We absolutely love to have white sneakers in a wardrobe. They really work well with everything in your closet ranged from dresses to jeans; bold fashion is to wear white sneakers even with a suit.
Think of the white shoes as an essential wardrobe item to build the foundation of your awesome outfit.
However, keeping white sneakers clean might be a stressful task, and before you just accept the fact that your white shoes are gone forever, take the fight and check out our fast and easy ways to clean white shoes at home using household items.
SPECIAL REPORT: Top 10 Sneakers Reviewed in 2020
How To Clean Your White Shoes – Canvas or Fabric
- Seven Ways To Clean White Canvas or Fabric Shoes
- Three Simple Care Tricks to Keep White Leather Shoes Clean
- How To Gently Clean Nubuck, Suede or Cotton Mesh Shoes
We pulled together 7 simple, yet effective methods to make your white shoes look like new. It’s pretty common sense, of course, before any cleaning process, do simple preparation work: remove laces and brush dirt, mud, green grass off your sneakers over a trashcan or outside your house.
It is a good idea to test any solution on a small area of fabric before you apply it any further on your shoes just to avoid weird discoloration that technically should not happen but might be the result of the wrong solution application.
1. Toothpaste & Old Toothbrush
Use an old toothbrush or the one that is marked as “soft” and preferably a non-gel white toothpaste, Colgate will work just fine.
Apply toothpaste on a sneakers surface and scrub. Usually, it takes 2-5 minutes to get stains out of white shoes. Some experts suggest you put sneakers with toothpaste on them under direct sunlight to make them whiter even more. But I don’t recommend it, some sneakers turn yellow instead.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: How to Clean White Canvas Shoes Without Turning Them Yellow
I use a cold hairdryer to dry up the paste, it gives me the same effect. Then wipe toothpaste with a cleaning cloth. Even after applying toothpaste only once, you will see that the stains decrease significantly. Repeat the process until your shoes are white as you want them to be.
TIP: You can also use Teeth Whitening Gel and do the same steps.
2. Baking Soda Solution
A cheap and easy trick is to use baking soda to get stains out of white shoes. Most people are skeptical about using these DIY hacks at first because there are many complains that shoes are turning yellow after. However, if you do it correctly, it really works.
This homemade formula will help you make white shoes white again: make a thick paste out of baking soda and water.
Apply on strains with a toothbrush, let it dry, wipe off with a tissue. If some of the stains don’t go out immediately, add vinegar or 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Try not to rub too hard to avoid fabric damage.
It might take 10-15 minutes to clean all surfaces of the shoes. Let the shoes dry off overnight and wipe off the soda afterward.
CAUTION: Do not use a dryer to speed up the process, the canvas part of the shoes might shrink.
3. Machine Washing
Machine washing will definitely ruin your leather shoes; also fabric shoes might actually be damaged even by the gentle cycle of your washing machine – banging around in water destroys the cement binding and makes your shoes lose.
To clean Converse brand experts recommend hand-washing them in cold, clear water using detergent diluted in proportion 1 part of your regular old detergent to 5 parts of water. Do not add more detergent, it will turn your shoe yellow instantly.
4. Magic Eraser
The best way to clean white shoes without wetting them is to use a magic eraser. To get rid of scuffs and marks wet the sponge, remove extra water and gently rub problem areas on your shoes. It should work fine with both canvas and leather shoes.
You can find melamine cleaning sponge in the nearest Walmart or on Amazon. Mr. Clean is just perfect.
Although this method might seem the most effective way to whiten the shoes, use bleach only on fabric shoes. Mix one part bleach and five parts water. Undiluted bleach or a too much bleach to water ratio will turn white canvases a shade of yellow.
Also, after cleaning doesn’t put sneakers in the sunlight, it will turn them yellow too. Converses are not that cheap to experiment with bleach.
Use bleach to whiten shoelaces, just soak your laces in a bleach-water mix for a few hours, drain in the clear water, let them dry. Voila, bright white laces.
Use hand protection gloves and, also, protect your clothes.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
One of the bleach alternatives to clean whites is 1.5-3% Hydrogen Peroxide from your first aid kit (don’t use 45% Hydrogen Peroxide from the beauty shop, it turns white shoes yellow in a second).
For better results, you might want to spray it on your shoes before washing. Also, it’s an excellent antiseptic and helps to get rid of the unpleasant smell, just spray diluted Hydrogen Peroxide on a paper towel and wipe inside the shoes.
CAUTION: Do not use rubbing alcohol instead of Hydrogen Peroxide.
7. Mixed Solution
You will need:
- Baking Soda;
- Old Toothbrush;
- Liquid Soap;
- Container with clean water;
- Nail Polish Remover;
- Cotton balls.
Follow the video instructions:
Three Simple Care Tricks to Keep White Leather Shoes Clean
The leather shoes are easy to clean compared to other fabrics. Consistent cleaning and nourishing care of leather shoes extend its life and keep your white shoes white for a long time.
1. Wash your white leather shoes consistently
Liquid dish soap and water work really good on all kinds of leather shoes, including iconic high heels and authentic sneakers. Use Ivory soap, soft microfiber cloth, and warm water to remove dirt and gently care for fine leather.
You can make your own detergent using Zote, this soap does a great job at cleaning white shoes that turned yellow. Magic Eraser Mini Sponges work great for stains on soles.
Definitely, I do not recommend washing leather shoes in a washing machine.
2. Treat Your Leather Shoes With All-Natural Leather Care Products
It is essential to keep the leather clean and hydrated to avoid cracks and color altering. All you need to ensure the good white leather condition is
- Conditioning cream to moisturize the leather, keep it soft and shiny;
- Natural Oil for Leather to revive older leather shoes that have not been cared well;
- Boot Wax for a layer of waterproof protection.
Choose products with natural oils without silicone and petroleum products that are harmful and lead to premature leather aging.
Always follow manufacturer label instructions. Do not put whitening solutions on colored parts of the shoes.
Test new leather care products in a discreet location before applying on anything you care about.
3. Protect White Leather Shoes From Getting Dirty
To reduce stress from taking care of your white shoe pair and make your whites look bright as they are on the day you bought them, consider protecting your white shoes from getting dirty.
It’s worth using Nanotechnology products like Crep Protect Spray to protect your footwear from rain and stains and make your kicks last longer.
How To Gently Clean Nubuck, Suede or Cotton Mesh Shoes
Suede, nubuck, and cotton mesh are delicate fabrics that get dirty easily, require gentle care and extra cleaning.
- Let it dry. To do the right job, you’ve got to let the mud completely dry on the suede.
- Use a Suede Cleaning Block to remove stains. Use the eraser that removes surface dirt and cleans midsoles. It can be a pencil eraser or a suede cleaning block.
- Revive the nap with a brush. Brush back and forth to remove mud from hard-to-reach areas. Use the ultra-soft Suede Brush to restore the scrape on your suede kicks.
- Avoid any harsh abrasive chemicals in suede care products. Spray suede shoes with a protector to prevent stains, spots, and discoloration.
- Dry clean suede shoes regularly to prevent dirt buildup.