How to clean white shoes?

We often neglect to take care of the little things in our fast-paced lives. Our shoes are one of those things. And if you’re like me, your white shoes are probably stained and scuffed from constant use.

But don’t worry – there’s a way to clean them and make them look new again! Just follow these simple steps.

What do you need?

  • Toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid bleach
  • Fabric softener
  • Vinegar
  • Water

Remove any dirt or mud with a soft brush:

Untie and remove the laces from your shoes. Use a toothbrush to remove any dirt or mud gently. Keeping your toothbrush wet will help prevent it from turning into a clumpy mess, so you might want to leave the dirty clothes in the laundry sink or a separate bowl of water.

Soak the shoes in a mixture of warm water:

Now it’s time to make the actual cleaning solution! Add about half of the liquid bleach, fabric softener, and vinegar (you can experiment with different amounts of each, but don’t add too much bleach, or your shoes might turn yellow instead of white).

Then, fill the rest of the bucket with warm water until it covers the tops of your shoes.

Scrub the shoes gently with a toothbrush:

Now you can dip your brush in and start scrubbing! Dip your toothbrush in the mixture, wipe it on the heel or side of your shoe, and scrub. Continue until the stains come off – it might take a few minutes (and a little elbow grease) before you can see results!

Rinse the shoes thoroughly and let them air dry:

Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse your shoes with cold water to remove any soap residue. Then, go ahead and dry them off with a towel. Avoid exposing the shoes to direct sunlight while they’re drying – exposure can cause stains to reappear on your shoes!

Apply a coat of shoe polish for extra protection and shine:

If you want something besides just white shoes, you can do a light spritz of shoe polish to add some color. Let them dry, then wear them proudly!

Follow these simple steps if you’d like to see your shoes look sparkling white again. It might take a little elbow grease and patience, but it’s worth it. Your shoes will have that fresh-from-the-box look again!


Here are a few frequently asked questions about how to clean white shoes.

Will this method harm my shoes?

The amounts of ingredients used are safe for most types of shoes, but if you want to be extra careful, it’s a good idea to do a small patch test in a hidden area before trying this procedure on your whole pair.

If the colour transfers onto the fabric/leather, try using less bleach, fabric softener, or vinegar in the water.

Can this method work on other materials?

If you want to try it out on leather or suede shoes, make sure that they are completely dry before applying any cleaning product. Leather is notorious for staining easily, so do a small patch test before trying it out on the whole shoe.

Is this method safe for white shoes?

Yes! This method might trick you if your shoes are only a few shades off from being completely white. It’s best to try it out on a disposable pair of old sneakers first, just in case any staining occurs.

What if my shoes already have stains?

No problem! You can rub a small amount of baking soda directly onto the stains to help get rid of them and follow up with steps 2 and 3 in this article. Remember: patience is key when it comes to cleaning your shoes!

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