Best ways to Clean White Laundries (Shoe edition)

We all had beautiful white shoes once. Actually, more people are crazy about this color because it symbolizes cleanliness and classiness. Hence, there are people who don’t just enjoy white shoes but also white clothes and even head caps.

But wearing them a few times (sometimes just once), they quickly turned from dazzling white to muddy & dingy gray. The most wearisome of all is the Cotton canvas shoes, they tend to absorb dirt and stain in an ‘exaggerated’ way. Like clothes, canvas shoes are made of fabric. They easily get dirty just like clothing. However, the BIG problem is that they cannot be tossed in the washer like clothing because the glue in the soles can seep out if exposed to overpowering water, also the shoes can shrink in the high heat of the dryer. Yes, a mesh bag to secure shoes and their laces for washing machines is not that extremely helpful.

Though white clothes can be solved with machine’s help, well keeping them looking their best – presents specific challenges. We can just say that machines cannot just solve it all. Human touch is indeed still necessary. You know yourself that you cannot just toss the clothes in there along with the detergent/s (& such) then set the timer and go watch Netflix. Keeping them pure & white is a work of a human.


Anyway, too much for an introduction. Let’s head on to solving this nauseating problem.


White shoes are stylish and vividly bright, especially when they are new and clean. However they easily get dirty from normal wear and tear. Keeping them nice and neat requires cleaning more often.

As they say, any liquid soap will work for cleaning your shoes. Mix a few drops of liquid dish soap into a cup of warm water. Dip the toothbrush into the soapy water and gently scrub all over the shoes.

Soap and water work best on all kinds of shoes, add white leather to it.

If ever you question the effectiveness above, then you can opt for a magic eraser. This can be found in the cleaning section of your local department store. You can just DIP the magic eraser into your soapy water and wring it out. Wipe in quick back and forth motions to the parts that you want whiter areas. Keep working on it until all scuffs and stains are removed.

There is also another tool to scrub and that is a stiff-bristled toothbrush, which you obviously need to dip its head into the water so it gets wet. Work on it to the parts where you want it to be cleaned and white. Small circular motions on the surfaces, focusing more heavily to the stained areas. It would be more helpful if you use a slight amount of pressure to work the cleaning solution into the shoe’s fabric. However, be sure you keep the toothbrush out the bathroom or near to your brushes just to avoid any confusion.

To finish the 1st process (scrubbing), you might want to get a dry towel and pat the excess water. Avoid wiping the towel across the shoe’s fabric since you could spread the dirt across the fabric again. Hang them dry after, meaning you don’t try to completely dry your shoes with the towel. The towel is just to lift off the excess cleaning solution from the surface.

It is best to clean them at night so you can leave them to dry overnight. Hanging them directly to the sun’s rays would just cause discoloration.

Be careful with bleach. Work well in a good ventilated area. Mix the bleach and water in a small container. This is a crucial method, as it could either make your shoes white or yellow tinge. You can just pour a considerable amount of bleach (in this case, the lesser the safer), so don’t pour too much into the mixing container. You should also wear nitrile gloves while working with bleach to prevent any skin irritation.

Just like in the first method, you would be working with a toothbrush in small circles to loosen stains. Focusing primarily on the soiled areas and deep stains, applying slight pressure to the fabric. After a few brushes, you would notice the stains lifted out of the shoe fabric.

You might want to start with the shoe’s fabric before going to the harder surfaces like the soles.

After enough scrubbing, wipe the bleach solution off your shoes with a damp towel. Best is a microfiber towel. You wet it in clean warm water and wring it out until it is surely damp. Apply gentle pressure as you wipe the towel over your shoes. 

After it is done, you let the shoes dry in a well-ventilated area. Leave your shoes in the room to dry for at least 5-6 hours before you plan on wearing them again. Just like the first method, overnight drying works more efficiently.

It has been a popular method, but well, you wouldn’t know if you don’t try it yourself! Haha.

You can start by mixing the baking soda, vinegar, and hot water to form a paste. With the right amount, it should work well.

Stir 1 tablespoon or 15ml of hot water, 1 tablespoon or 15 ml of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon or 14 g of baking soda together in a bowl. Just keep mixing until it became thich paste. The baking soda and vinegar will start to fizz and bubble as part of a chemical reaction.

They work best if you clean canvas, mesh or fabric shoes.

When you notice that the paste you made is runny, you can opt to add an additional teaspoon or 5 g of baking soda.

Now to make it work, you are still gonna use a toothbrush. Dip the head of the toothbrush into the paste you made. Then brush it thoroughly into the fabric of your shoes. 

You might want to apply gentle pressure to the bristles so the fabric absorbs the paste. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly when you are finished so the paste doesn’t dry in the bristle.

Then after it is done you let the paste dry onto the shoes for 3-4 hours. Of course, you can’t leave them with too much sun exposure. Better if you put them near a sunny window or in a well-ventilated room.

Same as Baking Soda, the toothpaste method has been used for over a decade already. It’s been quite popular not for teeth alone, but for this too!

First, you are gonna need  a damp cloth to get the shoes wet. You would want to wet the end of a microfiber cloth or towel then gently wipe it across your shoes. You are going to just slightly damp your shoes and not soaking them wet, so the toothpaste is able to foam up.

Rubbing a pea size of toothpaste into the shoes with a toothbrush is necessary. You can put the dab of toothpaste directly onto your shoes, especially to the area with heavy stains. You will need to spread the toothpaste thinly so it will coat the entire area before working with the toothbrush. You would move the toothbrush in small circular motions. Work the toothpaste into the shoes’ fabric thoroughly before letting it set for 10 minutes.

Oh! Important note! Make sure you are going to use a non-gel toothpaste that is white alone. Other colors would leave stains on white shoes.

Then you can just use the same wet cloth to wipe the toothpaste and dirt away. Make sure you get all of the toothpaste off your shoes so it doesn’t leave any marks. 

Drying them for 2-3 hours is enough. Air dry is the best option. You can set your shoes in front of a fan or in a well-ventilated room. Once they are dry, you should notice a few shades lighter. You might want to opt for sun-drying, but not too much, so just to speed up the drying process.

Well, that was a fast read!

How about you check our other blogs?

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