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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.

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.

How to Paint Stainless Steel

We get a lot of questions about what types of products and materials can be used on.

The good news is that, if you're interested in customizing something besides a pair of sneakers, Angelus paints can be used on most common materials -- you just might have to take a couple of extra steps.

Custom Hydro Flask

For this tutorial, Enzo from @ehkcustoms walks us through how to Angelus paint and 2-Hard to customize a stainless steel Hydro Flask.

Take a look below to see what materials you need to get started, and make sure to watch the full video on our YouTube channel for a detailed walkthrough.


Before getting started, you'll need to grab  a few things, including:

  • Angelus Paint
  • Angelus 2-Hard
  • Angelus High Gloss Acrylic Finisher
  • Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer
  • Angelus Paint Brush Set

You can find all of these materials on our website if you don't already have them. For this project, 2-Hard is particularly important as it's what allows the paint to successfully adhere to the stainless steel.

How to Customize a Hydro Flask

Leather Preparer & Deglazer

Like any other custom project, start by prepping the surface with Angelus Leather Preparer and Deglazer. This will the factory6 finish and create a clean surface for you to paint.

Simply apply some of the Leather Preparer and Deglazer to a cotton pad and wipe down the Hydro Flask.

Masking Tape

Next, use masking tape to separate the areas that you don't want to paint. If you're painting a Hydro Flask, tape off the lid and leave it on to use as a handle while painting.

This is all the prep work that's necessary, but if you want to take things a step further, pick up some adhesion promoter from a hardware store to spray the bottle before painting.


When you're ready to paint, mix your paint with 2-Hard in a 50/50 ratio. This will help the paint adhere to the stainless steel without chipping or cracking. Without this, the paint will come right off of the bottle after drying.


Next, it's time to start painting your design. If you're not comfortable doing freehand, start by using a pencil to outline your design before painting.

Use a heat gun to set your paint before moving on to the next layer. (Note: allow the stainless steel to cool before touching to avoid burning yourself.)

Acrylic Finisher

Once your design is finished, apply a layer Angelus Acrylic Finisher to protect the paint from minor scratches and to add a glossy top coat to your custom Hydro Flask.

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for more tutorials, customs, and product updates.

#HomeWithAngelus - 5 Great Customizing Tips to Try Out in Quarantine

While we all have a lot of extra free time on our hands, now might be a good time to practice some new tips and tricks that can help you take your customs to the next level.

Below are five great tips and tricks shared by some incredibly talented artists to help you learn how to make your own high-quality customs.

Tip #1: Use 2-Soft to Paint Canvas

Our first tip, from @sneakerqueenscustoms, is for those who aren't sure whether or not it's safe to use Angelus paints on soft fabrics like canvas or mesh.

Angelus 2-Soft is a fabric medium that you can mix with paint to ensure that your canvas shoes remain soft and flexible after you customize them. Without 2-Soft, the paint will cause the shoe to stiffen up, which can lead to chipping and cracking.

To use 2-Soft, mix it with Angelus Acrylic Paints in a 1:1 ratio, apply multiple layers, let the paint dry, and heat-set using a heat gun at 300º F for 3-5 minutes.

Tip #2: Prepare Cleats

Angelus Leather Preparer & Deglazer. Used to prepare the surface before painting.

For those interested in creating customs cleats, sponsored artist @truebluecustoms has a tip to help you prepare them correctly before you start painting.

Like any other shoe, start by using Leather Preparer and Deglazer to get rid of the shoe's factory finish. Then, use 400-grit sandpaper to completely rid the surface of any contaminants and synthetic materials.

Once done, you can tape up your cleats and start painting.

Tip #3: Deal With Overspray

Detail Knife

(source: @parksart)

Next, @parksart shows us how to easily deal with unwanted paint using a detail knife.

If you notice overspray on your outsoles after airbrushing, use a detail knife to carefully scrape away the unwanted paint and create a clean line.

Detail knives can be used for several other purposes as well, such as cutting off stray bristles from a worn-out brush.

Tip #4: Watercolors


(source: @bre_yeahthatsme)

Another great way to paint canvas shoes is to use watercolors, as @bre_yeahthatsme shows us with this next customizing tip. This is particularly helpful if you don't have any 2-Soft at hand.

To get this effect, simply mix a small amount of Angelus paint with water until the mixture is fairly thin, then paint the shoe. After applying the first layer of paint, add more water to the mixture to make it thinner, and add another coat.

Repeat this until the shoe is covered and you get the desired watercolor effect.

Tip #5: Painting Fine Lines

Paint fine lines

(source: @dejesuscustomfootwear)

Detail brushes are great for painting fine details, but sometimes you need something even more precise.

For painting extremely fine lines and details, sponsored artist @dejesuscustomfootwear uses a toothpick (yes, a toothpick). Experiment with this tip yourself to see how you can use a toothpick to create detailed designs.

If you found these helpful, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram for more tips and tricks, and if you have a tip or trick you want to share, please tag us and use #HomeWithAngelus for a possible feature.

Tiger King AF1s + More Custom Inspo

With all of us stuck at home, we thought it'd be a good time to share some of the great customs our sponsored artists have been working on so that you can get some inspiration for your next quarantine project.

Check out the customs below, and make sure to visit our online store to grab the tools and materials you need to create your own unique pair of customs.

Tiger King AF1

(source: @mache275)

If you haven't seen the new Tiger King documentary on Netflix, you're missing out. Joe Exotic, the star of the doc, has become a cultural phenomenon over the past week, and what better way to join in on the fun than with a fresh pair of customs.

Sponsored artist @mache275 designed these custom AF1s, featuring a portrait of the man himself on top of a clean tiger print background.

If you want to see how these were made, make sure to check out the design video on the artist's YouTube channel.

Kobe 11s

(source: @sab_one)

We might not see basketball come back for a while, but that's no reason to give up that Mamba Mentality.

These custom Kobe 11s, created by sponsored artist @sab_one, feature the classic purple and gold Lakers colorway in dedication to the late Los Angeles legend.

Purell Stan Smiths

(source: @solesbysir)

Hand sanitizer is a precious commodity these days, so these next customs are sure to have some serious resale demand.

Sponsored artist @solesbysir designed these Purell-themed Stan Smiths to keep his feet as clean as his hands while we're in quarantine.

Toy Story Air Max

(source: @tragik1993)

This next pair is certain to bring on some nostalgia.

Sponsored artists @tragik1993 threw it back to a childhood classic with these Toy Story-inspired custom Air Maxes.

Grab a 12 color assortment kit to see if you can recreate this clean Buzz Lightyear color scheme.

Air Max 90 Warhawk

(source: @wallychamp15)

Last is another pair of Air Maxes designed just in time for Air Max day.

Sponsored artist @wallychamp15 designed the Air Max 90 "Warhawk," featuring a green and silver upper with the iconic Warhawk shark mouth design on the toe box.

If you liked these, make sure to follow us on Instagram for more great customs, and don't forget to wash your hands, stay inside, and stay safe.

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