How to Clean White Tennis Shoes

How to Clean White Tennis Shoes


White tennis shoes are a classic staple in many wardrobes. They offer versatility, style, and comfort. However, one common issue with white shoes is keeping them clean. Whether it’s dirt, mud, or stains, white shoes can quickly lose their pristine appearance if not properly maintained. In this article we will explore How to Clean White Tennis Shoes.

Materials Needed for Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to gather the necessary materials:

Soap or detergent:

detergent for cleaning

Mild soap or detergent will help lift dirt and stains without damaging the shoe material.

Soft-bristled brush:

Brush for cleaning white tennis shoes

A gentle brush will allow you to scrub away dirt and grime without causing abrasions.

White vinegar:


White vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can help remove tough stains and odors.

Baking soda:

Baking soda and vinegar for cleaning white tennis shoes

Baking soda is effective for absorbing odors and lifting stains.


Water for cleaning white tennis shoes

Clean water is essential for rinsing and diluting cleaning solutions.


Toothbrush for cleaning white tennis shoes

A toothbrush can be used for precise cleaning in hard-to-reach areas.

Preparation Steps

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s crucial to prepare the shoes:

1. Remove Shoelaces:

Take out the shoelaces to ensure thorough cleaning of both the shoes and laces.

2. Brush Off Loose Dirt:

Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the shoes.

3. Spot Clean Any Stains:

Identify any visible stains or areas of discoloration and spot clean them before proceeding with the overall cleaning process.

Methods for Cleaning White Tennis Shoes

There are several effective methods for cleaning white tennis shoes, depending on the level of dirt and stains:

Shoes cleaning

Method 1: Soap and Water

1. Steps to Follow:
  • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
  • Add a small amount of mild soap or detergent.
  • Dip the soft-bristled brush into the soapy water and gently scrub the surface of the shoes in circular motions.
  • Pay attention to areas with visible stains or dirt buildup.
  • Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until the shoes are clean.
2. Tips for Best Results:
  • Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the shoe material to warp or shrink.
  • Test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first to ensure compatibility.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Method 2: Baking Soda Paste

1. Preparation of Paste:
  • Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to create a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste to the surface of the shoes, focusing on areas with stains or discoloration.
2. Application and Scrubbing Technique:
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the baking soda paste into the fabric of the shoes.
  • Allow the paste to sit for 10-15 minutes to penetrate and lift stains.
  • Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove the baking soda residue.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until the stains are removed.

Method 3: White Vinegar Solution

1. Mixing Proportions:
  • Dilute white vinegar with an equal amount of water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle for easy application.
2. Application Process:
  • Spray the vinegar solution onto the surface of the shoes, focusing on areas with stubborn stains.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently scrub the vinegar solution into the fabric.
  • Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before rinsing the shoes with clean water.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until the stains are removed.

Drying and Air-drying

After cleaning, it’s essential to dry the shoes properly to prevent mold and mildew growth:

How to Dry Shoes Properly:

Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Benefits of Air-drying:

Air-drying allows the shoes to dry naturally, preserving their shape and integrity.

Tips for Maintaining Cleanliness

To keep your white tennis shoes looking their best, consider the following tips:

Regular Cleaning Schedule:

Establish a routine for cleaning your shoes to prevent dirt and stains from building up.

Storing Shoes Properly:

Store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct sunlight to prevent discoloration and deterioration.

Dealing with Stubborn Stains

For tough stains that don’t respond to regular cleaning methods, try the following techniques:

Techniques for Tough Stains:

Use specialized cleaners or stain removers designed for the specific type of stain.

Importance of Patience and Persistence:

Stubborn stains may require multiple cleaning attempts, so be patient and persistent in your efforts.

Additional Precautions for Different Shoe Materials

Different shoe materials may require unique care methods:


Use a gentle leather cleaner and conditioner to maintain the suppleness and shine of leather shoes.


Canvas shoes can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with mild detergent.


Avoid submerging mesh shoes in water, as it can cause the material to lose its shape. Instead, spot clean with a damp cloth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When cleaning white tennis shoes, avoid the following mistakes:

Using Harsh Chemicals:

Harsh chemicals can damage the shoe material and cause discoloration.

Over-soaking Shoes:

Excessive moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, so avoid soaking shoes for extended periods.


Keeping white tennis shoes clean and pristine doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right materials and techniques, you can easily remove dirt and stains to maintain the appearance and longevity of your favorite footwear. By following the methods outlined in this article and implementing proper maintenance practices, you can ensure that your white tennis shoes always look their best.


1. How often should I clean my white tennis shoes?

It’s recommended to clean your white tennis shoes whenever they appear dirty or stained. Establishing a regular cleaning schedule can help prevent dirt buildup and maintain their appearance.

2. Can I machine wash my white tennis shoes?

Canvas shoes can typically be machine washed on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. However, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines.

3. Will cleaning my shoes damage them?

When done properly, cleaning your shoes should not damage them. However, it’s essential to use gentle cleaning methods and avoid harsh chemicals that could potentially cause discoloration or deterioration.

4. Can I use bleach to clean my white tennis shoes?

Bleach is not recommended for cleaning white tennis shoes, as it can be too harsh and may damage the shoe material. Opt for milder cleaning solutions such as soap and water or white vinegar.

5. How do I prevent yellowing of white tennis shoes?

To prevent yellowing, avoid exposing your white tennis shoes to direct sunlight for extended periods and store them in a cool, dry place when not in use. Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance can help preserve their brightness.