When buying something white, you might wonder: What if it gets dirty? It's even more of a concern with white shoes because they're not very practical. A simple misstep can leave your white shoes scuffed or stained, seemingly for good.

But guess what? You can keep your white shoes looking as good as new. How? It's all about knowing how to clean them properly. Whether you're cleaning white running shoes for women or men, let us say that it is pretty easy, and you don't need fancy cleaning supplies.

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Follow these step-by-step instructions to revive your white shoes, ensuring they maintain a fresh and new-like look. Our tested and approved strategies cater to various materials such as canvas, mesh, or leather.

How to Clean Your White Shoes at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to clean your white shoes at home, keeping them squeaky clean and fresh:

  • Step 1: Remove the Dirt

Start by removing loose dirt from your white shoes. Before scrubbing, remove the shoelaces to reach every part of the shoe.

If there's mud, take the shoes outside. Knock them together to remove caked mud, and use a dry brush with soft bristles to brush off loose dirt. 

Pay attention to the rubber soles and shoe edges. When cleaning mesh shoes, be gentle and use a soft-bristled brush, as the mesh is a delicate fabric. Gently brush away the dirt.

  • Step 2: Use White Vinegar Paste and Baking Soda

Now, let's use the cleaning solution. You can choose a mix of baking soda and white vinegar or a combo of baking soda and detergent.

Mix them in a bowl to make a paste. Take a toothbrush, dip it in the paste, and put it on your white shoes. Gently scrub to remove stains and dirt.

Let the paste stay on the shoes for a few hours until it dries and gets hard. Use a brush to remove the hardened paste, and wipe away any extra with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Use a mix of diluted bleach or a bleach pen for dark stains. Leave it on the shoes for five minutes, then wipe it off with a soft, damp cloth. Finally, wash the shoes with warm water and detergent.

  • Step 3: Clean Rubber Soles

Next, let's remove dirt marks from the shoe soles. Use a wet, soft cloth to wipe them off. For a better clean, mix liquid detergent with warm water. Let the soles air dry before putting them on again.

  • Step 4: Time for Finishing Touches

Wet a soft cloth or use a toothbrush to clean the edges of your shoe soles.

Don't soak your shoes in water; it can harm the inside and change their shape. Instead, fill the shoes with paper towels to keep their shape and help them dry faster.

Let the shoes air dry for a few hours before using a spray-on dirt-repellent to keep them clean.

Cleaning Different Types of White Shoes

Each type of shoe demands a specific cleaning approach. Delicate fabrics like mesh shoes can't withstand a hard brush, requiring a gentler method. Conversely, loafers need more than a soft brush for effective cleaning. 

We've created a detailed shoe-cleaning guide for different types of white shoes to keep them in great shape.

  • White Running Sneakers

Even the best running shoes can't escape dirt, but the good news is you can clean them up easily. Start using a shoe brush to remove mud, dirt, or gunk. Then, apply a small amount of cleaner using a sponge or a soft cloth.

A mixture of detergent and baking soda works well for general cleaning. If you encounter stubborn stains, opt for a mix of white vinegar and baking soda. Use a circular motion with the brush to clean the stains until they lighten.

  • White Mesh Shoes

Mesh, being an exceptionally soft fabric, is vulnerable to damage from excessive scrubbing and bleach when cleaning white mesh shoes. To ensure thorough cleaning, stick to mild dish soap and warm water.

Use a soft brush to remove excess dirt, then rinse the shoes with cold water. If you observe any discolouration, address it by spraying the affected spot with diluted white vinegar and allowing it to dry for an hour.

  • White Canvas Shoes

Crafted from cotton canvas fabric, canvas shoes are conveniently easy to clean. Utilise a brush and a shoe cleaner with lukewarm water to remove dirt and stains effectively.

Create a homemade cleaning agent for a DIY approach and apply it generously over the canvas fabric. Allow the cleaning solution to sit for a while before using a brush. Follow up with a thick baking soda and white vinegar paste, letting it dry.

After the cleaning paste dries, use a brush to remove the hardened residue and finish by cleaning with a dampened soft cloth.

  • Leather Sneakers

For cleaning leather sneakers, white toothpaste is highly effective. All you need is a toothbrush, warm water, and white toothpaste.

Simply apply the toothpaste directly onto the shoes and gently scrub with the toothbrush. Follow up by rinsing the white leather sneakers with warm water and allowing them to air dry.

Winding Up

These tried-and-true steps and ultimate cleaning methods are your go-to for refreshing your white shoes at home. Incorporating these hacks and following these tips ensures your white shoes consistently appear brand new. Remember, ongoing care is key for keeping your white shoes in top-notch condition.


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May 21, 2024

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