White shoes boost confidence and show the strength of character. However, white shoes need maintenance because they will show stains more eagerly than their colorful counterparts. The stains are nothing to worry about as we will show you the best way to clean white shoes to remain confident and stylish all day.

1. White Canvas Shoes

White canvas or fabric shoes are fun to wear and style. They will, however, start turning dingy grey after a few days of wearing them. However, the stains are easier to get rid of than you imagine.

What You Need

  • Baking Soda
  • White vinegar
  • An old toothbrush
  • Paper towel or a soft cloth.
  • Magic eraser
  • Bleach pen (where necessary)

Step 1: Loose dirt

Washing shoes with loose dirt on them will be messy, and the shoes might turn out worse than they already are. Remove any laces or insoles to make particles and dirt fall off easier and not get trapped in the shoe.

Hit the shoes together on the soles to get rid of loose dirt and dried-up mud, if any. If there is any loose dirt left on the shoes, use a dry bristle or an old toothbrush to remove the dirt. Then, scrub the shoes along the rubber soles softly and gently to remove the dirt.

Step 2: Clean with Baking Soda and White Vinegar

Mix the white vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl to a paste-like consistency. Then, depending on the level of dirt, use a spoon to measure the baking soda. For example, 1 tablespoon of baking soda is often enough to clean your white sneakers.

Using the toothbrush, apply the paste all over the shoe surface. Scrub gently to remove the dirt and stains from the surface of the shoes. Let the sneakers sit for a while to get the baking soda and vinegar to harden on the shoe surface.

When the mixture is completely dry and flaky, use the old toothbrush to eliminate the vinegar and baking soda. Next, use a paper towel or a soft cloth to wipe off the remaining mixture from the shoe surface.

For harder stains that stick like sap from grass, use a bleach pen to clean the stained spots. Then, use liquid detergent and hot water to wash off the solution after five minutes.

Step 3: Clean the Rubber Soles

Use a magic eraser to remove any dirt or scuffs from the sole. Use a damp cloth to clean off the dirt from the rubber. Using a wet paper towel or a clean cloth, wipe off the shoes until clean before drying them.

Let the clean white shoes air-dry before completely wearing them. Then, dry the shoes under a shade with no direct sunlight.

Using a Washing Machine

You will not always be in the mood to hand-wash your white sneakers. However, that does not stop you from being clean and at the top of your shoe game. You can use a washing machine to clean your white sneakers with the following steps.

  • Place the shoes in the washing machine alongside a small amount of laundry detergent. The detergent should not be very strong.
  • Run the laundry machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. Using cold water prevents the weakening of the shoe glue and discoloration.
  • To avoid the risk of tangling, remove the laces from the shoes before putting them in the washing machine. You can use a mesh bag to isolate the laces for machine washing.
  • After rinsing off the shoes, please place them in the shade without direct sunlight to air dry.
  • Enjoy rocking your clean white sneakers.

2. White Mesh Shoes

White mesh shoes are very stylish and fun to wear. However, they need to be cleaned to stay as clean as they were when you bought the shoes.

What You Need

  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Bleach pen
  • Eraser sponge
  • Old toothbrush
  • White paper towels
  • Laundry detergent

Step 1: Brush the Dirt Away

Mesh shoes are very delicate and need a lot of care. The shoes get damaged or snagged easily. Be more gentle than you are with your fabric counterparts. Gently brush away excess dirt on the shoe exterior using a soft-bristled brush or a soft old toothbrush.

Step 2: Use Soapy Water

Add liquid laundry to a bowl of warm water and create a soapy solution out of it. Use circular motions to apply the cleaning solution to the shoe using a soft cloth. Rinse the cloth with warm water periodically to avoid spreading dirt when cleaning the sneakers. Use soapy water, a toothbrush, or a beaching pen to remove grass stains and other tough stains. Be sure to scrub the mesh parts of the shoe gently.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry the Shoes

Avoid submerging the whole shoe in water when rinsing the mesh sneakers. Dipping the shoes in water can damage the shape of the shoes and cause premature damage to your sneakers. To help retain the shape, fill the shoes with paper towels until they are dry and ready for wearing. Then, place the shoes in a cool open place without direct sunlight.

3. White Leather shoes

Leather shoes are easy to maintain if done correctly. Just like any other white shoe, leather shoes can get stained easily. However, the shoes have a surface that is easier to clean as dirt can come off easily when you use the right methods.

What You Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Eraser sponge
  • White paper towels

Step 1: Clean Shoes with Soapy Water

Use a toothbrush to brush off any loose dust particles and dirt before using water on the shoes. Remove laces to make the cleaning process easier and more effective. Mix the liquid dish soap into a cup of warm water and use the toothbrush to scrub all over the shoes gently.

