8 Tips on How to Clean White Shoes

Updated: May 12, 2024

You'll thank us for these genius and easy tips for how to clean white shoes. Read on to learn how to clean white shoes 5 different ways.

1 / 8
Wash shoes and clean white shoes
bee32/Getty Images

How to Clean White Shoes

Get ready to learn how to clean white shoes, and breathe some life back into your old pair of dirtied white sneakers. You won’t have to go out and buy a new pair of shoes once you’re done with this project. Though, this process is hardly a revolutionary cleaning hack.

2 / 8
supplies clean white shoes
Family Handyman

What You’ll Need For How to Clean White Shoes 5 Different Ways:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Bleach (mix one-part bleach for every five parts water)
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Clean bucket
  • OxiClean
  • Dish soap
  • Non-gel white toothpaste
  • Laundry detergent
  • Old toothbrush
  • Towel
3 / 8
clean white shoes with baking soda and vinegar
Family Handyman

Clean White Shoes with Baking Soda

To clean white shoes with baking soda, combine one tablespoon of hot water, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and one tablespoon of baking soda. Mix until it reaches a paste-like consistency.

Next, use an old toothbrush to lather the mixture onto the dirtied areas of your white shoes. Work in circular motions for best results. Once the shoes are covered, leave them outside in the sunlight until dry. After the mixture is dry, clap the shoes together to remove the paste. Use the toothbrush to remove any of the left over residue.

Shop Now

4 / 8
bleach clean shoes
Family Handyman

Bleach Clean Your White Shoes

To clean white shoes with bleach, mix the bleach and water solution (mix one-part bleach for every five parts water) in a well-ventilated area, or outside, and gently scrub the shoes using an old toothbrush. Rinse the shoes in warm water and air dry them overnight if possible.

5 / 8
clean shoes with oxiclean and dish soap
Family Handyman

Use OxiClean and Dish Soap to Clean Shoes

To clean your shoes with OxiClean and dish soap, place your sneakers in a bucket of warm water. Add in equal parts dish soap and OxiClean to the warm water. After letting them soak overnight, rinse them off in cold water and let them air dry.

Shop Now

6 / 8
HH clean sneakers with a toothbrush and toothpaste white
Family Handyman

Toothpaste to Clean White Shoes

All you need is an old toothbrush and a little toothpaste to get your old sneakers looking like new! Non-gel white toothpaste works great for cleaning white-soled sneakers (colored toothpaste may stain rather than clean sneakers). Apply toothpaste to an old toothbrush and then work the paste into the dirty spots. Leave the toothpaste on the shoes for about ten minutes, and then wipe it off with a damp towel. Repeat the process if necessary.

Shop Now

7 / 8
clean shoes with laundry detergent
Family Handyman

Clean White Shoes Laundry Detergent

To clean your white sneakers with laundry detergent, first remove any excess dirt with a toothbrush. Mix water and a small amount of laundry detergent in a bucket to create a slightly soapy mixture. Apply a small amount of laundry detergent to a toothbrush and clean any dirty areas. Next, wipe away any excess detergent on the shoes with a dishcloth. Air dry your shoes at room temperature.

Shop Now

8 / 8
Female sneakers. White female shoes on feet. Sneakers closeup.
Maksym Azovtsev/Shutterstock

Tips to Maintain Clean White Sneakers:

  • Prevention is key for maintaining white sneakers. So, before you wear your new white shoes on for the first time, treat them with a spray-on stain-and-water repellent.
  • Make spot-cleaning your shoes a habit. Wipe off any stains or scuffs as soon as you see them with some dish soap.
  • Pick up a Magic Eraser next time you’re in the store, because it will soon become your go-to for keeping sneakers white. Simply wet the Magic Eraser with water, and rub your shoes in a circular motion to watch the melamine foam work its magic.
  • Don’t forget the shoelaces. Remove the shoelaces and clean them in soapy bath.

Shop Now