How To Clean Volleyball Shoes

How to clean volleyball shoes in 05 steps

Cleaning of volleyball shoes is not only linked to their appearance; it is equally important for longevity and preventing loss of traction while playing on the court. I certainly notice when my shoes aren’t clean – the grip and stability seem to suffer during play compared to a fresh, clean pair.

As an avid volleyball player, it’s crucial to recognize that your shoes go through a lot when you’re on the court. They are designed to grip rough surfaces, and because of that, volleyball shoes easily accumulate dirt and debris that can affect your performance.

After understanding the importance of proper cleaning for your volleyball shoes, you may be wondering what techniques and products you need to thoroughly clean them without causing harm.

Additionally, as a player, you may be questioning yourself about how often you should clean them. Which parts of the shoe to focus on, and when it’s safe to put them in the washing machine?

If you don’t know the answers to how to clean volleyball shoes, let this comprehensive guide provide the details you need to care for your volleyball shoes properly.

Keeping volleyball shoes clean is important for several reasons:

  • Hygiene -Volleyball shoes accumulate dirt, bacteria, and odors from contact with gym floors, outdoor courts, grass, and more during play. Regular cleaning helps eliminate shoe smell and germs.
  • Traction – Built-up debris on the sole tread pattern can make shoes dangerously slippery. Cleaning maintains friction and safe traction.
  • Prevention – Dirt and dust abrading the shoe fabric day after day causes faster breakdown of the materials. Cleaning increases durability.
  • Performance – With clean shoe fabric and soles, players can move, jump, and play at their highest level without shoes holding them back.
  • Longevity – Thorough cleaning after each use extends the usable lifespan of volleyball shoes by years in some cases.
  • Appearance – Well-kept shoes maintain the style and design over years of play.

Safely getting volleyball shoes back to like-new condition with regular cleaning is easy with the right materials and techniques. Doing so is well worth it!

Following the proper techniques and using the right materials is key to safely cleaning your volleyball shoes without causing excess wear or damage.

Here is a list of materials needed for effective and safe cleaning of volleyball shoes.

  • Mild liquid detergent or gentle soap
  • Old toothbrush or other soft-bristle scrub brush
  • White toothpaste (for whitening shoe fabric)
  • A small bowl of warm water
  • Clean cloths or soft towels
  • Cotton swabs (for hard-to-reach areas)
  • Old newspaper (to stuff shoes to retain shape while drying)
  • Mesh or garment bag (for delicate machine washing)
  • Leather cleaner or conditioner (for leather shoe uppers)
  • Soft-bristle detailing brush (for shoe soles and crevices)
  • Sneaker cleaning solution (optional for tough stains)
  • Clothes drying rack (for air drying shoes)
  • Shoelaces (replacement if current ones are too dirty)
  • Microfiber glove or cloth (for gentle scrubbing)

Before cleaning volleyball shoes it’s equally important to know the material used in the construction of volleyball shoes. This is because the different shoe materials used in shoe construction require different levels of precaution and cleaning methods.

For details about the material and anatomy of volleyball shoes read my article on What are volleyball shoes?

Following the key steps for properly cleaning your volleyball shoes, after each use, will maintain their performance, longevity, and value to your game over years of play.

How to clean volleyball shoes in 05 steps

Step:01 – Remove Loose Debris

  • Before deep cleaning, you’ll want to remove any loose dirt or debris on the surface of your shoes.
  • I like to start by using a soft brush or toothbrush to gently brush away any dried mud, large dust particles, grass, hair, or other debris.
  • Removing this grit and surface-level grime first prevents it from grinding deeper into the material during the wash.

Step: 02 – Wash With Mild Detergent

The next step is washing your shoes with a mild detergent. I prefer to hand wash volleyball shoes to ensure a gentle clean. Here is how i do:

  • Start by getting a bucket and putting lukewarm water in it. Add a little bit of detergent that doesn’t have bleach in it.
  • You’ll want one that won’t damage shoe materials. I mix up a solution that’s sudsy but not overpowering.
  • Now, take a soft-bristled brush and damp cloth and start scrubbing away built-up dirt and stains.
  • Make sure to reach every tiny space, especially focusing on the bottoms where dirt tends to collect.
  • I also target any visibly dirty areas on the uppers but scrub gently to avoid scuffing. The warm, soapy water will help lift away ingrained dirt and oils. 
  • Once finished scrubbing, thoroughly rinse your shoes under running water.
  • Check closely that all detergent bubbles are gone.
  • Then, gently blot dry with a towel.

