White shoes are a classic fashion staple, but they can be a pain to keep clean. Whether you wear them with your little black dress, jeans, or a crisp cotton shirt, they will get dirty sooner or later, and when they do, it’s important to know how to take care of them so that they stay bright. This article provides expert tips, tricks, and care instructions to help you get your white shoes white again, so that they can be as good as new for as long as possible.
The most common way to wash white canvas shoes is to use soapy water. To do so, pour a small amount of mild laundry detergent into a tub of warm water, then stir it until the solution is sudsy and begins to bubble. Dip a soft cloth or old toothbrush into the mixture, and start brushing away at any dirt spots on your shoes. You may have to scrub quite a bit in order to remove all of the dirt from your shoes, so be patient and persistent.
If you have an intense stain on your shoes, you can try a commercial stain remover or a specialized stain removal product. However, most of the time, basic stains can be removed with a common household item: baking soda. If you have a stubborn stain on your shoe, mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide until the solution is paste-like, and apply it to the affected area. Once the shoe is covered, let it sit for about four hours until the paste has hardened. Rub the area gently with a soft cloth, and then rinse the shoes using a clean towel and cold water.
You can also use this same solution to clean white leather or suede shoes, but you must be more careful with these materials. Before scrubbing the shoes, sprinkle them with cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb any oily residue. Then, brush the shoes with a soft-bristle brush to loosen any embedded dirt and debris. Once the shoe is clean, use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining soapy suds, and then allow it to dry.
Another option for cleaning your shoes is to soak them in the washing machine. However, this is not recommended for canvas shoes with any kind of decorations or embellishments, as they could get damaged in the washing machine. If you want to try this method, first, place your shoes in a mesh bag so that they won’t get ripped or separated in the washing machine. Put them into the washer on a cool, gentle cycle, and then let them air dry in a shaded or sunny spot.
You can also clean your white canvas shoes with a bleach solution. To do so, prepare a solution of five parts water to one part bleach. Then, dip a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush into the bleach solution, and begin scrubbing the shoes until they’re clean. Be sure to use a small amount of bleach, as too much can make the shoes yellow.