In today’s sneaker lover guide, I’ll talk about the best sneaker cleaner you can get yourself right now and forget about your shoe maintenance nightmares.
However, there’s a bit more I’d like to talk about with you.
All these “groundbreaking” sneaker cleaning kits available can confuse people a lot of times, while some other hoopers or sneakerheads don’t even bother investing in a proper kit and think the old-school barebone style methods are all it’s needed.
And they might be right, there are always two sides to the coin!
That’s what I’d like to explore today while providing relevant insight into what I personally think works best and what methods, what’s the best sneaker cleaner you can get right now, some alternatives, and what you need to look for when shopping for one.
Let’s get rolling!
DO YOU EVEN NEED A SNEAKER CLEANING KIT?
I’d first like to point out that I am also a huge fan of the old-school basic sneaker cleaning methods with a good old detergent and a sponge to take care of my shoes quickly and easily.
I’ve actually written a guide on the simple process of cleaning your sneakers without spending an extra dime. You can check it out right here.
However, I also do own and tested several aftermarket sneaker cleaners or sneaker cleaning kits, and I would be lying if I told you none of them work.
So, do you really need one, or it’s best and hassle-free to just stick with the basics and clean your kicks the free way?
The answer is quite cliched but it’s just true – both work, however, you get what you pay for, and if you’re someone who can invest $10-$30 per a few months, I do recommend going with a quality sneaker cleaner.
Sure, you can definitely use the process I’ve detailed in the guide above and it will work wonders for most shoes.
But the thing about sneaker cleaners, is they use dedicated chemicals that are designed to not damage the shoe in any way, the detergent is specifically made for sneakers which not always have sturdy materials.
And you also get yourself all the tools in the world that you need to perform either quick and easy or deep cleaning for your shoes if you’re getting a full kit that is.
Different brushes, pieces of cloth, different solutions, shoe bags, you name it.
However, it’s always up to you – I’d simply recommend weighing the benefits of a sneaker cleaner and make a decision.
HOWEVER, I personally think that one, if you can afford to spend 10-30 bucks each few months, and two, you own more than a couple of pairs of sneakers that are valuable both financially and personally to you,
Then I do recommend getting a sneaker cleaner.
Let’s break down what we should look for when getting one…
KEY COMPONENTS TO SHOPPING FOR A CLEANER
I’d like to tell you that this part is really not complicated, as there are only a couple of actually relevant things you need to be keeping an eye for when shopping for a kit.
First, make sure the cleaner offers at least one dedicated brush for your shoes. Some cheaper cleaners only provide a bottle of solution + cloth to wipe the shoe, but the brush is a critical tool when taking care of stubborn stains.
These are especially tough to clean on today’s athletic shoes that often use synthetic materials, mesh, or some kind of engrained surface that just welcomes stains to sneak through deeper into the material.
Second, you will want to check around the cleaner’s capacity and how many pairs you can roughly clean before it runs out.
There are a lot of cleaners that boast about a large bottle but you then naturally need to apply more of it to do good work to the sneakers.
While on the other hand, there are some which offer a pretty compact bottle but it’s enough for even a hundred pairs.
Make sure to find something that can offer at least 60-70+ pairs of cleaning per bottle – I’d say that’s pretty efficient from that point.
Another small tip would be to make sure the sneaker cleaning solution starts foaming quickly when starting to clean – if your cleaner barely foams or you really need to get into it before it does, chances are the stuff used inside isn’t that strong, even for a delicate sneaker sometimes.
Lastly, for some bonus insight – check around user’s reviews on Amazon, read up dedicated cleaner reviews from actual people, and make sure to actually form an educated opinion on it. There are a lot of brand-make articles or sponsored ones that give huge props to a product but in reality, it’s not that much better than the competition.
That’s all you should look for pretty much – the other marketing stuff, you can ignore. It’s usually not much help and having actual experience on the product or doing some research are the only two things you should be concerned with.
Now, let’s talk about my top 3 best sneaker cleaners!
