How to Clean White Shoes? – 7 Hacks to Make Shoes New Again

Have you purchased white shoes, and now you regret them because of tough cleaning methods? You are not the only one in this race.

People usually buy white shoes because they go perfectly with every outfit in summer and winter. Due to systematic use, they are more likely to get dirty than other shoes.

Stains and scuffs are more visible in bright colors, so people often avoid picking light-colored shoes. The superficial solution is to leave it in the machine but wait, is every shoe leather machine-washable? Of course, not.

It would help if you had a reliable solution for every material to shield your shoes from leather damage. Today, I will share the most efficacious hacks that show how to clean white shoes.

how to clean white shoes

Methods to Clean White Shoes

I have almost 3 pairs of white shoes, so I know the struggle behind washing them. I will communicate a few hacks that will surely let you out of this cleaning trouble.

Once you follow these hacks, you will say goodbye to professional cleaning. The hacks to clean white shoes are:

1. Baking Soda is the Best Cleaning Solution

You have added baking soda to ready many delicious baking items; this time, pick this ingredient for cleaning purposes, and there will be no way back. The ingredients you need are:

  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Hot Water
  • Toothbrush

With these 4 items, you can restore shoes. In a bowl, prepare a paste by mixing Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and Hot water. Ensure the paste is thick so it coats the entire shoe. Do not leave any spot untreated because stains can be anywhere.

Once the paste is devoted, hold a toothbrush and scrub dirty spots with gentle hands. To get effectual results, rub with a brush in a circular direction. Let the shoes dry, so keep them outside for at least 1 hour.

Eliminate the paste to check the results. You can wipe the paste with a new brush or clap both shoes. Repeat the process if you still feel black spots in a few places.

Sometimes the shoes are extra dirty, so treating them once is not enough. My 1 pair of white sneakers were extremely muddy, so I practiced this process thrice. It is the best way to clean white shoes.

2. Use a Bleach

Many people consider bleach an ineffective product, but it won’t impair your shoes if you carefully use it. For this, get your hands on:

  • Bleach
  • Warm water
  • Toothbrush

Ensure you do not excessively use bleach because an overdose can render issues. Mix an equal quantity of bleach and warm water and adequately stir it. The room where you prepare this bleach mixture should be fully ventilated.

It is made of numerous chemicals, so using it in a fully covered room can cause profound issues. Use the bleach solution on your muddy shoes and hold a toothbrush for scrubbing. After a few minutes, rinse your shoes and keep them outside to let them dry.

The best thing about this methodology is that all the stains vanished on the first attempt.

3. Dish Soap and OxiClean

It is another fantastic combination that you shoregardider. I have also used it with draw-move ugly spots in my white shoes and was quite pleased with the outcomes. To commence this process, you need the following:

  • Dish Soap
  • Oxiclean
  • Warm Water

I soaked my dirty white shoes in a mixture of Oxiclean and Dish soap. You can take any soap for this purpose. My shoes were very dirty, so I soaked them overnight.

In the morning, I rinsed the shoes and kept them outside to air dry. After a few hours, I noticed magnificent results. It is my favorite and worth following process for cleaning tennis shoes or any other type.

4. Apply Toothpaste to Clean White Shoes

Toothpaste also works like magic when you apply it to conceal all the ugly spots on your beautiful white shoes. You only need a paste and brush to get this matter resolved. Hold a brush full of non-gel paste and start scrubbing your shoes gently.

Ensure you have hidden every point, so the paste works well. Do not choose colorful paste because it might leave a stain that is challenging to remove.

Keep the paste on the shoes for at least 15 minutes, and then rinse your shoes. My friend has followed this process, and she showed huge satisfaction. It is simple and doesn’t require any ingredients.

5. Apply Laundry Detergent To Clean White Shoes

If none of the above methods has pleased you, check this last one i.e using Laundry detergent. Laundry detergent not only makes your clothes tidy but is also helpful in cleaning your dirty white shoes. You need:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Toothbrush
  • Bucket
  • Dishcloth

In a bucket, prepare a soapy solution by adding laundry detergent in warm water. Dip the brush into the solution and gently rub it on the shoes. Do not be aggressive while rubbing the brush.

After some time, rinse your shoes and dry them with a dishcloth. Put them outside for a few hours so all the moisture is gone. If you do not obtain the required results, repeat it.

These are a few steps I always consider whenever my dirty shoes need cleaning. White shoes and dirt are the real companions, so you will need these tips repeatedly.

How to Clean Different Types of White Shoes?

Below I will share the cleaning procedures of different shoe materials so you can select the one you were looking for according to your shoe type. Let’s start with canvas shoes.

1. Cleaning Dirt from Canvas Shoes

Do you have white canvas shoes full of stains and want to eliminate those hideous spots? Check the below easy steps.

Eliminate Loose Dirt

Before jumping to the method, always extract loose dirt by shaking them outside. However, before removing the dirt, do not forget to unfasten the laces for separate cleaning.

