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Forget about the shoes – learn how to clean shoelaces!

This article covers how to clean white shoelaces, coloured laces and even fancier leather ones and how to keep them looking fresh long-term.


3 pairs of trainers hung up on wooden wall

Getting the details right is key to nailing a look, and a pair of lace-up shoes is only as good as their laces. Got something on your shoelaces, making them look less pristine? Worry not – we've got the tricks for getting them back into shape, whether they're white or dyed! Read on for our handy guide on how to wash shoelaces of all different types as well as how to keep them looking fresh long-term.

Adapt your cleaning method depending on the material and colour used. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how to wash shoelaces.

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How to clean white shoelaces

If you’re wondering how to clean white laces, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the laces from the shoes.
  2. Clean white shoelaces with bleach – this will help remove nasty stains. Simply place them in a bucket of water with 25ml of bleach and 2 litres of water.
  3. Soak for around five minutes, then remove from the bucket and place in a mesh laundry bag.
  4. Put the laundry bag in the washing machine and do a hot wash with some good quality laundry detergent.


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How to clean laces that are dyed

Got coloured laces? Here’s how to adapt the technique:

  1. Follow the steps as above, but rather than pre-soaking in bleach, use a liquid detergent like Persil Colour Capsules.
  2. Wash as above and leave to dry naturally, away from direct sunlight (which can cause colours to fade).

Clean shoelaces made from leather

What about how to clean laces made of classy leather? Here’s how to get them as good as new:

  1. It’s important to clean shoelaces made from leather without soaking or using the washing machine, as both techniques are too harsh on this more fragile material.
  2. Instead, use a damp cloth dipped in warm water and run it along the lace to remove any stains. You might need a bit of elbow grease to get rid of anything stubborn.
  3. Always dry leather laces naturally and indoors – blow-drying or direct sunlight could weaken them and lead to breakage.

How to clean shoelaces: keeping them fresh long-term

If you don’t fancy washing shoelaces every week, here are a few tips on keeping them looking cleaner for longer:

  • Avoid wearing your shoes anywhere it’s going to get too muddy.
  • If you have to go somewhere your shoes could get stained, wear those with the darkest laces. This will help prevent dirt stains from showing up.
  • Store shoes away from dust and anything with the potential to create dirt (household pets, renegade children).

When you’re working out how to clean shoelaces it can be a bit of a puzzle: how should it be different depending on colour and material and how should you clean white shoelaces to keep their brightness? By following these top tips you can be sure your laces always look their best, giving you the confidence that comes from attending to the details of your outfit!

Key steps

Want the quick version of how to wash shoelaces? Here are the key steps:

  1. Work out what fabric the laces are: synthetic fabrics and cotton laces can be soaked and put in the washer.
  2. Pre-soak non-leather laces using a diluted bleach solution for white laces and a laundry detergent mix for coloured ones.
  3. If you’re using the washer, be sure to put laces in a mesh washing bag first to protect them.

Originally published