Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 08:11 pm

Clean White Shoes: Your Master Guide to Perfect Cleaning!

Clean White Shoes: Your Master Guide to Perfect Cleaning!

White shoes go fantastic with your outfits — but cleaning white shoes is a hassle. White surfaces are notoriously difficult to keep clean, as even the slightest dust and smallest stains become very prominent. To keep your white sneakers shiny and new for a long time, you must regularly clean them with non-abrasive materials. So, how to clean white shoes?

Standard shoe-cleaning methods for white shoes include hand washing with a mild cleaning solution, machine washing, baking soda paste, or scrubbing shoes with toothpaste. Improper cleaning can ruin your white shoes. Abrasive cleaning supplies can ruin your shoe texture. 

You can wash some boots, but not every shoe is washing-friendly. Chemical cleaners can cause discoloration or staining of the shoe material. But if you follow this guide on cleaning white shoes, you won’t have to worry about these issues!

Preparing Your Shoes for Cleaning

Gather your supplies in one place before cleaning the shoes so you won’t be inconvenienced. Remove the shoelaces and insoles for better access to all areas. 

Remember to clean shoelaces too, or they would give a bad contrast to your squeaky clean white shoes. You can wash shoelaces separately, either by hand or in a machine.

Before any cleaning method, you must remove the loose dirt. You can use a soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush—clean seams, crevices, and other textured areas, as dirt accumulates here. 

4 Methods To Clean White Shoes

Now that you have prepared shoes for cleaning, you can proceed with these cleaning methods, depending on the make and material of your shoe:

1. Hand Washing

Hand washing is a popular and straightforward shoe-cleaning method that works well for white shoes. 

Step 1: Fill a basin with warm water and add a soft cleaning material, like laundry detergent or dish soap. 

Choosing the cleaning material is critical — avoid harsh, abrasive chemical cleaners or bleach as they damage the shoe.

Step 2: Dip a clean cloth or a soft-bristle brush in the solution. Keep the fabric or brush damp but not soaking wet, and gently scrub the shoes with it. 

Use small circular motions and clean any stained areas well. Ensure you are gentle, or you may damage the shoe material.

Step 3: Once you scrub the shoes well, rinse them with clean water to remove the solution. 

You can use a desperate container with clean water or directly put your shoe under running water. Make sure you get out the cleaning solution completely. 

Step 4: After cleaning the shoe, gently squeeze them to get out the water — but be careful not to do it too hard as you can damage the shoe structure. 

Step 5: Put the shoes in a well-ventilated place to air dry. Avoid drying them in direct sunlight or through a blow-dryer, as it can damage the boots. 

Step 6: Put the shoelaces back in once the shoes are dry.

2. Machine Washing

You can wash some shoes in the laundry machine. However, not all boots can be machine-washed, and you must check your shoe’s specifications. Expect to find a tag or label on the shoe that says if your shoe can be washed in the machine. Generally, canvas or synthetic material shoes can be machine-washed, while leather and suede cannot be.

If your shoes can be machine washed, put them in a pillowcase or a laundry bag designed for shoes instead of throwing them directly in the washing machine. 

This will protect your washing machine from being damaged by the shoes as they bang against its sides. 

Wash your shoes with a mild detergent and on a gentle cycle with cold water. Hot water could shrink the shoes or damage their shape, so avoid that. 

After completion, take your shoes off and air-dry them.

3. Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household item that has detergent properties. It can remove stains from shoes and also absorb and neutralize odors. Your shoes will never smell again!

To prepare baking soda paste, mix baking soda and water in a small bowl and create a thick paste. 

You will have to trial-and-error the exact ratio, but taking equal parts of baking soda and water at the start and adjusting to having a paste-like consistency is a good idea. 

Use a soft brush or a clean cloth to apply baking soda to your shoes. Ensure the paste covers the surface evenly, and pay attention to any stains.

Use a brush to scrub the shoes with baking soda but be careful not to wash it too abrasively, or you can damage the shoe. 

Once you’re done scrubbing the shoes thoroughly, rinse the paste using clean water and air dry them.

4. Using Toothpaste

If toothpaste can whiten your teeth, it’s only logical that it can clean your white shoes too! Toothpaste is an excellent shoe cleaner; you just need a small amount of white toothpaste to clean your shoes.

Ensure your toothpaste is of a non-gel variety and isn’t colored, or it can stain the shoe. Using circular motions, use a soft toothbrush and scrub the toothpaste into the boots. 

Once you scrub all dirt and stains off, rinse your shoes with water. Ensure you remove all toothpaste residues, and then air dry your shoes.

Final Thoughts

White shoes require extensive maintenance as stains and dirt becomes very prominent. While you may have to clean white shoes more often than your other shoes, the charm and dignity they bring to your outfit are worth it!

Mild detergent or soap, baking soda, and toothpaste are perfect for cleaning white shoes. Some white shoes can also be machine-washed. However, avoid abrasive cleaners and bleaching if you love your white shoes! Keep your shoes clean and pristine for a better look and longer lifespan.


How to Clean White Canvas Shoes?

Canvas shoes are easy to clean and are generally machine-washable. You can also use a mild soap or detergent to remove dirt. However, avoid using bleach.

How to Clean White Tennis Shoes?

You can clean tennis shoes with mild soap and water or by machine-washing. However, not all tennis shoes are machine washable, and you must check if your tennis shoes are machine-friendly.

How to Clean White Leather Shoes?

Leather shoes are delicate and require special care. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove dirt and then clean it with either a mixture of mild soap and water or a leather cleaner. Scrub the surface gently with the cleaning solution and then wipe it off using a damp towel. After cleaning, you should also use a leather conditioner to keep the shoe soft and pristine.

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