How to Get Your White Fabric Shoes Squeaky Clean: The Best Methods Unveiled

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: James Leigh

How To Clean White Fabric Shoes


5 - 20 minutes per cleaning method

2 days, 50 minutes - 2 days, 1 hour (This includes drying time and any optional soaking periods.)

Beginner (No prior experience in shoe cleaning required.)

$0 - $10 (Most cleaning supplies are household items. Costs may vary if specialized cleaners are used.)

White fabric shoes are a wardrobe staple, but they can quickly become grimy. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the best methods to get your white fabric shoes looking as good as new. Read on to find out why this is the ultimate guide you've been waiting for.

Key Takeaways

  1. Baking soda and vinegar are your go-to for most stains.
  2. Washing machines are convenient but not always suitable.
  3. Bleach is powerful but should be used cautiously.
  4. Toothpaste can work wonders for minor stains.
  5. Leather and suede require special care.

Why White Fabric Shoes Get Dirty So Quickly

White shoes are notorious for attracting stains and soil. The fabric material makes them even more susceptible to absorbing grime. Understanding why your shoes get dirty so quickly can help you take preventive measures.

The Basic Tools You'll Need

Before you start, gather these essential cleaning tools:

  • Brush: To remove loose dust and dirt.
  • Towel: For wiping surfaces on your shoes.
  • Toothbrush: For scrubbing hard-to-reach areas.
  • Bucket: To mix your cleaning solution.

Cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar

The Magic Mix

Combine 2 parts baking soda with 3 parts vinegar. This mix is excellent for tackling stubborn stains. Dip your toothbrush into the paste and gently scrub the stained areas.

Rinse and Dry

After scrubbing, rinse the shoes thoroughly. Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area but avoid direct sunlight to dry.

Using a Washing Machine: Yay or Nay?

The Pros and Cons

Washing machines are convenient, but they may not be the best for all types of fabric shoes. Canvas sneakers can usually withstand a gentle cycle, but always check the shoe’s care label first.

The Process

If you decide to go ahead, remove the shoelace and place the shoes and laces in separate mesh laundry bags. Use a mild laundry detergent and set the machine on a gentle cycle.

The Power of Bleach

When to Use Bleach

Bleach is effective but should be used cautiously. Always dilute it and never mix it with other cleaning agents like vinegar.

The Bleaching Process

Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a teaspoon of bleach. Use a sponge to apply the diluted bleach carefully, avoiding the sole and any non-white parts.

Toothpaste: Not Just for Teeth

Toothpaste can be a quick fix for minor stains. Apply a small amount of non-gel white toothpaste on the stain and gently rub with a soft cloth. Rinse with water and let them dry.

Leather and Suede: Special Cases

Leather Shoes

For white leather sneakers, use a leather cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove stains and grime.

Suede Shoes

Suede is more delicate. Use a special suede brush and cleaner to restore their original look.

List of Best White Fabric Shoes

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How Can I Get My White Canvas Shoes to Look Brand New Again?

To get your white canvas shoes looking squeaky clean, you can use a mixture of dish soap and water. Gently scrub the surface with a brush, focusing on areas with stubborn stains or scuffs. For an extra boost, you can add a bit of hydrogen peroxide to the mix. Rinse the shoes with water and let them soak to thoroughly clean any residue.

2. What's the Best Way to Remove Odor from My White Sneakers?

Odor can seep into your shoes over time. One effective way to remove it is by using a mixture of distilled vinegar and water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wipe the insides of your shoes. You can also let them soak in a mixture of water and Oxiclean for a more potent effect. Make sure to air dry your shoes afterward to eliminate any lingering odors.

3. Can I Use a Magic Eraser to Clean My White Leather Shoes?

Yes, a clean magic eraser can work wonders on white leather shoes. Simply dampen the eraser and gently rub it over the surface to wipe away stains and scuffs. However, be cautious as the abrasive nature of the eraser might not be suitable for all types of leather. Always do a patch test first.

4. How Do I Clean the Laces of My White Shoes?

First, remove the laces from your shoes. Place the laces in a small bowl filled with warm water and a teaspoon of laundry detergent or dish soap. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes. After soaking, rinse them thoroughly and air dry. This method is easy to restore the whiteness of your laces.

5. Are There Any Commercial Cleaners Recommended for White Shoes?

There are various commercial cleaners available that are designed specifically for white shoes, whether they're made of canvas, leather, or other materials. Brands like Oxiclean offer specialized stain removers that can be very effective. However, always read the instructions and reviews before purchasing, as you may earn a commission from some products.

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James Leigh

James Leigh

James Leigh is a certified health professional, physiotherapist, and a seasoned runner who wins Boston Marathon, with a wealth of experience under his belt. Passionate about sharing his expertise with fellow runners. James is your go-to expert for your health, wellness and running tips.