How to clean white shoes – and keep them white

Learn how to clean white shoes with our step-by-step instructions – we teach you to tackle canvas, leather and more

how to clean white shoes
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Looking for tips on how to clean white shoes? Whether you received a fresh pair of kicks for Christmas and are determined to keep them looking tip top, or your favourite white shoes are looking a little worse for wear, a good clean could be all that they need to restore them to their former glory.

We talk you through our top tips for cleaning white shoes, as well as advice on keeping them clean in future. It's easier – and less expensive – than you might imagine. 

Looking for more cleaning advice and information? Head over to our cleaning hub page for step-by-step instructions and our pick of the best cleaning products.

How to clean white shoes

  1. Start by removing the shoelaces. These should be soaked separately in a bowl of warm, soapy water. Then rinsed and left to dry, flat.
  2. Before applying any water or cleaning products, you'll want to take a dry brush to your white shoes to tackle any dry dirt.
  3. Once that's done, apply a little washing up liquid to a dampened brush and lightly scrub away any dirt. If the stains are particularly stubborn, you may have to repeat this process a few times.
  4. When complete you'll need to rinse your shoes to get rid of any soap suds.
  5. Tackle any rubber with a damp cloth – this should come off relatively easily.
  6. Stuff your shoes with a kitchen towel, or kitchen roll, to soak up any excess water.
  7. Leave shoes to dry at room temperature – drying on the radiators is not advised.

How to keep white shoes white

Got a new pair of white shoes? Here's how to keep them looking their best.

  • Our top recommendation for keeping white shoes white is to use a protector spray – Crep Protect is by far the best out there. Capable of resisting rain and dirt, we'd recommend spraying shoes as soon as possible to prevent damage.

Looking for more cleaning advice?

Emily Shaw

Emily first (temporarily) joined the Real Homes team while interning on her summer break from university. After graduating, she worked on several publications before joining Real Homes as Staff Writer full time in mid-2018. She left the brand in 2020 to pursue another career, but still loves a second-hand bargain and sourcing unique finds to make her rented flat reflect her personality.