THE BEST SNEAKER CLEANERS
Includes: 2.5 oz. or 4.25 oz. cleaning solution with a sponge-top brush
I’ve picked this at number three for two reasons – this is a very budget-friendly option that won’t break the bank at
all and it actually works well for a relatively low-tier sponge-top solution.
It comes in either a 2.5 oz. or a 4.25 oz. bottle. You can also get KIWI’s sneaker protector and sneaker deodorizer solutions separately if you want, but the main focus here is the cleaner.
Stick to the 4.25 oz. option, I’d say – it will be enough for 60-80 pairs.
It’s a great entry-level option for those who’d like to try out a cheaper cleaner – this one took care of most weaker-medium level stains for me.
However, for more stubborn stains that need deeper cleaning, some kind of brush will be needed, so keep that in mind.
+ Very cheap compared to the competition
+ Fairly long-lasting
+ The bottle comes with a sponge-top, so cleaning medium-level stains will be quick and easy
– Does not come with any brushes, cloths or other equipment
– Not the best for very stubborn stains, and where more delicate touches are needed
Essential kit includes: 4 oz. cleaning solution + brush
This is the most premium sneaker cleaner you can probably get. The reason I haven’t mentioned specifically what it includes is that it comes in several different variants, which is really cool.
You can get only the sneaker cleaning solution for $18 if you already have some tools to get started, or you can get the complete premium bundle for $65. Or perhaps the essential kit for $16.
I think the essential kit is the best for those who don’t want to spend too much but also reap all the main benefits of this great cleaning kit.
The kit includes a 4 oz. cleaning solution bottle and a versatile brush for most shoe types.
One thing that’s awesome about the cleaner is it’s really long-lasting. The 4 oz. bottle can be enough for over a hundred pairs of sneakers.
I found this cleaner to be the most versatile and one of the most effective, even for really stubborn stains. Leather, nubuck, synthetics, or knits – this one will have you covered for real.
It starts foaming really quickly and takes care of the lighter stains pretty much immediately. For more stubborn stains, the brush will handle the load, and I can say it’s definitely as versatile as it can get, without spending extra on more variants.
+ Comes with one brush that works with most materials
+ Very efficient – 100 pairs per 4 oz.
+ All natural & biodegradable
– Only one brush and one bottle for a kit
#1 PICK – RESHOEVN8R
Essential kit includes: 4 oz. cleaning solution + soft bristle brush + medium bristle brush + stiff bristle brush + microfiber towel
This is definitely the most complete, and also the most popular cleaner, thanks to its extensive marketing.
However, the price will depend on the variant as well, as this one comes in many different options, but it’s pretty much the most expensive out of the three.
I’ve picked the essential kit as the main attraction for most users, as it comes with enough weapons to knock off all the dirt and stains from any material.
Chances are, some of you might have seen the brand’s YouTube videos, where they take a random torn up pair of sneakers and restore it as much as possible with the cleaning kit.
The videos really sell it but from personal experience, this thing REALLY works!
You get three brushes – the soft one will mostly be for knit and soft synthetic mesh, the medium will be for something like synthetic fuse, leather, or nubuck. You will use the stiff bristle brush mostly for cleaning your shoe’s midsoles or gently apply it to extremely stubborn spots, where the other brushes can’t handle them.
The pure performance in terms of cleaning the shoes is simply the best on this one, and this is usually my go-to option.
Of course, there will be some slight drawbacks – the efficiency of the cleaner isn’t the best. The 4 oz. bottle will last you 30-50 uses, and for a $30 price tag (essential kit), this isn’t as good as it can get.
You’ll have to consider if this one fits your budget but if it does – I’d definitely grab this one as the best solution out there.
+ The best cleaning solution for any shoe
+ Comes with three brushes + a microfiber cloth to wipe the shoe
+ Comes in many different options ranging from $16 to $90
– Not the best efficiency – 30-50 pairs per 4 oz. bottle
– The priciest option out of the three
Still not convinced on the idea of sneaker cleaners?
Alright, I hope you enjoyed the guide and found it useful! I’m always hyped to give you informative, no B.S. guides to propel the knowledge of fellow players & sneakerheads!
Perhaps you got any questions? Feel like sharing your own experience with a certain cleaner?