How to clean white trainers

Press factory reset your teenager's once white, now mushroom-grey, trainers

Modderige witte sneakers op een blauwe betegelde achtergrond

The key to keeping white trainers looking good? Regular spot cleaning, plus a thorough scrub every now and then. Once you know how to clean trainers, it’s a lot easier to maintain their whiteness and keep them in good condition for as long as possible. So, let’s look at a few methods and some top tips to help you find the best way to clean trainers.

How to clean white trainers: regular care tips

Before we move onto the best ways to clean trainers with different methods, there are a number of top tips to keep your trainers fresh with regular maintenance. This includes:

  • Scraping off dirt or mud whenever you see it.
  • Wiping down your trainers after use with an absorbent paper towel.
  • Storing them tidily – keep them away from other dirty footwear as they could well pick up their grime too.

Following regular care tips like these will help make your kicks sparkle for longer, but sometimes cleaning white trainers is a slightly bigger job.

How to clean trainers with soap and water

Most of the time, good old soap and water will be enough to clean your white trainers –particularly if they are only lightly marked. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Clear off the excess dirt.
  2. If your laces are heavily stained, remove and soak in a bowl of hot water.
  3. Squirt some liquid detergent into warm water and mix up.
  4. Dip an old toothbrush in the bubbles and gently scrub at your shoes. Work in small sections, scrubbing in a circular motion for the best results.
  5. Wipe away any remaining residue and then let your trainers dry naturally.

Cleaning white trainers with baking soda and vinegar

A mix of baking soda and white vinegar is great for getting out stains on trainers, and it works really well on canvas. To remove the stains and bring back the sparkle, here’s what to do:

  1. Knock and scrub away any excess dirt with a piece of kitchen paper.
  2. Mix equal amounts of baking soda and white vinegar in a little warm water until a paste is formed.
  3. Work the paste into your trainers, paying particularly close attention to stained areas.
  4. Leave the mix for around two to three hours so it can get to work breaking down the grime.
  5. Once the paste has completely dried, wipe off the residue with a paper towel – revealing fresh-looking, stain-free trainers.

How to clean white trainers with toothpaste

It might surprise you, but toothpaste is a great trainer-cleaning product – particularly when you’re cleaning white leather trainers with heavy scuffs or stains. After clearing off as much grime as you can, try the following method:

  1. Remove your laces and soak them in soapy water – this will make it much easier to clean the rest of each shoe.
  2. Take a damp piece of kitchen paper and rub it over your trainers – you don’t want to use too much water, as this could over-saturate the leather.
  3. Dab white toothpaste on stains and scuffs, and rub into the leather.
  4. Use an old, soft toothbrush to gently scrub at the marks further.
  5. Wipe the toothpaste away with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to dry.
  6. Once they’re dry, you can use a fresh kitchen towel to buff up your trainers.


Plenty The Original One is perfect for cleaning white leather trainers. These super-absorbent kitchen towels are strong enough to dampen and use for wiping without falling apart. They’re also great for polishing small scuffs and giving your trainers that final buff.

Getting into a routine of cleaning white trainers regularly makes it easier to restore their brightness each time. With these easy methods, you can keep them looking their box-fresh best for longer. Are they sparkling but still smelling a bit funky? Don’t forget to freshen them up!

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