9 Cleaning Hacks to Keep Your White Sneakers Looking Like New

We used to think that people who managed to keep their white sneakers were magical. Whatever we tried, nothing seemed to work. This was a problem because as every fashion girl will attest, white trainers are as ubiquitous as high-waisted trousers and checked blazers. They feature in every style-obsessed person's wardrobe—whether they're the popular Adidas Originals or classic Converse high-tops. They're what you go to when you don't want to wear heels. The trick, of course, for them to be as eternally chic as possible is to keep them looking box fresh. But how?

Style Notes: The ideal way to wear white sneakers in the autumn: with ecru jeans. 

That's a mean feat when you want to wear your bright white shoes on repeat. While the A-list might be able to purchase another pair when they get theirs dirty, how can we mere mortals ensure our shoes continue to look brand-new? Not to mention, we're all about looking after our garments to get the most out of them. To help, we've uncovered nine incredible tricks for keeping your sneakers clean and white so you can make everyone believe that you only bought them yesterday. Scroll down to see our top nine trainer-cleaning hacks and the best pairs to invest in this season.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: use white nail polish to cover scratches

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

It's as simple as that. If you see a little scratch or smudge on your spankin' new white sneakers, just take out your favourite white nail polish and do a little touch-up. It works wonders.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: use a wipe, magic eraser or vinegar, to spot-clean stains

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

There are a ton of handy little cleaning tools out there to help with this. We prefer Magic Erasers, but if you don't have anything like that on hand, take a washrag and dip it in vinegar from your kitchen cupboard. Rub gently to remove small stains. Voilà!

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: never put white sneakers in the washing machine

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

This is a big no-no. Even on the gentle cycle, a washing machine is a bit too rough-and-tumble (we had to) for white trainers. Stick to hand-treating your footwear.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: use a toothbrush to get to hard-to-reach areas

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Use an old toothbrush, warm water and gentle soap if your shoes have some dirt spots in hard-to-reach places. Scrub gently.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: cleanse white laces by rinsing them in warm water

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 Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

You might be tempted to just toss your white laces in the washing machine—but don't do that. Instead, hand-wash them in warm water with gentle soap and let them air-dry.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: once clean, stuff shoes with paper towels to dry quicker

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Christian Vierig/Getty IMages

Your shoes might be a bit damp after you're done cleaning them; to help them dry faster, put crumpled-up paper towels inside of them to absorb excess moisture and help the shoes dry more rapidly.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: use gentle shampoo on oil stains

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Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Let's say you stepped in an oil slick crossing the street or dropped a big greasy french fry on your new white sneakers (it happens to the best of us). When you get home, use your gentlest shampoo, warm water, and a toothbrush or rag to gently wipe at the oil smudge. It should come right out.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: always store indoors to avoid too much sun exposure

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Don't leave your white sneakers outside. They're already getting enough UV exposure as it is, which can lead to fading and unwanted discolouration. Treat them well, and store them in a cool, dark place when they're not being worn.

How to clean white sneakers and trainers: use bleach in diluted, small quantities

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

To the crux of the issue: Can you use bleach on white sneakers? Yes, you can, but you have to dilute it. Most shoe-care guides suggest mixing one part bleach with five parts water; any more than that and you risk turning your white fabrics a weird yellow tone. Dip your toothbrush in the diluted bleach solution, and scrub the shoes gently. Rinse with warm water when you're finished.

Next up, check out the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends you need to know.

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

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