Now your shoes are clean and prepped for spot stain removal!

Step:03 – Spot Clean Stubborn Stains

After a thorough wash, some stubborn stains may still remain on your volleyball shoes. To fix these stains without hurting your material, use homemade mixtures and solutions.

  • I like to start by making a scrubbing paste of baking soda and water. The baking soda is like a soft scrub that can lift discoloration without scrubbing too hard. 
  • Gently rub it onto any remaining stains using your fingers or a very soft cloth. The friction from light scrubbing combined with the baking soda will help break down stubborn grime.
  • Wait for 5-10 minutes to let the vinegar work and remove the discoloration. Once done, you can very gently wipe away the stain – avoid vigorous scrubbing, as vinegar can damage some shoe materials.

Step:04 – Disinfect / Deodorize With Baking Soda

After cleaning, it’s important to disinfect and deodorize your volleyball shoes to keep them fresh and prevent bacterial buildup. One of my favorite tricks is using baking soda.

  • Just pour a good amount of baking soda into each shoe until they are completely covered. I focus on getting it into every nook and corner.
  • The baking soda will help absorb odors and neutralize bacteria and fungi that cause unpleasant scents.
  • Let the baking soda sit for 10-15 minutes to work its magic. As it sits, it will continue disinfecting and deodorizing your shoes from the inside out.
  • I like to set a timer and do other tasks, then come back once timed.
  • After 10-15 minutes, simply tilt your shoes upside down and tap out the baking soda over a trash can.
  • You’ll be amazed at the odors and bacteria this simple powder removed!

Step:05 – Allow to Fully Air Dry

After cleaning your volleyball shoes, it’s crucial to let them fully air dry before wearing or storing them. I like to stuff each shoe with a soft cloth or towel to help retain its shape as it dries.

  • Make sure to use a clean cloth that won’t transfer any colors. Stuff the shoes fully without overstretching them.
  • Place the stuffed shoes in a breezy place away from the sun to let them dry.
  • Direct sun can damage shoe materials and cause uneven fading. I put mine near a window or under a cooling rack. The key is choosing a spot with good airflow all around the shoes.
  • As the shoes dry, rotate the clothes inside every few hours. The cloths will absorb moisture to speed up drying time.
  • Make sure to fully dry the insides before wearing them again. If needed, use new dry cloths to catch any remaining dampness. 

With the proper airflow and rotation of internal cloth, your volleyball shoes should dry within 12-24 hours. But be patient – properly air-dried shoes will last longer and perform better game after game.

RecommendedNot Recommended
Handwash with a small amount of mild detergentMachine wash
Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub stainsUse harsh scrub brushes that could damage material
Apply toothpaste to lift stains on white areasSoak shoes for long periods
Rinse shoes thoroughly after washingPut shoes in the dryer
Allow shoes to air dry fully before next wearWear shoes before they are fully dried
Check shoe materials before cleaning to determine best methodUse chemical cleaners that could damage shoes
Spot clean stubborn stainsOver scrub a single area causing damage
Assess shoe wear before cleaning to prevent damageImmerse leather shoes in water
Use mesh bags for delicate machine washingDry clean shoes without checking care instructions

My simple yet effective method for keeping the white areas of my volleyball shoes clean and pristine ensures they look great on the court.


I start by rinsing my shoes and wiping the white areas with a cloth to remove any loose dirt after wearing them. Getting into the mesh and crevices ensures I remove all buildup.

Applying toothpaste

Next, I apply a generous amount of white toothpaste to cover the white leather and mesh on my shoes fully. I make sure to cover every spot needing cleaning.

Drying Time

I let the toothpaste dry and harden on my shoes for at least 6 hours before scrubbing. This allows the ingredients time to lift stains.


Once dried, I take an old toothbrush and gently scrub away stains and dried toothpaste. The abrasives lift discoloration without damaging my shoes’ leather.


I then rinse my shoes under cool water, getting into all the crevices to wash away the toothpaste and grime.


After rinsing, I wipe my shoes with a clean towel and allow them to air dry for 24 hours before wearing them again.

Spot Cleaning

For any remaining white spots, I repeat the toothpaste process, paying special attention to those areas.

