How to keep white trainers clean all year around09/15/2020
Owning anything white is always risky – especially when it comes to footwear.
White trainers are notoriously difficult to keep clean – they have to withstand all kinds of dirt and terrain as well as whatever the weather throws at them.
During the summer months, this isn’t so bad. But when autumn and winter hits, white trainers are less likely to be ‘box fresh’ anymore.
Unlike our clothes, we can’t simply throw a pair of trainers in the washing machine. They require a completely different process to keep them a dazzling white shade.
But how exactly do you keep white trainers looking ‘just like new’? Stylists and footwear experts have shared their top tips.
Get to stains ASAP
Just how you would be quick to get a stain out of a piece of clothing, the same goes for footwear.
Naomi Wainwright, from Daniel Footwear, says: ‘Stains should be removed as soon as possible to avoid them setting into the shoe.
‘A DIY solution can be made for stain removal, consisting of water and baking soda (or washing powder liquid). You should carefully rub the solution onto the stain, and after a couple of minutes wipe the solution away with a damp cloth. For tougher stains, repeat the process.’
Start with a bang
Before you kick off the cleaning process, it’s good to bang your shoes together a little.
Stylist Ryan Kay says: ‘Start by banging your shoes together to allow the mud to naturally fall off.’
This technique will help rid your shoes of any excess dirt or dust before you get stuck in. It might be worth carrying out this step outside or on a doorstep (if possible) to avoid getting dirt all over your floor – which will be another thing to clean.
Use a toothbrush
Toothbrushes are commonly used for cleaning, in order to get to pesky places that are too intricate for larger pieces of cleaning equipment.
Ryan explains: ‘Grab an old toothbrush or cloth which you don’t mind getting wet. Add warm water and soap to your shoes. Make sure to scrub gently. By using a toothbrush you’ll be able to get to those hard-to-reach places.’
Due to their material, laces will need more of a wash compared to the rest of the trainer. Experts recommend taking the laces off and soaking them in warm water with some detergent or stain removal solution.
Removing the shoelaces will also help you clean the rest of the shoe a little better, as you’ll be able to get to all the nooks and crannies they were taking up before.
Store them properly
There’s no point going to all the effort of cleaning if you’re simply going to throw the trainers in a cupboard with other muddy shoes afterwards.
Jenny, fashion buyer at Hurleys, says: ‘Keeping them properly stored will help to keep your trainers whiter for longer. Dust, damp and other household dirt can cause discolouration.
‘The original box that they came in will work as a good storage solution.’
Never put white trainers in the washing machine
Jenny adds: ‘A lot of people make the mistake of throwing their trainers in the washing machine.
‘Although this is an easy way to clean them, it can actually damage the material. Avoid the washing machine and stick with good old manual cleaning.’
Shoe laces are the only part of a trainer which can go in the washing machine – just don’t put them in the tumble dryer, as this can damage the plastic on the ends and shrink the lace itself.
See what products people have recommended
There are various products specifically designed to help with shoe care and maintenance, but an unlikely household hero has emerged as favourite with shoppers.
The Pink Stuff from Wilko – which costs just £1 for 500g – has proved to be a popular shoe cleaning hack with customers. Despite the packet saying it can be used on saucepans, cooker tops, sinks, showers, garden furniture and lots of other surfaces, it looks like the paste works wonders on footwear as well.
There are also a number of shoe protection sprays which do exactly what they say on the tin. These often help guard against moisture and dirt – which is particularly helpful during the colder, rainier months.
Don’t be excessive
It’s important not to kill your shoes with kindness. We all want to keep our trainers looking as clean as possible, but tending to them every day is likely to cause damage to the shoes themselves.
Naomi says: ‘Ensure not to excessively clean your trainers as this can cause deterioration of the material and the white colour will begin to fade.’
Remember to wear socks
Just how sweat can mark clothes, it’s the same with shoes. The only difference is that shoes are not washed half as regularly as clothes. This is why it’s important to wear socks to prevent staining.
Jenny adds: ‘Sweat can affect the colour of the trainer, so make sure you protect them by wearing socks whilst wearing your trainers. If you prefer the bare ankle look, opt for trainer socks or “invisible socks.”‘
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