Learning to clean white shoes and sneakers can make a long-term difference in how long your shoes look good. If you’re like me then pretty much anything will make my all-white Nike Air Force 1s dirty. Keeping my white sneakers clean is the only way I can continue to wear them with confidence.
Whether you’re sporting a pair of white Air Forces or white Vans, use the tips in this article to learn how to keep them fresh and clean. It says a lot about your fashion and sense of style when you can keep a pair of white shoes clean.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- The basics of how to clean white shoes
- Using cleaning kits for white shoes
- Best practices for preventing dirt on white shoes
- Best white sneakers available
The basics of how to clean white shoes
The very basics of keeping white shoes clean revolve around keeping your eyes on them.
If you notice a spot or blemish on your shoes while you’re out, be sure to take note of it. When you get home, try your best to remove the spot with a baby wipe or dab dish soap on a paper towel. Both are safe to use on white shoes of any material.
Besides baby wipes and dish soap, getting an old toothbrush you don’t use anymore and using it to apply the dish soap is another way to remove small blemishes. It might take you a little extra time to really get the bristles of the toothbrush in ridges of the shoe, but it’ll be worth it when you see stains start to disappear.
These small basics can help you instantly remove small amounts of dirt you accumulate on your white shoes and keep them looking clean.
Bonus basic tip for cleaning white shoes
For most white shoes, using baby wipes or dabbing dish soap on a toothbrush will eliminate any dirt that you find.
However, if you’re looking for something a little more industrial and don’t care if your shoes get banged up a bit, I suggest putting them in a washing machine with some detergent.
This method comes with a warning: Go to a laundromat to wash your shoes in a laundry machine! Many shoes have been known to ruin perfectly good laundry machines during the cleaning process.
Using cleaning kits for white shoes
Sometimes using baby wipes and dish soap isn’t enough. In these cases, we suggest using shoe cleaning kits on your kicks. These kits were designed to remove most kinds of dirt from all kinds of shoes, including white ones.
There are several kinds of cleaning kits available on the market. Most come with some kind of bristle brush and a cleaning solution. Using the right cleaning kit can make your sneakers look brand new.
I suggest looking for a shoe cleaning kit that is specifically for white shoes. It’ll help more than a multi-purpose cleaning kit.
How to use cleaning kits on white shoes
Learning to clean white shoes and sneakers with cleaning kits doesn’t have to be rocket science. You always want to make sure both your bristle brush and your shoes are damp before you start. Clean your shoes outside or over a sink.
After wetting your brush and shoes, apply the shoe cleaning solution from your kit onto the brush. It’s important that you put the cleaning solution on your brush and not on your actual sneaker.
After you’ve got the solution on your clean brush, start brushing your sneakers on the heel first. Make sure to put your hand without the brush inside of the sneakers so you can better control them. Make even brush strokes around the exterior of the sneaker.
When you finish brushing each side of a sneaker, make sure you rinse off the soap in the sink with lukewarm water. After rinsing, check to make sure you’ve removed every dirt mark possible on the sneaker. Continue this process for both shoes.
Using shoe cleaner on shoes can cause them to become extremely damp. Give them ample time to dry somewhere warm before you try wearing them. Allow at least 24-48 hours of time to pass before you try on your newly-cleaned sneakers.
You should be good to go after that. If you have multiple pairs of white shoes that need to be cleaned then it’s better not to clean them all at once. The drying process can take a long time depending on the material of the shoes and you don’t want to have all of your shoes drying at the same time and be left without anything to wear.
Best practices for preventing dirt on white shoes
One of the best ways to keep your white shoes clean is to never prevent them from becoming dirty. You can prevent white sneakers from getting dirty in several ways. The most common ways are:
- Be careful about where you step.
- Don’t wear your shoes too often.
- Use protective spray.
While those first two bullets are self-explanatory, that last one is not. There are sprays designed to help protect shoes from dirt and other things that could get on them. These sprays form a protective barrier on the sneaker and help dirt slide right off the sneakers.
Best white sneakers available
Of course, there are other options to consider. We created an entire list of the best white sneakers for men.
Quick recap of how to keep your white shoes clean
Just so you don’t forget anything, I wanted to include a quick recap about how to keep white shoes clean. Learning how to clean white shoes and sneakers can save you trips to the story to buy more.
I suggest you try cleaning with baby wipes and toothbrushes and then move on to a cleaning kit if that doesn’t work. Don’t wear your white shoes too much and always wipe them down after you’re done wearing them. Watch wear you step and use preventative spray if you can find it.
If you follow those tips then you’ll be able to wear your white shoes proudly and will always look fresh in them.