How To Clean White Sneakers: A Step-By-Step Guide

Many of us love wearing white sneakers. They look great in almost any of the outfit combinations. However, there are some concerns when it comes to white color and especially the white shoes or sneakers.

First thing on everyone’s mind. What if it gets dirty? It’s even more concerning while purchasing a pair of white sneakers. This is all because white gets stained easily and when it comes to the shoes, it is more difficult to protect. It’s not possible to watch every step we take. And what’s the next step if the shoes get stained even after your hard effort to protect them.

Does this mean you should avoid white sneakers? No, you must not avoid it.

Yeah, of course, you should take care of your shoes as much as possible, but don’t be too stressed if they get dirty as it is possible to keep your white shoes as clean and sparkling as the day you got them.

All you need to know is the right steps and the basic cleaning supplies. With these 2 things, you can easily clean your stained and dirty white sneakers. Furthermore, you do not need to spend a lot of time and effort, nor do you need to buy fancy and expensive cleaning supplies.

Let’s start with some basic cleaning supplies and work the way up to cleaning your white sneakers.

What do you need?

1. Shoe Trees

Shoe trees are great for keeping the shape of your shoes while cleaning them. You can stuff your shoes with newspaper or old t-shirts and rags as an alternative to shoe trees.

2. Horse Hair Brush or Soft Tooth Brush

You can use one of these to gently remove the surface dirt from your shoes.

3. Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths are a great alternative to normal cotton cloth with some remarkable benefits and also an efficient product for shining shoes, especially for leather ones.

The microfiber fabric’s tightly knit synthetic design traps dirt and grime without scratching material like leather.

4. Laundry Detergent

This will pull out the dirt and grime from your sneakers and rinse them out with water.

5. Petroleum Jelly

The formula of petroleum jelly not only softens the leather but also prevents it from cracking. Petroleum jelly works best for your white leather sneakers and provides you the great result as well.

6. Non-gel White Toothpaste

Non-gel white toothpaste works great for cleaning white-soled sneakers i.e. cleaning your sneaker’s sole.

Don’t just use a random colored gel toothpaste as it doesn’t go well with cleanup and also may end up with some stain on white shoes/soles.

7. Baking Soda

Baking soda works well as a natural deodorizer. It will be used here to remove the bad odor from your sneakers as it can help absorb bad odors and leave your shoes much fresher.

How long will it take to clean up your white sneakers?

This is determined by the type and material of the shoes, as well as how dirty they are. You can plan from 5 to 30 minutes or even up to an hour if your shoes require more drying time.

How to clean White Leather Sneakers?

How To Clean White Leather Sneakers

You can’t just throw your white leather sneakers in the washing machine or rinse them with a detergent-water mixture and expect a good result. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should be embarrassed by your dirty and stained shoes.

Let’s get started on cleaning your white leather sneakers with these simple steps.

Step 1: Remove Shoelaces

First, remove the shoelaces and soak them in the laundry detergent mixture for a few minutes. This will free up the shoes and also allow you to clean every corner.

You can leave your shoelaces in the mixture while you clean the rest of your shoes.

Step 2: Tackle Surface Dirt

It’s now time to remove all those dirt and grimes from the shoe’s surface. Use a soft horsehair brush to remove the dirt and wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth.

Step 3: Clean-up the Sole

To begin, use a dry toothbrush to remove all dirt from the sole. After you’ve removed all of the dirt, it’s time to thoroughly wipe it with a wet microfiber cloth.

Scrub the sole with the toothbrush again, but this time, dip the toothbrush into the mixture of laundry detergent and water. After you’ve finished, wipe the sole with a clean dry microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Polish & Shine

And now, the most satisfying cleaning step. Take a clean, dry microfiber cloth and polish the surface of your shoe with petroleum jelly.

You can also use shoe polish but here we’ll use petroleum jelly because it’s gentle on the shoe’s surface, softens the leather, and prevents it from cracking. Massage the upper surface of the shoe in a small, gentle motion until it returns to its original, bright white color with a shine.

Step 5: Let it dry

This is the final step. First, let’s get rid of the bad odor of the shoes. Here, baking soda plays an important role in removing the bacteria that cause the bad odor.

Now, let’s look at how to use baking soda to remove the odor. Should it be sprinkled directly inside the shoes?

This method will work with cloth shoes, but be cautious with leather shoes. As with continuous use, this can result in a buildup of baking soda and cause these materials to become brittle. To solve this problem, you can use baking soda sachets.

