White sneakers are a must-have staple in any wardrobe. Versatile and trendy, they are super easy to style with different prints, textures and colors. However, despite their ability to match with just about any outfit, white shoes face one powerful enemy: dirt.
Aside from the off chance that you never wear your shoes outside, it’s likely that your fresh white sneakers will bear the brunt of, well, walking. Being outside every day, you’ve probably dirtied your shoes at some point. Whether from accidentally walking through a puddle or simply spilling a drop of soda, white-colored shoes show it all.
So, what’s the solution? Throw your beloved white sneakers away? Definitely not! At Tillys, we’ve got some super helpful tips for cleaning white sneakers at home so you can show them off proudly.
Best Ways to Clean White Sneakers
There are several different methods that you can use to clean white sneakers at home. Most involve a cleaning solution, warm water and a cloth or brush. Here are a few examples to try:
Before you begin cleaning your sneakers:
● Before you begin cleaning your white sneakers, be sure to stuff them with newspaper, a clean cloth, or shoe trees. This will help your sneakers to maintain their shape and allows the fabric to soak up any excess water or cleaning solution.
● You should also use a brush to eliminate any dried dirt or dust that is on the shoe before getting them wet as this can make the stains worse.
Methods for Cleaning White Sneakers
The Classic Dish Soap Method
Dish soap is great for gentle cleaning white sneakers without risking color loss or damage to the shoe. Simply apply a damp cloth to the dirt and carefully dab the dish soap mixture onto the fabric.
The Basin Method
Alternatively, if your white sneakers are totally covered in dirt, you can submerge them in a basin with warm water and dish soap to help release the built-up grime. Using a soft toothbrush will allow you to gently scrub the dirt stains.
Stain Removers for Tough Spots
For tougher stains on white sneakers, use a targeted stain remover like OxiClean. Make sure to apply this sparingly and with care!
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a melamine sponge can be used for firmer stains on your white sneakers. These sponges have an abrasive surface to ensure thorough cleaning without causing damage to the fabric.
Tips to Clean White Leather Sneakers
White leather and suede sneakers are usually the easiest shoe fabrics to clean. Thanks to its smooth texture, leather is somewhat resistant to water-based stains and marks. To clean white leather sneakers, it’s best to use a cleaning wipe or a Magic Eraser, or even just a slightly damp household sponge on stubborn dirt or stains.
Removing the laces lets you access those hard-to-reach areas, especially around creases, the tongue of the shoe, and the lace holes. This is particularly helpful if your white sneakers are super muddy!
Pro tip: Throw your laces into a laundry bag and toss it into the wash for that added just-bought look.
Best Ways to Clean White Canvas Sneakers
Okay, white Vans sneakers are a classic shoe, but they can also be hard to clean as the white canvas fabric absorbs dirt and soaks in stains. Thankfully, canvas is a fairly durable and forgiving material, which can make scrubbing a little less stressful!
Mix dish soap in warm water and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the soapy mixture into the fabric in circular motions. This method will help to release the built-up dirt. Next, wipe off excess soap and dirt residue from the shoe with a damp towel. We suggest letting your white sneakers dry before repeating this process, as it will be easier to see what areas still need some scrubbing!
If your white slip-on sneakers need a bit more help, you can try a stain-removing liquid or powder. Using rubber gloves, apply a small amount of stain remover onto the surface of the sneaker and wait 5 minutes before dabbing with a cloth. Bear in mind that this method involves strong household chemicals and will require gloves and a well-ventilated area.
If you want to avoid using harsh chemicals, try baking soda and vinegar to lift stains instead. Simply dab a toothbrush into the baking soda and vinegar mixture and start scrubbing in circular motions. Leave your shoes to dry somewhere warm and then shake off any excess baking soda!
How to Keep White Sneakers Clean
Okay, so we’ve told you some of our favorite tips for cleaning white sneakers, but surely prevention is better than a cure. How can you keep your white sneakers clean, or at least preserve all the hard cleaning work you’ve done? Here are some tips for maintaining your white sneakers!
● Brush and clean your sneakers after every wear. No, we’re not saying that you need to spend an hour scrubbing your beloved shoes every time you get home! Think of it more as a simple routine that involves brushing any new dirt or dust off of your sneaker with a clean brush or wet wipe. This prevents the buildup of dirt over time and your white sneakers will look fresher for longer.
● Investing in a spray-on protector will preserve your fresh pair of white sneakers from the get-go. Some brands design their sprays to keep tough stains like grass and red food dye from clinging to fabric, helping to prolong the life of your white sneakers!
Wear Your White Sneakers Worry-Free!
Now you know how to best care for and clean your white sneakers, so don’t be afraid to put them on and get outside. There are many easy ways to clean white sneakers at home that won’t break the bank.
If you’re on the hunt for on-trend white sneakers just in time for your summer ‘fits, take a look at our hot selection of white sneakers for women and men now at Tillys.