How to wash tennis shoes

Why would a tennis player ever need an old toothbrush?  

If you want to get the best out of your HEAD tennis shoes - and also wish to look your best on the court - you must clean and care for your footwear. That's where the old toothbrush comes in (more about that below).  

 

We know it's not always easy for tennis players to know exactly how to wash and clean their tennis shoes. We've answered some of your questions about keeping your footwear in good condition, including what to do after every wear and also how to do a 'deeper clean' of your shoes. This includes advice on getting the smell out of tennis shoes, how to clean the soles, and whether you should ever put your shoes in the washing machine. 

 

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What should I do after playing tennis in my HEAD tennis shoes?

  • Knock the bottom of the soles together; this will dislodge most of the mud, dirt, grass or clay-court granules stuck to them. 

  • Clean the uppers with a wet cloth, or wet wipe, removing any dirt, stains or moisture.

  • Apply a wet sponge to the midsoles, removing any grime or stains.

  • Don’t leave the shoes in the sun or extreme temperatures, as sensitive damping materials and upper materials will be damaged, especially after playing on clay.

  • Place your shoes in a well-ventilated room so that they can dry out. Ideally, take out the soles after each training session or match so the shoes can dry out properly. 

How do I do a deeper clean of my HEAD tennis shoes? 

  • This is when you reach for the old toothbrush, a special eraser sponge for shoes or a soft-bristled shoe brush, to remove the dirt from the uppers, midsole and uppers. You should do this after the dirt has dried on the shoe, as then it will come off more easily.
     
  • To wash your uppers, midsole and sole, you can buy a specialist cleaning product or you can make your own by mixing warm water and a mild cleaning or laundry detergent in a bowl. Using a brush or cloth, scrub gently, in a circular motion, until there’s a soapy foam. Don't be afraid to use more cleaning solution to get rid of stubborn stains. Once you've finished scrubbing, remove the foam and dirt with a dry towel.

  • Don't dry the shoe with a hair-dryer or by putting it on a heater, but air-dry at room temperature. Ensure your shoe is completely dry before wearing it again. 

How do I get rid of the smell in my shoes? 

  • Remove the insole, and scrub using the cleaning solution and a brush or cloth. Wait until the insole is completely dry before putting it back in the shoe.

  • In time, you might consider buying new insoles, which will keep your shoes feeling even fresher.

  • When airing out the shoe, remove the laces and also pull the tongue back, to let the smell escape.

  • Always make sure you wear fresh socks when playing - this prevents bad odours returning.
     
  • You could consider putting a deodorising insert into the shoes, which will help to reduce the smell. 

What about my laces? 

  • One of the most effective ways to freshen up your HEAD tennis shoe is to wash your laces, using a cleaning product and water. That will immediately brighten up the shoe's appearance.

  • If the stains are engrained and won’t come out, you could buy new laces, which will help restore some of the shoe's box-fresh look and feel. 

Should I ever put my HEAD tennis shoes in the washing machine?

  • We don't recommend this. While it may clean the shoes, it could also damage the materials, weakening the sole and upper. For long-lasting performance, comfort and style, we suggest cleaning your HEAD tennis shoes by hand.

  • But if you still want to clean your tennis shoes in the washing machine, place them inside a cotton bag and make sure the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius or lower. However, the insole and sockliner shouldn‘t be washed in the washing machine.