One infrequently discussed aspect of these trendy wardrobe staples is just how one is supposed to keep the sneakers white; after all, one quick trip across the road could result in a number of mud-, dirt-, or oil-centric disasters. And yet, celebrities, bloggers, fashion editors, and everyone in between always seem to sport only the whitest of white sneaks. How do they do it?!
Add extra protection. No matter what material your sneakers are made from — mesh, suede, leather or canvas — use a sneaker protector, like Crep Protect, to keep them clean and white as long as possible. This will also make cleaning easier if you get marks, scuffs or stains eventually.
Take notice of the weather: If you have more than one pair of sneakers, save your canvas and mesh pairs for dry, sunny days. Believe it or not, leather sneakers are much easier to clean and repel water better.
Yes, you can throw your canvas sneakers in the washing machine: After a week or so you can toss your Converse or other cotton sneakers in the washing machine on a low cycle (without any other garments) and then let them air dry. Wu suggests only washing and drying your sneakers on dry days, as damp air can cause mildew. “Place them near a window in the summer or by a heater in the winter,” he suggests.
Be careful what you use: Bleach will turn white canvas and mesh to a dingy and undesirable yellow, as will drying them in direct sunlight.
Get creative: “I’ve used a soft toothbrush dipped in a mixture of hand or dish soap and water to spot clean my sneakers and found that it works amazingly well,” says Wu. You can also use a little toothpaste mixed with water to clean leather, but Wu warns that it won’t come out of mesh or canvas, so avoid using it on those fabrics.