneakers back into eye-catching statements of style.

You Will Need:

  • Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and Laundry Detergent
  • Toothbrush (I use a small soft bristle cleaning brush): For scrubbing small, hard-to-reach areas.
  • Cloth or Sponge: For general cleaning, I don’t use that sponge for anything else… don’t forget what you might have stepped in..
  • Warm Water: To create cleaning solutions.
  • Paper Towels or Old Newspapers: For stuffing the sneakers to maintain shape while drying.
  • Optional: Hydrogen Peroxide or Lemon Juice: Works nicely for those extra stubborn stain removal.


  • Create the Cleaning Paste:
    • Mix 2 parts baking soda, 1 part laundry detergent, and a bit of warm water.
    • For the tough stains, you can add a little of the hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice to the mix. 
  • Be extra cautious with leather; use a leather cleaner instead of the baking soda mixture.
  • Remove Excess Dirt: Start by brushing off any loose dirt from your sneakers, or rinse with a brush under running water. 
  • Apply the Paste:
    • Use the toothbrush to apply the paste onto the fabric, scrubbing gently.
    • Focus on stained areas but be careful with colored fabrics as harsh scrubbing might fade the colors especially around the edges.
  • Vinegar for Tough Stains:
    • If stains persist, apply a mixture of white vinegar and water.
    • Use a cloth or sponge to dab the mixture onto the stains.
  • Rinse: After scrubbing, rinse the sneakers with a damp cloth or small stream of running water to remove the paste.
  • Dry the Sneakers:
    • Stuff them with paper towels or old newspapers to maintain their shape.
    • Air dry the shoes away from direct sunlight to prevent color fading. I put the shoes near a heater vent but not directing in front so there isn’t a blast of heat but there is air movement.
    • After the shoes dry, if you notice a white residue, it is the baking soda which can be gently brushed off.

A Couple Extra Items:

  • Test on Small Area: Before applying any solution, test it on a small, inconspicuous area.
  • Do Not Use Bleach: Bleach can be harsh on sneakers and may cause discoloration, especially on colored fabrics.

Regular cleaning not only keeps your sneakers looking bright and fresh but also extends their life and pop in photo shoots. Remember, different materials may require different cleaning methods, so adjust accordingly.

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