Without a doubt, white sneakers have become modern-day wardrobe staples and go-to pieces — whether you’re heading out with friends or to the office on a casual Thursday. The most important thing to keep in mind when wearing this trend is to make sure they look pristinely white at all times.
The ultimate rap-mogul solution is to have a room with new boxes of sneakers stacked to the ceiling so that you never have to wear a pair twice, but, failing that, here are some great tips and tricks to help achieve that ultra-fresh, crisp whiteness and extend the life span of your favorite kicks.
Looking after your sneakers and making sure they remain white starts the second they reach your home. Right after you’ve taken them out of the box, treat them with a good-quality stain- and water-repellent spray or product – one that’s right for the type of leather and color.
Avoid any stains or marks penetrating the fabric by wiping them off right away. Carrying some baby wipes in your bag is a great solution and will be the easiest way to effectively get rid of any splashes or dirt in an instant. The faster you act, the likelier it is that you can remove the spot completely.
A little bit of extra attention will save you a lot of effort (and cash) in the long run. Always remember that regular spot-cleaning is key.
Sole Color Protection
As for the sole, the main goal is to stop the color from turning that ugly shade of yellow. The sun can also affect the white rubber and cause discoloration (which is bad news for Dubai’s city dwellers), but one thing you can do is to make sure you store your shoes properly – indoors and away from direct sunlight. Spot-clean the soles using a solution of water and mild soap with the help of a soft brush.
Forget the washing machine (even for canvas sneakers) as your shoes won’t stand the wash and dry cycle – the rubber sole can turn yellow and the fabric or rubber can get severely damaged or torn.
Instead, a pair of new laces can immediately make your sneakers appear more fresh and new, and the cost is still considerably lower than purchasing a new pair of sneaks.
The Cleaning Process
When you get to cleaning your shoes, the first thing to do is to create a working surface of several layers of paper or newspaper and place all the materials you’re planning to use on it. Next, remove the laces and pop them into the washing machine with your next round of white laundry.
Get rid of any dust with a clean soft cloth or brush first, then apply your choice of cleaning product. Purchase good-quality cleaners in specialist stores or cobblers – ask for the specialist’s advice on which product will suit the type of shoe and material best. Use a toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas, cracks, seams, fabric patches such as mesh, and the sole. Surprisingly, household cleaning products work well for a rubber sole, making this an easily accessible and cheap solution. Make sure to try the product on a small area first to make sure the agent agrees with the material.
Work step by step – focus on small areas, working in a back-and-forth motion. Make sure you read the instructions on the cleaning product’s package carefully to find out how to remove the product properly. After removing it, let the sneakers dry fully before putting them away.
Tips & Tricks
Try removing stubborn dirt marks with a pencil eraser if everything else fails, but make sure to try that on a tiny, non-visible area first.
Petroleum jelly for sneakers? Yes. Reportedly, the miracle product can be useful to clean and protect your leather shoes. Do a quick test first, then try working the jelly in with a clean cloth in small, circular motions before leaving your trainers to rest. Then wipe off with a clean cloth.
An important step that usually gets forgotten is polishing. High-quality leather requires regular polish treatment as part of the cleaning process at least once a month, so your leather sneakers should get the same TLC too.
There are four types of shoe polish – wax, paste, liquid, and cream. Creams and pastes are easier to use as they penetrate the leather, adding moisture to the fabric and smoothing out slight damages, scratches, and imperfections. Wax polish is good for protection, while liquid polish is easy to apply, but it’s important to note that none of them will condition the leather like the recommended creams or pastes. For easier application, creams will work better than pastes.
Apply polish with a smooth clean cloth in small circular motions, rubbing it in carefully with special attention given to any scratches and imperfections. Don’t be afraid to add more polish on these to even them out. Once you’re happy with the application, leave the sneakers to dry properly.
Post-drying, give your kicks a good shine with a special shining brush for the best results or just a soft cloth for an easier option.
After the cleaning and polishing process, the last important thing is to go over the shoes with a protective spray once again – just as you did right after unboxing. Preventing damage or discoloration will save you a lot of time, effort, and headache.