Step 2: Magic Eraser

Use a magic eraser to wipe off the dirt and grime from the surface of the sneakers. Mr. Clean magic eraser will come in handy. Wet the eraser and wring it so that it is not dripping wet. Let your shoes dry as moisture can damage leather. Watch out for the areas on the shoe with the covering layer peeled off or damaged.

Scrubbing Paste

If the stains on your shoes are more serious, mix a cleaning paste made up of baking soda and a tablespoon of white toothpaste with a non-gel formula. Use one tablespoon of warm water to make the paste.

Using a soft cloth, apply the paste onto the shoe’s surface and scrub gently in a circular motion to remove the stains. Wipe off the sneakers with a damp cloth and leave them to dry completely. Repeat the whole process if the stains do not come off. You will end up with clean white sneakers before you know it.

4. Shoe Laces

You can not tie dirty white laces on a clean white pair of sneakers. White shoelaces need to be as clean as the sneakers you will tie them on.

What You Need

  • Three tablespoons of bleach.
  • One gallon of water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Rubber gloves
  • White mesh laundry bag

You can use bleach to clean any white shoelace. Remove the laces from the shoe and place them inside the laundry mesh bag. Using rubber gloves, soak the bag with the laces in it and leave for about five minutes.

Ensure you have rubber gloves to protect your skin from the bleaching agent. Use a heavy material that can not bleach to keep the laces submerged in the cleaning solution. Remove the laces from the bleach and wash them in a laundry machine as you would do in a normal situation. Rinse off the laces and hang them to dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

a) Can I Use Toothpaste to Clean White Shoes?

White non-gel toothpaste can clean shoes. Toothpaste contains cleaning ingredients to remove any stain and make your sneakers bright white, just like it does your teeth. Use a soft clean cloth when using a paste of baking soda and follow the same steps when using toothpaste.

Toothpaste is readily available and cheap to acquire from any store. Colgate is literally in all stores. In addition, you can use water to easily rinse off any excess toothpaste while achieving the maximum benefits of the cleaning agents in the paste.

b) Does Bleach Damage Shoes?

Using too much bleach can lead to yellowing the shoes from their bright white to off-white color consistency. A tough stain on white fabric needs bleach, but too much bleach will spoil the fabric. One part bleach to five-part water should remove the stain without spoiling the shoes. Bleach like Clorox is great for washing shoes.

Bleach, however, can damage your skin. Always wear rubber gloves to prevent any injuries.

c) Can I wash My Shoes in a Washing Machine?

Whether or not to wash sneakers in a washing machine depends on the material of the shoes. Sneakers made out of fabric are safe to wash in a laundry machine. Polyester, cotton, and nylon are washable in a machine as well.

Leather shoes can get damaged when you wash them in a laundry machine. In addition, laundry detergents can lead to damage to the leather. When leather dries, it can be hard and less flexible. In addition, laundry detergents can make leather have an odor that is not normal for a shoe.

Use the right methods to clean leather sneakers. Avoid Soaking leather sneakers in water. After washing a pair of leather sneakers, ensure they completely air dry before you start wearing them again.

The sneakers can get damaged if the washer is not in a slow spin due to tear and wear that might take place in the process.

d) Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Wash Shoes?

Yes. Hydrogen peroxide helps create a smooth paste when mixed with baking soda and water. Use the paste to rub on the sneakers’ surface gently but thoroughly before rinsing off and drying the sneakers. 1 tablespoon of the three ingredients should work perfectly to remove stains from your shoes.

e) Can I Use Hot Water when Washing Shoes?

Hot water causes damage to the glue that holds parts of the shoes together. Hot water can cause further damage to the material if it is made of polyester or leather. Hot water can make soap lather more easily, but that is not enough reason to use hot water on your beloved pair of sneakers.

f) How do I Prevent Lace Grommets from Getting Rust?

Some lace holes are made of metal or steel that can rust when exposed to water. Rusted metals will stain the shoelaces. A Rust stain on white fabric is not easy to get rid of. To prevent this, ensure the shoes dry up as soon as you are done washing them. Do not keep the sneakers damp enough for rusting to occur.

You can use zinc-chromate primer on the metal parts of the shoe. However, chromium is very toxic. You can apply Vaseline to the metal holes. However, it is hard to know how that will look when it gets sunny. The laces will catch dirt faster when they get Vaseline on them. Consider buying sneakers with plastic lace holes to prevent rusting. The risk of rusting is especially for people living in areas near the coast.

g) How do I dry Shoes During Indoors?

You can use newspapers to dry sneakers indoors. Remove the insoles of the sneakers and insert balled-up newspapers into the shoes. Place the sneakers indoors. Pick a room that has ventilation and a dry surface. It is more efficient if the sneakers are near a fan or a heater to fasten the drying rate. The newspapers will help absorb water from the fabric or canvas to speed up the drying process.

About the Author Brian

Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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