How To Clean New Balance Shoes? (3 Easy Ways To Clean Them!)

New Balance has been manufacturing running shoes since 1938, and they are not going away anytime soon, not even today! Keeping them clean is the most difficult aspect of running in them.

So, how do you clean New Balance shoes to make them look brand new again?

There are numerous approaches. You can clean your New Balance with toothpaste, detergent, soap, vinegar, and other household cleaners without soaking them in water or washing them.

The best way to clean New Balance shoes is with an old toothbrush with soft bristles and a small amount of either mild soap or detergent. Remove the insole and lace from the New Balance shoes. Then, using the brush, remove any dirt or debris from the shoes. Mix the detergent or soap with the water. Brush the areas all the way up the upper, from the midsole to the outsole. Make certain that you cover all of the bases. After that, do not add water. Take a damp towel and clean it. Allow it to air dry for a day.

But which method is best for your New Balance type? And how do you get rid of the deadly odor after wearing them? Continue reading to find out.

how to clean new balance shoes

Can New Balance Shoes Be Washed?

Although the New Balance site states that you can submerge your shoes in water for 24 hours, I would not recommend doing so. 

The first reason is that water causes the suede to stain. Second, most New Balance insoles are made of polyurethane, which emits ammonia when exposed to water. And you’re aware of how strong ammonia smells.

Can New Balance Sneakers Go in the Washing Machine?

If you care about your New Balance, don’t put them in the washing machine. It’s risky to clean New Balance shoes in the washing machine or tumbler, no matter how simple it appears. Why? Since your New Balance is made of leather and suede, it does not hold up well in high water immersion and under uneven pressure from the machine. 

Second, the rubber, polyurethane, and glue that hold the leather together are all susceptible to high temperatures and water and may deteriorate. Overall, washing machines are a no-go for New Balance shoes.

Also check out: Do New Balance Run Small, Big Or True To Size?

How to Clean New Balance Shoes?

As it is not recommended to wash New Balance in a washer or with water, you should try cleaning them with gentle methods that are compatible with the material of your shoe.

Here’s a method that works for all:

Step by Step Approach to Clean New Balance With Detergent

  1. Remove the insoles and laces and place a towel inside the shoe.
  2. Remove any excess dirt with a medium-bristled brush and a clean towel.
  3. Make a detergent-water paste and dip your brush in it.
  4. Gently brush your shoes with the detergent in circular motions.
  5. Repeat the previous step with a damp towel until your shoe is thoroughly cleaned.
  6. While your shoes are still wet, waterproof them and dry them overnight on a shoehorn.
  7. Wash the laces manually with detergent and replace your insoles if they smell.

As an alternative to detergent, you can use vinegar water (1:1 ratio of vinegar to water).

What Are the Best Ways to Clean New Balance Shoes?

The best cleaning method for your New Balance is determined by its condition and material. However, I believe that toothpaste, detergent, and dishwashing soap work well for most types.

cleaned new balance

How to Clean New Balance Suede Shoes? 

Suede is one of the most difficult materials to clean when it comes to shoes because it is easily damaged. So, how do you effectively clean your New Balance Suede shoes? Here’s how it works:

  1. Using a suede brush, remove any excess dirt from the shoes.
  2. After brushing away the excess dirt, look for any stains and rub them away by working in a unidirectional motion to lift the stain.
  3. Continue the process described above until all stains have been removed, then brush the suede to make it look more finished.
  4. After cleaning the uppers, make a suede cleaning solution with lukewarm water and dip your medium-bristled brush in it.
  5. Remove dirt from the midsoles with the brush. If a midsole marker is available, use it to remove stubborn yellowish marks.
  6. Pat dry the entire pair of shoes with a dry cloth, waterproof them, and allow them to air dry.


  • Avoid getting water or cleaning solution on the suede.
  • Don’t rub the suede too hard.

How to Clean New Balance Mesh Shoes?

The holes in mesh material are a hindrance to ventilation but a boon when they trap dirt and dust. That is the main issue with New Balance Mesh shoes, as mesh material is extremely difficult to clean after suede. So here’s how to clean them:

  1. Unlace your New Balance Mesh shoes and take out the insoles first.
  2. Then, place a towel inside the sole area to prevent it from soaking up too much and becoming smelly later.
  3. Dampen the mesh area and clean it in circular motions with white toothpaste and a toothbrush. The more suds that form, the better the mesh cleans.
  4. Dampen the mesh again, apply more toothpaste, and repeat as necessary.
  5. Do the same process for all mesh areas and the tongue, drenching the tongue with excess water after clean-up.
  6. Wipe the shoe with a clean, dry towel and air dry it with the tongue facing outside.

