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How To Make Shoes White Again: Best Cleaning Tips

a comparison image of a pair of dirty shoes and a pair of clean white shoes

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to make shoes white again! White shoes are stylish and versatile, but they can easily get dirty and lose their pristine appearance. Whether you have canvas, leather, mesh, or lace shoes, we've got you covered with the best cleaning methods to restore their brilliance. In this article, we'll walk you through ten effective ways to clean white shoes, along with material-specific cleaning tips. Say goodbye to those stubborn stains and hello to sparkling white shoes!


10 Best Methods to Clean White Shoes

1. Mild Laundry Detergent

Mild laundry detergent is a gentle yet powerful solution for cleaning your white shoes. Start by removing the shoelaces and any loose dirt from the shoes. Create a cleaning mixture by combining warm water and a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Dip a soft-bristled brush or cloth into the solution and gently scrub the shoes, focusing on stained areas. Rinse with clean water and let them air dry. Your shoes will look noticeably cleaner and brighter.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a fantastic natural cleaner that can work wonders on white shoes. Begin by making a paste using equal parts baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stains and dirt on your shoes, using a brush or cloth. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes, and then scrub away the residue. Baking soda not only cleans but also deodorizes, leaving your shoes smelling fresh.

3. Toothpaste

Surprisingly, toothpaste isn't just for oral care; it's also great for cleaning white shoes! Opt for a non-gel, white toothpaste and apply it directly to the stains. Gently rub it in with a soft brush or cloth and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wipe off the toothpaste with a damp cloth, and you'll be amazed by the improvement in your shoes' appearance.

4. Toilet Paper and Water

This method is particularly useful for fresh stains. Dampen a piece of toilet paper and gently blot the stain on your white shoes. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may spread the stain. Continue blotting until the stain is no longer visible. Allow the shoes to air dry, and they'll be back to their original pristine state.

5. Micellar Water

Micellar water, known for its gentle cleansing properties, is another excellent choice for cleaning white shoes. Pour a small amount of micellar water onto a cotton ball or pad and dab it on the stains. Wipe away the dirt and grime, and your shoes will look clean and fresh.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful stain remover that can help you restore your white shoes. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water in a 1:1 ratio, and apply the mixture to the stains using a cotton ball or cloth. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping it off. This method works best for tougher stains but be cautious with delicate materials. You can also make a paste by mixing two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide. Use an old toothbrush to apply the mixture to the soles and uppers of your shoes. Wait 30 minutes before rinsing or leave them to air-dry in the sun and brush away the paste once they're dry.

7. Commercial Shoe Cleaner

If you prefer a ready-made solution, there are plenty of commercial shoe cleaners available in the market. Look for one specifically designed for white shoes and follow the instructions on the packaging. These cleaners are often formulated to lift stains and dirt without damaging the shoe material.

8. Dish Soap and Baking Soda

A combination of dish soap and baking soda is an effective way to clean white shoes without causing any harm. Mix a small amount of dish soap with baking soda to form a paste. Apply the paste to the stains and scrub gently with a brush. Rinse thoroughly with water, and your shoes will regain their pristine white appearance.

9. Bleach

While bleach should be used with caution, it can be a last resort for extremely stubborn stains on white shoes. Dilute bleach with water in a 1:5 ratio and carefully apply it to the stained areas using a cotton ball. After a few minutes, rinse off the bleach thoroughly. It's essential to be cautious when using bleach, as it can discolor or damage certain shoe materials.

10. White Vinegar, Cornstarch, and Magic Eraser

Create a powerful stain-fighting paste by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and cornstarch. Apply the paste to the stains and leave it on for 30 minutes. Then, use a magic eraser to gently scrub the stained areas. The combination of these three ingredients will help lift stains and restore your shoes' white color.


 Cleaning White Shoes By Material

cleaning white shoes

Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are a popular choice, and fortunately, they are relatively easy to clean. Follow the methods mentioned above, such as using mild laundry detergent or creating a baking soda paste. Remember to let your canvas shoes air dry after cleaning.

Leather Shoes

Leather shoes require a bit more care during cleaning. Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or hydrogen peroxide, as they can damage the leather. Instead, opt for mild cleaners like white vinegar or specialized leather cleaners. After cleaning, condition the leather to keep it soft and supple.

Mesh Shoes

Mesh shoes are lightweight and breathable, but they can accumulate dirt easily. Use gentle methods like micellar water or mild detergent to clean mesh shoes. Avoid using abrasive brushes to prevent damaging the delicate mesh.

Other Tips:

Don't about the laces! Remove the laces from your shoes and clean them separately. Soak them in a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, scrubbing gently if needed. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry before re-lacing your shoes.



Key Takeaways

Follow our expert cleaning tips, tailored to different materials, and say goodbye to those pesky stains. Remember, always test any cleaning method on a small inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't damage your shoes. Keep your kicks looking fresh and stylish, and they'll serve you well for many adventures to come!


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I use bleach on all white shoes?
While bleach can be effective for some white shoes, it's essential to use it cautiously. Bleach can discolor or damage certain shoe materials like leather or delicate fabrics. Always spot test on a small area first and dilute it properly before application.

2. Are there any eco-friendly alternatives for cleaning white shoes?
Yes! If you prefer eco-friendly options, consider using baking soda, white vinegar, or mild detergent as natural cleaners. These alternatives are effective and better for the environment.

3. How often should I clean my white shoes?
The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you wear your white shoes and the level of dirt and stains. As a general rule, clean them whenever they appear dirty or stained to maintain their pristine appearance.

4. Can I put my white shoes in the washing machine?
It's not recommended to put your white shoes in the washing machine, as it can damage the shoe structure and adhesive. Hand cleaning with gentle methods is a safer option.

5. Should I apply any protective product on my white shoes after cleaning?
Yes, applying a protective spray or product after cleaning can help repel stains and dirt, keeping your shoes cleaner for longer. Just make sure to use a product suitable for the material of your shoes.

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