Here’s how to clean white sneakers


After buying a pair of new white sneakers – Stan Smiths, anyone? – the last thing you want is to soil their pristine surface. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that the scuffs, dirt and grime of everyday life will eventually mar your new kicks, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay.

You may feel intimidated when tackling how to clean white sneakers, but we’ve tapped the pros and laundry experts for household tips and tricks that will help you improve the quality of your shoes. Before cleaning any type of white shoe, it is important to remove any stubborn dirt from the soles and exterior and check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that the method you choose will not spoil further. your kicks.

Method 1: Use Old Fashioned Soap and Water

Credit: Getty Images/bee32

It’s time to wash your shoes.

Soap and water are usually at hand and therefore a great option for cleaning white sneakers. Dish soap is best because it creates foamy bubbles that break down dirt. This method works best on white canvas sneakers like Converse or Vans.

You’ll want to use a soft-bristled brush, like an old toothbrush, to remove dirt while avoiding unwanted scuffs or marks.

First, create a cleaning solution of dish soap and a cup of warm water. Then, dip your brush into the mixture and scrub your white sneakers, applying pressure to make sure you loosen that dirt. Continue brushing in small circular motions over the dirtiest areas of the shoe until the dirt comes off the surface.

When it comes to drying your shoes, paper towels are a must. “You can stuff your shoes with clean rags or paper towels to absorb excess moisture and help your shoes keep their shape while they dry,” says Shawn Ashby, laundry brand manager Whirlpool. “If possible, put your shoes in a cool place where they’ll get plenty of sunlight. This can help speed up the drying process.”

Method 2: Use a Magic Eraser

Clean white sneakers with a magic eraser sponge.

Credit: Getty Images / NorGal

Soak up all that dirt!

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon or at the grocery store, add Mr. Clean’s Extra Long Lasting Magic Eraser to your cart. This melamine foam cleaning sponge easily removes scuff marks from surfaces.

To use, wet it with water, wring out the excess and gently rub the marks. Gum works best if pressure is applied to the firmer parts of the shoe, especially the sole, so don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease to really get the dirt off.

Get Mr. Clean’s Extra Long-Lasting Magic Eraser at Amazon for $11.47

Method 3: Use micellar water

Clean a pair of dirty white shoes using a brush and a little micellar water.

Credit: Getty Images / Svetlana-Cherruty

More than just a makeup remover.

This popular skincare product is traditionally used to remove makeup. However, micellar water can be a game changer in cleaning white sneakers.

Micellar water removes impurities such as dirt and oil and breaks them down to wipe away. The process is the same on human skin as it is for shoes, especially leather ones. A tweet from Scotland went viral when the writer showed before and after pictures of her white suede heels to use micellar water to clean them. Before trying it on your kicks, do a spot check in a hidden area to make sure the micellar water won’t leave its own stains.

To do this, pour a little micellar water on a clean cloth and rub gently on the top of the shoe until the dirt is removed. After a few minutes of rubbing, you will begin to see dirt come off your shoes and notice a difference in appearance. Allow to dry in the open air.

Get the Micellar Cleansing Water on Amazon for $6.99

Method 4: Use baking soda and laundry detergent

Disinfect white sneakers in a bowl and use detergent spray.

Credit: Getty Images / Antonio_Diaz

A safe way to deep clean your sneakers.

This shoe cleaning hack will remind you of a science experiment in grade school, and it will work to get rid of the gunk that’s been nesting at the bottom of your particular white canvas sneakers.

Fill a bucket with a gallon of warm water and a cup of baking soda, then add a drop of laundry detergent to boost cleaning power, recommends Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, a franchise cleaning service. “Remove the laces and submerge your shoes in the solution for at least an hour before taking the shoes out of the water and cleaning them with a small brush, like an old toothbrush,” she says.

Finally, you’ll want to rinse your shoes with clean water and let them air dry before putting the laces back on.

You can also use the washing machine and laundry detergent to clean some shoes, depending on their composition. “In general, canvas shoes and sneakers made with materials like nylon, cotton, and polyester are safe to wash in a washing machine,” Ashby says. “These materials are durable and should not be damaged by laundry detergent.” Again, check the shoe care instructions before doing so.

Method 5: Use toothpaste and a toothbrush

Cleaning dirty sneakers in a faucet with a toothbrush.

Credit: Getty Images / SERSOL

If he can clean the dirtiest teeth, he’ll clean your sneakers.

It may sound strange, but don’t hit it until you’ve tried it. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, which is obvious if you think about it, because it’s meant to remove food stains from your teeth. It is also often made with baking soda, which can remove plaque and brighten the surface of teeth. This same abrasive action can remove dirt, scuffs, stains and more from your shoes.

The key is to use white gel-free toothpaste. Pair it with a toothbrush to scrub the rubber parts of the shoe to remove dirt and grime. Once you’ve scrubbed in a bit, let the toothpaste sit on the sneakers for at least 10 minutes, then wipe off with a damp cloth. Repeat this process until your shoes return to the desired white color.

If you mind making your shoes mint-fresh, you can try The Pink Stuff’s Miracle Scrubbing Kit to clean your white sneakers. It comes with a small electric cleaning brush and paste to do the same job.

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