How to Clean Volleyball Shoes?

Are you tired of playing the guessing game with your muddy, scuffed volleyball shoes? Maybe it’s the lingering smell that’s become your unwanted signature on the court? No need to fret!

This comprehensive guide is just what you need. It explores how to clean your volleyball shoes and maintain them, with practical tips and step-by-step procedures to breathe new life into your footwear.

Let’s dive into it;

Is it OK to wash a volleyball?

Yes, it’s okay to wash a volleyball. However, it should be done with care, using mild soap and warm water, then air-dried. But, avoid soaking, machine washing, or using harsh chemicals as they can damage the ball’s structure and grip.

Just like your volleyball game, your shoes also need regular care. Cleaning your shoes, especially the bottom, is crucial in maintaining grip and preventing slip-ups on the court. White volleyball shoes may require special care due to their colour.

After cleaning, proper drying is critical to avoid foul odours or bacteria growth. There are also several ways to keep your shoes smelling fresh, even after intense play. Moreover, making your volleyball shoes sticky again can offer you a better grip during your games.

How to clean dirty volleyball shoes?

cleaning volleyball shoes

To clean volleyball shoes, remove loose dirt, make a mild soap solution, scrub the shoes gently with a soft brush, rinse thoroughly, and air dry away from direct sunlight. Avoid machine washing and drying as they can damage the shoes’ structure.

Cleaning volleyball shoes isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about functionality and longevity. Here’s a detailed guide:

Extimated time: 35 minutes

  1. Preparation:

    Remove any loose dirt or debris from the shoes. Use a dry brush or cloth for this task.

  2. Cleaning Solution:

    Create a mild cleaning solution by mixing lukewarm water with a mild detergent or a shoe cleaner.

  3. Cleaning the Upper Part:

    Use a soft brush or sponge to gently clean the upper part of the shoes. Scrub carefully to avoid damaging the material.

  4. Cleaning the Bottom:

    The soles may need more aggressive scrubbing. Use a stiff brush to remove any stubborn dirt.

  5. Rinsing:

    Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to ensure no soap residue is left behind.

  6. Drying:

    Pat the shoes with a dry towel to remove excess water, then air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat or sunlight.

Remember, white volleyball shoes might need extra care and alternative cleaning methods to avoid discolouration. Also, proper drying techniques and measures to maintain shoe health are essential to keep them in optimal condition.

How to clean the bottom of volleyball shoes?

To clean the bottom of volleyball shoes, use a stiff brush to remove loose dirt, then scrub with a mixture of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

cleaning volleyball shoes bottom

The soles of your volleyball shoes often accumulate the most dirt and grime. Here’s how to properly clean them:

  1. Remove Loose Dirt: Begin by knocking the soles together to dislodge any loose dirt or debris. You can also use a stiff brush or an old toothbrush for this step.
  2. Prepare Cleaning Solution: Mix a mild detergent with lukewarm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could potentially damage the rubber soles.
  3. Scrubbing: Dip the brush into the solution and scrub the soles vigorously. Pay special attention to the areas between the treads where dirt often gets trapped.
  4. Rinsing: Rinse the soles under running water, ensuring all soap and dirt are washed away.
  5. Drying: Pat the soles dry with a towel and then let them air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.

Remember, cleaning the soles of white volleyball shoes might require a gentler approach and alternative methods could be used for stubborn stains.

Alternative cleaning methods:

Alternative cleaning methods for volleyball shoes include using specialized shoe cleaners, baking soda for odour and stain removal, or magic erasers for tough marks. Always ensure the method is suitable for your shoe material.

If the conventional soap and water method doesn’t cut it, here are some alternative cleaning approaches:

  1. Specialized Shoe Cleaners: These products are designed to effectively clean footwear without damaging their material. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Baking Soda: For tough stains and odours, a paste of baking soda and water can be an effective solution. Apply the paste, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse.
  3. Magic Eraser: For stubborn marks, especially on the soles, a magic eraser can work wonders. Wet the eraser, then rub it gently on the stain.
  4. Toothpaste: Non-gel white toothpaste can help clean white volleyball shoes. Apply, scrub gently, and rinse off.

Remember, irrespective of the cleaning method used, proper drying is crucial to prevent damage or bad odour.

Furthermore, maintaining the shoe’s smell, stickiness, and overall health is paramount for prolonged usage, which we’ll discuss in the following sections.

How to dry volleyball shoes?

