How To Clean White Trainers To Keep Your Style Neat And Tidy

White trainers, like white clothes, are the most important items to keep in your closet. They are so versatile that you can match them with midi dresses, jeans, suits and more and boost your overall outfit. They are literally the easiest way to go!

A woman standing and wearing white trainers and jeans

Unfortunately, wearing them often tends to make them really dirty, ruining your neat and tidy style. Luckily, there are a few cleaning hacks to help you clean your comfy and stylish white footwear. So, are you ready to find out how to clean white trainers? Let’s have a look!

What makes shoes dirty?

The obvious answer would be mud, stains and dirt. Of course, it’s one of the main reasons that all kinds of shoes get dirty. Hence, while wearing your favourite, comfortable white trainers, you must be very careful where you step and avoid any muddy-messy situations. But, there’s something more that might have never occurred to you. Sunlight. Trainers are the most comfortable shoes you want to wear all day, every day. However, frequent use means more exposure to direct sunlight.

Due to its ultraviolet rays, the sun can cause colour changes, not only to shoes but also to clothes. This is because it can cause them to fade. If you frequently expose the whites to sunlight, they can turn yellow. Thus, to prevent that yellowish shade from your white trainers and keep them looking box-fresh, when you store them, keep them somewhere dark, away from any kind of light, either natural or artificial.

What’s more, it’s absolutely normal for the colour to become yellow, because except for the sun, it goes through an oxidation process that changes the way your shoes reflect sunlight, leading to turning yellow.

Dirty white shoes on wooden floor

In order to maintain your white trainers brand new, you may clean them regularly. But that’s not a top tip to keep them like new. Overcleaning is more possible to lead to white colour fading, and as a result to achieve the exact opposite result from what you really want. Therefore, you may need to address a professional colour restoration to revive the shining white colour.

How to clean canvas shoes

Classical canvas shoes are your necessary footwear to conclude your summer outfit. But, wearing them frequently means stains and dirt ruining your appearance. You can clean them by applying these cleaning hacks. There are three simple methods to make you feel like a real pro. One relies on baking soda and vinegar, the second on toothpaste, and the third one requires toilet paper and water.

The baking soda-white vinegar combo solution

Baking soda and vinegar are two of the most used and effective home remedies for cleaning. They’re both very powerful. You can use either one of them or a combination of the two. As a result, you can create cleaning solutions to eliminate the most stubborn stains around the kitchen and your bathroom, like grease, oi stains, limescale, mildew and more. Plus, they can disinfect almost all surfaces. It’s no wonder that they can take care of your white shoes as well!

What’s more, these two miracle ingredients can be used as a mean to bleach your white clothes, soften your towels, and keep your clothes from turning yellow. They can do almost anything!

Here’s what you need:

  • A small bowl
  • A toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • A tablespoon of vinegar
  • A soft cloth
  • A bleach pen

a bottle of vinegar next to a jar of baking soda

These are the steps to bring back the dazzling white colour:

  1. Remove the laces. We’ll talk about their cleaning later.
  2. Knock the bottoms of your shoes together to remove as much dirt and mud as possible.
  3. Afterwards, get a brush with soft bristles and scrub the shoes to get rid of any remaining dirt. Don’t forget to brush the rubber soles and the outer part of the tongue.
  4. Next, mix in a bowl 3 tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of vinegar. Stir these two ingredients until you form a paste.
  5. Then, dip your brush into the vinegar-soda paste and apply it over the shoes, ensuring you cover them completely. Scrub softly to remove all the grime.
  6. Let the paste dry until it hardens on the shoes.
  7. Once it’s hard enough, grab your brush again and scrub once more to remove all the paste and dirt.
  8. Finally, with a soft piece of cloth, wipe any paste residues.

You can use a bleach pen for any stubborn stains that didn’t get off with the above cleaning method. Apply the pen on the stains and allow it 5 minutes to work. Then, use hot water and laundry detergent to wash the stain remover.

The toothpaste cleaning solution

Don’t be surprised! Toothpaste isn’t only to keep your teeth white. It can keep your canvas shoes white as well.

You need:

  • White-gel paste
  • An old toothbrush
  • A damp cloth

Some white toothpaste on a toothbrush ready for cleaning


  1. Add some paste to the brush and little water and start scrubbing the stained area on the canvas.
  2. Rinse the paste with a wet cloth and let your shoes dry.

The toilet paper method

This method is best if there are still stains left after applying any other cleaning method. Let’s find out what you have to do:

  1. Soak some sheets of toilet paper in water and place them on your footwear.
  2. Let them dry for 12 hours.
  3. After that, peel off the paper. And that’s all! You’ll get a new pair of canvas shoes.

