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The BEST Brushes for Cleaning Your Sneakers

There are plenty of effective sneaker cleaners out there. But how much of a difference does the cleaner actually make?

While it's important to have an effective cleaner that won't damage your shoe, in some cases, the real difference maker is the brush.

That's why we had @sneakerheadinthebay stop by to create a video explaining how to tackle a dirty pair of sneakers and which type of brush is best for the job. Read below to learn the key points, and make sure to check out the full video on our YouTube channel.

Types of Brushes

There are a few different types of brushes that should each be used for different purposes and materials.

Horsehair brush

First, is the horsehair brush. Horsehair brushes have very soft bristles that are used mostly for brushing off any excess dirt or dust from your shoes before you start cleaning.

If your shoes are super dirty or muddy, hitting them with the horsehair brush first will make cleaning them a lot easier.

All-Purpose brush

The all-purpose brush is perfect for most uses and is the best way to clean your sneakers while using Angelus Easy Cleaner.

With bristles soft enough for suede but strong enough to scrub off dirt and grime, the all-purpose brush can be used on nearly any material without damaging it.

Suede brush

The nylon bristle brush, which comes in our Nubuck & Suede Set, has tough bristles that are used to reset the nap in your suede after being cleaned and dried.

The Angelus Nubuck & Suede Set also removes most soil and spots on suede and nubuck. 

All-Purpose Foam Cleaner

Lastly, we have the brush that comes with our All-Purpose Foam Cleaner.

This brush features very hard bristles that are perfect for outsoles and midsoles. If you're having trouble getting rid of dirt and grime no matter how much scrubbing you do, this cleaner and brush combo is your best bet.

More Cleaning Essentials

Easy Cleaner

Finding the right brush is essential for cleaning your sneakers correctly, but to make sure they stay in good shape, you might want to grab a few of these other sneaker care essentials:

  • Easy Cleaner: a premium shoe cleaner that's safe for all materials
  • Mink Oil: a premium conditioner that prevents stains and extends the life of your shoes
  • Foaming Cleaner: a foaming cleaner that uses a pump for easy application and is perfect for most materials
  • Sole Bright: a solution that completely reverses oxidation to bring your soles back to life
  • Deoderizer: a scent-free formula that completely eliminates all odors from your shoes

These basic essentials will make sure you have everything you need to keep your sneakers in factory condition.

For more product drops, tips, and customs, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram, and don't forget to check out our website to grab the materials you need to take care of your customs.

The Do's & Don'ts of Using Angelus Duller

If you use Angelus paints to create your customs, you might've noticed by now that they tend to leave a little bit of a shine once dry.

While this can be good for some designs, you might prefer more of a dull matte finish for some of your customs.

The Do's & Don'ts of Using Angelus Duller | Angelus Paint

Fortunately, getting that smooth factory finish is pretty easy with a little bit of Angelus Duller.

To show you how to accomplish this, sponsored artist @DeJesuscustomfootwear stopped by to make a quick video to show you everything you need to know about using Angelus Duller on your custom shoes.

Painting With Duller vs. Without Duller

Using Angelus paint straight fro the bottle works perfectly fine. All of our paints are ready to be applied to any common shoe material without needing to worry about cracking, peeling, or any other damage.

However, without using any duller or finishers, these paints can leave a glossy finish after drying. While there's nothing wrong with this, you might prefer a matte finish as you'd typically see on a pair of shoes straight from the factory.

Check out the difference below:

Duller comparison

To get that factory finish, all you need to do is mix a little bit of Angelus Duller with your paint before applying it to the shoe.

The Right Ratio

While there's no magic ratio for mixing duller with paint, it's important not to overdo it.

If you add too much duller to your paint, you'll end up with a strange chalky finish rather than a matte factory finish as you can see below:

Chalky finish

On top of this, too much duller will make your paint stiff and brittle, meaning your customs will be less flexible and more likely to wear down quickly.

To avoid this, we generally recommend that you mix 5% to 10% duller with Angelus paint for a matte/flat look.

Duller & Finishers

What do you do if you finish your custom paint job and decide you want more of a flat look instead of a glossy finish? Can you add duller after painting?

Unfortunately, no, duller is not a topcoat and won't do much if applied to a finished custom paint job. Instead, you can use duller mixed with an acrylic finisher for a matte finish.

Acrylic Finisher

Angelus acrylic finishers not only help adjust the finish of your shoe, but they can also help protect the paint from minor scratches and scrapes.

Note: We do not recommend adding more than 0.5 oz of duller to a 4 oz. bottle of finisher.

Best Time to Use Duller

Duller can be particularly important to use when working on softer materials like canvas, mesh, and primeknit.

Leather shoes, like Air Force 1s, tend to have a glossier look even before painting, so it's not as noticeable if your paint leaves a little bit of an unwanted sheen.

On the other hand, canvas shoes, like Vans, have a completely flat finish. Without using any duller, it becomes extremely obvious that they have a custom paint job.

