How to Clean White Laces with Baking Soda

Shoes with White shoelaces

If you are looking for a method to clean your white shoelaces without using bleach, baking soda is quite effective. You can use baking soda alone or alongside hydrogen peroxide or vinegar.

The Benefits of Using Baking Soda for Cleaning White Laces

The main benefits of using baking soda to clean your white shoelaces are:

  • Effective at removing dirt, including stubborn stains
  • It gets rid of the odor
  • When used alongside a laundry detergent or dish soap, it improves their performance
  • Has antiseptic properties that kill bacteria
  • Brighten the shoelaces
  • Softens the shoelace fabric

How to Clean White Shoelaces with Baking Soda

Clean White Shoelaces with Baking Soda
Source: Shutterstock

What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • 2 Small Bowls
  • Toothbrush


1. Remove the Shoelaces from the Shoes

Although you can clean shoelaces while they are still on the shoes, it limits your ability to reach the creases around the eyelets.

2. Dust Off the Shoelaces

Once you have removed the shoelaces, use a dry toothbrush to dust them off. Lay them on a flat surface and gently brush each side. This helps get rid of loose dirt particles and gives you a clear sense of how dirty the shoelaces are.

3. Presoak the Shoelaces in a Baking Soda Solution

Put 250ml of warm water in a bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Stir until the solution is well mixed. Soak the shoelaces in the baking soda solution, ensuring that they are fully submerged. Ideally, you should leave them soaking overnight. If you are pressed for time, allow them to soak for at least an hour.

4. Make a Baking Soda Paste

When you are ready to clean shoelaces, put 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl. The longer and dirtier the white shoelaces, the more paste you will need.

Add a tablespoon of room temperature water to the baking soda and mix. Keep adding a tablespoon of water at a time until the paste is thick.

5. Clean White Shoelaces

Remove the shoelaces from the water and gently rub them between your hands to allow dirt to loosen up and come off. Then, squeeze them between your hand to get rid of the excess water. You may also place them between two paper towels or a towel to dry them further.

Lay each shoelace on a flat surface. Take your toothbrush and dip it into the baking soda paste. Gently scrub each shoelace along its length, a section at a time. If you notice sections of stubborn stains, cover them with the paste and let it sit for 1-2 minutes, then gently but repeatedly scrub the area until the stain comes off.

If there are really stubborn stains, you can also consider using a stain remover and blotting the stain with a paper towel.

6. Rinse the Shoelaces

Once the shoelaces are clean, rinse them in clean water to remove any residual baking soda and wring out excess water.

7. Air-Dry the Shoelaces

Hang the shoelaces on a clothesline or rack away from direct heat or sunlight. Although the drying process will be much slower than if you used a dryer, you can be sure that your shoelaces will not shrink, crumb, or tear.

How to Clean White Shoe Laces with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has oxidizing properties that make it as effective at removing tough stains as bleach. When you use it together with baking soda to clean your white shoelaces, you can be sure to get rid of even the most stubborn stains. It also brightens the shoelaces and removes the odor.

Use the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution that is sold in drug stores as a disinfectant. Since it is oxygen-based, it is safer than bleach but equally effective at removing loose dirt and tough stains. It quickly breaks down in water and oxygen and has less environmental impact than chlorine-based bleach.

Hydrogen peroxide tends to lose its effectiveness when used in light. Therefore, it should be stored in a dark container. When mixed with baking soda, it produces a strong smell and can irritate the skin. Wear gloves and a mask when using the mixture to clean your white shoelaces.

What You Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • 2 Small Laundry Bowls
  • Water
  • An old toothbrush
  • Nose mask
  • Gloves


1. Remove the Shoelaces from the Shoes

Shake them or use a dry brush to dust them off and remove any loose dirt particles.

2. Presoak Them in a Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Add two tablespoons of baking soda and 25ml hydrogen peroxide into 250ml of warm water. Stir until they are well mixed. Submerge the shoelaces in the solution and let them soak overnight or for at least an hour.

3. Make a Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Paste

Put 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda in another small bowl and add 10ml of hydrogen peroxide at a time while mixing until you form a thick paste.

4. Clean the Shoelaces

Remove the shoelaces from the water, rub them between your palms, and then wring them out. Lay them on a flat surface. Dip the old toothbrush into the paste, spread it throughout the length of the shoelace, then scrub a section at a time on both sides of the shoelaces with the old toothbrush.

5. Rinse Them Out and Hang Them to Air Dry

How to Clean White Shoe Laces with Baking Soda and Vinegar

White vinegar is another readily available household product that you can use alongside baking soda to clean your white shoelaces. Like hydrogen peroxide, it reduces odor, whitens, brightens, and softens.

The procedure for using baking soda and white vinegar to clean white laces is similar to baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Follow the exact steps but use white vinegar instead of hydrogen peroxide. White vinegar does not produce a strong smell or cause irritation, so you do not have to wear gloves or a mask.

To clean leather shoelaces, you can still use a vinegar solution with one part water and one part white vinegar. Use the solution and a paper towel, microfiber cloth, or brush to rub out any stains and use a dry sponge to soak up excess water and the result will be clean shoelaces.


Dirty white laces stand out and take away from the aesthetic of your shoes. That does not have to be the case as they are easy to clean using something as simple as baking soda. Baking soda removes loose dirt and tough stains, brightens, whitens, and softens the fabric shoes. You can use it on its own or alongside white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for an even more effective clean.

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