There is nothing quite as snazzy and pristine as white sneakers, clean ones that is, depending on the state of your white shoes, they can either make or break your look. Sneakers, especially white ones, require tedious care and demand attention from their owners. Are your sneakers in a state of despair, maybe due to constant wear or pure lack of effort on your part to keep them clean.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to forget about the “taking care of your shoes” part because it seems too daunting and you don’t know how to go about such a task and yet want your shoes to look like you just picked them up from the store, fret not, we’ve got just the formula to restore your favorite kicks to their chalky white glory, it’s really not that much work and will allow you to give your sneakers the attention they crave. Try out these step-by-step tips for how to clean white shoes to see for yourself how easy it is to keep your white suede, canvas and leather shoes spotless.
Table of Contents
1. How to clean white canvas shoes with baking soda
What you’ll need: baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, warm water, and a small scrub brush or toothbrush.
- Brush off your shoes to remove any big pieces of dirt and muck.
- Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1/2 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 tablespoon warm water and then gently apply the paste with the brush on the soiled shoes. Gently scrub any stains or discoloration, Press just hard enough to brush away dirt. Add another coat by lightly painting it evenly over the shoe.
- Let the solution sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with water and watch your shoes go back in time.
- Optionally, after applying the paste, you can set the shoes outside under the bright sun and let them sit for three to four hours until the paste is dry and cracking up. Clap your shoes together to get most of the mixture off and brush away the bits that remain.
This method works best for canvas, mesh and fabric shoes.
2. How to clean white suede shoes
What you’ll need: you’ll need a soft cotton cloth, a pencil eraser, white vinegar, and a soft brush that won’t damage the suede (a suede brush is ideal but a soft brush should be sufficient).
- Before you begin cleaning your suede shoes, always remember to crumple up some paper and stick it in the shoes so they keep their natural shape while you go to work on them. This will help toughen up suede’s naturally soft material to make it easier to clean the more stubborn spots of dirt.
- Start off by scrubbing with the soft brush/suede brush. Remember to always brush in the direction of the fibers when using a brush to clean your shoes, and avoid excessive back and forth movement of the brush on the shoe. Be sure your boots and brushes are moisture free when you go to brush them, even a little moisture can stain the suede permanently.
- Then, gently rub any stains with the pink pencil eraser. Apply a bit of pressure as your rub and increase as needed for tougher stains.
- For the stains that made it through the first two rounds, it’s time to bring out the heavy guns, take a clean cloth and pour a little white vinegar on it. Apply the vinegar on the stained area first and then let it dry. Finally, rub with a suede brush to get those tough stains out and to get that velvety texture back.
3. How to clean white leather shoes
What you’ll need: you’ll need a cotton rag, a non-gel toothpaste, a soft toothbrush
- Wipe off any loose dirt and debris from the shoes with a dry cloth.
- Dampen a rag so that it’s wet, wring out the water, you don’t need it to be soaking. Rub the damp cloth over the entirety of the shoe to remove the dirt that is easy to get off.
- Apply small dabs of toothpaste, not gel, onto dirty areas of the shoes. Dip an old toothbrush into the water, and lightly scrub in the toothpaste, working in small circular motions. Continue to do this until the stains break up.
- Dampen a cloth with warm water, wring it out. Wipe the shoes to remove any toothpaste residue. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the toothpaste, wipe your shoes down with a rag. Make sure they are completely dry before storing the shoes.
Optional: Apply a leather protector to a cloth, and wipe it onto the leather shoes. Use a thin layer, and buff it into the shoes.