Tired of dull-looking white shoes? Here's how to make them look like new

White sneakers are an ideal pair of shoes that goes well with everything. They only have one downside: the colour. Here is how to clean this easily soiled footwear and maintain its dazzling whiteness.

Are white sneakers not white anymore? Wash them with these simple tricks
© Photo by Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash
Are white sneakers not white anymore? Wash them with these simple tricks

Described as the most versatile shoes in the fashion world, white sneakers are a must-have in everyone’s wardrobe. But what to do when they are white no longer? Too many people put their once spotless sneakers away and splash on a new pair for the lack of knowledge of how to wash the old one.

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Here is how to restore the former glory and maintain the whiteness of your comfy shoes.

How to remove chunks of caked-on mud?

If you’ve managed to cake your trainers in mud, leave them to dry and then bang them together to get rid of any large chunks. Gently remove stubborn mud clinging to the shoe upper and the rubber sides with the back of an old knife.

How to take care of the shoe laces?

Laces are often overlooked and yet they can instantly lift your trainers ‘spirits’. Unthread the laces and leave them to soak in a strong detergent while you get on with cleaning the rest of the shoe. When you’re done, rinse the laces thoroughly and hang them up to air dry. If you've got a small laundry bag, machine-wash your laces with lighter colours.

How to clean the outside of leather sneakers?

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The trick is to avoid using anything too harsh on leather and wipe the surface with a gentle cloth and a weak washing solution. Don’t reach for the biological laundry detergent, as this could damage the leather. Do it weekly to prevent the layers of dirt from accumulating on your footwear.

To get rid of stubborn stains on white leather trainers, try spraying the stained area with a few drops of stain-removerand wiping with a clean cloth.

How to clean the outside of canvas sneakers?

Canvas sneakers will require a soft brush to remove loose dirt. Mix a few drops of washing-up liquid with warm water and dip a soft brush, which can be your old toothbrush, or a clean cloth, into the solution. Gently scrub each shoe. Wet another clean cloth with just water and wipe the shoes to rinse.

Don’t forget to scrub the rubber edges and tongue, too.

For difficult stains on white canvas trainers, treat them with a stain-removing gel. Flush the targeted area with water to remove all traces of the product before allowing it to air dry.

How to clean the soles of my sneakers?

If the soles and the rubber toe caps of your sneakers are smooth, a gentle cloth and washing-up solution method above will work. If the rubber is textured, use an old toothbrush to get into the grooves and remove the grime.

If it doesn’t work, dip your old toothbrush in neat bleach and carefully tackle pesky marks. Leave the bleach to sit for eight to ten minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.

How to dry my sneakers?

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Open out the trainers’ tongues to let some air in and allow them to dry naturally. If the insides have got soggy while you were cleaning them, stuff some scrunched-up newspaper inside and leave overnight, then remove and allow the trainers to continue drying. Never machine-wash or dry your trainers and avoid applying direct heat.

How to keep my sneakers clean for longer?

Unless you enjoy cleaning your sneakers, minimise the need to repeat this chore by spraying your shoes with a stain protector. There are plenty of affordable options on Amazon, with some costing under £5. The spray will boost the waterproof qualities and stain resistance of your shoes leaving them looking brand-new again.

How to take care of the scratches on your sneakers?

If your trainers are scuffed, Good Housekeeping advises a trainer whitener such as Kiwi Sports Trainer Whitener to cover the scratches. You’ll have to reapply this every so often.

Can you machine-wash your white sneakers?

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This always comes down to the label and care instructions. If they allow machine washing, use a delicate setting and low temperature. Put the sneakers and the laces in two separate mesh bags. Don’t tumble dry.

Sources used:

- InStyle: 'How to Clean White Sneakers'

- Good Housekeeping: 'How to clean white trainers'

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