How to clean white shoes

Brand new white shoes can easily get scuffed and dirty. Restore yours to their original condition with these key tips on how to clean white shoes.


How to Get Stains Out of White Shoes and Trainers

Knowing how to clean white shoes is so important, especially as they can lose their brightness quickly. From tips on how to clean white shoes with baking soda to using Cif as a surprise cleaning solution for white sneakers, you will find all you need to know right here.

Homemade cleaning solutions can be a great alternative when it comes to knowing how to wash white shoes. However, more potent commercial products like Cif when used with a scrubbing brush are perfect for bringing the gleam back to your scuffed or dirty white sneakers.

How to remove yellow stains from white shoes

Knowing how to clean white shoes with baking soda and white vinegar is key to removing yellow stains from them and can be done in four easy steps. This is suitable for white shoes made of canvas or other fabrics. You may need a different method for leather shoes which can’t always be machine washed.

  • Wash shoe laces separately from your shoes inside a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag to keep them tangle-free.
  • Brush off any big pieces of dirt.
  • Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a ½ tablespoon of water and a ½ tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide until it becomes a paste. Use a toothbrush to rub this paste into set in-stains to lift them from your white shoes.
  • Pop your shoes on warm, gentle, low-spin cycle. Pour a ½ cup of white vinegar into the washer during the rinse cycle to brighten the white color and eradicate lingering odors.
  • Dry your shoes on low heat, checking them every 30 minutes until they are completely dry.
If your shoes aren't machine washable, try washing your white sneakers by hand... with toothpaste!

The dos and don’ts of knowing how to clean white shoes

  • DO use a soft bristled brush such as a shoe brush or old tooth brush to knock off loose dirt before washing your shoes.
  • Obviously, shoes are meant to be worn outdoors, but DON’T expose white shoes to too much sunshine as the UV can lead to increased fading.
  • DO use a sponge dipped in a detergent / water mix to clean mildly stained areas of your shoe before you put it into the wash.
  • DON’T wash your white shoes with mixed colours - the same if you're removing stains from white clothes!
  • When it comes to knowing how to wash white shoes, DO use a warm yet gentle cycle.
  • Knowing how to clean white sneakers has one important step you shouldn’t ignore: DON’T put sneakers into the washing machine.
  • DO put scrunched up paper towels inside your white shoes to soak up the moisture and help them dry quicker if you’re air drying them.
  • Once you know how to clean white canvas shoes, DON’T allow them to air dry in the sun, as this can cause yellowing.

So now you have some tops tips for how to clean white sneakers and shoes from using vinegar in the wash or baking soda to lift stains. You can now also use Cif as a trick for how to whiten shoes, so you can keep your white shoes in the best condition. Check out Cleanipedia clothing care section for more tips & tricks. 

  • Use baking soda mixed with water and hydrogen peroxide to lift stubborn yellow stains.
  • Use white vinegar during the wash to brighten the white and eradicate lingering smells.
  • Gently scrub a product like Cif into your shoe to bring it back to life.
  • Originally published