Points to remember:

  • Avoid using colored toothpaste as it might decolorize the original one on your New Balance. 
  • This method may not work for tough stains or suede shoes.
  • Make every effort to keep water from entering the sole.

How to Wash New Balance 574, 327, and 530?

Suede is used on the New Balance 574 and 327. So, I recommend cleaning them the same way we discussed cleaning suede New Balance. However, because the New Balance 530 is made of both suede and mesh, try cleaning the mesh and suede separately.

How to Dry New Balance Shoes After Cleaning? 

Here’s a general rule to follow when drying New Balance shoes. Always let them air dry instead of putting them in the dryer. This natural method usually takes 24 hours to dry New Balance. But what if you don’t have a full 24-hour period? Here are some alternatives to this preferred method that you can try:

  • Remove and dry the insoles separately.
  • Dry your shoes in front of or near a fan.
  • Stuff newspaper balls, rolled-up towels, or rice socks (socks filled with a bit of rice and knotted into balls) inside the shoes for better absorption.
  • Alternatively, place a tablespoon of rice in a container and pack your shoes inside with the rice at the bottom. After that, close the lid.
  • Hang the shoes on a shoe horn or hanger in an inverted position.
  • Make sure the tongue is facing out. 

I am certain. All of these methods will reduce the drying time to less than 24 hours without causing any damage to your New Balance.

How to Get Stains Out of New Balance Shoes?

Just like using detergents or dishwashing soaps to remove tough stains from fabric and utensils, you can use the same lather-forming property to remove tough New Balance stains. Here’s the process:

  1. Add two squirts of dish soap or a bit of detergent to a cup of water to make a thick solution.
  2. Mix until sud forms.
  3. Dip the end of a cotton ball or cloth into the mixture and rub the stain in circular motions.
  4. If the cloth does not work, try a toothbrush.

How to Get the Smell Out of the New Balance?

It’s fun to wear running shoes until they start to smell like cat urine. This is because sweating excretes ammonia, a compound found in urine. The adhesive, however, is the main source of the odor. The New Balance, like most shoes, is made of adhesives that emit unpleasant odors when exposed to water. So, how do you turn things around? Here’s how it’s done:

Clean Your Shoes.

If you don’t care for your New Balance, don’t expect them to care for you. Sweat and bacteria accumulate in dirty places, which can be removed by cleaning the shoes with any of the methods mentioned previously. Also, make certain that they are completely dry before use.


Since vinegar is antibacterial, it is an excellent odor remover. Simply combine equal parts vinegar and water and spray the solution on your shoes.

Baking Soda

Baking soda neutralizes acidic sweat because it is alkaline. So, to get rid of the shoe smell with baking soda, sprinkle some on the insoles and shake the shoes gently. Let the powder sit for about a day, then brush off any extra powder before putting on your New Balance.


Fill a coffee filter or socks with coffee powder. After that, place the packages in the New Balance for the night. Coffee’s absorbing and aromatic properties will provide the shoes with the scent they deserve. However, make sure the shoe is completely dry before wearing it, or the wet coffee will stain it.

Odor Neutralizer

Odor neutralizers that are compatible with your New Balance material are another option for odor removal. Simply spray as directed on the bottle regularly.


Placing New Balance in the sun helps to kill bacteria and thus eliminates odor. So, put your shoes on for a few minutes outside. Yes, only for a few minutes, because prolonged exposure may cause damage to their material.


Simply place a soap bar in each New Balance overnight to transfer the freshness and fragrance of the soap. Then, for the best results, repeat the method three times per week.

Essential Oils

Nothing beats essential oils’ strong, pleasant aroma. So, in a half cup of rubbing alcohol, combine 20 drops of lavender, tea tree, cypress, lemon, or any other essential oil available. Spray this solution on your New Balance and enjoy the aroma.

Replace Insoles

If nothing works, your insoles have either expired, reacted, or deteriorated and must be replaced. So, this time, try new ones for your New Balance and see if they stink again.

Return Them!

If the case is legitimate, New Balance will support its customers and exchange smelly shoes. So, if you’ve tried everything and the odor is still present, contact and return them.

Should You Use a Hair Dryer or Not?

I recommend that you never use a hair dryer to dry New Balance shoes for the same reason that you should never use a washing machine to clean them. Even on low heat, a hair dryer is used to melt adhesives in sneakers if you want to detach something. Do you want that to happen to your New Balance sneakers? No, so avoid using hair dryers.

Wrap Up: How To Clean New Balance Shoes?

I don’t recommend washing New Balance shoes in the washer or with water, but brushing them with the light methods we discussed is a good option. Second, try to keep your shoes away from moisture as much as possible to reduce odor. So, I recommend that you wear moisture-wicking socks, deodorize your shoes using the methods described above, and dry them naturally.

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