To make sure your canvas, mesh, or primeknit shoes maintain that factory finish, you're going to want to mix some duller with your paint before you get started.

To see more great customs and tutorials, make sure to follow us on Instagram, and don't forget to check out our website to grab the materials you need for your next project.

What's the Best Way to Clean Your Sneakers?

Unless you just leave your shoes in the closet forever, they're going to get dirty, so it's important to know how to clean them in keep them in factory condition.

Depending on the shoe's material and what type of damage there is, you may need to use a few different products to fully restore them.

Read below to learn the best ways to clean your sneakers, no matter how dirty or damaged they've become.

Best Cleaning Products for Different Situations

Whether you're looking for an all-purpose cleaner to use on all of your customs or you need something to get those stubborn stains out, we've got you covered.

Check out the list below to learn which Angelus cleaning products are best for specific uses.

Angelus Easy Cleaner

Angelus Easy Cleaner is a perfect all-purpose deep cleaner that you can use on just about any material.

Angelus Easy Cleaner

Whenever your shoes get dirty, just pour some Easy Cleaner into a bowl, dip a scrubbing brush into the solution, and scrub away any dirt and grime on the shoe.

Afterward, use a cloth to wipe away the cleaner and leftover dirt, and your shoe should be as good as new.

Foam-Tex Gentle Foaming Cleaner

If you're looking for an even easier way to clean your sneakers or a way to keep your shoes clean when you're on the go, Angelus Foam-Tex cleaner is the perfect solution.


Foam-Tex comes in a  pump bottle for easy application, so if you step into a puddle or get some mud on your shoe, just pump some cleaner directly on to the shoe, scrub with a cleaning brush, and wipe clean.

All-Purpose Foam Cleaner

If your shoes are really dirty and you're not able to scrub out those old stains, you might need something a little bit stronger to get the job done.

All-Purpose Foam Cleaner

To get those deep dirt stains out, apply some All-Purpose Foam Cleaner to the shoe, and use the built-in scrubbing cap to get rid of the grime buried in the shoe.

Once you're done scrubbing, use a clean cloth to wipe away any leftover dirt and you're good to go.


If you wear your customs every day, they're inevitably going to build up a little bit of a stink -- there's no way around it.


Unlike other products, Angelus Deodorizer doesn’t just mask odors, it eliminates them altogether.

Just spray some of this scent-free formula into your shoes and let them air dry for 24 hours.

Can You Use Cleaning Products on Customs?

One of the most common questions we get is, "Can I use cleaning products on my custom shoes?"

Short answer: Yes.

Angelus paints are water-proof, and as long as you prep and finish it properly, it should hold up against any water, dirt, or Angelus cleaning products.

If you want to check out how you can use Angelus products, make sure to follow us on Instagram to see some amazing customs and tutorials.

Customs Inspo: Chunky Dunky AF1s + More

Artists around the country have been hard at work for the past couple of weeks creating new and unique customs.

If you're looking for ideas for your next project, or you just want to see what your fellow sneaker artists have been working on, check out some of our favorite customs from the past few weeks below.

Chunky Dunky AF1

(source: @sneakerqueenscustoms)

Miss out on the "Chunk Dunky" Nike SB drop? As long as you're willing to put in a little bit of time, you can create your own.

Artist @sneakerqueenscustoms designed these custom "Chunky Dunky" AF1s, featuring the same Ben & Jerry's-inspired details as the official collab.

Want to try recreating this design yourself? Make sure you have the right set of brushes before you get started.

Charlie Brown Vans

(source: @lucha_loafers)

"I think I'm afraid of being happy because whenever I get too happy something bad always happens." - Charles Schultz

Sponsored artist @lucha_loafers paid tribute to Charles Schultz's iconic characters with this pair of custom checkered Charlie Brown Vans.

Banned Jordan 1s

(source: @sneakerheadinthebay)

The Jordan 1 has become one of the most popular sneakers of all time, and it all started with the Banned 1s.

Sponsored artist @sneakerheadinthebay offers a unique take on the Banned 1s, featuring the same black and red colorway, white midsole, red sole, and a pair of "X's" painted across the heels.

Freddy Yeezys

(source: @truebluecustoms)

You don't have to wait for October to get started on your Halloween customs.

These impressive custom Yeezys, by sponsored artist @truebluecustoms, feature the same red and green color scheme seen on the infamous Freddy Krueger sweater along with blood-speckled soles, and twin blades painted along the sides.

Metallic Jordan 4 Custom

(source: @wallychamp15)

If you were a fan of the Air Jordan 4 Metallic Pack, then these last customs should be right up your alley.

Sponsored artist @wallychamp15 designed three pairs of Jordan 4s, dressed in red, white, and blue, respectively. Each pair features a solid colorway with matching laces and clean metallic eyelets.

To see more great customs like these, make sure to follow us on Instagram, and check out our online store to pick up the paints and materials you need for your next pair of customs.

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