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How to Clean White Shoes? - 6 Effective Tips


If you love wearing white shoes just like we do, you probably already know how much work is required to keep them looking as pristine as the day you bought them. White shoes are awesome - they go with almost anything and can be paired with nearly all types of outfits. Unfortunately, white shoes tend to get dirty extremely quickly - even after just one short trip outside, you’ll definitely be able to tell them apart from a fresh pair. Watching your every step and frantically checking the weather to make sure it’s not going to rain - these are common ways to keep your white shoes clean for at least a little longer.

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6 Tips For Cleaning White Shoes That Work on Sneakers of All Materials

If you’ve had it up to here struggling with cleaning your white shoes, we’re here to help. With this handy guide on how to clean white shoes, you’ll know exactly what to do to protect your favorite sneakers from dirt and grime.

How to Clean White Shoes With a Toothbrush?

When it comes to cleaning shoes, there is no better tool than a toothbrush. They are easily accessible and cheap, and their hair is super-thin. Perfect for getting rid of loose dirt on your beautiful white shoes.

Start with removing your shoelaces and scrubbing them thoroughly with a dry toothbrush - before we get the shoes wet, we want all the bigger pieces of dirt removed. If your sneakers are extremely dirty and muddy, you might want to take them outside first and smack their soles together a couple of times for all the larger bits to fall off first.

The easiest solution - soap and water

While this method might sound obvious, it’s very effective for brands like Vans and most people are just doing it wrong. Most often, you won’t need any detergents or baking soda to clean your white shoes - instead, a simple solution of soap in water will suffice. Add two teaspoons of dish soap into a glass of warm water and stir it for a while - don’t overdo it, or the water will turn milky. You want the soap water to remain clear, with visible bubbles on the surface.

Remember that toothbrush we used before? It’s going to come in handy again - make sure it’s clean and dip it in the soapy water. Use circular motions to gently brush the dirty spots on your white sneakers. While this method might be a little time consuming, it is the most foolproof way of cleaning your white shoes, especially when it comes to protecting different fabrics and materials

How to clean white shoes with baking soda?

The oldest trick in the book - baking soda. If you wonder how to clean white shoes without bleach, the answer is extremely simple - mix a bit of baking soda and white vinegar together - it’ll form a sort of paste that you can use on your white shoes to remove dirt and any stains. Just like with soap and water, use a toothbrush to scrub the shoes clean.

Don’t immediately remove the mixture from your shoes - wait for the paste to completely dry first. Using a soft sponge or a piece of cloth, remove the hardened paste from your shoes. Congratulations, you now have a pristine pair of almost-new white shoes!

How to manage difficult stains?

When it comes to removing stains, there are few substances more effective than bleach - but bleach can also destroy the fabric and isn’t the safest to work with. After all, you don’t want your new Nike shoes to end up damaged.

How to clean white shoes effortlessly?

How to clean white shoes without bleach, even with very difficult stains?

If you’re scared of using bleach on your new shoes, you can try using toothpaste instead. Make sure you get a white toothpaste first - any other might leave its own stains. Using a toothbrush, cover the dirty areas in a thin layer of toothpaste. Let the paste dry for around 20 minutes and wipe it off with a wet cloth.

Melamine foams, also called Magic Erasers might be of help here, too. Those are commonly used for white shoes’ rubber soles to remove dirt and other stains. If you’re wondering how to clean white shoes that turned yellow, a Magic Eraser might be just the answer.

Don’t want to rely on makeshift methods for cleaning your expensive shoes? At Sneaker Studio, you’ll find a variety of professional shoe cleaning supplies, like a Crep Cleaning Eraser or a full Jason Markk Shoe Cleaning Travel Kit, with a premium shoe cleaner, a shoe brush, and a microfiber towel.

Take care of shoelaces too

Once you’ve scrubbed your shoes clean, now comes the time for the shoelaces - normally you’d just throw them in with the laundry, but what if that doesn’t do the job?

While you might have reservations about putting bleach on your brand new shoes, it’s perfectly fine to use bleach on the shoelaces.
  1. Using appropriate safety equipment (including gloves), mix a small amount of bleach solution, according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

  2. Place the shoelaces in a washing bag and soak the bag in the solution - no need to keep them submerged for more than 5 minutes.

  3. After that, simply pull out the laces and wash them in the washing machine on regular settings.

Looking for a new pair of shoes for winter? Check out our guide on What Winter Shoes to Choose!


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