Our tastes in sneakers have evolved over time and as such the cleaning of them has too. No longer should you be putting your best sneakers in the washing machine and stocking it on wash like Mum used to do. Now, your best sneakers will most likely have a premium material that will require a softer, more careful clean.
Aether Care is an Australian company based in Western Australia who are passionate about fashion and have designed cleaning products that keep sneakers and garments looking their best – something you can do yourself at home.
The Aether Care products include not just cleaning fluids, specific to their function, but also brushes and towels suited to the garment they are designed to be used with. Aether Care sent us their Premium Headwear Cleaning Kit, the Premium Sneaker Care Kit and a different fragrance anti-bacterial garment spray and water and stain repellent with fragrance to that offered in the Premium Sneaker Care Kit. We did our best to put them all to the test.
Premium Sneaker Care Kit
Now my kids, being kids (14 and 17) do not look after their sneakers as well as they should so it was easy to put the kit to the test to see just how clean their sneakers could get, given they had certainly seen better days.
Now there is nothing techy about this care kit. It relies on what appears to be subtle, magical soap mixture and a lot of elbow grease. Aether Care include the soft-bristle brush and a white towel to complete the process.
Pop some water in a shallow bowl, dip the brush in the water, add a few drops of the cleaning fluid to the bowl, dip the brush in the water one more time and gentle scrub your shoe in a circular manner.
You work your way around the shoe, scrubbing in a circular motion building up a nice lather. If the lather thins or stops being made you repeat the process with the water and cleaning fluid – for as many times until you are happy with the cleanliness of the shoe. Intermittently, clean off the lather to see how well the cleaning process is going.
So how did it go?
The results speak for themselves. Cleaning leather shoes is often not particularly difficult with the real test of a cleaning solution other materials. I had several pairs of shoes that my kids have really put through the wringer, plus a pair I use to kick the footy at the park and a pair I wore in the mosh pit at Knotfest a few weeks ago.
As you can see in the images above and below, the white leather shoes were cleaned easily as expect but also the canvas-type materials also cleaned up well. Some of the dirtier sections required going over a few times with the brush and quite a bit of elbow grease but even my 14y.o. son who struggles to clean anything was able to clean his shoes well. It was that easy to use.
Although the cleaning of the dirtier shoes did require re-application of the detergent on the brush, the bottle should still last you quite a while given that only four or five drops are required each time.
The “Impervious Sprays” were easy to apply and you will find waterproof sprays for shoes everywhere you can buy decent shoes. These two sprays were as easy to spray as any others without any staining of the fabrics/leathers. One of the sprays has a fragrance to it and I’m not entirely sure why this is the case. It doesn’t smell like the new shoe smell that sneakerheads know and love — now if they could bottle that into the spray that would be a huge winner!
Premium Headwear Cleaning Kit
Decent hats are also not cheap and with the brim and shape of them set when you buy them (or when you reshape the brim when you get home) you cannot just stick them in the washing machine or in a bucket of water.
Unfortunately, my son has a habit of using the expensive hats I buy for him at the beach (in the water) or just running around messing with mates. His sweaty head of course makes for some dirty hats (but I didn’t buy them for him to sit in the cupboard so I can’t really complain) so to give them a new lease of life I applied the Aether Care Premium Headware cleaning kit.
The kit consists of a bottle of cleaning fluid, a soft brush and a small white towel. The bottle of cleaning detergent is applied using a roller (like a roll-on deodorant) directly onto the hat. You then dip the soft brush in water and scrub in a circular motion. This worked amazingly well, with the amount of detergent required being extremely little.
My only problem was that sometimes the roller with not have enough friction on the fabric of the hat to roll and dispense detergent onto the hat. Of course, you just roll it firmly against the grain of the fabric to get it to roll — it doesn’t need much.
The results were stunning with hats that I thought he had ruined just days after purchasing for him looking like new all over again. If you have some ratty looking hats, or even lightly soiled then the Aether Care Premium Headware cleaning kit will certainly give them a new lease on life.
The full range of Aether Care products can be purchased from their website or from various retailers including Stateside Sports.
The Premium Sneaker Cleaning Kit will set you back $90 with an option to purchase smaller packs should you not require everything in this kit — if I was purchasing, the Gold or Silver Sneaker Care Pack would probably be enough for me, these are only $50 or $40 respectively.
The Premium Sneaker Cleaning Kit is just $30, which is not a bad price considering how well it performs and how long it will last. Aether Care do offer upgrades on this premium kit that include an impervious spray for caps and/or a fragrance spray but you will of course pay more for that.
In the end, Aether Care has done a great job with their cleaning kits. If you love your sneakers or hats and want to clean and protect them then you should check out Aether Care. You will not only give your shoes and hats new and extended lives but also be supporting an Aussie brand. Head on over to their website to find out more.