10 Must-Have Shoe Cleaning Tools To Be In Your Shoe Cleaning Kit

 Shoe Cleaning Tools

Regardless of whether you are a seasoned sneakerhead or a casual shoe enthusiast, having a reliable shoe cleaning kit is essential. The magic in maintaining your shoes' pristine condition doesn't have to come from being a cleaning expert. It lies in the essential cleaning products you choose to include in your kit.

Prioritizing effective cleaning tools and high-quality sneaker care products will ensure your footwear always looks its best, extending its life, and saving you from frequent and costly replacements.

Let's look at some shoe cleaning products that you should have in your shoe or sneaker cleaning kit.

1. Soft-Bristle Brush

Stone and Clark Horsehair brush

Check out Stone and Clark's Horsehair Brush, made with premium horsehair bristles and a solid beechwood handle for ultimate shoe care.

Given the first step of cleaning every pair of shoes involves brushing off surface dirt, a soft-bristle shoe brush is a must-have item in your kit. This cleaning brush, preferably a premium shoe brush, is designed to delicately remove dirt and grime without damaging the shoe material, making it ideal for all types of shoes, including leather shoes.

Its bristles are firm enough to effectively dislodge dirt, yet gentle enough to ensure your shoes' material remains unblemished and intact.

2. Shoe Cleaning Solution

While sneaker wipes can be handy for a quick cleaning job, nothing beats a good sneaker cleaner solution when it comes to deep cleaning. A shoe cleaning solution is a must-have product for maintaining your kicks in top-notch condition. The best sneaker cleaning solution should be able to address a wide range of stains and dirt on both white sneakers and colored ones.

Creating a DIY cleaning solution can be an economical and efficient way to clean your sneakers, and it allows you to control the ingredients used. You'll be surprised at how common household items can be used to whip up an effective cleaning concoction.

Here is a simple guide on how to create a DIY cleaning solution:

  • Start with a half cup of warm water.
  • Stir in a tablespoon of white vinegar. Vinegar is a gentle, yet powerful cleaning agent that can remove tough stains without discoloring your shoes.
  • Add a small amount of dish soap. This will help to lift dirt and stains.
  • Mix the solution until it is well combined.
  • Test a small area on your shoe first to ensure the solution does not cause discoloration.

Remember, the key to a good sneaker cleaner is its effectiveness in dealing with various types of dirt and stains while preserving the material and color of your shoes.

3. Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber Cloths

Shoe experts always recommend using microfiber cloths in your shoe cleaning kit. This is because normal materials like cotton can sometimes be too harsh on certain shoe types, especially those made from delicate materials such as suede or patent leather.

The microfiber cleaning cloth, on the other hand, is soft but tough, capable of removing dirt and stains without causing damage to the shoe surface.

Whether you're dealing with canvas sneakers or high-end leather loafers, microfiber towels are versatile and effective in keeping your shoes in the best possible condition.

4. Toothbrush (For Detailed Cleaning)


An essential kit but often overlooked is the humble toothbrush. While its primary purpose may be oral hygiene, a toothbrush can also be used as an effective shoe cleaning tool for detailed cleaning.

The small bristles and compact size of a toothbrush make it perfect for reaching tight spots or small crevices on shoes that are usually hard to clean with a larger brush.

When using a toothbrush to clean your shoes, make sure to use a separate brush for each pair and avoid using one that you also use for oral hygiene.

5. Sneaker Deodorizer

Stone and Clark Sneaker Deodorizer

Check out Stone and Clark's Shoe Deodorizer Spray to keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean all the time.

The more you use your shoes, the more they will accumulate odors. This is especially true for sneakers that are worn for sports or physical activities.

Aside from cleaning sneakers, it's also important to keep them smelling fresh. Adding a sneaker deodorizer to your shoe cleaning kit will help eliminate stubborn odors and keep your shoes smelling clean and new.

