How To Make Your Shoes White Again

White sneakers have become a wardrobe staple for everyone in recent seasons because they’re just so versatile! You can dress them up or dress them down, wear them with jeans and a t-shirt or pair them with a sundress, no matter how you style them white sneaks are hard to beat. We’ve got the scoop on how to clean your white shoes!

Unfortunately, they’re easy to scuff up and get dirty. It seems like within the first 5 minutes of wearing them they have a scuff, scrape, or they just aren’t as bright white as they were. Fortunately, we’re here to help! No matter what material your white sneakers are we have a way to clean them and restore them to their former glory!

PRO TIP:  Before you do any cleaning, be sure to test clean on a non-visible spot of your shoes, like the sides of the tongue to be sure your cleaning method doesn’t stain or mark your shoes!

How to Clean White Leather Shoes

Ooo – white leather shoes are always a fashion win! With hot styles from Nike and Adidas, there’s always a pair that you’ll love to sport around. But of course, they get so dirty so quick, and obviously, you can’t throw leather in the wash. This fact may lead some to be wary of getting their leather kicks wet or even getting white leather to begin with. On the bright side, cleaning up white leather shoes is pretty simple!

The Magic Eraser Method

Leather is one of the easier materials to clean up since it doesn’t absorb water as other fabrics do so giving your leathers a good cleaning is simple. To start cleaning up your leathers you will need is white paper towels, Ivory soap, cotton rags, and Magic Erasers.

  1. Start by wetting a paper towel and squeezing out the excess water (you don’t want to get the leather too wet!) and then gently wipe down the outside of the shoes. This step will help remove large pieces of dirt that are caught in different parts of your shoe.
  2. Once you’ve whipped down your leathers, let them dry for about 10 minutes before moving on to clean the soles of your shoes.
  3. After allowing your leather sneaks to dry, get your Magic Eraser wet (squeezing out any excess water) and run the Magic Eraser up and down the soles of your sneakers until any dirt and stains are gone.
  4. Then you’ll want to get your rag wet and lather it up with your Ivory soap. Massage the leather upper in small, gentle motions until your sneakers are perfectly white again.
  5. To finish up just wipe away any excess soap and let your shoes air dry!

You may need to repeat these steps, depending on how dingy they are.

How to Clean White Mesh Shoes

White shoes notoriously attract all dirt within a 5-mile radius and mesh shoes seem to absorb anything they come in contact with, so white mesh shoes are just a match made in heaven, aren’t they? But these lightweight, breathable, and ultra-trendy shoes can be easily cleaned and refreshed with just a few simple steps!

Toothbrush and Laundry Detergent

To start all you’ll need is a soft-bristled toothbrush, 1 tbsp. liquid laundry detergent, warm water, a soft cloth, a bleach pen or stain remover (totally optional), a Magic Eraser, and white paper towels.

  1. Start by brushing away the dirt – mesh is a delicate fabric and it can be easily damaged if you’re not careful. By using your dry toothbrush, gently brush away any excess dirt or dust off the shoes.
  2. After brushing away the dirt, add a small amount of the liquid laundry detergent to a bowl of warm water. Then take the soft cloth and apply the detergent mixture to your shoes and scrub in gentle, circular motions.
    1. You may want to rinse the cloth with warm water from time to time to avoid spreading any dirt or stains to another part of the shoes!
    2. For more stubborn spots like grass stains or ground-in dirt use your toothbrush and soapy water or the bleach pen/stain remover and gently scrub
  3. Once you’ve scrubbed the grime away from your shoes, use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of the shoe. Avoid submerging your shoes in water as this can damage them or affect their shape.
  4. Fill your shoes with paper towels to help them keep their shape and allow them to air-dry completely!

How to Clean White Shoelaces

Now that you have some fresh, bright white shoes now you need some matching laces! Nothing takes from the appearance of your shoes quite like dirty laces, but fortunately cleaning them up is quick and easy especially with these two methods below.

Cleaning White Laces in the Washing Machine

To clean your shoelaces in the washing machine all you need is a mesh lingerie bag, a soft toothbrush, laundry detergent, and bleach or a stain remover (optional).

  1. Start by removing the laces from your shoes, then hold them under cool running water and use the toothbrush to remove any dirt and grime.
    1. Check to see if there are any stains and apply stain remover to any discolored areas if desired.
  2. Grab the mesh bag and place the laces inside then close the bag. Then go ahead and toss the bag in the washer with the laundry detergent and wash on cold. You can even wash them along with the rest of your laundry!
    1. If you’re washing whites only, you can use a cap full of bleach to help brighten your laces!
  3. Once the wash is done, take the laces out and hang them to air dry!

Cleaning White Laces by Hand

Don’t want to throw the laces in the wash? No problem! Hand washing your laces is just as simple and easy as it is to toss them into the washer.  All you’ll need is a soft toothbrush, a bowl or sink, warm water, liquid laundry detergent, and bleach or a stain remover (optional).

  1. Remove the laces from your shoes and run them under cool running water to remove any dirt and grime.
    1. If you decide to use a stain remover, go ahead and spray some on and then allow it to sit on the laces while you’re getting ready to wash them.
  2. Fill a bowl or the sink with warm water and a little bit of laundry detergent.
  3. Put the laces in the water and let them soak for about 30 minutes. If the laces are yellowed or still stained, you can add a teaspoon of bleach to help brighten them!
  4. After a good soak, use a soft toothbrush and gently scrub away any dirt or stains. If you’re using bleach, please remember to protect your skin and use gloves!
  5. Finally, thoroughly rinse the laces under clean running water and then ring them out and let air dry.

How to Keep White Shoes Clean

Those white kicks look pearly white and fresh now that they’ve been cleaned up, but now comes the task of keeping them clean… which really isn’t much of a task at all! To keep your white sneakers and shoes looking crisp and clean making sure you wipe them down or brush them off with a toothbrush or another soft-bristled brush after every wear makes a world of difference. You can use baby wipes, a damp cloth, or even a makeup wipe to wipe them down if you’re in a pinch!

Another solid option for keeping your white shoes clean is by investing in a spray-on shoe protectant! You may have seen these sprays in the check-out line and never thought twice about their usefulness, but really they come in handy when you’re trying to maintain your bright whites. Also, a deep clean every few weeks using the steps and methods listed above helps to maintain the look of white shoes and helps keep the cleaning time to a minimum.

By following these simple steps, keeping your white shoes can be easy and your wardrobe looking fresh!