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How To Keep Your White Shoes Looking Brand New

We all love the feeling of getting new pristine, white sneakers. Then, the first scuff, a run-in with a mud puddle, and a couple of weeks of wear later, they look like any other worn-in white sneaker. But what if I told you that you could bring your favorite white kicks back to that “brand new” condition? It’s a no brainer, right? Here are simple hacks to get your cloth or leather sneakers back to their blinding white look!


Cloth Sneakers

Converse, Vans, Keds, etc. Everyone owns a pair. I think we all can agree that keeping them clean isn’t easy on the daily. There are two simple ways to keep your sneakers clean throughout the year!

First, throw your shoes in the washing machine. I do this all the time! I remove the laces and wash those as well. I recommend washing your shoes with the hot water setting with other white clothing. This helps to get rid of loose dirt on the shoe and the scuffs on the rubber sole of the shoe! Do NOT throw your shoes in the dryer afterward (unless you want to go down half a shoe size…)

OxiClean: If your shoes have some built-up dirt and stains from overtime, this trick is the way to go. By either scrubbing the shoe with OxiClean or leaving them to soak, each method is as effective. I have never seen another trick work better at removing the oldest of stains and packed in dirt. If your shoes are “beyond repair,” I would definitely give this hack a try!


Leather Sneakers

Leather is tricky, but if treated well, it can stand the test of time. However, I don’t recommend wearing leather shoes in wet weather unless they’re water sealed and protected. Water wear over time can ruin the quality and durability of the leather. If you’re invested in your leather sneakers, below are two ways to help their quality maintain longevity.

What to do ASAP: If you get dirt or stains on your shoes, wipe off with a damp cloth the same day so it doesn’t soak into the leather. Doing so will keep your leather shoes looking clean and taken care of. If your laces get dirty, like any other lace, you can throw them in the wash to remove dirt and stains.

Leather Cleaner: Shoes, like other leather products, need a special cleaner to maintain their appearance. Simple cleaners can be bought at most department and grocery stores. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. These cleaners are meant to remove deeper dirt and stains. If you’re committed to taking the time to care for your leather shoes, this is the best way to go. (Mini Hack: if you can’t get to the store but want to deep clean your leather, a dab of canola oil on a paper towel will be effective for the time being to remove that dirt).


Now, go use these tips and keep your white sneakers looking good as new :)

Alexa Cooke

Lafayette '21

Lafayette College '21 NCAA Women's Tennis
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