How to Wash Stan Smiths

Stan Smith sneakers, an iconic creation by Adidas, have transcended their tennis roots to become a staple in everyday fashion. Renowned for their minimalistic design and comfort, maintaining their pristine condition can be a challenge, especially with regular wear.

How to Wash Stan Smiths

In this guide on how to wash stan smiths, we’ll introduce you to the essentials of cleaning Stan Smiths, ensuring they stay as fresh and stylish as the day you bought them. Whether you’re dealing with dirt, scuffs, or just routine maintenance, we’ve got you covered with tips and tricks to keep your sneakers looking their best.

What is Special About Stan Smiths?

Stan Smiths are made from high-quality leather, with a classic low-top design and signature green detailing on the heel. The clean and simple silhouette allows for effortless pairing with almost any outfit. Additionally, the shoes feature a soft terry cloth lining for added comfort.

One of the factors that sets Stan Smith apart is their versatility. Whether you’re heading to the gym, running errands or going out with friends, these sneakers are a perfect choice. But with frequent use, they can get dirty and lose their shine. That’s why it’s essential to know how to properly wash them.

You may be hesitant to wash your Stan Smiths, fearing you might damage them or ruin their shape. However, with the right techniques and products, cleaning these sneakers can be a breeze.

Why Should You Wash Your Stan Smiths?

Cleaning your Stan Smiths regularly not only helps to maintain their appearance but also prolongs their lifespan. Leaving dirt and grime on the shoes can cause discoloration, scuff marks, and even deterioration of the materials over time.

Washing your sneakers also removes bacteria and odors that may be trapped in the fabric, keeping them fresh and hygienic. Plus, clean shoes can boost your confidence and make you feel better about wearing them.

It’s recommended to wash your Stan Smiths every two to three weeks, depending on how often you wear them. However, if they get dirty or scuffed before then, it’s best to clean them immediately.

Wash Your Stan Smiths Every Two to Three Weeks

What You’ll Need

Before we dive into the cleaning process, here’s a list of items you’ll need to get started:

Soft-bristled Brush:

This will help remove any surface dirt or stains from your sneakers without damaging the leather.

Mild Detergent:

Avoid using harsh chemicals that can strip away the natural oils of the leather. Instead, opt for a mild detergent specifically designed for leather products.

Clean Cloth:

A soft, clean cloth is crucial for wiping away excess water and product while cleaning your Stan Smiths.


For tougher stains or hard-to-reach areas, a toothbrush can come in handy.

10 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Wash Stan Smiths

Step 1: Remove Laces and Insoles

Start by removing the shoelaces and insoles from your Stan Smiths. This will allow you to clean them thoroughly without causing any damage. It also allows the shoes to dry faster. The laces and insoles can be washed separately using mild soap and water. But if they’re heavily soiled or damaged, it’s best to replace them. It’s recommended that these accessories be washed and replaced every few months.

Step 2: Brush Away Surface Dirt

Using a soft-bristled brush, gently remove any surface dirt or stains from your sneakers. Be sure to brush in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the leather. It’s essential to do this step to prevent dirt from embedding into the leather during the washing process.

You can also use the toothbrush for harder to reach areas. If your sneakers have scuffs or marks, you can use a melamine foam sponge (magic eraser) to gently buff them out.

You Can Also Use the Toothbrush

Step 3: Mix Detergent with Water

Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing a small amount of mild detergent with lukewarm water. Ensure the detergent is properly diluted, creating a gentle soapy mixture. It’s important to use lukewarm water as hot water can damage the leather or alter the shoes’ color.

The ratio of detergent to water should be minimal; a few drops of detergent to a bowl of water is usually sufficient. This mixture will be used to clean the leather without stripping it of its natural oils. It’s recommended to test a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe before proceeding.

Step 4: Dip Cloth or Toothbrush into Cleaning Solution

Gently dip a soft, clean cloth or a toothbrush into the prepared cleaning solution. If using a cloth, wring it out slightly to ensure it’s damp but not soaking wet. This will prevent excess water from saturating the leather and potentially damaging it.

