For the majority of us, it’s highly likely that we’ve owned a pair of white shoes or trainers at some point in our lives. It’s also likely that we’ve been frustrated with said white shoes because they’ve got a mark on them or they’ve started to look grubby far too prematurely no matter how much we try to keep them clean.
White shoes are often a favourite during the summer months, not only do they brighten up an outfit but they can help reduce the amount of sweating your feet do when out in the sun as they reflect the light (ooo science!). With that in mind, it’s probably best to keep them in the best condition you can where the colour is concerned.
There are things you can do to overcome dirt and grubbiness that often seems to plague white shoes. Here we’re going to take a look at some of the tips and tricks that can be used to keep your white shoes and trainers looking good as new for longer.
Cleaning White Shoes
What cleans white shoes? Well, there are quite a few different methods out there for cleaning white shoes, but we, like many others, have our favourites! You don’t need to spend a small fortune on specific cleaning solutions either, simple household products can be just as good if not better in some cases. Below are what we think are some of the easiest yet effective methods of keeping white shoes clean:
Toothpaste – If the soles of your white trainers are starting to look dirty, a great way to bring them back to life and to lift any ground in dirt is a toothbrush and toothpaste. Simply use the toothbrush to massage the toothpaste into the effected area and leave for approximately five minutes. After five minutes use a damp, clean cloth to remove the excess. Once fully cleaned, they should look as good as new!
Lemon Juice – If your white canvas shoes are looking a little worse for wear, this really must be the easiest cleaning solution to the problem. All you have to do is spray them with lemon juice and set them outside in the sun… It’s as simple as that! The acidity of the lemon breaks down any debris and works particularly well on salt stains. We do not recommend using this method on other materials, so make sure you save it just for your canvas kicks!
Laundry Detergent – This may seem like an obvious one but it really does work! You might be tempted to just throw your white shoes in the washing machine, but we would advise against this as it can cause issues with the integrity of the shoes. Instead, use a soft bristle brush to remove any excess dirt and then use a cloth that’s been dipped in a laundry detergent dilute. Let the detergent mix sit on the shoes for a short while and then us a different cloth to wipe clean. If you find that the stains are too stubborn and won’t budge, repeat the process using a bicarbonate of soda mix.
If your white shoes are suede or nubuck leather, you should avoid using any cleaning method that’s wet as this can be damaging. Water will cause suede and nubuck to stain and can leave water marks. Use a soft bristle brush to remove any dirt build up instead.
What To Do When White Shoes Change Colour
Over time, there’s a good chance that your white shoes will start to change colour. This can be down to a number of reasons; from the environment they’re worn in, to how they’re stored and beyond.
What causes my white shoes to turn blue? – One of the most common colours to affect your white shoes is blue. This is often down to the transfer of colour from denim jeans when they come into contact with your white shoes. The best way to remove blue stains from your white leather shoes is with a cotton bud and some nail polish remover, using an appropriately coloured balm afterwards will prevent the leather from drying out.
Why have my white shoes turned yellow? – It’s not uncommon for white shoes (particularly canvas ones) to turn yellow over time, especially after being stored away for a period of time. The most obvious thing to do when faced with yellowing shoes is to reach for the bleach, but this isn’t a good idea. Bleach can cause natural materials to break down over time so could cause further damage. The best thing to do is to sit them in sunlight for a couple of hours, this will naturally bleach the material without the harmful chemicals.
As shoes get older they become more prone to discolouration and come into contact with more things that can stain them. Using the methods highlighted above can help bring them back to white and have them looking box fresh once again!
Protecting White Shoes
There are a few ways that you can protect white shoes against stains, water marks and dirt. One of the best ways is with a protective spray, this method is particularly for suede and nubuck leather as it doesn’t need to be worked into the shoe, minimising the chance of further stains.
A great way to protect your white canvas shoes against marks and stains is with wax. Cover the whole of the upper using a clear or white candle, once completely covered, use a hairdryer to melt the wax into the shoe. This will not only protect against stains and dirt build up but will also make them water resistant. For more tips on water resistance, check out our post on how to waterproof shoes and boots.
When wearing heeled shoes, it’s fairly easy to scuff the heels and toes, which can look incredibly unsightly. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that scuffs are permanent so a cover up is needed. Using a good quality white nail polish should do the trick when it comes to hiding smaller scuff marks and will also prevent them getting bigger.
Wear Them Worry-Free!
White shoes can be a great addition to your wardrobe, especially during the summer months but wearing them without picking up stains or marks can seem like a very tall order. We hope that our tips on how to clean white shoes and keep them stain free go some way to helping so that you can enjoy wearing your white shoes without a worry.