Following these steps helps me safely clean and whiten my volleyball shoes using items I already have at home. Remember, letting the toothpaste fully dry before scrubbing is key to lifting stains.

While it may be tempting to throw your volleyball shoes in the washing machine simply, this can damage them over time.

  • The harsh detergents and aggressive agitation can wear down leather and fabrics. Instead, it’s best to handwash shoes gently using a small amount of mild detergent and a soft brush.
  • Let the shoes completely dry in the air before putting them on again. Select water-safe shoes if machine washing is non-negotiable. Though convenient, machine washing risks premature breakdown of materials and shrinkage over many cycles.
  • For longevity, delicate handwashing is the best practice for most volleyball shoes.

When it comes to keeping your volleyball shoes fresh and performing at their best, proper cleaning is essential.

This is true regardless of the brand, whether it’s Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, or Asics. Some shoes might suggest they can be washed in a washing machine, but it’s best to avoid the washing machine, especially if the shoes are new.

The intense agitation can be rough on materials and lead to premature breakdown. Some of the easy steps to clean branded shoes like Nike are the following:

Assessing the Shoes

When cleaning my Nike volleyball shoes, I first assess the materials. Some models have leather or soft mesh that requires gentle cleaning. I check the wear on my shoes to determine if they can withstand scrubbing.

Preparing to Clean

Before cleaning, I wipe my Nike shoes with a damp cloth to remove loose dirt. I never put them directly into the washing machine.

Using Toothpaste

To lift stains, I apply white toothpaste, as mentioned above, on the white areas of my shoes and allow it to dry completely before gently scrubbing with an old toothbrush.


Once I’ve scrubbed the dried paste off, I rinse my Nike shoes under cool water, getting into all mesh crevices.

Drying and Monitoring

After rinsing, I dry my shoes with a towel and allow them 24 hours to completely air dry while monitoring for residual stains. I may spot clean again if needed.

My tried-and-true tips for cleaning volleyball shoes. Applying them will keep your shoes in prime condition for peak on-court performance.

  • Be sure to assess the shoe construction and labels to determine cleaning needs.
  • Hand wash shoes with delicate uppers and linings
  • Machine washing is okay for durable shoes with leather or synthetic uppers
  • Avoid soaking shoes for long periods to prevent damage
  • Always test cleaning products on a small, hidden area first
  • Replace laces if they become too dirty from scrubbing
  • Use soft-bristled brushes and gentle cloths only
  • Clean shoes regularly to prevent buildup of dirt and stains
  • Weekly cleaning is recommended for the best results
  • Keeping shoes clean extends their lifespan

Wrapping it Up

As you can see, properly cleaning your hard-working volleyball shoes involves much more than just tossing them in the wash. By following the techniques I outlined, you can give your shoes a deep clean without causing any damage. Taking the time to thoroughly clean your shoes by hand will remove built-up grime for better traction and extend the life of the materials.
I know my shoes feel and perform like brand new after a good cleaning session. Well-cared-for volleyball shoes that are gently cleaned regularly will last season after season before needing replacement. Use these steps, and soon you’ll have your shoes looking clean and performing optimally again..

How often should I clean my volleyball shoes?

You should aim to clean your volleyball shoes at least once a week to remove dirt buildup and bacteria. Cleaning them regularly keeps them performing well and extends their lifespan.

Can I put my shoes in the washing machine?

You can machine wash more durable volleyball shoes with leather or synthetic uppers. Use the gentle/delicate cycle and air dry completely. Hand washing is best for shoes with delicate linings and materials.

What cleaning products can I safely use?

Stick to mild detergents, warm water, baking soda, white vinegar, soft brushes, and clothes. Avoid harsh chemicals, strong commercial cleaners, and anything abrasive.

How do I clean the soles?

Use a soft brush and mild detergent to scrub the soles. Rinse thoroughly. Spot clean with baking soda paste. Avoid wire brushes or other abrasives.

My shoes have a bad odor – how do I remove it?

Inside the shoes, add a bit of baking soda and leave it for 10-15 minutes before dumping it out. It will absorb odors and deodorize the interior.

Why can’t I put my shoes in the dryer?

The high heat of the dryer can damage shoe materials, cause glue to melt, and ruin the shape. Always air-dry volleyball shoes naturally.

Similar Posts