Cleaning White Sneakers

The information on this page was last updated on October 27th, 2022 at 12:22 pm.

White trainers are a wardrobe staple that everyone should own. The unsung heroes of fashion, they can be dressed up or down with ease no matter the season.

However, the versatility of the classic white trainer combo can be its undoing at times. If you've ever owned a pair, you'll understand the frustration of trying to keep them in their original crisp white condition.

Discover our cleaning tips and tricks for white trainers and white canvas shoes to help you keep that brand new radiance for longer.

This page contains the following information:

Cleaning White Leather Trainers


White leather trainers go with almost any outfit, lending a laid-back vibe to retro jeans or a floral dress. The leather provides support for your feet and may even provide some weather resistance for everyday use. But, like any white shoe, these practical staples get dirty more quickly than we'd like.

Because they are made of leather, it is critical to understand how to clean them when they become more off-white than white. Leather, as dependable as it is, requires a little extra care to remove scuffs and marks. Follow the steps below to restore your faithful white leather trainers.

If your white leather trainers are particularly well-loved and accompany you on walks in all weather conditions, they're likely to be muddy. Allow them to dry before clapping the soles together to remove any caked mud. Then, using the back of an old knife, carefully scrape any dirt from the soles or the leather upper.

  1. Remove the laces and soak them.

One of the simplest ways to revitalize your favorite white sneakers is with new laces. Remove the laces and soak them in a solution of water and laundry detergent. This can get wet while you work on the rest of your trainers.

Wipe down the leather upper with a microfiber cloth and a diluted mixture of water and dishwashing liquid. Scuffs should be removed using circular motions. Dry any soap residue with a clean microfiber cloth. You can use newspaper on the inside to absorb any moisture and keep their shape.

Top tip: If your shoes are made of nubuck leather, instead of your soap and water solution, use a leather safe cleaner. If they are suede, avoid using water and instead clean with a soft suede brush.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and an equal mixture of non-gel white toothpaste, baking soda, and lukewarm water to clean the rubber soles of your shoes. 1 tablespoon of each, and gently scrub the mixture in circular motions along the soles of your shoes. Wipe away any excess with a clean damp cloth and then dry with another clean cloth.

If your trainers are damp, open them up and leave them until completely dry. After allowing them to dry, gently scrub your soaking laces to remove any stubborn dirt.

If you think your laces are beyond repair, white laces are inexpensive and easy to find, brightening up your shoes like new. It's also a good time to experiment with different shoelace styles.

Can white trainers be washed in the washing machine?

No White trainers should never be washed in the washing machine. Although tempting, putting your white leather trainers in the washing machine can warp the shape and cause the glue to melt, causing them to fall apart.

How to clean white canvas shoes

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White canvas shoes are just as practical and timeless, and are ideal for throwing on at the last minute. Knowing how to clean white canvas shoes is useful for keeping them in good condition.

Rubber soles, like leather shoes, are simple to clean. But did you know that the canvas upper can be revived in a variety of ways?

    • Light dirt can be removed with a gentle solution of water and washing up liquid.
    • Lemon juice should only be used on canvas sneakers; never use lemon juice on leather or suede. Leave your canvas shoes in the sun after spraying them with lemon juice. The acidity will dissolve any dirt, causing the shoes to appear stained.

  • Laundry detergent - When diluted with water, laundry detergent can lift dirt from particularly stubborn stains. Allow the solution to sit on the shoes for a few minutes before wiping them clean and drying with a clean cloth.

How to Whiten Sneakers and Shoes

If daily wear and tear is causing your white trainers to look less than their best, knowing how to clean and store trainers is essential. You can help them look newer for longer by doing so.

What causes the blue coloration of my white shoes?

White shoes are frequently stained blue due to color transfer from our jeans. That could be because the two are frequently worn or stored together. Blue stains on white leather shoes are best removed with a cotton bud and clear nail polish remover.

What is the best way to clean white trainers that have turned yellow?

It's not uncommon for white canvas shoes and trainers to turn yellow over time. As they come into contact with more things that can transfer color to them, they can become more prone to discoloration.

You can help restore discolored white sneakers by leaving them out in the sun to naturally bleach. Stain-removing detergent can also help improve the color of white canvas shoes; however, make sure all detergent is removed before exposing to sunlight.

The best ways to protect white trainers and shoes

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You can keep your white trainers looking sharp with regular maintenance. Here are a few helpful hints for keeping your white trainers and shoes in good condition:

  • Balm - After cleaning your white leather shoes, apply a clear colored leather balm to buff out any scuffs and keep the leather from drying out.
  • Protective spray - Used on suede and nubuck leather to prevent water damage and staining.
  • Wax - Using a clear or white candle, cover the upper part of your white canvas shoes. When the shoe is completely covered, use a hairdryer to melt the wax into it. This can help prevent stains and dirt buildup, as well as waterproofing boots and shoes

White trainers are a certified classic that can quickly save an outfit dilemma whether you're on a dog walk, attending an event, or going out for a meal. So, don't worry if your devoted companions have absorbed some of their surroundings. It's simple to learn how to clean white trainers with a little elbow grease.

Learn more useful hints and tricks like cleaning vegan shoes on the Blog of Shoe Zone

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