Summer is on the way, and a great pair of the best sparkling white shoes is a vital part of many people’s preferred summer look. That could be formal white shoes, white sneakers, white canvas shoes, or white leather shoes – there is a type of white shoe to go with any outfit at all! They are a popular choice for almost every look, whether it is for sport or for every day casual wear.

If you have ever owned a pair of white shoes, though, then you will be aware that they can be a nightmare to clean. White gets dirty very easily, and grey or grimy brown shoes look much less good than a sparkling pair of clean white shoes. Fortunately, we’re here to help you learn how to clean white on shoes, and you don’t even need to leave your email address in order to get our tips on how to clean white trainers! If you want to know how to clean white shoes at home with ease, then just read on below to find out more!

How Can I get my White Shoes White Again?

You don’t have to do much to get a fresh pair of clean white shoes scuffed up, grimy, and stained. Sometimes, it can almost feel like your shoes have lost their whiteness as soon as you put them on, no matter whether you have used them for sport or not. They look great, but it is all too easy to forget about your shoes at the wrong moment and only realize later that your perfect bright shoes are now marked. No matter how hard you’ve tried to avoid it, this happens to everyone, and it is always frustrating. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to learn how to clean white shoes of any kind, as long as you follow a few simple steps.

How to Clean White Leather Shoes

White leather shoes may get dirty and grimy very easily, but you will be pleased to know that they are actually very easy to clean. Just… don’t try to run them through a washing machine, as this will ruin the leather completely.

Because of how little water leather absorbs, shoes made from this material are very easy to clean. All you are going to need to use for this will be a packet of magic erasers, some warm water, some soap, a clean, dry soft cloth, and a few paper towels.

Moisten a paper towel in a little warm water and use this to wipe the surface of your sneakers down to remove any chunks of dirt on the surface. Once you reckon you have removed all of the surface dirt with this method, make sure you leave your white shoes to air dry for at least 10 minutes. If the surface is still damp, then the rest of the process will be difficult to complete. As long as your shoes are fully dry, though, then the rest of it is easy.

Once your shoes are fully dry, moisten a magic eraser with warm water (but make sure it is not soaking wet!), and run it across the soles of your shoes until all of the dirt on the soles has been removed. You may need to use a couple of magic erasers in order to finish this step, but it should be possible as long as you use a bit of effort with your cleaning.

Once the soles are clean, lather up one of your cloths with soap and gently massage the upper leather surface of your shoes. Make sure to use gentle, circular motions here in order to protect the surface of the leather. Keep on massaging the uppers, always moving in circles, until the dirt vanishes, and your shoes return to being white. This might take a while, unfortunately, but as long as you are prepared to be patient, then it should be no problem.

Once you are happy with how much cleaner and whiter, you have managed to get the uppers to be, add a little water to a cloth and use it to rinse the soap off the surface of the shoes. Then, just leave your sneakers to air dry, and they should be sparkling, white, and ready to use again, all with no specialist equipment needed to make them white again!

How to Clean white Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are a little harder to scrub the dirt out of than leather shoes, unfortunately, but they are still entirely cleanable at home with no specialist equipment needed to do so. You are just going to need to be prepared to put a bit of time and effort into it.

What you will need for this is some warm water, some white vinegar, some baking soda, and an old toothbrush. All of these are items that you probably have lying around at home already, which makes the process simpler.

Mix one part baking soda with two parts white vinegar and five parts water, and stir it up into a paste. Use your old toothbrush to scrub this baking soda, white vinegar, and water mixture into the canvas surface of your shoes, making sure to get it properly into all of the crevices. Once you’ve covered the entire surface, leave the baking soda and vinegar paste to air dry into a hard crust, and just brush it off with a stiff brush. There might be a few traces left after this, but you can just wipe those off with a cloth and a little bit of water.

How do you Clean White Nike Shoes?

Nike shoes tend to be made from leather or artificial leather substitutes. That makes them quite easy to scrub back into sparkling whiteness! Leather and leather substitutes do not absorb much water, so they are very easy to wash at home. All you will need is water, soap, paper towels, cloths, and a packet of magic erasers.

Using a damp paper towel, wipe the surface of your Nike shoes down and remove dirt from the surface. Then, leave the sneakers for 10 minutes or so, until they are completely dry, and the next step should be easy.

Once your Nike shoes are dry, moisten the magic erasers and scrub the soles of your shoes until their whiteness is restored properly. After that, lather your cloths up with soap and massage the upper part of your Nike sneakers until the dirt vanishes. Using a gentle circular motion is the best option here and will give the best results in most cases. This could take a while, but it will be worth the effort in the end! Once you are done, just rinse down the surface with a damp cloth and leave your sneakers alone until they are completely dry.

How do you Clean White Shoes in 5 minutes?

Unfortunately, every effective option for cleaning trainers takes more than 5 minutes. You will need patience and time if you want your sneakers looking great, and there are no effective shortcuts here. If your sneakers are made from leather, then it will be a faster process than if they are made from canvas, but you are still looking at at least 10 minutes of drying time alone, not even counting the time required for actually cleaning the dirt from the uppers!


Even the most expensive and high end of white sneakers will inevitably end up dirty at some point, and knowing how best they can be cleaned is an important part of maintaining a good look during the summer. Grimy shoes don’t look good on anyone and cleaning them always takes time.

As long as you follow the steps outlined above, though, it should be easy enough restoring your trainers to sparkling cleanliness and whiteness at home without needing any specialist equipment for the cleaning process. If you are patient and prepared, cleaning leather or canvas surfaces can be fairly easy, and it is not actually as intimidating a process as it looks. In most cases, you don’t even need anything more specialized than a pack of magic erasers, and if your trainers are made from canvas, then all you’ll need will be baking soda, vinegar, and water!

About the Author

Hey, I'm Lilly Harvey. If there's two things I'm passionate about in life, it's shoes and writing!

Combining both my passions with my Fashion Design degree, I've helped create Shoe Adviser to help readers choose the best shoes for them, enjoy!

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