How to Clean White Shoes Without Baking Soda? (5 Ways)

White shoes are one of the most wanted items in the world of fashion thanks to their youthful and luxurious beauty. Manufactured in different types and styles, white sneakers always dominate the market.

Although white footwear may look stunning at the beginning, it is susceptible to stains. Therefore, after a long time of being used, it will lose its original gorgeousness and be discolored.

Everyone knows that baking soda and vinegar are two of the best assistants when it comes to cleaning a white pair. However, these are not the only choices. In this article, we will show you how to clean white shoes without baking soda. You may be amazed at how well dish soap, toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide, and nail polish remover perform.

Consider the Material of the Shoes to Be Cleaned

Sneakers have become so familiar in daily life, but not everyone can protect their shoes long because of improper cleaning. To have the best way to clean white shoes and get stains out of white shoes, you must take the materials into account.

  • Canvas: This material is used a lot. The fabric is very durable but gets dirty easily. The advantage is that it is effortless to clean.
  • Leather: This material brings a sense of luxury and style, but it is not easy to wash.
  • Rubber: This material is quite durable but the level of difficulty for cleaning depends on the stubbornness of the stain(s).
  • Suede: This is the nightmare of all cleaners since it’s very challenging to wash white shoes in this material.

Once you know which fabrics make up your shoes, opt for the most suitable way below to clean white sneakers.

General Steps to Get Stains Out of White Shoes Without Baking Soda

All tricks will have several things in common, that’s why before knowing the different methods to wash white footwear, you should have a full-frame view of this problem. Generally, you will need:

  • A clean cloth
  • A toothbrush (optional)
  • Water
  • Detergent (this varies in each trick)

Based on the same principle, every method will follow this procedure:

  • Step 1: Remove laces and wash them

The first thing you need to do when washing sneakers is to remove the laces. This not only helps you clean hard-to-see spots in your shoes but also makes cleaning shoelaces easier and more effective.

To clean the shoelaces, you should first use an old toothbrush to remove all the dirt stuck on them. Then, soak the shoelaces in a mixture of bleach, soapy water, or laundry detergent for a few minutes, and then wash as usual.

Pro Tip: Gloves are recommended when you use bleach to avoid allergic reactions.

  • Step 2: Pre-clean white sneakers

With stains around the shoes, use a wet cloth to wipe

Pro Tip: Choose alcohol-free wet wipes to avoid damaging the shoes, especially when cleaning leather or suede shoes.

Once you’re done with the outside, continue to get rid of light stains inside the shoes. Gently hit the footwear on the ground and knock the heels together so that the sand and mud on the soles fall off. Then, use a dry brush to brush the entire shoe.

  • Step 3: Use detergent

We will explain it more carefully in each method. Just follow it correctly and your white shoes will look stunning again.

  • Step 4: Dry process

The time for drying is dependent on each trick, and we will show you later. However, there is a requirement in common: Leave the sneakers in a shady place and let them air dry. If you leave the footwear directly under the sun, the shoes will discolor faster and cracks will form.

Pro Tip: You can use a dry rag or clean paper towel if you want your shoes to dry faster.

Steps to Clean White Shoes Without Baking Soda

As we mentioned above, baking soda is not the only shoe cleaner for white shoes. Here, we have five ways to clean white sneakers.

1. Clean white sneakers with dish soap

This is one of the most common methods and dish soap is the only additional equipment in this case. You can clean white shoes with dish soap following these steps:

  • Step 1: Add dish soap to 240ml of lukewarm water.

Most soap is suitable to clean your shoes, just add 1 teaspoon and stir until the mixture is evenly mixed.

  • Step 2: Use a magic eraser and a toothbrush to polish your shoes.

You can buy a magic eraser from every department store in your neighborhood. Dip it in your mixture and gently rub the grease and stain on your shoes. Keep repeating the process until your shoes are spotless.

  • Step 3: Use the dry towel to wipe the water away.

It’s best to use the towel to pat off the soapy water. It would be impossible to remove all the water but you will have to hang them for at least 1 day afterward.

2. A familiar tool: Toothpaste

Like the two previous methods, toothpaste has proved to be very helpful in washing stains off white shoes, especially ones made up of canvas, mesh, or rubber.

  • Step 1: Paste the toothpaste

After the pre-clean process, apply an adequate amount of toothpaste onto a toothbrush. Then, dab the areas of your footwear that have severe marks. Rub the powder thinly over the entire region before using tiny circular motions to clean it. Leave it to rest for approximately 10 minutes.

Pro Tip: Use non-gel and white paste since different hues may discolor your sneakers.

  • Step 2: Rinse it off

After 10 minutes, soak a clean cloth into lukewarm water. Then, use it to remove all the toothpaste on your shoes. Be certain that all of the Colgate has been cleaned from your sneakers so it does not create any stains.

  • Step 3: Dry process

As in the two previous steps, let your shoes air dry for 2 or 3 hours before you wear them.

3. Hydrogen peroxide is also an alternative

It is a whitening chemical that is ideal for cleaning white canvas shoes and other light textiles. Your footwear will be immaculate after a peroxide treatment. However, since peroxide bleaches any materials it comes into contact with, it should only be used to wash light-colored clothes and fabrics.

In addition to a wet cloth, toothbrush, and water, you will need 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide and a spray bottle.

  • Step 1: Pour the hydrogen peroxide into a bottle:

After removing light dust, spray the peroxide to wet all the spots.

  • Step 2: Get rid of the stains:

Using an old toothbrush, scrape the dirt and muck away. Make sure your toothbrush does not have any residue toothpaste. Then, allow 10 minutes for the solution to rest on the spots. Rinse the sneakers in warm water on a moderate process and follow the usual drying process.

4. A beauty trick: Nail polish remover

Not all marks on your white sneakers will be food-based or greasy. You will occasionally come across filth that washing white shoes with baking soda would not eliminate. That’s when you need to use acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover, as an additional cleaning power. Acetone disintegrates substances into constituents, making them easier to remove.

Instead of a cloth as in the previous tricks, cotton balls are more useful in this case. So, to sum up, you’ll need:

  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover
  • Lukewarm water

Here’s the instruction:

  • Step 1: Apply the acetone onto your white sneakers

Using cotton balls, wipe the spots with acetone. Replace the cotton balls when you see that they are becoming discolored.

  • Step 2: Remove the acetone:

Once the mark has been removed, soak a towel in warm water to wash any remaining acetone. Then, let your sneakers dry overnight before wearing them again.

Pro Tip: If you’ve ever had trouble getting paint off your sneakers, this technique is probably the most effective.


Above are all the steps required to clean white shoes without baking soda. Bear in mind that white sneakers need proper care while being used. Therefore, take your time and clean them gently. If you find this article on how to clean white shoes without baking soda helpful, please share it with your loved ones.

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