White sneakers are the footwear equivalent of the classic white tee, and have become a wardrobe staple for both men and women alike. Whether you’re rocking a formal suit or a pair of ripped jeans, the humble white sneaker has become possibly one of the most versatile items in your closet.
The only downside is the never ending battle to keep them clean and white. Since tossing them into the wash is not always an option, here are some easy to clean tips to keep your white canvas and leather sneakers looking as pristine as they did when you first bought them.
Cleaning White Canvas Shoes
Getting the grime out of your white canvas shoes is actually not that hard. If your shoes are smelly as well as dirty, you can pop them into the washing machine on a quick 15 – 30 minute wash with laundry detergent and Vanish White. But this can damage the shoes if done too often, so if you need to just keep it clean and scuff free, try this simple trick using baking soda and white vinegar.
Step 1: Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of white vinegar and a cup of warm water.
Step 2: Apply the paste on your shoes and start scrubbing with a clean toothbrush or the abrasive side of a kitchen foam sponge.
Step 3: The baking soda mixture will dry pretty quickly so once you’re finished scrubbing, brush off any remaining paste and let your shoes air dry, with the tongue pulled up and out so the inside can also dry.
You can either machine wash or hand wash your laces with a combination of laundry detergent and Vanish White or bleach. Either works well.
If you don’t have baking soda and white vinegar, you can even use a mixture of laundry detergent, Vanish White and hot water to scrub the affected areas and sponge away the remaining soapiness with water and a clean sponge and then leave it in the sun to dry.
Cleaning White Leather Shoes
Leather is relatively easy to clean because it doesn’t absorb as much water as some other fabrics. Having said that, do not wet or soak your leather shoes if not required or you will be left with a stinky mess.
Step 1: You’ll need thick paper towels, some dish soap, cotton rags, and magic erasers.
Step 2: Tackle surface dirt by dampening the paper towel and gently wiping down the outside of your shoes. After you’re done with this step, let your shoes dry for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Clean the sole by wetting your magic eraser and rubbing up and down the soles of your sneakers until the dirt and stains are gone. Make sure your magic eraser is damp but not dripping wet.
Step 4: Wet your rag and lather it up with some dish soap and using small gentle motions, massage the upper part of the shoe until it returns back to its perfect white color. Quickly wipe away any excess soap with the rag. After this last step, let your shoes dry again for 10 minutes.
I usually apply some leather conditioner onto the leather parts once the shoe is dry to keep the leather supple and moisturised, but this is up to you. You can choose to hand wash your laces in laundry detergent and Vanish White or bleach, or simply machine wash them.