We all have that one pair of white sneakers that have been with us through thick and thin. They match with every outfit and take comfortable fashion to a new level. Sadly, exposing a pair of all-white shoes to the harsh elements of the outside world can lead to stains, scuffs and discoloration, and before you know it, your favorite shoes have now earned the resident spot in the back of your closet. If the separation anxiety is proving too much to deal with, we have some tips to bring your white sneaks out of retirement and get you both back out on the town where you belong.
Use Laundry Detergent
If you’re favorite white sneakers are made of canvas material, you can go ahead and just throw them in the wash. Remove laces and inserts, pop them in a delicates bag or pillowcase and set your washer to a gentle cycle with warm water. If your shoes are leather or suede, on the other hand, things get a little trickier. You won’t be able to toss your sneakers in the wash, and you’ll instead want to opt for washing the shoes by hand. Mix 1/4 cup of detergent with 2 cups of warm water and use a washcloth or brush to scrub those shoes down. Laundry detergent is an easy way to periodically clean your shoes and keep them looking bright and fresh.
Try Stain Remover
If laundry detergent proves to be too weak to tackle the stains on your shoes, take the cleaning process to the next level with stain removers. Use a Magic Eraser, Mr. Clean wipe or another trusted stain remover of your choice to get rid of difficult, set in stains or dark scuffs from your shoes. With spray stain removers, let them sit for a while before wiping your sneakers down with a wet rag or old toothbrush. If you’re running low on time, and deep cleaning is not your forte, try covering small marks with white nail polish or toothpaste.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Instead of buying a bunch of overpriced cleaning supplies for your beloved sneakers, take a look at what you already have in your house. A lot of common household ingredients can be used to whiten your shoes just as well as a store-bought solution. Keep it simple and wipe your stains away with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and a cotton ball. Lemon juice and bleach are also great home remedies to brightening your shoes, but don’t forget to mix them with water first (four parts for lemon juice and five parts for bleach). Last but not least, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1/2 tablespoon each of water and hydrogen peroxide. Scrub that paste on with a toothbrush, let it dry for 30 minutes then rinse your shoes with clean water.