How to Clean Trainers with Baking Soda for a Fresh and New Look (2023)

dirty trainers cover

Dirty trainers giving off a foul smell and looking worn out?

Don’t rush to buy new ones just yet! With the power of baking soda, you can effortlessly restore your trainers to their former glory and save money in the process.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll show you the step-by-step process of using baking soda to wash and deodorize your old trainers.

Let’s begin.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Basin or bucket
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Mild detergent
clean trainers what you need

Steps to Clean Your Trainers:

1. Prepare Your Trainers: Start by removing the insoles and shoelaces from your trainers. This will ensure a thorough and effective cleaning process.

remove insoles and laces

2. Create the Baking Soda Paste: Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water to form a powerful cleaning paste.

make paste

3. Scrub Away Dirt and Stains: Take an old toothbrush and gently scrub the uppers and soles of your trainers with the baking soda paste. This will remove stubborn dirt and stains, revitalizing their appearance.

scrub trainers

4. Soak Your Trainers: In a basin or bucket, combine 1/2 cup of baking soda with enough water to soak your trainers. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the shoelaces and insoles with mild detergent and water.

soak trainers

5. Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking, rinse your trainers with cold water to ensure all traces of baking soda are removed.

rinse trainers

6. Dry Properly: Hang your trainers outside to dry, but avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade colors and damage the uppers. Let them dry completely before wearing them.

Cleaning Shoelaces and Insoles:

1. Wash the shoelaces and insoles with water and mild detergent to remove any grime or odor.

wash insoles and shoelaces

2. Rinse them thoroughly with cold water.

rinse insoles and shoelaces

3. Hang them to dry in indirect sunlight, ensuring they are completely dry before reassembling your trainers.

Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting Trainers:

  1. Clean Promptly: Deal with any stains or dirt on your trainers immediately to prevent them from setting in.
  2. Natural Deodorization: To remove unpleasant odors, sprinkle some baking soda inside your trainers overnight. Shake off the baking soda the next day for a fresh smell.
  3. Proper Storage: Store your trainers on shoe racks or in shoeboxes to maintain their shape and avoid deformation. Provide adequate room for ventilation.
  4. Avoid Sun Exposure: Protect your trainers from direct sunlight to prevent color fading and damage.
  5. Rotate Your Trainers: Give your trainers a break by wearing them on alternate days. If you train daily, consider having a second pair to switch between.


And that’s how I use baking soda to wash my trainers. My trainers work really hard, so I’m happy to give them some much-needed TLC from time to time.

By using baking soda, you can effortlessly clean, deodorize, and revitalize your trainers, giving them a new lease on life. Remember to care for your trainers with regular maintenance and they’ll serve you well for a long time.

Did you know you can also use baking soda as a pre-soak for smelly clothes? Read my article on how to pre-soak clothes with baking soda.

I hope you’ll give this method of cleaning your trainers a go.

Thank you for reading!

-Baking Soda Guy

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

  1. Can I use baking soda to clean all types of trainers? Baking soda is generally safe to use on various types of trainers, including fabric, canvas, and leather. However, it’s essential to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility, especially for delicate or specialty materials.
  2. How often should I clean my trainers with baking soda? The frequency of cleaning your trainers with baking soda depends on how often you wear them and the level of dirt and odor they accumulate. As a general guideline, you can clean them with baking soda every few weeks or as needed to maintain their freshness and appearance.
  3. Is there a specific type of baking soda I should use? Regular, unflavored baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is typically used for cleaning purposes. Avoid using baking powder or baking soda with added flavors or additives, as they may not be as effective for cleaning.
  4. Can I wash the shoelaces and insoles in a washing machine? While some shoelaces and insoles may be machine washable, it’s essential to check the care instructions and material type. Some materials may be sensitive to machine washing and could get damaged or lose their shape. Hand washing with mild detergent and water is usually a safer option.
  5. How long should I let my trainers dry after cleaning? After cleaning, allow your trainers to air dry completely before wearing them again. The drying time can vary based on the materials and the level of moisture absorbed during cleaning. Hanging them outside in indirect sunlight or in a well-ventilated area is recommended.
  6. Can baking soda remove tough stains from my trainers? Baking soda can help to remove some stains from trainers, but its effectiveness may vary depending on the type and severity of the stain. For particularly tough stains, it’s best to treat them as soon as possible and use a specialized stain remover if needed.
  7. Will baking soda completely eliminate odors from my trainers? Baking soda is effective at absorbing and neutralizing odors, but it may not completely eliminate very strong or deeply ingrained smells. For persistent odors, consider using baking soda as a deodorizing pre-soak or supplement it with other odor-reducing techniques.
  8. Can I use baking soda on colored trainers without fading the color? Baking soda is generally safe to use on colored trainers, but it’s always wise to test a small, hidden area first to check for any potential color fading. If the trainers have intricate designs or delicate materials, consider spot cleaning instead of applying baking soda paste all over.
  9. Can baking soda clean the soles of my trainers? Yes, baking soda can help clean the soles of your trainers. The abrasive nature of baking soda paste can remove dirt, grime, and stains from the soles, leaving them looking refreshed.
  10. Are there any trainers that I should not clean with baking soda? Baking soda is safe for most trainers, but if you have high-end or specialty trainers with unique materials or coatings, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions or consult with a professional cleaner to avoid any potential damage.