12 Best Shoe Cleaners in 2018

If you appreciate a good pair of sneakers, there are few things in life more exciting than shopping for a new pair of kicks. Cleaning them on the other hand, well, that is never fun. Nothing can ruin your day worse than a scuff, grass stain or mud on your new shoes, which lead us on a search to find the best shoe cleaner.

Shoe cleaners are simple by nature and either clean your shoes in one of two ways. We have the old-school brush and solution setups, which can include anything from leather wax to solvents that can remove even the toughest of stains. On the other side of the equation are the all-in-one cans that have a plastic scrubber on the lid. Some of these can also include a whitening agent that can brighten while you clean.

Whether you need to clean your dirty heels or brighten up those yellow soles, we have included several options to help make your old tennis shoes look new again. If you have dress shoes or other types of kicks, some of these may work as well, but it will depend on the color and type of material.

Top 12 Shoe Cleaners Ultimate Table

DesignNameSizeWith BrushRating (1-5)
  1. Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner Brush And Solution 4 oz. Yes 4.5
  2. Shoe Cleaner Kit 8 oz. Yes 4.5
  3. Refreshed Shoe Cleaner Complete Shoe Care Kit Multiple Yes 4.5
  4. Jason Markk Quick Wipes 30 Pack 0417 30 piece No 4.5
  5. Redux Advanced Shoe Cleaner- All Natural and Safe Solution + Brush 4 oz. Yes 4.4
6. Angelus Sole Bright 4 Oz 4 oz. No 4.4
7. Shoe Cleaner by ShoeAnew 8 oz. Optional 4.3
8. Sof Sole Instant Cleaner Varies Cap Brush 4.3
  9. TightWipes TightScrub Sneaker Cleaner 3.3 oz. Cap Brush 4.2
  10. Shoe Cleaner by Pink Miracle 8 Oz. Bottle Kit Fabric Cleaner Solution 8 oz. Yes 4.2
  11. ShoeMGK Clean Shoe Cleaning Starter Kit 8 oz. Yes 4.1
  12. Kiwi Sport Shoe Whitener, 4 fl oz, White 4 oz. No 4.1

The Ultimate Shoe Cleaner Buying Guide

It doesn’t matter if you paid $50 or $500 for your shoes; keeping them clean is important. It can also be tricky depending on the type of shoe, so you will want to know expand your knowledge before ruining your new kicks.

Parts of Your Shoe

A shoe may just cover your feet, but there is more to them than meets the eye. Everyone knows about the laces and eyelets, but other parts of the shoe aren’t as well known. In other words, it can be tough to clean an area something if you don’t know what it’s called.

On most tennis shoes, you have the toe box, which is self-explanatory, the upper, midsole and outsole.

The upper is the upper part of your shoe and is usually mesh or leather while the midsole is going to be rubber and acts a shield of sorts for the upper. Those parts and the rest of your shoe can be cleaned using any cleaner on our list although the outsole and midsole can require a special sole cleaner if it is a particularly nasty stain. Laces can always be replaced, and eyelets can be hit with a toothbrush or toothpick if grime is in a crevice.

What’s in the Cleaner?

This part will be tricky, but it is important when combined with the type of shoe you are cleaning. There was a time when water, baking soda, and other household goods were used to spiff up your new sneakers. That, or they just went in the washer. As materials and composites have come into play, cleaning can be easier or harder nowadays depending on the type of stain and the shoe itself.

Some cleaners are a bit harsher than others. While it isn’t feasible to Google all the ingredients to see what’s in the mix, it only takes a few minutes to figure out if what is in the bottle is actually good for your shoe. That means the old saddle soap may work well on an all leather pair of Nikes but is totally worthless on running shoes with a mesh body and a sliver of leather trim.

What Are Your Shoes Made Of?

Before you even begin to think about purchasing a new shoe cleaner, take a hard look at your shoes. In fact, look in your closet or under your bed at all your shoes. If you mainly wear sneakers or tennis shoes, then you will probably have to clean a combination of mesh, rubber, leather and plastic.

