Known for their brightly colored suede lining and iconic Adidas striping, Adidas Gazelle sneakers offer a unique blend of performance and style. If you own a pair of Gazelles, however, you know that their soft suede exterior can be tricky to clean and maintain. With a few tips on how to properly clean and protect your classic kicks, your Adidas Gazelles will stay looking and smelling fresh for years to come!
EditTreating Stains on Suede
Remove excess dirt and shoelaces. Prepare your shoes for cleaning by brushing away excess dirt, removing the shoelaces, and stuffing your shoes with newspaper or a shoe tree to protect their shape. You can use either a shoe brush or a damp rag to clean off the top layer of dirt clinging to the surface of your shoes.
Suede is soft and fairly delicate. Use gentle brushing motions to clear away dirt.
You can wash your laces either by hand or by placing them in a mesh laundry bag in a washing machine.
Treat food and salt stains with vinegar and water. If you wear your Gazelles through the winter they may accumulate salt stains. To remove salt stains, apply a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar to the stained area with a rag. Allow it to dry, then gently go over the area with a brush.
White vinegar works best.
Remove oil and grease stains with baking soda. Pour a small amount of baking soda on the stain and allow it to sit for several hours as it draws in the liquid. Gently brush away the baking soda with an old toothbrush using a circular motion.
Oil and grease stains can be very tough to remove. If the stain is too strong for the baking soda cleaning method, you should consider having your shoes professionally cleaned.
Mist dried water stains with water. Strangely enough, the treatment for dried water stains is adding more water. But only a small amount! Lightly mist the area around the stain, then gently brush the spot in a circular motion.
Focus your brushing especially on the borderlines of the dried water stain. The spot should blend in with the rest of the shoe after drying.
Use a white pencil eraser to remove scuffs. Scuff marks are caused when the fibers of the suede material on your Gazelles get flattened. You can use a pencil eraser to gently rub the affected area to lift the nap and remove any markings.
Avoid using a pink eraser as the color might transfer to your shoe.
For especially difficult scuff marks you can use a fingernail file.
EditCleaning the Leather Stripes and Sole
Remove the shoe insoles and deodorize the shoe’s interior. To keep your shoes smelling fresh, don’t forget to clean inside! After removing the insoles, spray them with a deodorizing cleanser to kill any odor-causing bacteria. You can also spray a rag and wipe the interior of your shoe to combat any lingering odor. Allow your shoes and the insoles to air dry.
Lysol or Febreze are both cleaners that eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
If you would prefer a natural option, you can use tea tree oil or other essential oil. Place several drops of tea tree oil onto a rag and wipe the interior of the shoe. For tough odors, add several drops to a paper towel and leave inside the shoe overnight. Tea tree oil is thought to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Wipe leather parts with a rag dampened with water. Carefully wipe the leather stripes on the shoe’s exterior with a rag to remove dirt. Make sure to avoid smearing dirt onto the suede sections of your shoes. If your rag gets dirty, use a fresh rag and continue cleaning. This will help ensure that dirt doesn’t accidentally come in contact with the suede.
For stubborn dirt or mud, use a mild detergent diluted with water to dampen your rag.
Avoid applying leather cleaner to the stripes as it may damage nearby suede.
Use a rag dampened with a diluted cleaning solution to clean the bottom of the shoes. Dirt may have also accumulated around the external rim of the shoe’s sole. Dampen a rag with a diluted detergent mixture to wipe away the dirt.
You can use an old toothbrush to scrub away any dry or caked on dirt stuck to the rubber sole.
Brush the entire shoe for a uniform texture. After cleaning the leather, use a shoe brush or dry rag to go over the entire shoe once more. This will smooth out any rough areas caused by the spot treatments, leaving a smooth, uniform look.
EditProtecting and Maintaining Your Gazelles
Apply protective spray to minimize future stains. Now that you’ve gotten your Gazelles looking clean and spiffy it is time to protect them from future stains and dirt! Shoe stores carry a variety of different protective sprays which are designed to be applied to suede shoes.
Follow the application instructions listed on the spray bottle.
Brush your shoes regularly with a shoe brush to eliminate dirt. Dirt build-up over time can cause your shoes to look prematurely worn-out. Similarly, scuff marks can accumulate and become more difficult to remove over time. Regularly brushing the suede on your Gazelles will keep them looking fresh and new!
You may want to consider investing in a suede brush, which is specifically constructed for this type of maintenance.
Avoid wearing your shoes in the rain as water stains suede easily. Suede is especially susceptible to water damage. If possible, it is best not to wear your Gazelles in the rain.
Though you may be tempted to speed up the drying time after cleaning your shoes, never place your them near heaters or in the dryer. Intense heat can warp the shape of your shoes!
EditSources and Citations
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