How to Clean Shoes with Bleach?

Thinking of cleaning your shoes with bleach? Or maybe you want to know the effects of bleach on shoes?

Bleach is a harsh cleaner; if you don’t use it properly, it will damage the shoe structure. You must pay more attention while cleaning shoes with bleach than with a mild detergent solution.

In this article, I will explain the most suitable and harmless method of washing your adorable shoes with bleach. Don’t skip any point; otherwise, you will regret it later.

Without any more delay. Let’s go!

how to clean shoes with bleach

How to Clean Shoes with Bleach?

  • Use a dry brush to remove the visible dirt from the shoes.
  • Remove the shoelaces for easy washing and clean them separately for more effective results.
  • Dilute the solution by adding 5 cups of water to 1 cup of bleach and stirring it with a spoon
  • Apply the solution using a soft brush and scrub it gently for a few minutes
  • When scrubbing, rinse with warm water to wipe the bleaching detergent.
  • Place your shoes in a shady spot for one day before wearing them

Can you Clean Shoes with Bleach?

The bleaching solution is effective in whitening canvas shoes. But if you use it excessively, it might change the color of your charming shoes.

Mostly people clean white vans shoes with bleach. On the other hand, they use baking soda or mild detergent solution for colored sneakers.

I suggest using household bleach because it is not toxic and causes less harm to the skin. Also, direct exposure to bleach is very dangerous, so it is better to keep it away from your body.

Material Required

  • Clean cloth
  • Sponge or soft bristle brush
  • Bleach
  • Bowl
  • Laundry detergent
  • Warm water
  • Dry towel

Steps to Clean Shoes With Bleach

Whitening sneakers with bleach is difficult if you don’t use the right method. Those who do not take the proper guidance and use concentrated bleach paste on shoes end up ruining them.

But don’t worry! I have got you covered and will not let this happen to you. The following are the things needed before performing the cleaning method:

Step 1. Wipe the Dust Away

It is easy to remove the dried mud, so I put my shoes in the shady area for a while. I used a soft brush to crumple all the visible dirt when it was dried. Instead, you can use paper towels or clean cloth for scrubbing.

You can skip this step if there is no accumulated dirt on your shoes.

Step 2. Remove the Shoelaces

If your shoes have laces, then unlace them first. The reason is that laces are easy to wash separately. To clean the laces, I poured some drops of detergent into the water and mixed it until it was fully dissolved.

Afterward, I soaked the shoelaces in the detergent solution for a few minutes. Then I took them out and began to scrub.

Step 3. Make the Bleach Solution.

Next, I picked up the bleach bottle and poured the fifth part of the water into the bucket. Afterward, I started to rub the shoes with an old toothbrush. Make sure that the bleaching solution was dilute. Remember to scrub on the entire surface of the shoe.

I suggest using a soft brush to avoid damage and cleaning shoes quickly. You can also use bleach spray on shoes. Some people prefer to soak shoes in bleach. Whatever method you use, bear in mind to use diluted bleach.

Step 4. Blotting

Once all the stains were removed, I used plain water to rinse the bleach from the shoes. Then I dipped the clean fabric and squeezed it to stop dripping. I used the damped cloth to rinse the shoes.

Step 5. Drying

Finally, I laid down the dry towel on the flat ground and put my washed white shoes on it. Then I left them in a shady place for 8 hours. Direct heat can fade the shoe color so place them far away from it.

Note: it is better to insert the shoe tree or crumpled newspaper if you want to maintain the shoe structure.


  • An increased bleach concentration turns the white shoes yellow. S0, prepare a dilute bleaching solution for cleaning.
  • Bleach exposure to the skin causes lung or eye irritation, so avoid touching the bleach.
  • It is better to use household sodium hydroxide bleach than very harsh cleaning agents.
  • Place your shoes in the fabric bags because closets are vulnerable to dirt and grime.
  • Before wearing new shoes, use a waterproof spray to extend their life
  • Wipe the dirt immediately with dish soap after getting it on your shoes

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should You Soak Your Shoes in Bleach?

Soak your shoes in bleach solution for five minutes. If you put them on for longer, they might fade their color. Dry them in a proper cool place, and don’t use a dryer.

Can You Use Bleach Spray to Clean White Shoes?

You can use bleach spray to wash white shoes. If you use household bleach, pour it into a spray bottle. Then spray it on the shoe surface, which is appropriate for removing stubborn stains from white shoes.

Does Bleach Make Shoes Yellow?

Bleach makes the shoes yellow because of the following reasons:

  • Concentrated bleach fades the shoe color and turns it yellow
  • If you put shoes in bleach solution for a longer time, their color fade away

Will Bleach Destroy Shoes?

If you follow the safety tips properly, bleach will not ruin your shoe material. Also, ensure the solution is diluted and soak your shoes for less time to make them new and bright.

Can You Soak Shoes in Bleach Overnight?

No, it is not recommended to soak shoes in bleach for one night. On the other hand, you dry them for one night after taking your shoes out from the bleach solution.

Final Thoughts

To get the extra life out of your stunning shoes, it is important to clean them once a week. Bleach is an appropriate option if you have serious stains, but you must approach it carefully.

Use the given method to remove all the stubborn stains from your shoes, and don’t miss any step. Cleaning shoes with bleach is easy as long as you follow all the tips and tricks carefully.

If you have difficulty cleaning your shoes, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment box.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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