How To Clean White Sneakers
A comprehensive guide to restoring your shoes to pristine condition.
Rachel ChenUpdatedMarch 28, 2022
Chuck Taylor sneakers, $75, converse.ca
Whether its Stan Smiths or classic Converse, white sneakers are a wardrobe staple. Sadly, those sparkling kicks can turn dirty fast. But dont worryfrom the rundown on DIY remedies to tips on reviving your old shoelaces, our exhaustive guide to cleaning white sneakers is here to show you how to restore your shoes to pristine condition.
Mix Baking Soda And Detergent
Using baking soda to clean is a timeless hack. Baking soda gets stains out of carpets, clothes, curtains, and even light-colored shoes.
So, what do you have to do?
Follow these steps:
- Firstly, collect your ingredients. You need baking soda and laundry detergent .
- Mix the two, but dont add any water. The mixture should be dry and powder-like.
- Pat the powder onto the shoes with the back of a spoon.
- Let the shoes rest for at least an hour or two.
- Brush the powder off, and rinse the shoes with warm water.
- Lastly, put the shoes in the washing machine. Use the lowest/delicate wash setting.
This is a neat hack for white fabric shoes. However, if you use vegan waterproof footwear, like Loom, there are two extra steps. To maintain the hydrophobic qualities of such a pair of shoes, remember to remove the laces and inner soles. Also, let the shoes air dry instead of machine dry.
If you do that, your pair of Loom will be clean in no time. Theyre actually one of the easiest types of shoes to clean because the antimicrobial material prevents mold and sweat buildup.
Never Put Your Shoes In A Washing Machine
Washing your shoes in a washing machine is a hot debating topic. Some people have successfully machine-washed their shoes, while others have stories of disintegrated shoes.
But what is the outcome? Should you put your shoes in a washing machine? Sometimes, our shoes have an extremely delicate fabric such as cotton mesh. A machine wash can ruin the mesh, disintegrating the shoes.
However, some stronger fabrics and materials can withstand a machine wash. But if you’re unsure about the material strength, we suggest that you do not put your shoes in a washing machine.
Instead, gently clean them using our seven ultimate shoe cleaning tips to remove dirt, mud, and stains.
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Dirt Erasers And Pencil Erasers
For your leather, synthetic, or suede shoes that have stains from friction or dark areas from excessive use, you can always use the dirt erasers that are often sold at drugstores to remove stains instantly.
Be patient, dont rub too hard but try to erase all the dark areas on the shoes until they are white again. You can also clean the borders of the sole, a place that often accumulates a lot of dirt, using the same technique. Funnily enough, you can also use pencil erasers to get similar results.
How To Clean Yellow Soles With Toothpaste
Using an old toothbrush, rub toothpaste over the yellowed areas of your shoe sole.
Add a sprinkle of water.
Rub the sole again.
Using a clean, damp cloth, thoroughly clean the entire sole.
If there are still signs of yellow on your shoe sole, simply repeat the above steps.
Enjoy box-fresh soles with this simple guide on how to clean shoe soles and remove that tired yellow tint. Now you know how to whiten shoes sole, make sure you keep on top of the cleaning of your white shoes with our guide on how to clean white shoes.
Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress? Then read our Heated Household data analysis.
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Can You Put White Sneakers In The Washing Machine
Yes, you can put white sneakers in the washing machine. This should be avoided with Nike shoes or any shoes that have a stiffer structure. Here is the best way to machine wash sneakers:1. Clean off any debris or mud using a soft brush, like this one.2. Remove shoelaces3. Place your sneakers and separate shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag. This will prevent them from tangling. If you dont have a mesh bag I highly recommend getting one or at a minimum using a pillowcase that is knotted at the top. This will also protect your washing machine. 4. Use a gentle liquid detergent, about half as much as you would use for a normal load. Note- sneakers should be washed in a load on their own, or with something like towels. 5. Use a gentle cycle with cold water. The delicate cycle on most washing machines will work well. 6. Air dry in a well-ventilated location, do not put them in the dryer!
Can I Just Put My White Running Shoes In The Washing Machine
This method is only recommended for fabric or flyknit shoes, and you should put them in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before running your shoes through a delicate cycle. Bediones removes the laces from her shoes first for a better clean, and Hardie suggests taking out any removable insoles first. Just as you can with any laundry load of whites, you can throw in a little baking soda to whiten your shoes even more. Bediones recommends washing a maximum of two or three pairs at a time.
