Buying old, used sneakers for cheap and cleaning them up to resell is a great way to make money. Finding cheap, pre-owned sneakers can be a gold mine, even if they are in really bad condition. You can buy them for next to nothing, and once you get them cleaned up, you can flip them for more money. The better you clean your sneakers, the more you can charge for them.
But which products are the best sneaker cleaners, especially if you’re a sneaker reseller? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a few of my favorite cleaning solutions.
Also, remember to write your purchases off for these sneaker cleaners so you can deduct them on tax day. These definitely qualify as business expenses and are cutting into your sales. Save your receipts and report them to the IRS next tax season.
What makes a good sneaker cleaner if you’re a reseller?
There are a few factors I take into consideration when buying products for cleaning used sneakers to resell.
Obviously, the product has to work better than something I already have on-hand. For example, dish soap and toothbrushes work really well to clean sneakers. But sometimes, it’s just not enough. If you’re a reseller, you’ll need a cleaning product stronger than your dish soap to get the job done and earn top dollar for your shoes.
Next, I look at the cost. I don’t want the cost of my sneaker cleaning solution to cut into my profits too much. I want something that’s easy enough for me to afford if I have to buy it more than once.
Last, I examine what comes with the sneaker cleaner. Do I get a brush with the cleaning solution? Does it come in some kind of kit with a shoe whitener as well? These are all factors to consider if you’re cleaning shoes to resell. You’ll want several cleaning options available to you so you can quickly and effectively clean a pair of shoes and sell them for more money.
Best sneaker cleaning products for resellers
I’ve broken down my favorite cleaning products into the best of several different categories. That way, you can choose what suits you best. These are just what I personally use and they’ve never let me down.
- Best shoe cleaning solution
- Budget shoe cleaner kit
- Best whitening product for sneakers
- Best shoe sealer protectant spray
Best shoe cleaning solution
If you’re a reseller who’s looking for a basic shoe cleaning solution that works extremely well, go with the Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner. You won’t regret it. It’s a little more expensive, but it comes with a brush and works on any kind of material. From leather to nubuck and suede, this stuff really works.
At the moment, this is my primary cleaning solution when I’m cleaning up used sneakers that I’m going to sell. Usually, all it takes is a round or two of the Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner and the shoes I’m working on looking dramatically better.
There are some cheaper options on this list if you don’t want to spend the $20 something dollars on this product, but if you’re looking for a killer product that works one everything, this is it.
Budget shoe cleaner kit
Resellers looking for a high-quality shoe cleaner kit should consider buying the Shoe MGK Shoe Cleaner Kit. This was the first sneaker cleaning kit I ever bought and it worked great without breaking the bank.
If you’ve ever seen the guys running up to people in the mall and cleaning their sneakers, they work for Shoe MGK. Yes, they can be a bit forceful with their marketing, but their product truly does work.
For a cheaper price than Pink Miracle, you can buy a sneaker cleaning kit that includes the shoe cleaner and a brush. I personally don’t think Shoe MGK’s cleaner works better than Pink Miracle, but it definitely works well enough to get the job done, especially for the money you save when purchasing.
Consider the Shoe MGK Cleaner kit as a cheaper alternative to Pink Miracle. You get the same items but at a cheaper price. They work great still.
Also, you might want to consider upgrading to Shoe MGK’s premium cleaner kit. It comes with an additional bottle of cleaner, stain repellent, shoe freshener and a brush. The best part is it’s only a few more dollars than Pink Miracle for this mega kit.
Best whitening product for sneakers
The KIWI Shoe Whitener is the best and only whitening product I use for my personal shoes and the sneakers I resell. It’s ridiculously cheap, can be found at your local Foot Locker or Finish Line and works great!
What I like to do with the KIWI whitener is twist and pop off the sponge part. Then I pour out a small amount of the whitening liquid into a cup and dab the sponge into the product and then onto the shoes. Compare the method to painting the shoe white, but it gives a much more natural look to the sneaker.
I’ve painted several shoes like this to get them ready for selling and it looks great every time. No one has ever questioned a thing and the sneakers look great every time.
Do yourself a favor, don’t spend too much money on some special whitener, black light products or Angelus paint. Buy the KIWI Shoe Whitener for a few dollars and start freshening up your sneakers.
Best shoe sealer protectant spray
There are two winners for best shoe sealer protectant spray: Reshoevn8r Repellent Protection Spray and Crep Protect Shoe Protector Spray both work really well. The difference between the two is truly the price.
Reshoevn8r is the sealer protectant spray I use and it’s a bit more expensive than Crep Protect. I personally think it works better, but that’s my opinion.
If you’re a new reseller who’s working with a tight budget, then definitely go with the cheaper option here. Crep Protect works really well and it’s not truly necessary to have a sealer spray for reselling shoes. It’s just a bonus.
This last category was a hard one. Especially because resellers don’t really need to use a sealer protectant spray on the shoes, we’re flipping. However, it is a nice little bonus to your buyer that their shoes will have protection from getting dirty in their environments.
The bottom line of cleaning sneakers as a reseller
You won’t need all of these products to start cleaning up used sneakers and selling them. Truthfully, you’ll likely only use one cleaning kit for most of your jobs. However, if you’re looking to whiten up a pair of shoes or deep clean a pair, you’re going to want to have some other products available to you.
Remember, the better you can make a pair of sneakers look, the more money you can resell them for. Also, if you’re a reseller you’ll need to know the best authentication apps too. It’s another tool you should have available.
This article isn’t to be confused with sneaker restoration. That’s the process of entirely restoring a really beat-up shoe. You’ll need more than sneaker cleaning products to restore a shoe, you’ll need paint and glue.
Related: Best shoe whitening products.