When using a toothbrush, lightly dip the bristles into the solution to avoid overwetting. This step is crucial for applying the cleaning mixture to the sneakers in a controlled and gentle manner, facilitating effective cleaning without harming the material.

Step 5: Clean the Leather Uppers

Begin cleaning the leather uppers by gently rubbing the damp cloth or toothbrush in circular motions over the surface. Focus on areas that are particularly dirty or have noticeable stains. If you encounter stubborn stains, apply a bit more pressure with the toothbrush to target these spots effectively, but always be cautious not to scratch or damage the leather.

For consistent results, ensure you treat the entire surface area of both shoes so they dry uniformly without water spots or streaks. After you have thoroughly cleaned the leather, use a different, clean, dry cloth to wipe away any excess moisture or residue from the cleaning solution. This step is crucial for preventing any water stains on the leather as it dry.

Step 6: Clean the Soles

After attending to the leather uppers, the next step focuses on the soles. Turn your Stan Smiths over and use the soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to tackle any dirt, grime, or stuck-on debris present on the bottom of the shoes. For the best results, you may need to dip the brush into the soapy water mixture before scrubbing.

The Next Step Focuses on the Soles

Be thorough, paying special attention to the crevices and patterns on the soles where dirt tends to accumulate. Rinse the brush as needed to remove the dirt it picks up, and continue scrubbing until the soles are clean.

In cases of persistent stains or marks on the soles, a small amount of baking soda mixed with water can be applied for a more robust cleaning solution. Once the soles are satisfactorily clean, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue and leave them to air dry.

Step 7: Rinse the Leather Uppers

Once you’ve finished cleaning the leather uppers with the detergent solution, it’s important to remove any soap residue. Take a clean, damp cloth and gently wipe the surface of your Stan Smiths. Make sure the cloth is only slightly moist to avoid saturating the leather. Rinse the cloth frequently in clean water and continue wiping the shoes until all traces of soap have been removed.

This step ensures that no detergent remains on the leather, as leftover soap can attract dirt and may cause the material to degrade over time. After rinsing, take another dry, soft cloth and gently pat the uppers to remove excess moisture before allowing them to air dry.

Step 8: Air Dry the Shoes

The drying process is crucial to avoid damaging your Stan Smiths. Never use heat sources such as a hairdryer or radiator, as these can cause the leather to crack or warp. Instead, place the shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Stuff them with newspaper or paper towels to help maintain their shape and absorb excess moisture. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again. This may take a few hours, so be patient.

Step 9: Re-lace and Re-insert the Insoles

After your Stan Smiths are completely dry, it’s time to put the finishing touches on. Start by re-lacing your shoes. It can be a good opportunity to try a new lacing style or to simply go back to the original method. Make sure the laces are evenly pulled through each eyelet to ensure a comfortable fit.

Next, re-insert the insoles. If they were washed or replaced, make sure they are completely dry before putting them back into the shoes. This step not only completes the cleaning process but also guarantees that your Stan Smiths are ready and comfortable for your next wear. 

Make Sure They Are Completely Dry

Step 10: Store Your Shoes Properly

Once your Stan Smiths are clean and dry, it’s essential to store them correctly to maintain their quality. Place them in a well-ventilated area with moderate temperature and humidity levels, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. It’s also important to store your sneakers in a way that maintains their shape – either by stuffing them or using shoe trees. This will prevent the leather from cracking or warping over time.

Following these steps on how to wash stan smiths will help you keep your Stan Smiths in top condition, ensuring they look great and last for many years to come. Remember to clean them regularly, especially after heavy use or exposure to dirt or moisture. This will not only keep them looking fresh but also extend their lifespan, making sure you get the most out of your beloved sneakers.

Post-Wash Care and Maintenance

After thoroughly cleaning and drying your Stan Smiths, implementing a consistent post-wash care routine can significantly extend their lifespan and keep them looking their best. Here are a few key maintenance tips to consider:


Regularly apply a leather conditioner to the uppers. This helps keep the leather supple, prevents cracking, and restores natural oils lost during the cleaning process. Be sure to use a conditioner suitable for sneaker leather and apply it sparingly with a soft cloth.