While machine washing shoes is much easier than hand cleaning, it comes with caveats. Never put your shoes through the dryer, and always dry them indoors. Sunlight is your enemy, says Hardie, as white soles can turn yellow in the sun. Campana further warns that throwing your sneakers in the washing machine will greatly decrease their lifespan, so use that cleaning method sparingly.
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How To Clean White Shoes Without Bleach: Canvas Leather And Mesh Sneakers
- Columbia University
- Syracuse University
White shoes and sneakers are a staple in most closets: the ideal versatile shoes that go with almost every outfit and look greatas long as they’re perfectly clean.
If your favorite pair of white shoes is looking dingy, stained, or dirty, follow one of these tried-and-true methods to clean them using baking soda and other eco-friendly household products.
So How Can I Get My White Shoes White Again
There are several methods to bring white shoes/sneakers back to life again. The first step is to remove any caked on debris, or mud using a soft brush*. Next you want to remove the shoelaces and clean those separately. Depending on the shoe, you can machine wash or hand wash your shoes. Below are specific instructions for how to do each method. Most methods include creating a cleaning solution made from household items you most likely have on hand. Next you want to let your shoes air dry, do NOT put them in the dryer.
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Take Help Of Toothpaste
- Rub a wet cloth against the surface of your shoes to make them slightly damp.
- Get your shoes slightly damp but not soaking wet so the toothpaste can foam up.
- Toothpaste works well on fabric, mesh, or sneakers.
- Rub a pea-sized dab of toothpaste with a toothbrush in small circular motions focusing mainly on the darker stained areas on your shoes.
- Make sure to use a non-gel white toothpaste as other colours might stain your shoes.
- Wipe off the toothpaste and dirt with a wet cloth.
- Make sure to remove all of the toothpaste off your shoes so that there is no mark.
- Allow your shoes to air dry for 2-3 hours.
Different Options For Removing Scuff Marks
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How Do I Protect My White Shoes From Getting Dirty In The First Place
Before you step outside, your best bet is to spray your shoes with a stain and liquid repellant, such as the popular Jason Markk Repel Spray. This is especially important if you have canvas shoes. These sprays build a protective layer between the world and your shoe, making spot cleaning easier.
Ferguson warns that without a barrier, dirt will seep into the surface and leave a stain. The spray generally lasts three to four weekswhen liquids no longer roll off your sneaks, its time to respray. Even if your shoes are protected, youll want to try to clean the offending spot as soon as it happens, or it may leave a permanent stain.
How To Clean White Shoes During The Winter
At first glance, you might not think that wearing white shoes during the winter would be much of an issue. After all, the color of falling snow is pretty darn close to the color of many white shoes and snow becomes clear after it melts. However, a lot of us dont think about the fact that most towns use road salt to minimize snow piles on the streets and sidewalks. In fact, anyone who has ever had salt stains on their shoes knows that this mess can wreak havoc on any shade of footwear.
Luckily, hope is not lost if that happens to you: Experts say all you need is a simple mixture of water and white vinegar with a cloth to rub those pesky marks right off. You can check out this very helpful demonstration of the cleaning hack.
Of course, its important to keep in mind that the best way to clean white shoes is to be consistent with your method of choice. Keep a sharp eye out for any marks, dont let stains last too long after you spot them, and store them in a clean place when youre not using them. Who knows? Maybe someone will think you just bought them the next time you bring them out!
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How To Clean White Shoes 7 Cleaning Methods
Below are 7 methods for cleaning white shoes. Each section will have different ingredients and steps. However, before each please follow my before-cleaning and after-cleaning recommendations.
Remember that some stains may be more difficult to remove, and you may have to repeat the process to achieve the most optimal results!
How To Clean White Suede Shoes
Cleaning suede shoes can be a little tricky since suede is a delicate fabric that stains easily. Because of this, you’ve probably noticed most suede shoes don’t come in a true white hue. Just like true whites, though, off-whites can get dirty easily. Here’s how to clean suede shoes gently and effectively.
