Wearing white sneakers is somewhat of a commitment. Although they can look fantastic, you have to learn how to care for them properly. A crisp, clean pair of brand new white trainers can suit a multitude of occasions, from everyday casual wear to smart casual at the office. From the boardroom to the beach, having the right pair of sneakers is a must, but spending your well-earned cash isn’t going to fare well if you’re unsure on how to keep your trainers looking fresh.
So how do you keep those sneakers looking as pristine as the day you bought them? Nothing ruins your classy look more than a dirty streak on your footwear, so if you want to make sure your sneakers look new for as long as possible, then here’s our guide on how to keep your white sneakers looking whiter than white.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
You’ve bought your new sneakers and are more than excited to put them on and show the world, but rather than sticking your feet straight into your new kicks, you should look for ways to protect them. You can pre-treat your sneakers with some water and stain repellent, which you should continue to do every time you give them a good clean.
Of course, preventative measures also depend on the fabric. For instance, if you have leather white platform sneakers, then you should use a damp cloth, rub gently with lukewarm water and never machine wash or dry. However, if you’re donning a pair of white suede sneakers, then you should brush away the dirt with a specialized suede brush when dry. For information on how to clean different material types, always visit the website of the store you bought from.
White trainers need looking after more than any other color, and so you’re going to need to clean your sneakers more than usual. When it comes to deciding on colored or white sneakers, there’s always that concern about their ability to last, yet no matter how careful you might be, there’s no accounting for dirty puddles or people occasionally stepping on your toes. Therefore, the question is, how do you keep those sneakers looking as white as possible without causing them to become discolored or cracked?
- Avoid the washing machine - Your mom might swear by it, but nothing will ruin your sneakers more than throwing them into your washing machine. Even on a cold wash, the glue can loosen, and the shape of your trainers will warp. What’s more, the washing machine will affect the color and could even rip the material itself. Skip the washing machine and do everything by hand. More effort, but worth it in the end.
- Check your sneakers regularly - Check those sneakers every time you take them off. A quick once over will tell you all that you need to know about their current state and whether further measures need to be made. If you spotted a problem, it's time to tackle it. By putting it off, those marks will become even more profound, making them more challenging to clean.
- Repairing marks - There are some straightforward ways to clean those white high top sneakers, with one of the most preached about tips being the application of nail polish on scratches. For stains, you can alternate between diluted vinegar or baby wipes. Whatever measure you make, though, it’s always best to trail your methods by applying the solution on a hidden part of your sneakers – e.g. the tongue.
A Word of Warning About Nail Polish
While using nail polish to disguise scratches can be effective, remember that you should use as few coats as possible. The more nail varnish you apply, the thicker the layer becomes. You should also let your nail varnish dry before deciding if it needs another coat.
The Perils of Bleach
The older generation swear by it, but in this day and age, bleach simply doesn’t work wonders for your shoes. When keeping your sneakers a brilliant white, you should never apply bleach to your shoes. Bleach can:
- Stain your sneaker’s canvas (e.g. Converse).
- Be dangerous.
- Turn your white sneakers into a dingy off-yellow color.
Like all clothing, your sneakers will be affected by the sunlight, and so you should never leave them in a cascade of sun. Rather than have their color become diluted and turn into an undesirable yellow, you should box them up at the end of each day or make sure they sit in a spot with no sun. Sunlight is the number one killer when it comes to a sneaker’s bright white color.
Right Down to the Laces
You know how to keep your sneakers white, but what about the laces? Keeping your cleaning tactics for the shoe and neglecting the laces won’t keep your sneakers looking fresh; instead, it will cause a huge divide between the base of your shoe and its laces.
Like the shoe itself, do not throw them into the washing machine and keep the fabric away from bleach. You could, of course, buy a new pair of laces, but rather than splashing out, you can simply soak them overnight in hot, soapy water and then let them air dry, away from direct sunlight. Then, once they’re a bright white, your sneakers will look undeniably cool.
The #1 Tip to Keeping Your White Sneakers Clean
The above guide is all well and good, but the best way to keeping your shoes a brilliant white is to put your sneakers in a sink of lukewarm water and give them a light scrub with a brush. Using soap, you can make marks and stains easily disappear. However, always refer to each sneaker’s guidelines, as each brand has their own cleaning tips and tricks.
A pair of new white sneakers for men or women is a great addition to any wardrobe. However, buying such sneakers is a commitment. You need to ensure you look after them properly and keep them looking fresh, otherwise your new kicks could look a little too well-worn in a matter of weeks.