There's nothing better than stepping out in a fresh pair of sneakers. Whether it's a Nike or Hoka sneaker or a formal leather dress shoe, new shoes just make the outfit. But after being worn a few times, shoes can start looking dingy fast -- especially if you opt for white sneakers or high-maintenance leather or suede shoes. But the dingy, faded appearance of older sneakers isn't a fate you have to accept.

With the right tools, a regular sneaker cleaning routine can keep your shoes looking almost brand new so you can proudly wear them until they literally fall off your feet. Here are our favorite spring cleaning shoe hacks to keep your old sneakers looking -- and smelling --brand new.

A shoe brush to regularly remove debris: Jovitec shoe brush set


The first step to cleaning your shoes is to brush away all the dirt and debris you can before getting them wet. You want to use a soft bristle brush like the ones in this 3-piece shoe brush set. All made with horsehair, these brushes are firm but not abrasive like some synthetic scrub brushes can be. So you'll be able to brush your shoes without leaving scratch marks or other visible damage.

Use the large one for brushing away dirt and debris from the top and outsole. You'll use the smaller ones later for scrubbing your shoes with a cleanser.  

We recommend giving your sneakers a quick brush at the end of each day so you can remove dirt before it builds up or sinks into the fabric of your shoes.

Get this three-pack of brushes on Amazon for $9.

$9 at Amazon

A gentle soap for cleaning shoes: Reshoevn8r cleaning solution


After removing as much dry dirt and debris as possible, use a mild soap diluted in water to clean away deeply set dirt and stains. Our favorite cleanser for shoes is the Reshoevn8r sneaker cleaning solution. It's safe to use on just about any shoe material, including leather, nubuck, vinyl, canvas, mesh, rubber and more.

The gentle solution uses coconut and jojoba oils to lift out dirt and grease while conditioning the shoe. Free of harsh chemicals and dyes, it can safely clean your sneakers without causing long-term damage.

Just add one or two squirts of the cleaning solution to a bowl with four ounces of water. Then, dip your shoe brush in the mixture and scrub your shoes clean.

The gentle yet effective shoe-cleaning solution is $24 on Amazon.

$24 at Amazon

A microfiber cloth to buff dry: Chemical Guys microfiber towels


Once your sneakers are clean, the next step is to make sure they can dry quickly. To jumpstart the process, wipe them down with a clean cloth on the inside and out to remove as much excess moisture as you can. After that, place them in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight to dry.

We like these towels by the Chemical Guys because they're double-sided. One side has a high pile design to pick up excess water or shoe conditioner while the other side has a shorter pile for buffing and detail work.

While it was originally designed for cars, this design is also great for shoes. After cleaning, you can use the high pile side to wipe your shoes dry. After leaving the shoes to air dry the rest of the way, use the short pile side to buff in any polish or protective spray you apply later.

Get a three-pack of Chemical Guys microfiber towels on Amazon for $14.

$14 at Amazon

A water-repellant spray to prevent future stains and smudges: Jason Markk Repel


The best way to keep your sneakers looking clean and new for longer is to prevent dirt and stains in the first place. Our favorite way to do that is with this Jason Markk Repel spray. The PFAS-free formula creates a durable, breathable water-resistant barrier so that liquids will just bead off rather than seeping into the shoe material. Best of all, it does that without using PFAS (so-called forever chemicals) like some other shoe protector sprays.

Just lightly mist the entire upper of your sneakers or boots. Then gently dab away any excess with the short pile side of your microfiber cloth and allow your shoes to air dry for 24 hours. This gives the water-repellant coating time to fully cure before you expose your shoes to the elements again.

Get the water repellant spray for shoes at Walmart for $17.

$17 at Walmart

A mesh laundry bag for shoe laces: Muchfun mesh laundry bags


While you can hand wash your shoelaces in a bowl of soapy water, it can be tedious to do so. That's why we recommend tossing them in a mesh bag like these Muchfun laundry bags and cleaning them in a washing machine.

What makes these Muchfun laundry bags even more convenient is that they're durable enough and large enough to hold a pair of sneakers, too. We don't recommend machine washing shoes that you want to keep looking brand new, as it can be rough on your sneakers. But for your everyday shoes or casual sneakers, it's a convenient way to get them clean without having to meticulously brush and wipe them.

Just make sure to air dry your shoelaces rather than putting them in your dryer. The plastic tips might melt in the heat.

Get a 3-pack of durable mesh laundry bags on Amazon for $8 (reduced from $12).

$8 at Amazon

A powerful all-day odor-fighting powder: Dr. Scholl's Odor-X

We've covered everything you need to keep your sneakers looking fresh, but what about smelling fresh? For that, it's hard to beat Dr. Scholl's Odor-X Ultra odor-fighting spray powder. Instead of just covering up smells, this formula uses alcohol and zinc oxide to kill odor-causing bacteria and fungus while the sodium bicarbonate powder absorbs sweat and moisture to stop any remaining bacteria or fungus from multiplying.

It can instantly freshen your shoes and provide all-day odor prevention.

You can get a bottle of this powerful shoe deodorizer at Amazon for $5.

$5 at Amazon