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:
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.
- create the paste out of baking soda, vinegar, and water de lace shoes
- apply the paste with a toothbrush or shoe brush in circular motions
- let dry in sunlight for 3-4 hours
- clap shoes together to remove the paste
- remove the remaining paste with a toothbrush
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.
- blot stains with a paper towel
- gently rub vinegar onto the shoe with a soft cloth
- bring back texture with a suede brush
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.
- make a paste with few drops of dish soap and few tablespoons warm water
- stir until mixture becomes foamy with no color
- scrub the shoes with a brush
- rinse with cold water
- let air dry
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.
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 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:
Kiwi Select All Protector
Protects against rain, mud, snow, oil and grease stains
Crep Protect Spray
Repels liquids and prevents stains
Angelus Easy Cleaner Brush
Gentle yet sturdy brush that will get your shoes clean easily
FootFitter Professional 4-Way Suede and Nubuck Cleaner
Clean and restore texture of suede with this brush
The Laundress Natural Horse Hair Stain Brush
Making getting stains out of not only your shoes a breeze but also your clothing
Reshoevn8tr Shoe Wipes
Dual textured wipes designed to give you an easy full cleaning
Kiwi Express Clean & Shine Wipes
Quickly clean your shoes with these powerful wipes that can also be used on other leather products