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Wanna Show Off Your Favorite Sneakers?

Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

This is your Master Course in sneaker care and cleaning.


David Cho, the founding publisher of The Awl Network and Grantland, joined me for what might actually be a perfect episode of Ask a Clean Person: The Podcast!

In the first segment, we talked all about cleaning sneakers, from regular old cleaning of regular old kicks, to deep cleaning a pair of really filthy tennis shoes. Then, we tackled the issue of knit sneaker care, because they are temperamental animals and need extremely special handling. Good looking shoes, though! Hey, wanna show off your favorite kicks? Go for it down in those comments! Man, I love a good-looking tennis shoe. (I’m a leg gal.)


Here’s an overview of what I covered, in this, my 80th episode:

  • General cleaning tips for your standard leather or mesh sneakers;
  • When to machine wash versus when to manually clean sneakers;
  • How to deep clean a pair of really filthy sneakers;
  • How to machine wash laces;
  • The stuff you need to know about cleaning knit sneakers without destroying them;
  • What to do if you get paint on your kicks;
  • The four elements you should consider when facing any sort of cleaning problem.

That last point was most of what we covered in the second segment, because Cho is the person who I refer to as “my best student,” and I wanted to explain what it is about his approach to learning that makes him so stellar.

Speaking of learning things! I will for sure do a follow-up on this episode in which I’ll cover other kinds of specialty sneaker materials like suede and canvas. So hmm, I guess this isn’t really your Master Course. It’s, like, the first semester of your Master’s studies, maybe. So let me know what you need/want me to cover, okay?! I’m here for you, never forget it.

Over in the bonus episode, we talked about the tonal issues we work on (condescension, know-it-all-ism, respectively), what we’re drinking this summer, and the ridiculous plans I have for my birthday. Then, Cho dug into the origin story of my pen name, because apparently he thought I was, like, Steve Kerr’s daughter? (I am not.)


You can subscribe to Ask a Clean Person: The Podcast in Acast, iTunes, PlayerFM, Stitcher and all the other places you’d expect to find podcasts. For bonus episodes and all sorts of other cool rewards, head over to Patreon to help underwrite our show. Got Qs for the pod? Email Jolie with the subject line CLEANCAST.

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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