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Jul 16, 2015
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It’s a really satisfying feeling to spend your hard-earned cash on something that you just know will bring you a lot of joy for a long time, whether it’s a nice watch, a new pair of kicks, or a new car. Unfortunately, it’ll only take a few months—or even days—before you realize that few things in this world remain in pristine condition for long, and that these things most certainly do not include your recent expensive splurge.

On the brighter side, there are a lot of ways to keep your stuff looking good and in tip-top shape, provided you exert a little effort to keep them that way. With that in mind (and because it's not wise to replace things right away just because they look dirty), we've come up with a bunch of tips to help you clean your fave man items the right way.

Read on and start cleaning!


SNEAKERS

A brand new pair of Air Max 90s or Superstars can spruce up a basic shirt-and-jeans combo but, by golly, are they a pain in the ass to clean.

cleaning man gearImage via Skuff.us

For leather sneakers, wipe down your kicks with a damp cloth or paper towel after getting rid of loose dirt or debris, then rub in a little toothpaste on stains and scuffs using your fingers. Remove the toothpaste with a wet cloth, then wipe them dry and let them dry away from direct sunlight. For your suede kicks, simply brush away stains and water spots, and by all means, don’t get them wet!


WHITE TEES

We may not be fashion icons, but we do know that a crisp white button-down is a must-have in any self-respecting man’s man-drobe. You know what’s not fashionable? Yellowing shirts with permanent collar and pit stains.

cleaning tipsImage via Undershirtguy.com

These spots are caused by a mixture of sweat and product buildup from grooming/hygiene products, so you might want to cut back on your hair products or switch your deodorant if all your tees have them. Treat the damn spots with a fabric stain remover—try out different types as it’s not necessarily "one size fits all." Be gentle though as certain fabric stain removers can harm your tees and weaken its material. You can also try "bluing" (adding a bluing agent for a hint of blue dye on the fabric) your shirts to counter the stains.

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JEANS

Did you know that denim was made to withstand heavy-duty work? In fact, It’s so tough that, as unhygienic as it sounds, it’s not even supposed to be washed for days in a row. Hang them out for some fresh air regularly (just not in direct sunlight unless you want to bleach your dark-wash jeans!), and spot-clean small stains.

cleaning tipsImage via Gifsoup.com

For maong with a lighter shade: "Unless you see food stains or you start seeing dust tracks on your light-colored jeans, the simple trick is this: Wash when your jeans start to smell," stylist Belle Camarsi advises in a Men's Health Philippines magazine article. "I know that doesn't sound civilized but it’s a tried and testing trick!"


CAPS/HATS

cleaning tipsImage via Themamasgirls.com

The most foolproof way to clean your hats and caps is to soak them in a basin of warm water with a tablespoon or so of laundry detergent. Swirl it around the water, leave them in for a few hours, and rinse them afterwards under cold water. Wool headgear is a bit trickier, but still manageable: Use cold water, and just soak it for around an hour using a gentle detergent. If you don’t want to risk ruining a prized cap, just take it to the dry cleaners—they should know what to do.


MAN BAGS

Unlike your girlfriend’s delicate little purses, man bags are more suited for rugged use and actually look good with a little wear and tear. That doesn’t mean you should skip cleaning your backpacks entirely!

cleaning tipsImage via Noroadskokoda.com

Canvas bags are easy: Hand wash it using a mild detergent, and let it air dry. Use leather cleaner for your leather bags, and follow it up with leather conditioner. You can also get rid of dirt on your leather gear by using a damp cloth and wiping it dry afterwards.


LEATHER JACKETS

A real leather jacket isn’t the most practical (or the cheapest) choice for our tropical weather, but we love how it easily takes an outfit from ho-hum to action star-pogi in mere seconds. Unfortunately, making sure it’s in nice shape can be a pain.

cleaning tipsImage via Worldofleathers.com

You’ll have no choice but to take this one to the dry-cleaners to get it spotless, but you can extend the number of weeks between Laundromat visits by storing your jacket in a cool and dry place to prevent mold and mildew buildup and applying a leather conditioner so it won’t get any unsightly cracks. You could also try wrapping it in a plastic bag and placing it in the freezer to kill bacteria and remove B.O. Applying a water-and-stain protector on your jacket regularly will also help ensure that you’ll be passing it on to your kid in the near future!

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CAR SEATS

Want to have your car seats cleaned but too kuripot to spend on detailing? Here’s how you can do it by yourself: Vacuum the seats to remove all dust traces, and lightly run a cleaning brush dipped in a cleaning solution (you can make one using dishwashing liquid and hot water!) over the seats and dampen them just enough to remove stains.

cleaning tipsImage via Wisegeek.com

Wipe each seat with a towel after you’re done, and leave the doors or windows open so they can air dry. Vacuum the seats one more time, and if you’re feeling fancy, use a linen spray to make it smell good.


ACTION FIGURES

No true fan or collector would dare allow his expensive action figure collection to lapse into a dusty, grimy mess. To clean your pricey toys, fill up a basin with enough lukewarm (not hot!) water to completely submerge your figure and let the toy take a bath for a few minutes.

cleaning tipsGet it? (Image via joesstuff.com)

Scrub it clean using a toothbrush and some liquid soap (make sure it doesn’t contain moisturizers) and rinse it thoroughly and gently with cold water. Pat it dry with some paper towels, and let it air dry in a clean place out of direct sunlight to let water droplets in tiny crevices evaporate. Your limited edition Joker figure will be in perfect mischief-making condition once again!


LEATHER WALLETS

cleaning tipsImage via Wikihow.com

A classic leather wallet can last you a lifetime, but as with other leather goods, you’ll have to exert some effort to keep it in fighting form. First, make sure your wallet is completely empty, then wipe the exterior with some isopropyl alcohol or antibacterial wipes. Use a bit of leather wax or cleaner to get it clean, and polish it with a dry towel. Top it off with a little leather conditioner so your wallet will always be ready to handle all your dough.


WATCHES

A decent watch can be hella expensive (it doesn't have to be a Rolex) so cleaning it every once in a while is a wise move because it is an "investment." Clean metal bands using a soft brush and warm soapy water or jewelry cleaner, making sure to rinse it thoroughly, and let it dry completely before wearing it again.

cleaning tipsGIF via The42.ie

Leather bands, on the other hand, need a little more attention: Wipe both sides of the straps with a soft dry cloth, and make sure it’s completely dry (no water or sweat!) before wearing it, and keep it away from direct sunlight or high temperatures. Don’t forget to remove the straps first if your watch isn’t waterproof! Who knows? If you manage to keep it squeaky-clean always, you might still be able to sell it for a nice amount of cash in the future. See? Investment!

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SPEAKERS

Here’s the thing with fancy sound systems: With superb surround sound comes great cleaning responsibility.

cleaning tipsGIF via Io9.com

Remove the grill (that’s the speaker’s "cover," usually made of fabric or metal), then use a soft brush to dust the drivers (those are the round things that actually produce the tunes). Don’t forget to clean the grille before putting it back: Gently vacuum fabric grilles, and wash metal ones under warm water. Make sure it’s dry before placing it back on your speakers.

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