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How To Clean White Shoes Leather
Leather is a little more delicate, so you need to take care how you clean these. First of all, never machine wash, follow these steps instead:
1. Follow the first step as for canvas shoes, removing the laces and removing any initial dry dirt.
2. Next, use a shoe tree to help them hold their shape as you clean, or alternatively you can just stuff each shoe with paper towels.
3. Then use one of the following cleaning methods to remove stains:
4. Rinse your solution away with a damp microfiber cloth.
5. Fill your leather shoes with fresh paper towels to help absorb the moisture as they dry.
6. Leave to dry completely before wearing again.
What About The Soleshow Should I Clean Those
Uppers and soles attract dirt differently, so it can be helpful to use a different product to clean them more thoroughly. Ferguson recommends Sneaker Rescue wipes, which are all-natural and work on all parts of your shoe but are particularly good at getting scuffs off soles. Alternatively, since soles are tougher than uppers, you can just scrub scuffs away with any kind of brush.
Keds sneakers, $60, keds.com
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Easy Methods To Wash Shoes By Hand
In a perfect world, ice cream would have no calories, and white shoes wouldn’t get dirty. But what if there was a way to keep your beloved white shoes pristine without harsh chemicals, a dry cleaner, or a washing machine? Trust us, it’s possible. Try out these three simple methods to clean your shoes by hand with items you likely already have in your linen closet. The following step-by-step guides will walk you through how to handle canvas, suede, and leather shoes with ease.
Before you get started, double-check what your white shoes are made of, study the instructions, gather ingredients like cleaning vinegar, baking soda, and Magic Erasers. Your white shoes will look good as new in no time.
How Often Should You Clean Your Trainers
The frequency of cleaning depends on the usage and condition of your trainers. Excessive cleaning can cause leather and fabric deterioration, so it really isnât necessary to clean them too often. However, visible stains should be removed the same day, ideally before they dry out and stick to the surface.
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Should You Put Your Trainers In The Washing Machine
It may seem like the quick, easy, and hands-off solution, but donât be tempted to put them in the washing machine as this can cause long term damage both for the washing machine and the trainers.
Putting trainers in the washing machine can melt the glue, cause any logo to fade, damage the structure of the shoe, and in some cases cause colour transfer , so it is definitely not recommended.
Some performance trainers, however, for running and sports will recommend washing machine clean on their instructions â so make sure to check the label.
A Sneaker Pro On Keeping Your White Kicks So Fresh & So Clean
Classic, go-with-every-look white sneakers are wardrobe staples in practically every shoe lovers closet. If youre like us, you probably have more than a few pairs. And chances are, theyve probably seen brighter, whiter days. Were talking scuff marks, sole streaks, discoloring, grimy laces you know how it goes. But it doesnt mean your white kicks are ruined for good.
For some serious sneaker-maintenance schooling, we reached out to Johnny Fajardo, sneaker whiz over at innovative shoe-care company Sneaker LAB, to share some of his best insider tricks for cleaning white sneakers. The man personally sets aside an hour out of his weekend to tend to his shoe collection, so you know he knows whats up. It’s actually quite a relaxing experienceit’s my only time to de-stress, clear my mind, and disconnect from my phone, emails, and electronics, he laughs.
His top pointers, below.
Protect Right Outta the BoxThe key to keeping white kicks looking brand new, Fajardo says, is to apply a sneaker protector as soon as you unbox them. The spray forms an invisible layer that protects them from dirt, stains, and liquids, he says. Sneaker LAB makes a great one, but generally the rule is to look for a protector that repels liquids and is safe for your shoes material. Adds Fajardo: And remember to reapply every other week.
Enjoy your sneakers, wear them without fear of scuffs, and have confidence that nearly any stain is treatable.
- Johnny Fajardo, Sneaker LAB
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Thanks To These Geniusand Easytips On How To Clean White Sneakers You Can Say Hello To A Lifetime Of Spotless Shoes
Did you ever look down at your pearly white sneaks just to feel that self-conscious sink in your stomachthe result of realizing your sneakers look pretty drab? Dont feel so bad, it happens to the best of usthough it never has to happen to you, again. Get ready to take some notes on how to clean white sneakers, and breathe some life back into your old pair of dirtied white shoes collecting dust in the back of your closet. Without a doubt, heres the best way to clean white sneakers: