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Your white leather shoes took a turn for the worst and you’re probably thinking that your shoes are ruined, but it is easier than you think to restore them to their former glory. With the right home-based cleaning products, you can save your white leather shoes in no time.

Here are some tips on how to clean white leather shoes.

Two methods for cleaning white leather shoes

Would you believe that 6 out of 10 people have no idea how to clean white leather shoes? Wearing white shoes is a Summertime tradition, but keeping them clean is a challenge that spans all seasons. There are two primary methods for keeping white leather shoes clean:

  1. Cleaning with toothpaste
  2. Cleaning with vinegar and baking soda

Method 1: Cleaning White Leather Shoes With Toothpaste

To keep white leather shoes looking their best, you need to be able to eliminate all of the stains that appear on them. And commercial shoe cleaning products can be expensive, which is why toothpaste is an inexpensive alternative that works just as well!

You will need the following products:

  • Toothpaste
  • Rag or Sponge
  • Detergent or Soap
  • Toothbrush

The simplicity of this cleaning hack will surprise you. Here are the detailed steps to follow:

Step 1: Wipe off any excess dirt or mud, then use a soft brush to remove any dirt that’s stubbornly stuck to your shoe. Next, wipe clean using a damp rag. This should loosen and remove most of the dry dirt and dust that’s on your shoe.

Step 2: To clean your shoes and keep them looking their best, use a small amount of detergent and warm water. You can either soak your laces in a bowl or throw them in the washing machine. This will save you time and help you remove any stubborn stains that may have built up.

Step 3: Get rid of dirt and debris on your shoes with a damp rag. Wet a corner of a towel or rag and wipe down your shoe’s vamp to remove dirt and dust. Over-soaking the leather will cause it to wear out prematurely, so dab water onto a section of the shoe then work in a circular motion to get rid of stubborn stains.

Step 4: Get a little toothpaste on a clean cloth and rub it into the leather scuff on your shoes. Don’t use gel toothpaste that has artificial dye that can stain your shoe. Just get a non-gel version of whitening toothpaste. With a sponge or a cloth, dab toothpaste over the problem areas of your shoe and gently rub the toothpaste in with your fingers.

Step 5: Scrub any outer stains. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub in circles on the outer layer of the stain, carefully working your way from the outside of the stain toward its center. Do this until the outer layer of the stain begins to break apart from the shoe as you scrub. Clean out as much as you can from as many angles as possible.

Step 6: Use a towel to wipe away any toothpaste that’s leftover from cleaning the shoe. Be sure to clean all of the toothpaste or dampen a piece of cloth with some warm water and rub the area again to remove all traces of toothpaste.

Step 7: After getting all of the toothpaste off your shoes, wipe them down with a microfiber cloth. Once you’ve gone through the entire process, you should allow your shoes to dry. Sometimes the cleaning action can lead to wet areas that could potentially cause mold or mildew to grow.

Step 8: If your shoes are still dirty after the toothpaste treatment, repeat the process with another round of toothpaste. Once they are thoroughly dry, store them in a cool, dark place away from anything that could damage their shiny surface.

Method 2: Cleaning white leather shoes with vinegar & baking soda

Cleaning white shoes with baking soda and vinegar is a great way to save money and get that crisp white color you want. White is associated with clean and pure, and practically every shoe company in the world offers a great selection of white shoes. And while they usually look their best when new, they can be a bit of a pain when they start getting dirty. Cleaning shoes with baking soda and vinegar will remove any smells embedded in the shoe while ensuring that the shoe maintains its color.

You will need the following products:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Warm Water
  • Toothbrush
  1. Mix vinegar, baking soda, and hot water together to create a cleaning paste. Combine one spoon of warm water, one spoon of vinegar, and one spoon of baking soda to create a thick paste that will help remove dirt and stains from your bathroom sink. The fizz of the baking soda and vinegar will quickly subside once it interacts with the hot water.
  2. Brush baking soda onto your shoes with a toothbrush. Dip the head of the brush into your paste and apply it to the fabric of your shoes. Press down on the bristles to work it into cracks and crevices. Apply a generous amount of paste to all parts of the exterior of your shoes. Rinse out your brush thoroughly when you’re done so that there is no residue left in the bristles.
  3. Let the paste dry for a minimum of 3-4 hours. Alternatively, you can leave it in direct sunlight to speed up the curing process.
  4. First, clap your shoes together. This will remove most of the dirt. Next, use a dry brush to brush off the remaining dirt and dried paste. Lastly, scrape any leftover pieces with a toothbrush.

Frequently asked questions about cleaning white leather shoes

What can you do to make your white leather shoes stay white?

The yellowing of white leather products is a natural process of oxidation. In simpler terms, this means that exposure to air, dust, and sun will cause the fibers to break down. In order to solve the issue of discoloration, you should follow our guidelines on cleaning white leather shoes.

Are white leather shoes machine washable?

No, washing your leather shoes in the washing machine is a quick way to destroying them.

Are white leather shoes hard to keep clean?

White leather shoes are even harder to clean than you thought. Since they can’t go in the washing machine, and because of the chemicals present in cleaning products like ammonia, you’re left with all-natural alternatives to rejuvenate your white leather shoes.

Additional Care for White Leather Shoes

Once you’ve cleaned your white leather shoes to a pristine shine, don’t stop there. Make sure that they remain looking their best with a regular regimen of care. The methods detailed above are easy, simple ways to keep them clean without special tools or fancy cleaners. You should also consider where you store your leather shoes, keep them away from other active shoes using a shoe tree for your closet, so they don’t get scuffed or dirtied up.

If you’re a fan of white leather shoes, you probably know only too well that keeping them looking as good as new can be a bit of a bind. Dirt and grime are everywhere and can make it very tough to keep your pair clean and pristine. But never fear! Our guide has all the tips and tricks you need to keep your beloved footwear clean and looking great for years to come.