How to Clean Yeezys and Keep Them Box Fresh

Tuesday Bote - Oct 23, 2020

There are but few simple joys in life, and getting coveted, premium sneakers is one of them. It’s a different kind of high when you’re wearing beautifully designed kicks - that is, until you get them dirty, of course. How do you clean things that bring, (in the words of Kanye, himself) “incalculable” joy?

Why Learning How to Clean Yeezys Is Important To Sneaker Collectors

Ask any Yeezy fan and they’ll tell you that any sneaker from that colorful rapper is treated like a grail, not only because they’re mostly limited editions, but because the designs are out of this world. The first design took a year in development so the hype around each succeeding release is as crazy as it gets.

If you managed to cop a pair right now, just to see what the fuss is all about, you’re probably wondering how to care for such a high-end shoe.

Properly Cleaning Your Yeezys Starts With The Right Shoe Care Products and Tools

You're in luck because now that we have sneaker collecting going mainstream, there are premium shoe care options to keep premium sneakers in top shape. You don't have to mess around with just ordinary cleaning agents like harsh detergents or bleach - they can ruin shoes! Assemble a premium Yeezy cleaner kit and you'll have no problem keeping any Yeezy good as gold:

- soft-bristled brush
- premium shoe cleaner
- premium sneaker brightener
- microfibre cloth
- leather conditioner
- deodorizing spray
- weatherproofing spray
- for storing: shoe trees, silica gel packets, and shoe bags (or zip lock bags will do)

Popular Yeezy Shoe Releases and How to Properly Clean Each Sneaker Model

Here’s a list of the most popular Yeezys today, along with essential tips that expert shoe cleaning service and sneaker restorers swear by, to keep these sneakers looking fly:


All kinds of sneakers follow the same steps for thorough cleaning: 

1. Setup and Prep
- Dry brush the uppers and soles to remove surface dirt. Use a soft brush for the uppers and a hard brush for the soles.
- Remove the laces and shoe inserts.

2. Cleaning the Uppers, Midsoles, and Soles (bottom of your sneakers)

Do a top-down clean: 

- Put a few drops of premium shoe cleaner in a small container of warm water.
- Dip your soft brush in the cleaning solution and shake off any excess water.
- Scrub the uppers with a soft-bristled brush.
- Wipe down everything with a microfibre towel.

Midsole and Bottom Sole of Your Yeezy Sneakers
- Do the same steps as with the uppers but use a stiff-bristled brush

3. Scrubbing the sneaker insert (insole) and the inner area of the shoe and cleaning the laces / Deep cleaning inside the shoe
- Make another batch of cleaning solution and scrub the shoe inserts with a soft brush, then wipe off with a towel.
- Soak the laces in the cleaning solution mix, then rub and twist them between your hands. 
- Squeeze out excess water from both the inserts and the laces.
- Scrub inside the shoe with a soft-bristled toothbrush and then blot out as much as you can with a towel.

4. Air Drying 
- Air-dry the Yeezys, sneaker inserts, and laces in a cool, dry place. 

5. Disinfecting, Protecting, and Storing
- Place the inserts back and lace up the sneakers.
- Do a disinfecting spray inside the shoes.
- Insert shoe trees, then place your Yeezys in shoe bags (zip lock bags are okay too).
- Do a weatherproofing spray all over. Let it air dry a bit.
- If you're not using ziplock bags, place silica gel packets inside the shoebox before you store your sneakers away.
- Remember to throw away any box paper that came with the shoes as these papers are acidic - they can damage your shoes.


A. Primeknits

Your Yeezy 350s are basically made from woven yarn, which will need gentler cleaning than most canvas or leather sneakers.

The steps on how to Clean Yeezys 350, Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Zebra, Yeezy 350 Turtledove, and Yeezy 380 Alien are all the same. Always scrub your uppers in one direction so that you don't cause any snags on the knit.

White or Black primeknits, however, will need extra care so that the white won't turn yellow and the all-black colorway won't fade. 

You'll need to keep all sneakers, no matter what color or print, in direct sunlight so that you don't turn whites yellow or fade your sneaker color. If you want mint condition results, white sneakers will need regular brightening, and black soles require some repainting now and then.

B. Mixed Materials

How to clean Yeezys 500, and how to clean Yeezys 700, along with their subsequent versions and colorways, includes suede and leather care.

Make sure that you use a premium shoe cleaning kit that's also suede and leather friendly. Suede will also need to be dry brushed after cleaning, to bring back its soft nappy texture.

C. Leather

If you have Yeezy Powerphase, which looks like an all-leather low top, and falls on the minimalist sneaker side, you'll need to use a leather conditioner now and then. This shoe care product keeps leather from drying out and cracking.

Brightening and Preventing Yellow Soles in Your Yeezys

Most Yeezys have "icy" soles or translucent soles that look like ice. These soles eventually turn yellow due to a process called oxidation. This happens when your sole's material reacts to constant exposure to the elements, particularly, air. Here's how to brighten soles:

1. Apply a brightening agent on the sole, making sure that you avoid the uppers:
- this can be a hydrogen peroxide cream (any hair product used for bleaching)
- a brightening mixture (baking soda x ordinary hydrogen peroxide solution)

2. Wrap the area in clingwrap.

3. Expose the soles to sunlight for at least an hour.

4. Unwrap and rinse the soles.

5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 as needed.

Take note that excessive shoe brightening can cause sole separation, so be careful not to overdo it.

To prevent soles from yellowing, you can also opt to use a sole protector product, which is like a clear translucent cling film that can be applied at the bottom of your shoes. Keep  silica gel packets in your shoe boxes to keep your Yeezys humidity-free.

When it comes to cleaning Yeezys, do it as Kanye would - with excessive attention to detail. You might find that appreciating any premium sneaker like a work of art is another joy that has its own reward.