Cleaning the rubber soles

The next thing you need to do to have clean white shoes is to take care of the rubber soles.

For this purpose, you need:

  • A sponge
  • A clean cloth
  • Water


  1. Wet the sponge with water and rub the rubber soles.
  2. Then, use a wet cloth and wipe the shoes.

Before wearing your white canvas shoes, let them dry.

How to clean leather shoes

Cleaning your white leather trainers is quite simple as cleaning canvas shoes. But, it’s much easier to clean these shoes as they don’t maintain moisture like other materials. You don’t need any special washing solutions to do it. Just avoid using any harsh products. Again, you can apply two cleaning methods. The one is using water and dish soap, and the second is toothpaste.

White leather trainers on wooden board

The dish soap way

What you’re going to need:

  • Brush
  • Liquid dish soap/washing powder
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloth
  • White paper towels

These are the steps to clean your white sneakers made of leather successfully:

  1. First, remove the laces and put them aside. We’ll see how you can clean them up later.
  2. Get rid of any dirt with a dry brush.
  3. Mix a cup of warm water with a few drops of liquid dish soap/washing powder.
  4. Once the soapy water is ready, dip your brush into and scrub the shoes using soft moves.
  5. Then, use the magic sponge to remove any scuffs and stains and wipe them with a wet and well-wrung cloth.
  6. Finally, fill the shoes with paper towels to absorb moisture inside and keep their shape while drying.

Extra tip: After the shoe cleaning process, use a leather conditioner to nourish and moisture the leather.

The toothpaste way

Again, the paste can work miracles on your dirty leather shoes. The materials and the cleaning process is the same as the one outlined above in the section.”How to clean canvas”. But, again, you don’t need much.  A white-gel toothpaste, an old toothbrush and a damp cloth are all you need.

  1. Squeeze some paste onto the brush and add a little water.
  2. Scrub the dirt off the shoes and wipe with a moistened cloth.

And done!

How to clean suede shoes

Cleaning trainers made from this high-quality material can be a challenging task. This is a very delicate and sensitive material that stains easily, even with a few water drops. That’s the reason why you will never find a new pair of true white hue suede shoes.  But, you still can clean them.

A pair of suede sneakers with blue glasses on a pink background

Needed materials:

  • A soft cotton cloth
  • A pink pencil eraser
  • White vinegar
  • A special brush for this material

Once you gather the non-so-hard-to find materials, follow the below steps:

  1. First, use a soft cotton cloth to remove any moisture.
  2. Next, get the pink pencil eraser to rub any stains.
  3. Then, dip the soft cotton cloth in vinegar and rub the remaining stains.
  4. Finally, let them dry and then rub them with a brush to restore the velvet texture.

What about the shoelaces, midsole and insole?

Whatever cleaning method you follow, and no matter what shoe type you want to clean, you need to clean the laces, midsole and insole to retain a neat and tidy style.

Cleaning the midsole and insole

To clean the midsole and insole, you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A small narrow brush
  • A wet soft towel

A toothbrush and a baking soda paste used to clean the midsole and insole of your dirty shoes


  1. Mix soda and water to form a soft paste.
  2. Dip the brush into the paste and rub the soles in a circular motion or follow the sole’s direction.
  3. Once you finish, wipe them with a wet cloth.

Cleaning the shoelaces

Now, follow the below instructions:

  1. First, put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands and remove the laces from the shoes,
  2. Fill a bucket with 4.5l water and add 3 tablespoons of bleach.
  3. Put the laces in a white mesh lingerie bag and soak them in the mix. You can place a plate over the bag to ensure it stays covered with the solution.
  4. Let the laces soak for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove them from the solution and wash them in the washer.
  6. Finally, let them air dry.

Can I put my shoes in the washing machine?

As it happens with clothes, the same goes with all kinds of shoes. It depends on the material they’re made of. You need to check the care label and the manufacturer’s instructions before popping them into the washer. We can tell you for sure, though, that your leather and suede shoes should never be washed in the machine, as they’ll be ruined.

A pair of shoes on a washing machine's door

But, even for the ones you can wash in the washing machine, you need to be really careful, as you run a significant risk of damaging both your sneakers and your appliance. The best thing to do is put the washable shoes in a laundry bag and set a cold cycle. Along with the shoes, throw some towels in the washer to prevent any bangings. For more details, you can check our article “Is it ok if you put shoes in the washing machine?

A man holding his white trainers while being on the beach

Cleaning your white trainers wouldn’t trouble you anymore. Depending on the material they are made of, you can apply one of the above-listed cleaning methods. Whatever method you use, you won’t need any special cleaning products. Just things you already have on hand. Give them a try! We promise you’ll be amazed by the results!

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