Shopping My Closet
January 18, 2017

How to clean & care for white sneakers

how to guide, link-up comment

How to care and clean for your white sneakers |

What’s the worst thing about wearing a pair of new, sparkly white sneakers? For me, it’s when they get dirty! Yes, sneakers are meant to be worn and will get dirty but I can’t help but to always want to keep them in their original condition. Here are some tips I have for keeping your white sneakers clean:


When it’s leather or canvas, I always treat my shoes with a protectant to help repel future stains and make any clean up much easier. I use this multipurpose shoe spray from Cadillac – it works on leather, suede, canvas, nubuck, and other fabrics. I usually do this outside or in a well-ventilated area. Grab an empty box and place the shoes in there. Optional: stuff the shoe opening with paper. With an even stroke, spray the protectant on the shoe. Allow it to dry and apply a second coat to ensure any areas missed with the first coat gets protected.

How to care and clean for your white sneakers |


Most sneakers have a rubber sole and those are usually be the areas that get dirty. A quick spray with an all purpose cleaner, like Formula 409, and dabbed with a paper towel or sponge will easy get rid of any unwanted dirt. If the dirt is stubborn, try spraying the area then using a toothbrush to agitate the area and wipe clean. For tougher stains, I rely on a some magic, namely a Magic Eraser. If you’re on the go or traveling and unable to get ahold of these items, these quick wipes are a great substitute.

How to care and clean for your white sneakers |



When my shoes are due for some intense cleaning, I prefer to hand wash. Some people like place their shoes in the wash under gentle/delicate cycle but I find that it doesn’t do as good of a job and at times, has cause some malformation to the shoe itself. This Jason Markk shoe cleaner, is to date, my go-to choice (if you’re in the LA area, they even offer drop off shoe care service!). I start off by unlacing the shoes and wiping away any dirt/stains with a paper towel. Wet the brush with warm water and then add some of the cleaner solution to the brush. Then, scrub down the entire shoe. Wipe away excess dirt and let the shoe air dry.

How to care and clean for your white sneakers |

How to care and clean for your white sneakers |

What about the laces?
I scrub the laces with detergent, paying extra attention to the area around the eyelets. Then, I let the laces soak in the detergent for about an hour to let it get fully clean. If the laces are exceptionally dirty, I add a bit of Oxy-Clean to help whiten them. Wash out any residue, wring out the laces, and let them air dry.

Don’t forget to reapply protectant after each wash and as needed!

Would love to hear how you keep your sneakers white – share in the comments below!


Don’t forget to check out my other how-to guides

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