The Best Ways to Clean White Sneakers

Updated: Nov. 10, 2022

Thanks to these genius—and easy!—tips on how to clean white sneakers, you can say hello to a lifetime of spotless shoes!

Did you ever look down at your pearly white sneaks just to feel that self-conscious sink in your stomach—the result of realizing your sneakers look pretty drab? Don’t feel so bad, it happens to the best of us—though it never has to happen to you, again. Get ready to take some notes on how to clean white sneakers, and breathe some life back into your old pair of dirtied white shoes collecting dust in the back of your closet. Without a doubt, here’s the best way to clean white sneakers:

Use preventative care

Protect your white sneakers so they stay cleaner, longer. Snag a bottle of water and stain repellent at the shoe store, and spritz away before strutting around in your pristine kicks. Simply spray the repellent evenly on the surface of your shoes and let them dry overnight. Give your shoes a nice cleaning and spray-session every few weeks.

Clean the soles

When your soles or the rubber detailing on your favorite pair of kicks could use a good scrub, there’s one spot-cleaning method that will slay—and it’s probably not what you think. Pick up a Magic Eraser next time you’re in the store, because it will soon become your go-to for keeping sneakers white. Simply wet the Magic Eraser with water, and rub your shoes in a circular motion to watch the melamine foam work its magic.

Don’t forget the shoelaces

Remove your shoelaces from your sneaks for a soapy bath. Fill your sink with hot water and add a few dashes of your favorite laundry detergent. Massage the laces between your thumb and index finger and watch them turn from drab to fab.

Baking soda on wooden spoon on white wooden textured background.Eskymaks/Shutterstock

How to clean white canvas sneakers

Ready to put on your chemist hat? Combine baking soda with an equal amount of a mixture that’s half water and half hydrogen peroxide until it forms a paste. After making sure all excess dirt is brushed off of the canvas parts of your sneakers, apply the mixture. Let your shoes sit for around four hours until the mixture has hardened. Shake off the hard stuff and use a crumpled up paper towel to remove the excess cleaning solution. You’ll notice your shoes are way whiter. If you want all of the other shoes in your closet to look brand new too, here’s how to clean every type of shoe.

How to clean white suede sneakers

Learning how to clean white sneakers that are suede can be a little tricky. Suede stains pretty easily, but you have to be careful when removing stains because the fabric is very delicate. Use a dry paper towel to blot the stain. Make sure you don’t rub it because that could spread the stain and make it worse. Then, use a soft cloth dipped in white vinegar to gently rub the stain out. If you have one, use a suede brush on the outside of the shoe once they are dry to get the original texture back.

How to clean white leather sneakers

It might sound too good to be true, but getting your favorite white leather sneakers looking good-as-new is as easy as taking a toothbrush with your favorite white toothpaste to the sootier surfaces of the shoe. Just like you would brush your teeth, scrub until you’re satisfied. Use warm water with this method to speed up the process. You can even add sugar to the toothpaste to create an exfoliant effect for any areas where filth seems to be caked on. Now you’ll never have to guess how to clean white sneakers again!

How often you should clean your white sneakers

If you want your white sneakers to always look squeaky clean, you’ll want to wash them every two weeks. Obviously, this depends on how often you wear them. Frequent cleanings can keep dirt, grime, and stains from building up. Remember, the longer you let a stain sit, the harder it will be to remove.