Wash White Shoes

White shoes are timeless classics that can elevate your style and complement various outfits. However, they are also notorious for showing dirt and stains, which can make them look less appealing over time. The good news is that you can easily restore the pristine look of your white shoes with the right cleaning of the wash white shoes technique. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to wash white shoes effectively and keep them looking fresh. Whether you have leather, canvas, or fabric white shoes, we’ve got you covered.

Gather Your Supplies

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need:

  • Mild Soap or Detergent: A gentle soap or detergent is essential for washing white shoes without causing damage.
  • Warm Water: You’ll need warm water to create a soapy solution.
  • A toothbrush or Soft Bristle Brush: A toothbrush or a soft bristle brush will help you scrub away dirt and stains without scratching the shoe’s surface.
  • White Vinegar: White vinegar can be used to remove stubborn stains and odours.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is excellent for absorbing odours and can help with stain removal.
  • Old Towels or Paper Towels: These will be used to dry your shoes after cleaning.
  • Shoe Trees or Wadded Paper: To maintain the shape of your shoes while they dry.

Preparing Your White Shoes

Remove Laces and Insoles

Start by removing the laces from your white shoes. This will allow you to clean the entire shoe surface without any obstructions. You can wash the laces separately by hand or in the washing machine. Take out the insoles, if they are removable.

Cleaning these separately can help eliminate any odours that may have built up over time. To wash white shoes effectively, follow these steps

Knock Off Loose Dirt

Before getting your shoes wet, gently tap them together to remove loose dirt and debris. This will make the cleaning process more effective and prevent dirt from spreading while washing.

Cleaning White Leather Shoes

Step 1: Wipe Down the Surface

To wash white shoes, start by using a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the surface of your white leather shoes. Be sure not to oversaturate the leather, as excessive moisture can cause damage. This initial wipe will remove surface dirt and prepare the shoes for a deeper clean.

Step 2: Prepare a Soapy Solution

Fill a basin or a bowl with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap or detergent. Mix it until it forms a soapy solution.

Step 3: Scrub Gently

To wash white shoes effectively, dip a soft bristle brush or a toothbrush into the soapy solution and gently scrub the white leather shoes. Be mindful not to scrub too vigorously, as excessive pressure can scratch or damage the leather. This step will help remove deeper stains and dirt from your white shoes, leaving them looking cleaner and brighter.

Step 4: Address Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains on white leather shoes, you can create a mixture of white vinegar and water (1:1 ratio) and use a cloth to gently rub the stained area. This should help lift the stain without harming the leather.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

Once you’re satisfied with the cleanliness of your white shoes after washing, rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap or vinegar residue. After rinsing, stuff your shoes with old towels or wadded paper to help them maintain their shape while they dry. To wash white shoes properly, place them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Allow them to air dry naturally, which may take a day or two. Following these steps will help you maintain the pristine look of your white shoes.

Cleaning White Canvas or Fabric Shoes

Step 1: Remove Loose Dirt

Just like with leather shoes, start by knocking off loose dirt and debris from your white canvas or fabric shoes.

Step 2: Create a Cleaning Solution

In a basin or bowl, mix warm water with a small amount of mild soap or detergent to create a soapy solution. This soapy solution is essential for effectively washing white shoes and removing stains.

Step 3: Scrub with a Brush

Dip a soft bristle brush or toothbrush into the soapy solution and gently scrub the surface of your white canvas or fabric shoes. Pay special attention to any stained areas, and be sure to scrub both the uppers and the soles.

Step 4: Deal with Stubborn Stains

For persistent stains on white canvas or fabric shoes, make a paste using a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply this paste to the stains and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, scrub the stained areas gently.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

To wash white shoes, thoroughly rinse your shoes with clean water to remove any remaining soap or baking soda residue. Just like with leather shoes, stuff your canvas or fabric shoes with old towels or paper to help them maintain their shape while drying.

Place them in a well-ventilated area to air dry naturally. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources, as they can cause the fabric to yellow.

General Tips for White Shoes

  1. Regular Maintenance: Clean your white shoes regularly to prevent dirt and stains from becoming deeply ingrained. Quick spot cleaning can save you a lot of effort in the long run.
  2. Store Properly: When not in use, store your white shoes in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Shoe trees can help them maintain their shape.
  3. Avoid Machine Washing: While it might be tempting to toss your white shoes in the washing machine, it’s generally not recommended, as it can cause damage to both the material and the structure of the shoes.

FAQs – Wash White Shoes

1. Can I bleach my white shoes to make them brighter?

Bleach is not recommended for cleaning white shoes, as it can damage the fabric or material and weaken the overall structure. To wash white shoes, stick to gentle cleaning methods.

2. How often should I clean my white shoes?

The frequency of cleaning your white shoes depends on how often you wear them. To wash white shoes, as a general rule of thumb, a monthly cleaning routine is a good starting point. However, spot cleaning immediately after staining is always a good practice.

3. Can I use a washing machine for white canvas shoes?

While it’s possible to clean white canvas shoes in a washing machine, it can be risky. The agitator and spinning motion may damage the shoes. Hand washing with a gentle detergent is usually a safer choice.

4. How do I prevent my white shoes from yellowing?

To prevent white shoes from yellowing, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Regular cleaning and maintenance will also help keep them looking fresh.


Cleaning white shoes, including how to wash white shoes, may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, you can keep them looking as good as new. Whether you have white leather, canvas, or fabric shoes, the steps outlined in this guide will help you maintain their pristine appearance. Regular care and attention will not only extend the life of your white shoes but also ensure that they continue to be a stylish and versatile addition to your wardrobe. So, follow these above steps.

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