How to Clean Mesh Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Mesh shoes have become increasingly popular in recent years for their lightweight and breathable design. However, keeping these shoes clean can be a challenge, especially if they are worn frequently or in dirty environments. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for cleaning mesh shoes that can help maintain their appearance and extend their lifespan.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when cleaning mesh shoes is to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the delicate fabric. Instead, opt for gentle cleaning solutions and tools that are specifically designed for use on mesh materials. Additionally, it is important to take a proactive approach to cleaning by regularly wiping down the shoes and treating stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting in.

Whether you’re dealing with everyday dirt and grime or more stubborn stains, there are a variety of techniques you can use to clean your mesh shoes effectively. By following a few simple steps and using the right tools and products, you can keep your shoes looking and smelling fresh for longer.

Understanding Mesh Shoes

Mesh shoes are a popular choice of footwear because they are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. They are made from a variety of materials, including synthetic fibers and natural fabrics like cotton and wool. The mesh material is woven or knit in a way that creates small, breathable holes in the shoe’s upper.

Mesh shoes are ideal for activities that require a lot of movement, such as running, hiking, or playing sports. They are also great for casual wear, as they can be stylish and comfortable at the same time. However, because of the nature of the material, mesh shoes can be more difficult to clean than other types of shoes.

It is important to understand the construction of mesh shoes before attempting to clean them. The small holes in the mesh can trap dirt, dust, and other debris, making it difficult to remove them. Additionally, some mesh shoes have overlays or other materials that can be damaged if not cleaned properly. Therefore, it is essential to use the right cleaning method to avoid damaging the shoes.

In summary, mesh shoes are a popular choice for their breathability and comfort, but they require special care when it comes to cleaning. Understanding the construction of mesh shoes and the potential risks of improper cleaning is crucial for maintaining the shoes’ quality and longevity.

Preparation Before Cleaning

Before starting to clean your mesh shoes, it’s important to prepare properly. This will help you avoid damaging the shoes and ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned. In this section, we’ll cover the two main steps you should take before cleaning your mesh shoes: gathering cleaning supplies and inspecting the shoes.

Gathering Cleaning Supplies

To clean mesh shoes, you will need a few basic supplies. Here are the items you should gather before you start:

  • A soft-bristled brush (such as a toothbrush or shoe brush)
  • A mild detergent (such as dish soap or laundry detergent)
  • Warm water
  • A clean cloth or towel
  • A bowl or bucket to mix the detergent and water

Make sure that the brush you choose has soft bristles to avoid damaging the mesh material. You should also choose a mild detergent to avoid discoloration or damage to the shoes.

Inspecting the Shoes

Before you start cleaning your mesh shoes, it’s important to inspect them carefully. This will help you identify any areas that need extra attention and ensure that you don’t miss any spots. Here are a few things to look for when inspecting your shoes:

  • Stains or discoloration
  • Dirt or debris trapped in the mesh
  • Signs of wear or tear
  • Any loose or damaged stitching

If you notice any areas that need extra attention, make a mental note of them so you can focus on them during the cleaning process. Inspecting your shoes before cleaning them will help you get the best results and ensure that your shoes look and feel like new.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Cleaning your mesh shoes is an important part of keeping them looking new and fresh. Here is a step-by-step process to help you clean your mesh shoes effectively.

Removing Dirt and Debris

The first step in cleaning your mesh shoes is to remove any dirt or debris from the surface. You can use a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth to gently scrub away any dirt or grime. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a toothbrush with some mild detergent to gently scrub the affected area.

Applying the Cleaning Solution

Once you have removed all the dirt and debris, it’s time to apply the cleaning solution. You can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to create a cleaning solution. Dip a soft-bristled brush or a clean cloth into the solution and gently scrub the surface of the shoes. Be sure to focus on any areas that are particularly dirty or stained.

Rinsing and Drying

After you have finished scrubbing the shoes with the cleaning solution, it’s time to rinse them off. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any excess cleaning solution. Then, rinse the shoes under running water to remove any remaining dirt or detergent.

Once you have rinsed the shoes thoroughly, it’s time to dry them. You can use a clean towel to gently pat the shoes dry, or you can let them air dry. Be sure to avoid exposing the shoes to direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the mesh to shrink or warp.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your mesh shoes looking clean and fresh for years to come.

Post-Cleaning Care

After cleaning your mesh shoes, it is crucial to take proper care of them to ensure they last longer. Here are some essential post-cleaning care tips:

Proper Storage

Storing your mesh shoes correctly is essential to maintain their shape and prevent any damage. Here are some tips on how to store your cleaned mesh shoes properly:

  • Air dry your shoes completely before storing them.
  • Stuff your shoes with tissue paper or shoe inserts to maintain their shape.
  • Keep your shoes in a cool, dry place to prevent mold growth.
  • Avoid storing your shoes in direct sunlight or near a heat source.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance of your mesh shoes will keep them looking new and prevent any damage. Here are some tips on how to maintain your cleaned mesh shoes:

  • Clean your shoes regularly to prevent dirt buildup.
  • Apply a water and stain repellent spray to protect your shoes from water and stains.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris from your shoes.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach on your shoes as it can damage the mesh material.

By following these post-cleaning care tips, you can ensure your mesh shoes look great and last longer.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When cleaning mesh shoes, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that can damage the shoes or reduce their lifespan. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Using harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach to clean your mesh shoes. These chemicals can damage the mesh fabric and cause discoloration or fading. Instead, use a mild detergent or soap and water to gently clean the shoes.

  • Scrubbing too hard: Scrubbing your mesh shoes too hard can damage the fabric and cause it to fray or tear. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently clean the shoes. You can also use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas.

  • Putting shoes in the dryer: Never put your mesh shoes in the dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric and cause it to shrink or warp. Instead, let the shoes air dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

  • Skipping the drying step: After cleaning your mesh shoes, it’s important to let them dry completely before wearing them again. Skipping this step can cause mold or mildew to grow inside the shoes, which can lead to unpleasant odors or even health problems.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can keep your mesh shoes looking clean and fresh for longer. Remember to always read the care instructions for your specific shoes and follow them carefully to avoid any damage or problems.


Cleaning mesh shoes is not a difficult task if you have the right tools and follow the right steps. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your mesh shoes looking new and fresh for a long time.

In this article, we have discussed the importance of cleaning mesh shoes, the tools and materials you need, and the step-by-step process to clean them. We have also provided some tips and tricks to help you maintain your mesh shoes.

Remember to always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your mesh shoes, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the mesh.

With the right tools and a little bit of effort, you can keep your mesh shoes looking great and extend their lifespan. Happy cleaning!