How to Clean White Shoes

Buying a pair of crisp, white shoes always seems like a good idea—until you accidentally step in a mud puddle the first time you wear them. The good news is that it’s possible to remove most stains from a white pair of shoes so you can keep them looking as fresh as the day you bought them. And of course, everybody deserves to have a nice pair of white shoes in their wardrobe. Not only are white shoes eye-catching, but they’re also versatile enough to be worn with many different outfits.

If you’ve been putting off buying that pair of white shoes for fear of not being able to keep them clean, relax! We’ve got some tried-and-true methods for cleaning your white shoes and keeping them clean.

Methods for Cleaning White Shoes

The specific methods you should use to clean your white shoes will ultimately come down to the material out of which they’re made and the materials/supplies you have on-hand. As a general rule, it’s always best to defer to the specific cleaning methods for the exact material your shoes are made of. This is especially important when it comes to fabric materials that may be easily damaged by harsh chemicals or cleaning methods.

Try a Magic Eraser

For non-fabric materials, a magic eraser can work wonders when it comes to removing scuff marks and other stains from the surface of your white shoes. Even if you do have fabric shoes (such as a canvas or mesh material), a magic eraser sponge can help to remove scuffs and other unsightly marks from the soles of the shoes.

Another tip about magic erasers; if you want to save some money, skip out on the “name brand” and purchase a supply of melamine foam online. This is the exact same material that brand-name eraser sponges are made out of—but you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

To use a magic eraser sponge, all you have to do is get the sponge slightly damp. From there, rub the sponge in circular motions around stains and scuff marks to watch them “magically” disappear! You can then rinse and wring out the magic eraser to use it many more times before replacing it.

Scrub With Soap and Water

If you have canvas, mesh, or other fabric materials that need to be cleaned on your shoes, you may have better luck washing them with good old-fashioned soap and water. For the best results, we recommend adding a few drops of your favorite gentle dish soap to a bowl of warm water.

From there, dip a clean washcloth (preferably microfiber washcloth) into the soap and water mixture and then scrub away in small, circular motions at any stains or discoloration on your shoes. You can then blot away excess water using a clean towel and leave your shoes out in the sun to expedite the drying process. It’s generally best to avoid putting your shoes in the dryer, as this could cause your shoes to lose their shape and become damaged.

Clean With Bleach

If your shoes are really looking worse for wear, the most effective method will likely be to clean them using a diluted bleach solution. Before working with bleach, it’s always a good idea to don some protective gloves. From there, while working in a well-ventilated area, mix one-part bleach to five parts water in a bowl or small bucket.

From there, dip a scrub brush or a toothbrush into the bleach solution until it is saturated. Scrub in small circular motions of your shoes, paying special attention to soiled and stained areas. As you work, you should be able to see your shoes become brighter and whiter. When you’re happy with the cleanliness of your shoes, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining bleach mixture and let your shoes dry in a well-ventilated area. For best results, place your shoes in front of a fan or even outside to dry completely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Clean and White

Now that you’ve got your shoes looking bright and white once again, you may be wondering how you can keep them looking clean for as long as possible. We’ve got some practical and effective tips for making that happen so you can get as much wear out of your white shoes as possible before needing to buy a new pair.

Deep Clean as Needed

When you notice your shoes starting to look discolored or dingy, it’s time to give them a spot cleaning with one of the methods listed above. The frequency with which you’ll need to clean your shoes will depend on how often you wear them and in what conditions. However, spot cleaning your shoes in between deep cleanings will help keep them looking great.

Use a Spray Protector

If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to invest in a spray-on shoe protector. These sprays are designed to repel liquids and stains from setting into the material on your shoes. You simply spray one or two coats on your shoes and allow them to dry; from there, you can begin enjoying extra protection against stains. For the best results, apply a new coat or two every couple of weeks.

You can find spray-on protectors for your shoes at most shoe stores, but you can also purchase them pretty inexpensively online.

Keep Them Properly Stored

Make sure your shoes are being stored properly when they’re not being worn. Leaving them out in the open is a sure way to cause discoloration and staining over time. Ideally, you should keep your white shoes stored in their original box or in another covered storage container. Keeping them separated from other shoes will also help reduce the likelihood of staining.

Treat Yourself to a Professional Maid Service

Depending on how many pairs of white shoes you own and how dirty they are, you could easily spend a few hours cleaning your shoes and restoring them to their original look. This, on top of all the other cleaning and chores you have to do around your home, can easily begin eating up your already-limited free time.

By hiring a professional maid service to tackle things like vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and more, you can free up more time to do the things you love. Maid Sailors offers dedicated cleaning services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Whether you need a deep-cleaning a regular cleaning or something in between, our certified professionals have you covered. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to get started or book online now!

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