Drying your volleyball shoes correctly is just as important as the cleaning process itself. Proper drying not only ensures your shoes are ready for your next game but also helps to prevent the growth of odour-causing bacteria and mould.

drying volleyball shoes

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dry volleyball shoes:

  1. After cleaning, remove as much water as possible using a dry towel. You can also stuff the shoes with newspaper or dry rags to help absorb the excess moisture.
  2. The best way to dry your shoes is by air drying them in a well-ventilated space. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near a heat source as this can warp the shape and damage the material of the shoes.
  3. Position your shoes upside down, resting on their top, so that any remaining water can drain out. This will also speed up the drying process.
  4. If your shoes have removable insoles, take them out to dry separately. This will help in faster drying and in preventing the development of unpleasant smells.
  5. If you’ve used newspapers or rags inside the shoes, replace them every few hours to speed up the drying process.

Remember, having dry shoes isn’t just about comfort; it’s also a key aspect of maintaining shoe health, preventing foul odours, and ensuring the shoe soles stay sticky for optimal performance.

How to make volleyball shoes smell better?

Keeping your volleyball shoes smelling fresh is not just about pleasantness, but it’s also a sign of a well-maintained pair.

volley shoes on court

Here are some methods to ensure your shoes always smell good:

  1. Use Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural odour absorber. Sprinkle some inside your shoes and let it sit overnight. Just remember to tap out the excess before wearing them.
  2. Tea Bags: Tea bags can absorb unpleasant odours. Put dry, unused tea bags in your shoes after each use and remove them before wearing them.
  3. Essential Oils: A few drops of essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oil can provide a refreshing scent. However, test on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t stain or discolour your shoes.
  4. Fabric Softener Sheets: Tuck a fabric softener sheet into each shoe when you’re not wearing them. These sheets can absorb odours and leave a fresh scent.
  5. Shoe Deodorizers: There are various shoe deodorizer sprays available in the market. These not only mask the odours but can also kill the bacteria causing them.
  6. Proper Drying: Always ensure your shoes are dry before storing them. Moisture can encourage bacteria growth, leading to bad odours.
  7. Regular Cleaning: Regular cleaning of your volleyball shoes can prevent the build-up of odour-causing bacteria.

Ensuring your shoes smell good is a part of overall shoe health, just as important as maintaining the stickiness of your volleyball shoes for optimal performance.

How to make volleyball shoes sticky again?

Maintaining the grip or stickiness of your volleyball shoes is essential for performance and safety on the court. Over time, dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate on the soles, reducing their stickiness. Here’s how you can restore the grip of your volleyball shoes:

  • Firstly, regular cleaning is key.
  • Keeping the soles of your shoes free from dirt and grime will significantly improve their grip.
  • Use a stiff brush to remove any loose dirt or debris from the soles after each use.
  • For a deeper clean, scrub the soles with a mixture of mild detergent and water.
  • Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry.

Additionally, using a grip-enhancing spray can be beneficial. There are various products available specifically designed to increase the grip of sports shoes. These sprays create a sticky layer on the soles of your shoes, enhancing your grip on the court.

Lastly, be mindful of the wear and tear on your shoes. If your shoes are old and worn out, the soles may have lost their natural grip. In this case, it might be time to consider investing in a new pair.

Remember, maintaining the stickiness of your volleyball shoes not only improves your performance but also contributes to your overall safety while playing. This, along with maintaining good shoe health, will ensure your shoes last longer and serve you better on the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my volleyball shoes?

You should clean your volleyball shoes once every two-weeks, or sooner if they become noticeably dirty or start to smell. Regular cleaning helps maintain their performance and longevity.

Can I put my volleyball shoes in the washing machine?

No, it’s not recommended to put volleyball shoes in a washing machine as it can damage the shoes’ structure. Instead, use a soft brush and mild soap solution to clean them by hand.

How can I quickly dry my volleyball shoes?

For quick drying, remove the insoles, wipe excess water using a dry towel, and then air dry in a well-ventilated area. You can also stuff the shoes with newspapers or dry towels to speed up the drying process.

What can I use if I don’t have a shoe cleaner?

A mild detergent mixed with lukewarm water can be used as an alternative to a shoe cleaner. Other options include baking soda, white toothpaste, or a mixture of vinegar and water.

How to make white volleyball shoes white again?

Use a paste made of baking soda and water to scrub the shoes gently. Rinse and let them air dry. For stubborn stains, a non-gel white toothpaste or a magic eraser can be used.

How to clean dirty shoes without washing them?

For a quick clean, use a dry brush to remove loose dirt. For stains, use a cloth dampened with a mild soap solution. Always ensure to dry them properly afterwards to prevent odours.


Keeping your volleyball shoes clean and well-maintained is crucial not just for their appearance, but for your performance and safety on the court as well.

Regular cleaning, proper drying, and odour management can significantly extend the life of your shoes and enhance your playing experience. Whether it’s restoring the stickiness of your soles or keeping your white shoes sparkling, every step contributes to maintaining your footwear in optimal condition.

Kyle Parker

About Author:

I'm Kyle Parker, a former professional volleyball player turned coach. Here, I shares in-depth guides and practical tips to elevate your volleyball game. Learn more...

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