How to Clean White Laces in 3 Easy Steps

Let’s face it. Dirty laces on crisp white sneakers are destructing from your entire look. A pair of Chuck Taylors, Stan Smiths, or Air Force 1s, simply won’t turn heads if the shoelaces look dingy. Laces typically drag on the ground, getting grimy before the rest of the shoe, and aren’t made of absorbent material such as cotton, leading to the quick buildup of dirt.

Well, the good news is that if you don’t want to keep purchasing new laces, you can clean your existing ones in a few straightforward steps and with basic products that you may already have in your home.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to clean white laces. Keep in mind that you’ll need to wash them frequently to maintain their brightness.

Image source: Pixabay

How to Clean White Laces By Hand

For more control in the cleaning process, it’s advisable to handwash your shoelaces using the following easy steps.

1. Grab a stain treatment, heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent, and an unused toothbrush.

2. Fill a large bowl with four cups of water before adding ½ teaspoon of the laundry detergent.

3. Wet your laces under some running water, treat them with the stain remover, and place them in a bowl with warm water.

4. Let them soak in the bowl for up to 30 minutes.

5. For increased brightness, add a teaspoon of bleach to the water. It’s worth noting that if your laces are made of synthetic fibers, only oxygen-based bleach will be effective in whitening them. Using chlorine bleach will ruin the fibers. Regardless of the type of bleach you use, wearing a pair of rubber gloves to prevent your skin from coming in contact with the chemical and causing irritation is advised.

6. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining dirt from your well-soaked laces, then rinse them and allow them to dry properly. You can use a household hook.

How to Clean White Laces in the Washing Machine

For this method, you’ll require most of the same products mentioned earlier, in addition to an old pillowcase with a zipper or a mesh laundry bag to prevent your laces from getting stuck or tangled in the washer.

1. Start by wetting the laces and scrubbing away loose dirt using a clean toothbrush.

2. Apply the stain treatment to discolored patches and allow it to sit for up to 30 minutes.

3. Put the laces in the laundry bag or a zipper pillowcase, add it to a load of white laundry, pour some liquid detergent, and wash in hot or warm water.

4. You have free rein to add some bleach to the load.

5. Once it’s done, air dry the shoelaces. Avoid putting them in a dryer as the high heat ruins the plastic tips on both ends.

Soaking White Laces in Clorox

If your cotton laces require more intensive stain removal, then a weakened bleach solution won’t cut it. Here’s where Clorox comes into play to clean white shoelaces.  

1. Wear a pair of rubber gloves.

2. Soak the laces in 3 tablespoons of Clorox and add a gallon of water.

3. Before you soak the laces in the cleaning solution, remember to submerge them in the bleach solution using a mesh laundry bag with a plate on top to prevent them from floating to the surface.

4. Let the laces soak for 5 minutes in the cleaning solution before cleaning them in relatively hot water, laundry detergent, and half a cup of bleach if they don’t look up to snuff.

As you do so, keep in mind that some laces are beyond repair, in which case it might be time to stock up on a few new sets to have on hand for when it’s time to discard your current pair.

How to Machine-Wash Shoes

When your white laces are clean, then your shoes need must be up to snuff to match. Let’s discuss how to machine-wash them.

1. Unlace your canvas sneakers.

2. Use a dish brush, toothbrush, or nailbrush to remove loose dirt or mud from the sides and top of your canvas sneakers. As you do so, remember to get rid of dirt from the grooves using a pin or Q-tip.

3. Put your sneakers in the washing machine.

4. Add a small quantity of detergent. Ensure you check your shoe’s washing instructions beforehand to avoid ruining them unknowingly. While most sneakers are machine-washable, some are not. If your shoes are machine-friendly, use a delicate setting with cold water.

5. Allow your shoes to air-dry away from direct sunlight or in the air dryer to prevent them from shrinking or premature wear. After all, you want them to be in tip-top condition for as long as possible.

How To Handwash Shoes

handwash white shoes
Image source: Shutterstock

If your sneakers aren’t machine-friendly, you’ll need to wash them by hand to keep them spick and span and up to snuff with your clean laces. Let’s explore the steps to do so.

1. Unlace your sneakers if you haven’t already done so.

2. Use a dry brush to eliminate dried mud or dirt before wetting your shoes.

3. Use a small bowl to mix a small amount of laundry detergent with warm to hot water. Depending on your preference, you can opt for dish soap.

4. As you immerse the brush in the solution, ensure the bristles are well-saturated. Use the wet brush to scrub the dirt parts of your shoes.

5. Use paper towels or dishcloths to dry your shoes before placing them over an air vent or in a shaded area outside to dry completely.

Closing Remarks

Granted, replacing laces is easy and affordable. However, when you own various pairs of shoes, purchasing replacement laces regularly can be costly in the long run. Therefore, if you’re angling at saving extra bucks, learning how to clean white laces can be cost-effective.

Furthermore, laces are prone to germs, given that more than 400,000 microbes lurk on the outside of your shoes. By keeping your laces and shoes clean using the methods discussed, you’ll avoid getting sick.

White Laces FAQ

Still have questions about those white laces? Read on for more information.

Can you clean shoes with a magic eraser?

If you have shoes with touch marks, scuff marks, stuck-on dirt, and scuffs, you can use a magic eraser to clean up the dirty area. When cleaning white shoes, focus on the sole, the toe box, eyelets, and the wedge. The magic eraser can have your shoes looking new again in no time.

How do you clean white leather shoelaces?

To clean your white leather shoelaces, use a cleaning solution consisting of one part water and one part white vinegar. Use this cleaning solution on your shoes by applying it with a microfiber cloth or a clean brush. Dab and scrub to remove any stains and use a sponge to soak up any excess moisture.

How do you clean white shoes with white vinegar?

To clean white shoes, use a combination of baking soda and white vinegar. Mixing them will create a paste that you can use to brush onto your white shoes with a toothbrush. Apply this paste to the entire white shoe, scrub gently, and remove loose dirt and stains. Let the mixture harden onto the white shoe before rinsing the shoes clean.

How do you clean white laces without baking soda?

To clean white laces without baking soda, soak the laces in warm water and then scrub the laces with a bar of soap. You can then soak them again in the warm water and launder them in the washing machine using regular detergent.

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