  • Mainly Leather – You are in luck as these are the easiest to clean. They can crack, however, which is where saddle soap other waxes can be your best friend. If you treat leather shoes beforehand, they can easily be cleaned with shoe wipes or a mild cleaner from our list. If you have track shoes or cross trainers with a large amount of mesh, you will quickly learn that grass stains can be your worst enemy.
  • Mesh Mix – Mesh is tougher to clean as the dirt and grime can get down in-between the threads. That means you will need a shoe cleaner with a bit more power and a brush, but not a hard one as that can rough up the mesh. Even the lowly soles can be cleaned with a little elbow grease, but things are simple if you choose the right solution from our best shoe cleaner list. We’ll give you a hint – it’s number 8.

Top 5 Best Shoe Cleaner Reviews

1. Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner

If you are new to the world of premium shoe cleaners and are not officially a Sneakerhead quite yet, you probably aren’t aware of Jason Markk. They have produced some of the top shoe care products around, including the best shoe cleaner to make our list with the Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner kit. As the name implies, this one is an all-in-one solution for any dirty pair of tennis shoes lurking in your closet.

While some cleaners take the one-step approach and have solution in the scrubber, you will need to apply the cleaner with the product. It is a “gentle” solution made of 98.3% natural products according to the company and is biodegradable to boot for those who are feeling a little chemical conscious. Are your shoes Red, Pink or some other funky color? Not a problem as it is safe for any color and several types of materials as well.

Leather, suede, nylon, canvas, cloth and nubuck are also listed as safe for this cleaner with the only exception being dyed suede. That may be an issue on customs, so proceed with caution. The synthetic bristle brush will be soft on your kicks, and the 4-ounce bottle is rated to clean up to 100 pairs of shoes.

2. TriNova Shoe Cleaner Kit with Brush

It isn’t hard to make your new sneakers look funky. Whether it’s mud, dirt or just grime that comes with age, the Shoe Cleaner Kit from TriNova is a solid solution and probably the best sneaker cleaner on our list.

As for its solution, we aren’t privy to those details, but the company says it is safe for materials including cloth/mesh, leather, vinyl, rubber and more. Needless to say, suede was not mentioned so you may want to steer clear if that is mainly what your shoes consist of.

On a positive note, his kit comes with a large brush to lend a hand with any hard to remove stains on the surfaces or soles. The bottle is large as well at 8 oz. and is said to provide around 100 cleanings before you’ll need to rebuy. In other words, it isn’t quite as strong as the Jason Markk product but will get the job done for most folks.

3. Refreshed Shoe Cleaner Shoe Care Kit

Now we’re going to talk about a true kit, and by that, we mean something that comes with a little more than a bottle and brush. You will still get the brush in the Shoe Cleaner Care Kit from Refreshed, but you will get four bottles including one for “touch ups” on white shoes.

As for the other bottles, you will receive not one but two bottles of their secret cleaner & conditioner mix which are 8 oz. each. Worried about water and rain? Well, you won’t have to be as they are kicking in a bottle of stain repellent as well to go along with the White touch-up bottle. Like some of the other mixes on our list, we don’t exactly know what is in these products, but they are rated safe for the usual fabrics like leather, vinyl, cloth, and rubber.

4. Jason Markk Quick Wipes Shoe Cleaner

Have you ever been “flat tired” by someone at school or accidentally at a mall or crowded venue? Probably so,  even if you never realized that is what it’s called when someone steps on the back of your shoe. It is a sure fire way to dirty up a nice pair of kicks, and a great solution for those cases and other light dustings would be our second choice from Jason Markk.

The Jason Markk Quick Wipes are like baby wipes for your tennis shoes and a lock for one of the best sneaker cleaner. They come 30 wipes to a box and can be used on the fly when you get a “flat” out and about or just need to give your shoes a quick wipe down. Unlike baby wipes, these are made for shoes, so they will not harm any material except suede or nubuck.

5. Redux Advanced Shoe Cleaner

Rounding out our Top 5 is a shoe cleaning product from Redux simply dubbed Redux Advanced Shoe Cleaner. Well, the name says it all with this one folks, as the kit consists of a bottle of shoe cleaner and a small brush. The brush has medium bristles, so it may not be suited for all types of materials, and the same can be said of the solution as well.

Redux’s shoe cleaner will work on almost any material used to cover your feet except – suede and nubuck. They say to “proceed with caution,” which basically means you can use it, but test a spot first and scrub gently, not like your life depending on it. The kit comes with a 4-ounce bottle and brush, but is only rated for 50 pairs of shoes.