How to Clean Your White Shoes

How to Clean White Shoes

White shoes have become a staple with many people as it is the perfect complement to many outfits. Whether it be with a printed dress or your causual jeans and a t-shirt, the bright pop of white gives your outfit a fresh look. But what happens when your shoes well… aren’t so white anymore. Fortunately, we have come up with some tips and tricks for you to help brighten up your shoes as they once were.

Before You Wear

Spray your shoes with a water and stain repellent which will create a layer that protects from dirt, stains, and liquids. The spray is affordable and will help you get lasting wear out of your shoes. When you are buying a spray make sure you choose one that is right for the material of your shoe.


It is especially recommended to those who own canvas shoes, as the material is more susceptible to dirt and liquids. You will want to let the spray dry overnight and reapply every few weeks, so your shoes are always protected. We have come up with a list of sprays that we recommend depending on the material of your shoes at the bottom of this article.

Types of materials and how to clean them:

Canvas Shoe

Canvas Shoe

Although canvas shoes are easier to get dirty; they are also easier to clean. To start you will want to brush off any excess dirt with a toothbrush or shoe brush. Next, you will want to create a paste out of baking soda and white vinegar. You will need one tablespoon hot water, one tablespoon white vinegar, and one tablespoon baking soda. De lace your shoes before applying the paste. Now take your toothbrush and rub the paste onto the shoe in circular motions.

Once applied you will need to leave your shoes outside in the sun for 3-4 hours. The paste should be dry and can be removed from the shoes by clapping them together. We also recommend taking your clean toothbrush and making sure the remaining paste is completely removed by brushing your shoes.

  1. create the paste out of baking soda, vinegar, and water de lace shoes
  2. apply the paste with a toothbrush or shoe brush in circular motions
  3. let dry in sunlight for 3-4 hours
  4. clap shoes together to remove the paste
  5. remove the remaining paste with a toothbrush

Suede Shoes

Suede Shoes

Like canvas shoes, suede is also very easy to stain. When cleaning suede, you will want to be careful as it is a delicate fabric. If you have a liquid stain, you will want to use a paper towel to blot the stain before cleaning. Be careful not dab too hard or rub as it could lead to spreading the stain more.

Take a soft cloth dipped in white vinegar and gently rub onto the stain. Once applied you will want to wait until it is completely dry before brushing. A brush made for suede is especially recommended as it helps restore that velvety texture of suede.

  1. blot stains with a paper towel
  2. gently rub vinegar onto the shoe with a soft cloth
  3. bring back texture with a suede brush

Mesh Shoes

Mesh Shoes

Mesh sneakers are one of the more popular types of sneakers today. With their breathable and durable fabric, it is most commonly used for athletic shoes. With the amount of outdoor time these sneakers get, it will be important to make sure to keep them clean with the following method.

Dish soap is a great way to clean shoes as it is designed to clean grease and grime. For this method, you will be making a paste by combining a few drops of dish soap with a few tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. You will need to stir until the mixture becomes foamy with no visible color remaining from the dish soap. Taking your shoe brush or toothbrush and scrub the shoe gently. Once done, rinse your shoes with cold water and set outside to dry. If you happen to experience discoloration, you can apply white vinegar by spraying vinegar onto shoes and letting them air dry in the sun for an hour.

  1. make a paste with few drops of dish soap and few tablespoons warm water
  2. stir until mixture becomes foamy with no color
  3. scrub the shoes with a brush
  4. rinse with cold water
  5. let air dry

Leather Shoes

Leather Shoes

Leather is a great material that can withstand getting dirty because it is the easiest to clean. Here are three methods in which to clean your leather shoes:

Option 1: Ivory Soap

Taking a damp paper towel, you will want to remove any excess dirt remaining on shoes before cleaning. With your soap, pour onto wet rag and work until absorbed. Start massaging shoe with rag and shoes should come back to bright white.

Option 2: White Toothpaste

Taking your favorite non-colored toothpaste, squeeze onto toothbrush that has been dipped in warm water to that will make process faster. Scrub onto surface of shoes until you are pleased with your results. If dirt is being stubborn and not removing, you can add sugar to your toothpaste which will act as an exfoliater.

Option 3: Vinegar and Water

This method is great for any material but happens to work especially well on leather. With 2 parts water and 2 parts white vinegar, scrub onto shoes with cloth.

Shoe Laces

Shoe Laces

There are a few easy tricks that you can use to clean your shoelaces. Depending on what you have around the house, you can select whichever method best works for you.

Option 1: Laundry Detergent

Start by making a soapy bath with your favorite laundry detergent and warm water. Now taking your shoelaces removed from the shoes, you will want to clean the laces by using your thumb and index fingers. Once clean, let the laces air dry.

Option 2: Soap

Similar to laundry detergent you will want to hand wash the laces with the soap. Use a gentle dish soap with warm water and proceed to clean again with your hands. You will want to let the laces soak for a few hours until letting them air dry.

Option 3: Washing Machine

You will need a mesh or delicates bag for this method to avoid the laces from getting tangled or lost in your machine. Pour in a small amount of detergent and let your machine do the cleaning for you.

Option 4: Baking Soda Paste

If your laces require a serious clean you can apply the baking soda paste that is used for cleaning canvas fabric for shoes. You will need one tablespoon baking soda, one tablespoon white vinegar, and one tablespoon warm water. Apply generously to laces and let sit in the sun for a few hours. Once a few hours have passed, wipe off hardened bits of paste.

Storing Your Shoes

Storing Your Shoes

Storing your shoes properly will help to keep your shoes bright white and well-taken care of. Store your shoes in a cool, dark place in a shoe bag or shoebox. Not only will it keep your shoes organized but prevent the microscopic particles of dust and dirt from landing on your shoes.

Here are the recommended products to use when cleaning your shoes:

Spray Repellent

Kiwi Select All Protector

Kiwi Select All Protector

Protects against rain, mud, snow, oil and grease stains

Price: $10.99

Crep Protect Spray

Crep Protect Spray

Repels liquids and prevents stains

Price: $14.95

Shoe Brush

Angelus Easy Cleaner Brush

Angelus Easy Cleaner Brush

Gentle yet sturdy brush that will get your shoes clean easily

Price: $6.95

FootFitter Professional 4-Way Suede and Nubuck Cleaner

FootFitter Professional 4-Way Suede and Nubuck Cleaner

Clean and restore texture of suede with this brush

Price: $13

The Laundress Natural Horse Hair Stain Brush

The Laundress Natural Horse Hair Stain Brush

Making getting stains out of not only your shoes a breeze but also your clothing

Price: $10

Shoe Wipes

Reshoevn8tr Shoe Wipes

Reshoevn8tr Shoe Wipes

Dual textured wipes designed to give you an easy full cleaning

Price: $5.98

Kiwi Express Clean & Shine Wipes

Kiwi Express Clean & Shine Wipes

Quickly clean your shoes with these powerful wipes that can also be used on other leather products

Price: $5

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