Let’s keep it simple and straightforward. Allow your shoes to dry for about 10-15 minutes after you finish polishing them. Then, using a clean and dry microfiber cloth, wipe down your shoes. Make completely sure you cover every surface and corner of your shoe. And after that, place a baking soda sachet inside your shoes and leave them for a day. In the meantime, you can try on your other shoes from your wardrobe.

How to clean White Canvas Sneakers?

How To Clean White Canvas Sneakers

Cleaning white canvas sneakers may appear difficult because dirt and grime penetrate deep into the fabrics. Canvas shoes, on the other hand, can withstand a significant amount of scrubbing, so most stains can be removed with a bit of work.

So, let’s get started on how to clean white canvas sneakers.

Step 1: Remove Shoelaces

Consider this a general cleaning procedure for all types of shoes. Remove the shoelaces and soak them in laundry detergent before moving on to the next cleaning step.

Step 2: Clean-up the sole

Using a soft and clean horse hairbrush, remove the dirt from the sole, and then wipe it with a wet microfiber cloth. Then, get a soft toothbrush and non-gel white toothpaste. Then, start gently scrubbing the sole. This method works best for removing all stains from the sole and returning it to a fresh and clean white sole, just like a new one.

Step 3: Start scrubbing

It’s now time to work on the upper or outer part of the shoes. Clean your shoes by scrubbing them gently in a circular motion with a clean toothbrush dipped in a laundry detergent.

When you’re finished, give it a quick water wash. You can simply wipe the shoes with a damp towel, but laundry detergent may leave a stain when they dry. As a result, a quick wash with clean water may be beneficial. Furthermore, do not soak it in the laundry detergent for an extended period of time, as this may cause the shoes to deteriorate.

Step 4: Let it dry

Allow the shoes to completely dry as they will be wet. There’s no need to be worried concerned about odors as well because they’ll be gone after a quick wash and drying.

How to clean White Knit Sneakers?

How To Clean White Knit Sneakers

The white knit sneakers are a nightmare to clean, despite the fact that they offer both style and comfort. If you scrub too hard, you risk damaging the fabric. However, following these steps will bring those dirty and soiled white knit sneakers back to life.

Step 1: Remove Shoelaces

As previously stated, remove the shoelaces and soak them in the laundry detergent before proceeding with the other cleaning process.

Step 2: Clean-up the sole

Before wiping the sole with a wet microfiber cloth, remove the dirt with a soft, clean horse hairbrush. Then, using a soft toothbrush and non-gel white toothpaste, gently scrub the sole. This method, as previously stated, works best for removing all stains from the sole and restoring it to its originally fresh and clean white color.

Step 3: Start scrubbing

It’s now time to start cleaning the upper or outer part of the shoes. Scrub your shoes gently in a circular motion with a clean toothbrush dipped in laundry detergent.

After you’re done, give it a quick water wash. As mentioned above as well, do not leave your shoes soaked in the laundry detergent for a long time, as this may cause the shoes to deteriorate.

Step 4: Let it dry

Now comes the final step. Allow your shoes to dry completely after you’ve completed the preceding steps.

How to clean White Shoelaces?

What to do with the shoelaces you left in the laundry detergent? By now, all of the dirt from the shoelaces should have been removed. If not, simply use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining dirt or stains. Or, you can simply rub the laces against each other.

If the laces are very yellowed or stained, a teaspoon of bleach can be added to the water to help brighten them. However, if you added bleach to the water, remember to wear rubber gloves when handling the laces.

After you’ve finished cleaning, thoroughly rinse the laces in clean running water and hang them to dry.

3 things to consider in order to keep your white shoes clean and in the best condition

Once your white shoes have regained their luster, here are some tips to keep them in good condition.

1. Prevention is key

Using a stain and water repellent spray every few weeks can help prevent stains from forming. However, you should not rely solely on this. You should still clean your white shoes every now and then.

These repellents keep dirt and grime from penetrating the shoes. However, use them with caution as they may cause dullness in some of your shoes or dull the shiny finish on your shoes. Furthermore, don’t use stain and water repellent on white leather shoes.

2. Spot cleaning

As soon as you notice any stains or spots, take action. The longer you leave, the more difficult it will be to get rid of them.

3. Store them properly

After several days of wearing, it not only becomes dirty but also out of shape. So, once you’ve finished cleaning, don’t rush back into the same shoes.

It’s time to let your shoes reshape themselves. Put the shoe trees and store your clean white shoes properly. As an alternative, you can stuff your shoes with newspaper or old T-shirts and rags.

Meanwhile, you can get into other pairs and rock them with other outfit combinations.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
The GP Editorial Team is comprised of men's fashion, grooming, health & fitness, and lifestyle experts. We provide the most recent trends, tips, and advice to help men look and feel their best.

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