A brush with soft bristles is also valuable in removing loose dirt chunks. Apply the brush on the edges, tounges, and soles, so no spot remains dirty.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

You already know how you will get your stains fixed with this Vinegar and Baking Soda mixture. Cover every edge with the paste and then after a few hours, rinse your shoes and dry them outside.

With this method, you can clean every kind of stain, be it grass or blood stain. It is the right way to whiten canvas shoes.

2. Cleaning Dirt from Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are water-resistant but not waterproof so never machine-wash your leather shoes. Let’s check the points that I followed in cleaning my leather shoes.

Prepare Soapy Water

Whether I mention it or not, never forget to remove your laces. Add warm water and liquid soap to a bowl and prepare soapy water. Hold a brush and dip it into that soapy solution.

Hold 1 shoe in your hands and rub it gently all over the place. Before using soapy water on your shoes, better to eliminate loose dirt with a brush.

Let your Leather Shoes Dry

While circularly moving your hands with a brush, cover soles, edges, and heels. After a few minutes, rinse them and place them outside. You will notice visible results after a few hours. You can repeat the process if needed.

3. Cleaning Dirt from Mesh Shoes

Mesh shoes are composed of polyester, Nylon, and some other material that you can identify by the shoe style. If you have Mesh white shoes that are turning dirty due to massive use, follow the steps below.

Remove Extra Dirt

Some excessive dirt on the shoes can be wiped off simply by applying a brush. While cleaning Mesh material, you should be extra cautious because it is delicate, and a little negligence will cost you. Never use a hard bristle brush on a delicate surface.

Use Soapy Water

Like leather, you must prepare the same soapy water solution for mesh shoes. For this, get your hands on a liquid detergent and add it to warm water. Ensure the water is not hot because it will damage the fabric.

With the help of a cloth, pour that solution on your dirty mesh shoes. If the stains are hard, use a soft bristle brush, but a brush is unnecessary if the stains can be easily removed. You can also have a bleach pen to tackle complicated stains.

Dry Your Shoes

You have rubbed all the stains, rinse them with water and keep them outside in the sunlight. Keep them there until they are fully dried.

With the help of a damp cloth, remove excess moisture. You can also put a paper towel inside the shoes so the shape doesn’t get affected.

4. Cleaning Dirt from Suede Shoes

Suede shoes have smooth and high-quality textures, so they should also be treated carefully. If they have become dirty, we have the solution.

Remove Excess Dirt

Like other materials, remove loose dust from the shoes with a soft brush. If the shoes have oily stains, take talcum powder or cornstarch and sprinkle on that part. Let them sit for at least 2 hours to effectively shows the results.

After 2 hours, rub the stains with a brush in a circular direction. My Suede shoes were dirtier, so I used a vinegar solution to remove those hard stains. You can also use vinegar if the stains are still there.

Dry Your Shoes

Please do not keep your shoes inside the wardrobe before they are completely dried; otherwise, moisture will invite molds. You have completed the process and have acknowledged how to clean white shoes.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

The above methodologies are enough to clean Nike shoes or white vans. I will share a few questions that might be productive in the future.

How to Make Your White Shoes White Again?

Many assume that once your white shoes become dirty, you can never get the same color again, which is false. Numerous ingredients and many methods are here to serve you fully.

Talking about the simplest one, Vinegar and Baking Soda work single-handedly. However, you have other alternatives if this combination fails to help you.

How to Clean White Vans without Using Bleach?

Apart from bleach, you have other choices to make. For instance, Vinegar and Baking Soda is a perfect solution to think about.

You can apply any laundry detergent. Using Toothpaste on hard stains is also beneficial. Hence, there are many things to apply.

Is Toothpaste Helpful in Making Your Shoes White?

Non-gel toothpaste is ideal for clearing all the black spots. If any hard stain on your shoes is tough to clear, Toothpaste is here to rescue you. Please do not go for colorful paste because it can create more trouble.

How to Create the Best Homemade Cleaner?

You can prepare the best cleaner by using Vinegar and Baking Soda. Nothing can compete with this combination. Moreover, it will be cheap to use instead of picking expensive cleaners.

How to Wash White Leather Shoes?

For leather shoes, soapy water is enough to clear all stains. Pick a brush, dip it into that soapy solution and start using it on the leather shoes. Once they are dried, you can examine the results.

Final Thoughts

I am sure you are not fully familiar with How to clean white shoes. Getting rid of stains from white shoes is not an issue unless you know the right method to adopt according to the shoe fabric.

This article will assist you on every step because I have comprehensively pointed out every step. Ensure you are not using any product excessively because not every material is waterproof.

Directly putting your shoes in the washing machine can land you in great trouble, so avoid it. I have been following the above methods to clean stains from my white shoes so you can show your complete trust.

If you doubt any step or procedure, feel free to ask. Follow the steps to get quality results. Happy reading.

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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