White sneakers never go out of style. You can wear them with just about anything these days, from jeans to suits to skirts, not to mention workout clothes. Yet we all know how difficult it is to care for white sneakers. Did you know you could keep your white sneakers clean and as white as possible for as long as possible?
Here are seven ways to keep your white sneakers white.
1. Use an Eraser
To remove scuff marks and other marks from leather and rubber, try using a magic eraser. You only need water to use with this sponge-type super eraser. Buff out any marks or stains, but be sure to stay away from any colored part of your sneakers, such as stripes.
If you have suede sneakers, try using a white eraser, not the pink ones you find at the end of most pencils.
2. Handwash with Detergent and Water
Try cleaning your sneakers the old-fashioned way – with soap and water. In this instance, however, make that soap laundry detergent. Mix a small amount with warm water and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub your shoes. For white mesh, try using a mild dish soap instead of laundry detergent. Rinse your sneakers under cold water afterward.
Be sure to brush lightly. If you brush too hard, it could loosen the fabric of your sneaker and give it a more worn-out look.
3. Do a Toothpaste Scrub
Grab a tube of white toothpaste, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and warm water. Brush gently in areas that need cleaning. With this method, you can clean any part of the shoe. You can use it for the rubber midsoles and even the eyelets under your shoelaces. This method is best for canvas and leather sneakers.
4. Create a Homemade Shoe Cleaning Paste
Creating a cleaning paste for your white canvas sneakers is quick and easy. It only requires a few items you most likely already have on your kitchen and bathroom shelves.
Combine baking soda with an equal amount of water and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the resulting paste all over your sneakers with a soft brush. Let sit for approximately four hours, then shake off the dry parts and remove the rest with a soft towel.
5. Toss in the Washing Machine
With the trusty washing machine at our beck and call, we can always toss our white sneakers in for cleaning.
While this is not suggested for sneakers made with suede or leather, it can work for other sneakers. Here are a few best practices to try:
- clean off the surface of sneakers with soapy water and a soft-bristled toothbrush
- place sneakers in a mesh bag or white pillowcase, or wash sneakers with old towels to keep them from banging around too much
- run the washing machine’s cold delicate cycle
- remove sneakers and let air dry
6. Try a Shoe Polisher or Whitener
To bring those discolored sneakers back to life, or as close as possible to new, try using a whitener, especially on the soles. You can find these in the shoe polish section of your store. You may want to also try adding a white shoe polish on the upper parts of the sneaker. If your sneakers are leather, this will help protect the leather and keep the white brighter.
7. Purchase Preventive Shoe Spray and Other Products
You can try to prevent your white sneakers from getting dirty in the first place by applying a preventive shoe spray, which is made to repel water and other stains. You can use certain sprays on canvas, leather, and suede sneakers. When using a spray, remember, it isn’t a one time and forget it solution. You will need to regularly reapply the spray.
While keeping your white sneakers clean with any of these seven ways, don’t forget to also give your shoelaces some attention. You can try soaking them in soap and water or simply replace them periodically.
Whether you choose to buy shoe cleaning and protective products, or make your own cleaning solutions, keeping your white sneakers white requires attention, patience, and diligence. Yet, it will all be worth it each time you put them on.