How to Clean White Shoes so They Look Brand New

Published
September 13, 2020

These days, white shoes are an essential part of anyone’s wardrobe — and for good reason. They go well with any fashion look — from casual, sporty and formal — and elevate even the simplest outfit or attire. So it’s no longer a surprise that they’re also everyone’s go-to pair of kicks.

The only downside to owning a pair of white shoes? Learning how to clean one.

But don’t worry — in this cleaning guide, we’ve come up with the best ways to clean white shoes of different types. From leather to canvas and all the way to suede, here’s how you can bring your favorite pair of white kicks back to their former glory.

How to Clean White Shoes in Leather

White leather shoes are one of the easiest types to clean because it’s specially designed and built to prevent water absorption unlike other materials. Here’s how to clean them:

  1. Assemble your cleaning materials. This will include paper towels, Ivory soap or a gentle soap, cotton rags or a clean and dry old shirt and magic erasers.
  1. Dampen a paper towel with water and wring it out thoroughly. Then, gently wipe down the shoes’ exterior surface to eliminate any dirt or stain. Do this repeatedly until you’ve removed a significant amount of impurities from the shoes. Afterwards, let your shoes dry for 10-15 minutes.
  1. Using the magic eraser, dampen it with water and wring it out thoroughly. Then, run the magic eraser from top to bottom of the shoes for another round of dirt and stain removal. Make sure to do this while the magic eraser is damp for best results.
  1. Wet your clean rag or old t-shirt and lather it up with some Ivory soap or any gentle cleaning soap. Afterwards, slowly work your way from the upper part of the shoe all the way to the bottom. Do this repeatedly until you’ve restored the shoes’ original shine and color — pure and pristine white. Wipe away any excess soap from the shoes with a new rag or towel.
  1. After you’re done washing and wiping, simply leave the shoes to air dry for a few hours.

How to Clean White Shoes in Canvas

Canvas shoes are one of the most popular types of white sneakers. A lot of people usually think that this material is hard to scrub and clean — but that isn’t always exactly the case. With the right cleaning tools and process, cleaning white canvas kicks can be very easy. Here’s how:

  1. So how to wash shoes in canvas? Before you even begin wiping or scrubbing, assemble your cleaning tools and materials first. When it comes to white canvas shoes, all-natural ingredients such as baking soda and white vinegar should do the trick.
  1. In a clean cup of water, mix a tablespoon of baking soda powder and two tablespoons of white vinegar.
  1. Using a clean cloth or old toothbrush, apply some of the paste and begin scrubbing away all the deep-seated dirt from the canvas. The all-natural solution of baking soda and vinegar can get dry very quickly, so it’s important that you do the scrubbing fast. Do this repeatedly until all the dirt and stains have come off from the shoes.
  1. Afterwards, brush off any remaining solution from the shoes and leave them to dry completely.

How to Clean White Shoes in Suede

Unlike leather and canvas, suede shoes are trickier to clean because they’re made up of a delicate material that is easily prone to stains and streaks. But with the right tools and proper cleaning process, you can easily pull it off. Here’s how:

  1. To clean white shoes in suede, you will need a soft cotton cloth, a pink pencil eraser, white vinegar and a special suede brush.
  1. Since suede is extremely tricky to clean, you will have to remove stains by blotting. Yes, if you’ve been asking yourself how to wash white shoes in this material, let it go. You can only do this by simply blotting your shoes with the soft cotton cloth to relieve moisture and then gently rub away the stains using the pink pencil eraser.
  1. Once done, put a paper towel against any wet stains and gently place pressure. It’s important to do it as gently as possible to not spread the stains any further.
  1. Dip the soft cloth in a cup of white vinegar and apply it to the stained area to break down and eliminate the stains. Afterwards, leave them to dry while rubbing the outside of both shoes with a suede brush. This will help preserve your suede shoes’ velvety shine and texture back.
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