When you see fresh white sneakers hit the streets, you know it’s spring in the city. And while being able to enjoy the warm weather without a face mask may feel lightyears away, this outdoorsy D.I.Y project provides lots of fun.
You probably have a few pairs of white shoes in need of TLC, so save yourself some cash and take the time to ensure that your sneakers are ready for the picnic and Aperol Spritz of your dreams.
Here’s how to clean and upcycle your white sneakers for spring:
White Canvas Shoes
What you’ll need: Baking Soda, water, hydrogen peroxide, toothbrush
From Chuck Taylors to Keds, white canvas shoes are the perfect spring sneaker. Though they’re inexpensive and go with everything, they can also get filthy. Rather than buy a new pair, try this:
- Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ½ water and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply the paste to your shoes with a clean toothbrush.
- Gently brush with a toothbrush and let your shoes marinate for a couple of hours.
- Once dry, clean with a microfibre cloth.
White Leather Sneakers
What you’ll need: A clean cloth, water, non-gel white toothpaste, and a new toothbrush
Good news – white leather shoes are relatively easy to clean and don’t absorb stains like canvas shoes. Here is what to do if you find scuffs, dirt, or discolouration on your kicks:
- Wipe off any dirt or excess mud using a cotton or microfibre cloth.
- Remove your laces (see how to wash your laces below!).
- Dampen your cloth and gently dab the dirtied area with warm water. Be careful not to drench your shoes, as this will ruin the integrity of the leather.
- Grab your toothpaste and apply it to the stained areas.
- Brush the toothpaste with your toothbrush in clockwise motions (the same as if you were brushing your teeth).
- Wipe again with a cloth and leave to dry.
What You’ll Need: Dish soap, warm water
Dirty laces can make a crisp white shoe look… gross. Instead of buying a new pair, try this:
- Mix a tbsp. of dish soap with 2 cups of warm water.
- Soak for a few hours.
- If dirty still, gently brush away dirt with a toothbrush.
- Lay to dry.
Combination Fabric or Suede
Shoes made from a combination of fabrics can be more difficult to clean. Try to use the solutions listed above, but for coveted kicks that cost upwards of $200, you might want to consider sending them to a professional. Check these services out:
Sole is a premium footwear restoration and cleaning company based in Toronto. They offer services like deep cleaning, polishing, repainting and use only the finest products.
Clean Your Sole (Vancouver)
Vancouver-based Clean Your Sole touches up and deep cleans sneakers of all kinds. Direct message or email them to schedule your order.
Family-owned and operated for over 70 years, Fishman’s offers cleaning and repair services. Trust Tasha Fishman and her husband Sheldon to take wonderful care of your sneakers.
514 Restorations (Montreal)
With a passion for shoes, founders Shane and Shaun started their sneaker cleaning and restoration business in 2017. They’re proud to serve the Greater Montreal Area and beyond.
Last modified: March 17, 2021