White sneakers are a bona fied style staple and they’re not going away anytime soon. But, they are also high maintenance. Dirty kicks never make the grade, so unless you’re taking up skateboarding you probably want to know how to clean, and keep your white sneakers white. After all, what's the point in having them if they aren’t going to look good?
Survey The Damage
Ok, real talk: How rough are your white sneakers? If the soles are worn down like ballet slippers, or torn, it may be time for a new pair. Before you toss them, it's usually worth a shot to see if they can be spared from the rubbish heap. Deep scrapes and scuff might not be able to be buffed away, you can most definitely tackle any visible surface dirt.
1. Knock them Around
Go outside and knock your sneaks together to remove any caked-on mud, dust and surface dirt. Remove the laces and use an old dish brush to get into all the little holes.
2. Wipe Them Down
For this step you’ll need two things. A cleaning rag or old kitchen towel, and a good Leather Cleaner. Ours doubles as a universal polish that will help protect the leather from any future water damage. The natural formula is free from silicone and other creepy chemicals, so you can feel good about wearing them sockless!
3. Wash or Replace Your Shoelaces
Tie your laces into a loose knot before tossing them into the wash. They’ll be filthy, so make sure you give them a little pre-wash at the sink. I just use Hand Soap and then throw them in with my next load of whites! I would also consider investing in a little laces wardrobe. They’re pretty cheap, but super handy if you break one. They are by far the least expensive way to help refresh an older pair of shoes that can still be restored. It’s a great opportunity to mix things up, try a new color to keep it fresh!
PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE.
When I take them off, I try to remember to give my sneakers (and all my shoes) a quick wipe down before putting them away. To make it easy, I keep a caddy with a bottle of Garment Groom and Leather Cleaner and stack of old dish/tea towels, cut in half to clean my shoes. It keeps my closet clean, and I know that my shoes are always ready to wear before stepping out.