How To: Keep Your Sneakers White

19th March 2020


Instead of always having to buying new, here is how we keep our kicks box fresh.

The decision to wear a pair of sneakers over a pair of heels isn’t one we take lightly. But, as we’ve discussed previously here, we’ve moved beyond the restrictive binary opposition of ‘heels or trainers’. We wear both (rarely at the same time, but we might have them in our bag). As the popularity of sneakers continues to soar, and luxury designers fuel the trend with bigger, better, and more hype-worthy styles every season, the question of ‘how I to keep my white sneakers looking box fresh’ is one that never dates. Some women are more adept at it than others (You know, the super chic, effortlessly sophisticated kind who manage to eat a bowl of spaghetti without getting it on their blouse) and although the worn-in, ragged look is another trending style, a pair of brand new sneakers has their charm. So whether you identify yourself with either end of the spectrum, knowing how to care for your shoes is key and we have a few practical tips to help you maintain the brilliant whiteness of your favourite sneakers. Here are our hacks for keeping your Chloé Clints and Bottega Speedsters clean, whatever you throw at them. 

Prevention is better than cure. Use a trainer protector such as Crep Protect or eco-friendly Liquiproof (available at Liberty) to keep them sparklingly white. That way, when the red wine drops, you can keep on walking. 

Before you start the in-dept cleaning process, see what a simple wet wipe can do. Especially leather and synthetic, shiner materials respond well to the good old Johnson’s gentle wipe (we hear this is what a particular French high-end retailer use in their bag cleaning process…)

White trainers are a wardrobe staple, up there with your favourite jeans and a smart blazer. Improve their longevity by getting to grips with a toothbrush. Use to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as the grooves in the sole and around the lace holes.

A magic eraser can be picked up in most supermarkets and home stores. Spot clean small marks and stains as soon as they happen, and reap the rewards later. A cloth dipped in vinegar will have a similar effect. 

Keep your laces clean by putting them in a pillow case in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Alternatively, hand wash them in warm water with a gentle detergent. Air dry on a rack. Should they still come out stained, replacing the laces with a new pair won’t break the bank. 

Avoid the urge to throw your sneakers into the wishing machine – wash them by hand instead. Use a mild laundry detergent or shampoo and gently rub with a soft brush or cloth. Then pat with a towel and let them air dry over night. Stuff them with a towel or a paper towel and for extra freshness, add tumble dry sheets for a deodorising effect. 

Use a whitening bleach specifically designed for textiles on tough-to-move stains. Always dilute with water, and use your toothbrush or a cloth to gently rub away the offending mark. A cue tip dipped in acetone-free nailpoish remover might also to the trick, especially on rubber soles – but test it on the bottom of the shoe first.

Your white kicks deserve as much love as your favourite party shoes. Keep them box fresh by storing them in a cool, dark place. This will stop the leather from discolouring over time.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself kind, or if your sneakers are in need of some extra TLC, look to the professionals. Sneaker care providers like Jason Markk , Shoe Spa and The Restory will have your Gucci Aces and precious pair of white Balenciaga Triple S looking box fresh in no time. 


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