Consider using a water and stain-repellent spray designed for leather shoes. This will help protect against water damage and staining from spills. It’s important to apply this protectant in a well-ventilated area and allow the shoes to dry completely before wearing.


Avoid wearing your Stan Smiths daily. Rotating them with other shoes can prevent excessive wear and tear and give them ample time to air out, which is essential for maintaining the interior condition of the shoe.

Odor Control:

To keep your sneakers smelling fresh, consider using odor-controlling inserts or sachets. Natural options like cedar shoe trees can absorb moisture and odors, leaving a pleasant scent.

Cedar Shoe Trees Can Absorb Moisture

Spot Cleaning: In between deep cleans, quickly address any spills or stains to prevent them from setting. A damp cloth can remove most fresh stains if caught early enough.

Implementing these post-wash care and maintenance steps ensures your Stan Smiths remain a durable and stylish part of your wardrobe for years to come.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of maintaining and caring for your Stan Smiths or any leather sneakers can vary depending on the products you choose and how often you perform your maintenance routine. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs:

Leather Cleaner and Conditioner:

A good quality cleaner and conditioner combo can cost anywhere between $10 to $25. These are essential for keeping the leather in top condition.

Water and Stain Repellent Spray:

Prices range from $10 to $20. This is a smart investment to protect your shoes from the elements.

Soft Clothes and Brushes:

If you don’t already have these at home, a set can be purchased for under $10.

Baking Soda or Specialty Odor Eliminators:

Expect to spend $5 to $15 for products that can help control odor inside your shoes.

Replacement Laces:

If you need new laces, these can cost between $2 to $10, depending on the type and quality.

Shoe Trees:

For those opting for cedar shoe trees, prices can range from $10 to $30. These are not essential but can help maintain the shape of your shoes and control odor.

Maintain the Shape of Your Shoes

In total, the initial set-up for a comprehensive cleaning and maintenance kit could cost around $50 to $100, with many of these products lasting for multiple cleaning sessions. Considering the cost of replacing well-worn or poorly maintained sneakers, this investment not only keeps your Stan Smiths looking great but is cost-effective in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Wash Stan Smiths in the Washing Machine?

A: While it is possible to wash Stan Smiths in a washing machine, we do not recommend it. The agitation and heat from the machine can damage the leather and cause the shoes to lose their shape. Additionally, some detergents or cleaning products may not be suitable for use in a washing machine and could potentially harm the material. Hand-washing is the safest and most effective method for cleaning Stan Smiths.

Q: How Often Should I Clean My Stan Smiths?

A: It is recommended to clean your Stan Smiths regularly, especially after heavy use or exposure to dirt or moisture. This will not only keep them looking fresh but also prevent any buildup of dirt or debris that could potentially damage the material over time.

Q: Can I Use Any Cleaning Products on My Stan Smiths?

A: No, it is important to use a cleaning solution specifically designed for leather when cleaning your Stan Smiths. Using harsh chemicals or household cleaners may damage the leather and cause discoloration or deterioration of the material. It is best to stick to gentle detergents or mild soap for best results.

Q: How Do I Remove Stubborn Stains on My Stan Smiths?

A: For stubborn stains, mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a paste and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush. Rinse with clean water and repeat if necessary. For tough stains, it may be best to seek professional cleaning services to avoid damaging the material.

Q: How Do I Care for the Soles of My Stan Smiths?

A: To care for the soles, use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any dirt or debris. For tougher stains, a small amount of baking soda mixed with water can be used for a more thorough cleaning. Rinse the brush frequently and continue scrubbing until the soles are clean. Wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue and air dry completely before wearing again.

Air Dry Completely Before Wearing Again


Maintaining the condition of your Stan Smiths not only preserves their aesthetic appeal but also extends their lifespan, ensuring that they remain a versatile and stylish component of your wardrobe for years to come. By following the detailed steps on how to wash stan smiths provided—from cleaning to drying to proper storage—you can keep your sneakers looking as good as new.

Regular care prevents the accumulation of dirt and reduces wear and tear, reinforcing the importance of taking the time to properly maintain your shoes. Remember, the effort you invest in caring for your Stan Smiths reflects not only in their appearance but also in their performance and durability over time.

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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