Some sneaker-specific deodorizers come in spray form, making them convenient for use on the go. Others are designed as inserts that you can place inside your shoes overnight to absorb any lingering odors.

Having a sneaker deodorizer on hand will not only keep your shoes smelling great, but it will also help to maintain proper foot hygiene and prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up inside your shoes.

6. Shoe Tree (Helps Maintain Shape)

While not really a cleaning tool, a shoe tree is an essential item that can help maintain the shape of your shoes. When not in use, shoes can lose their shape and become creased or deformed over time.

A shoe tree is designed to be inserted inside your shoes and help prevent creases by keeping them stretched out and in their original form. Additionally, it can also help absorb moisture and odor, keeping your shoes fresh and in good condition.

Investing in a good quality shoe tree for each of your pairs will not only keep them in shape but also extend their lifespan, ultimately saving you money on frequent replacements.

7. Suede Brush (For Suede Shoes)

Stone and Clark Crepe Brush

Every sneaker enthusiast should have a suede brush and suede eraser in their cleaning kit. These tools are specifically designed for maintaining the delicate texture and color of suede shoes. A suede brush, often referred to as a crepe brush, has soft bristles that delicately clean and refresh the nap of the suede without causing any damage.

The suede eraser, on the other hand, is an amazing tool that can help remove stubborn stains and marks that a normal brush cannot handle. It works by rubbing the area gently, lifting off the dirt or stain from the suede surface.

8. Shoe Horn (To Prevent Damage While Putting on Shoes)

If you have tons of expensive leather shoes in your collection, investing in a shoe horn may be a wise decision. A shoe horn is a simple yet effective tool that helps you put on your shoes without crushing the back or causing damage to the heel.

Aside from preserving your shoes' structure and quality, using a shoe horn can also help prevent foot injuries or blisters by ensuring a comfortable fit when putting on tight-fitting shoes.

9. Leather Conditioner

Another must-have in your shoe cleaning kit is a high-quality leather conditioner. This specialized cleaner is specifically designed to treat leather, a material commonly used in high-end sneakers and dress shoes.

A leather conditioner not only cleans your shoes but also nourishes the leather, keeping it supple and preventing it from drying out or cracking. It's an essential item that your cleaning kit should include if you're dealing with leather shoes.

When selecting a leather cleaner, you'll need one that efficiently removes dirt and stains while preserving the leather's natural texture and shine. This ensures your shoes always look their best and prolongs their lifespan.

A good leather conditioner is a robust shoe cleaner that will keep your leather footwear in prime condition.

10. Water Repellent Spray

Stone and Clark Water Repellent Spray

Get yours here! 

For shoe maintenance and the prevention of water stains, a water-repellent spray is an essential item for your cleaning kit. This product creates a barrier on the shoe surface that repels water and prevents it from seeping into the material.

Water damage can be detrimental to shoes, causing them to warp or lose their shape entirely. Therefore, it's important to protect your shoes from adverse weather conditions by applying a water-repellent spray regularly.

Make sure to choose a product that is suitable for the material of your shoes, as some sprays may not be compatible with delicate materials like suede or patent leather. Taking this extra step in protecting your shoes will undoubtedly extend their lifespan and keep them looking new for longer.

Stone and Clark offers Stain and Water Repellent Spray specifically designed for all types of shoes.

Closing Thoughts

These ten essential tools make up the ultimate shoe cleaning kit for any sneakerhead or shoe enthusiast. With these items on hand, you can easily clean and maintain your shoes, ensuring they always look their best and last for a long time. Remember to clean your shoes regularly and take preventive measures to avoid damage from everyday wear and tear.

Investing in good quality cleaning products may seem like an added expense, but it will save you money in the long run by prolonging the lifespan of your shoes and keeping them in tip-top shape.

Check out Stone and Clark's Amazon store for a wide range of shoe cleaning and maintenance products that will help you keep your shoes looking clean, fresh, and new.

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