Get your canvas sneakers bright and white again with this easy process

White sneakers are great with many outfits, but keeping them looking fresh is hard. Source: Getty

Fresh, white canvas sneakers look great with everything from a pair of jeans to shorts and even a pretty summer dress. The downside? They usually don’t stay fresh and white for long!

Throwing them in the washing machine gets them clean but a hot wash isn’t great for the glue that holds the shoes together and may also cause them to shrink, while hard scrubbing with soap or detergent can cause the fabric to deteriorate. 

But a Twitter user called @sarahtraceyy reckons she’s come up with a quick way to whiten classic Converse trainers – it’d work with any canvas trainers, though – that doesn’t involve lots of scrubbing or hot water.

She recommends dampening the shoes, creating a mix of one-part baking soda and one-part detergent, then brushing the shoes with the mixture using a toothbrush. Leave the mixture to sit on the shoes “for a while”, then rinse, give them a ‘spin’ cycle in the washing machine to get rid of excess moisture, sprinkle them with baby powder and leave to dry.

@sarahtraceyy tweeted a snap of her own shoes as evidence that the method works.

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The internet is full of white sneaker fans, who also say there are some very big no-nos when it comes to cleaning.

For example, never use bleach, as there’s a good chance it’ll turn the canvas a dingy cream or yellow, and never put the shoes in the dryer (the glue issue again). Stuffing the shoes with plain paper helps them keep their shape as they dry, but avoid newspaper or magazine pages because the ink might colour the fabric.

Some sneaker fanatics also advise using a protector product such as Crep Protect, which is available online, to prevent them from getting too dirty in the first place.

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For white vinyl sports shoes, there’s the ‘magic erasers’ you can buy from supermarket cleaning sections or the Daiso store for a few dollars. Toothpaste also works well on vinyl trainers, according to plenty of internet advisers, while leather trainers require white or neutral leather polish because more harsh or abrasive chemicals will damage the leather.

Do you wear white sneakers? What are your tricks for keeping them clean?