Step 1: Prepare your Shoes for Cleaning
Before you learn how to clean white shoes, it is essential to prepare them properly. Remove the shoelaces as they can trap dirt and stains. Instead of washing them with your shoes, rinse the shoelaces separately to ensure they are thoroughly clean. A mixture of baking soda and white vinegar can effectively whiten the shoelaces.
After removing the shoelaces, use a damp cloth to clean the surface of your shoes. This helps to get rid of superficial dirt and prepares your shoes for a deeper clean. This is a crucial step in the process of how to whiten tennis shoes, especially if they are made of white leather as it can easily be stained.
Step 2: Scrubbing your Shoes with Soap and Water
Take a soft cloth and dampen it in a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent. Apply the soapy solution on the shoes, and then gently scrub to remove the remaining dirt and stains. This works exceptionally well on leather shoes as it not only cleans them but also conditions the material.
Ensure you rinse the shoes thoroughly, taking care not to leave any soapy residue. You can then take paper towels and pat them dry, absorbing as much water as possible. It is essential to let your shoes air dry rather than expose them to direct heat, which can damage the material.
Step 3: Dealing with Stubborn Stains
If you notice stubborn stains after washing, use a paste of baking soda and white vinegar to deal with them. Apply the mixture in circular motions using a brush or cloth. This is an effective way to learn how to clean white shoes, especially the tough stains.
Once the solution has sat for about 15 to 30 minutes, rinse the shoes with warm water to remove the mixture. You should see a noticeable difference in the stain’s appearance. Repeat the process if necessary, and then let your shoes air dry.
Step 4: Cleaning the Soles
One part that often gets overlooked is how to clean the soles of your shoes. For this, a toothbrush can be handy. Dip it in the baking soda and vinegar mixture, then scrub the soles until they’re clean.
After scrubbing, rinse the soles under running water to remove the mixture. Wipe them with a soft cloth or damp cloth and then leave them to air dry.
Step 5: Applying a Bleach Solution
For an extra whitening effect, consider using a bleach solution. Mix one part of bleach with five parts of warm water and stir till well combined. Apply on the stained areas using a brush or sponge, scrubbing gently in circular motions.
Be careful while applying the bleach solution as bleach is a harsh chemical. After scrubbing, rinse the shoes thoroughly and let them air dry.
Step 6: Washing your Shoes in the Washing Machine
Wondering if you can clean your white shoes in the washing machine? You can, but there’s a right way to do it. Place your shoes in a pillowcase or a wash bag to protect them from the harsh spin cycles.
Use a mild laundry detergent and set the machine on a gentle cycle. Once they’re done washing, remove them from the machine, pat out excess water using paper towels, and let them air dry naturally.
Step 7: Cleaning your Shoelaces
When your shoes are looking bright and clean, don’t forget about the white shoelaces. Soak them in a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent, or a bleach solution if they’re really dirty.
Gently scrub the shoelaces clean, rinse completely, and leave to air dry. Once they’re dry, put them back into your newly whitened shoes.
Step 8: Maintaining the Whiteness
Maintain the cleanliness and whiteness of your shoes by using gentle wipes for spot cleaning. If your white shoes get dirty, gently wipe away the dirt and stains before they set in – this can ensure your white shoes stay white for longer.
Keep in mind that frequent washing can damage your shoes. You should limit the number of deep cleans and instead rely on spot cleaning and maintenance to keep your shoes looking their best.
Step 9: Seeking Professional Help
If all else fails and you’re still wondering how to whiten tennis shoes, you could consider seeking professional help. A professional shoe cleaner can work miracles on stained and discolored shoes, restoring them to their former glory.
They’ll have access to specialist equipment and cleaning solutions that the average person just doesn’t have at home. Of course, this is a more costly option, but might be worth considering if you’ve tried everything else.
What else can I use to clean my white shoes?
You can use a mild soap or shampoo mixed with warm water to scrub your shoes clean. For stubborn stains, a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be handy.
Can vinegar be used to clean white shoes?
Yes, vinegar diluted with water can be used to clean white shoes. However, it’s better to use it mixed with baking soda for better efficacy.
Is it safe to use bleach to whiten my shoes?
Bleach can be used, but with precautions. Since it’s a harsh chemical, it must be diluted before it’s used on shoes.
Can I use toothpaste to clean my shoes?
Yes, toothpaste can be used to remove minor stains from white shoes.
How often should I wash my white shoes?
There’s no fixed frequency of washing white shoes. It primarily depends on how dirty they get.
Will machine wash ruin my white shoes?
Not necessarily. But you must be careful with the settings of the machine. A gentle cycle with cold water is safe for most shoes.
Do I need to remove shoelaces before washing shoes?
Yes, this will ensure that both shoelaces and the shoes get cleaned properly.
How can I dry my shoes after washing?
The best way to dry shoes is by air-drying. Avoid direct heat or sunlight as it can damage the material of the shoes.
Can I use vegetable oil to clean leather shoes?
Yes, vegetable oil can be used to clean leather shoes. Use it sparingly and always test on a hidden area first.
Are there shoe cleaning services available?
Yes, many professional shoe cleaning services can deep clean your shoes and make them look as good as new.