How to Restore White Sneakers (8 Steps)

How to Restore White Sneakers

Your sneakers used to be clean, white, spotless, and stunning. They’re now covered in dirt and stains.

I’m afraid it’s too late for them. You must throw of them.

Just joking.

Here, I’ll show you how to restore white sneakers and effortlessly bring them back to life.

Don’t worry, I’ll cover both canvas and leather sneakers in this article.

Step number one

Throw them in the washer. Wrong!

Although you can wash your canvas sneakers in the washing machine, this causes them to wear out quickly.

Leather sneakers should not be washed in the washing machine. This will leave a lot of wrinkles in the upper and cause the leather to dry out.

Let’s try once more.

Step number one


Use newspaper or a rug to cover your work area. Remove the laces from your shoes at this point. We’ll clean it individually.

I advise installing shoetrees. This will maintain your sneakers in shape during the washing process and make scrubbing the stains much easier.

Step number two

Remove The Dirt

Before we begin the heavy-duty cleaning, wipe away any loose dirt with a soft bristle brush, preferably made of horse hair.

If you don’t do this, you’ll end up rubbing all of the dirt and grit into your shoes later while trying to clean them, which might harm your leather sneakers.

Brush the entire shoe with the brush, making sure to get into all of the gaps and crevices.

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Step number three

Shoe Cleaner

Many businesses sell cleaners intended exclusively for your sneakers. A sponge applicator is integrated into some bottles.

A standard sponge or a shoe brush could also be used.

Take a white cloth and dampen your shoes with it.

Take the cleanser and carefully scrub it all over the sneaker.

Any areas with more stubborn stains may require additional cleaning to remove.

After you’re done, wipe away any extra cleaner and let the shoes air dry for 30 minutes.

This procedure works well. But what if I told you that you can achieve the same outcomes using items you already own?

Step number four


That’s correct, toothpaste not only cleans your teeth, but it also cleans your sneakers.

Take an old toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste and put them together. Stick to basic white toothpaste and avoid colored gels or pastes. You don’t want to risk causing new stains by attempting to remove old ones.

Scrub in small circular strokes with a good glob of toothpaste applied to the brush. The toothpaste’s softer bristles will help lift and scrub away the stains.

Work extra toothpaste as needed to the whole surface of the shoe. Pay special care to any stubborn stains or discoloration.

Once you’re done, let the sneaker sit for 10 minutes, then wipe off all residual toothpastes. Repeat the process if any stains remain.

Pro Tip

Make sure to spot test any product before using it. Apply a small amount to the tongue to keep it hidden. As a result, you can rest assured that it will neither discolor or harm your shoe.

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Although the toothpaste approach works wonders on leather sneakers, it may not be enough for harder stains on canvas.

So, what’s the alternative?

Step number five


To get rid of those difficult stains, you’ll need something a little more powerful.

Fill a bowl halfway with warm water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Aim for a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

Use a brush with medium stiff bristles to apply the paint. To work on these stains, you’ll need something a little more powerful.

Scrub the shoe by dipping it into the detergent. Work in small circular motions, ensuring that you get into all of the gaps and crevices.

Rinse your shoes in the sink until all of the detergent is gone. Allow the shoes to air dry overnight.

Quick Tip

Use a Mr. Clean magic eraser if you’re having difficulties getting all the marks off the sneaker soles. It performs admirably.

Step number six

Clean the Laces

Let’s get to work on those filthy shoe laces. We’re supposed to put the laces in a bowl with some washing detergent and soak them for 20 minutes.

Scrub the laces with that old toothbrush until they are clean. Leave them to air dry after a quick rinse in the sink.

Step number seven


Your leather shoes will lose moisture throughout the washing process, which might lead to fractures appearing over time.

It’s critical to apply a leather shoe conditioner to replenish moisture and maintain leather soft and supple.

Using a clean rag, apply the conditioner to the whole upper of the shoe. Allow 30 minutes for the shoe to dry after wiping off any excess conditioner.

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Step number eight


It’s pointless to clean your white shoes only to have them get dirty again.

Apply a protective shoe spray to keep them smelling fresh for longer.

Before applying, read the can to make sure it’s compatible with the material of your sneakers.

Allow an hour to dry between two light applications of the spray. Re-lace your shoes once they’ve dried, and you’re dry to go.

That’s all there is to it. Your sneakers now appear to be brand new.

How to Restore White Leather Sneakers


  • Christopher

    Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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