Shoe Whitening, Does It Work??

White converse are a wardrobe must. You can’t go wrong pairing any outfit with white vans or converse, white literally matches everything, it’s perfect… until they get filthy. Whether they gradually get filthy or you jump in a muddy puddle, it ultimately makes them a write off once they’re classified cream rather than white.

I had a pair of (what were once) white converse, I hadn’t worn them in such a long time since they were an extremely off white. They looked more of a creamy yellow – not attractive, put it that way! One day when I had nothing better to do I thought I’d try and save them, hopefully removing all the dirt and making them look a lot fresher. I mean, I couldn’t make them look any worse!!

After a quick google I found a method on WikiHow and decided to give it a go. It seemed simple enough using ingredients/ materials you can easily find in your house: Bicarbonate of Soda, White Vinegar and a toothbrush. Here’s the step by step I followed:

1. Remove the laces and wet the shoes using cold water. Laces can either be replaced by new laces or left to soak in warm soapy water.

2. Mix together the Bicarbonate of Soda and White Vinegar together in a bowl to create a paste type mixture. Tip: Mix this paste using a plastic spoon as the vinegar and soda will react with any metal.

3. Scrub the wet shoes using the tooth brush (or nail brush) and the paste. This will help to remove any of the dirt that is in the canvas shoes. Spend longer scrubbing/applying more paste to the areas that are significantly filthy.

4. Once both shoes are completely scrubbed and covered by the paste I left them for about 10 minutes before rinsing them under the cold tap again, now removing all of the remaining paste.

5. The final step is to now put them in the washing machine on a cold wash, I feel like this definitely improved how much whiter they turned out in the end considering a good wash fixed most things.

It’s now a waiting game for the shoes to dry and the end result to be revealed. Here’s how my end result looked:

Considering how filthy my shoes were in the first place, I was an extreme pessimist that they would come clean. But I have to say I’m genuinely so impressed with how well they scrubbed up! This has put so much more wear back in them since I’m able to actually match them with outfits and it not look like I’m wearing shoes that a dog peed on.

I’m definitely going to try and keep on top of them now by keep cleaning them. I’m super curious as to whether or not they’ll come up even cleaner a second time round or if they’ve reached their max white!

(17) Comments

  1. John Aiwone says:

    Sounds really simple! Can’t wait to try it with my white canvas, though all I need is the white powder. Chees for sharing.

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

    1. admin says:

      I hope it works just as well for you! You’ll have to show me the finished product!!

      1. John Aiwone says:

        Will definitely do haha!

  2. Wow that really worked well!! Good job!! xoxo

    1. admin says:

      Thank you! I’m so impressed with them!

  3. I am really impressed with how these turned out! Definitely trying these with my white plimsols!

    Jas xx

    1. admin says:

      Hopefully it’ll work just as well!!

  4. I will be trying this out! We use baking soda for EVERYTHING at my house, but I’ve never though about using it for whitening shoes.

    1. admin says:

      It’s such a handy product!! Interested to see what else I can use it for!

  5. Great post! I hadn’t really heard much about shoe whitening before this, but I’m definitely going to have to give it a try now! Thanks for sharing!

    1. admin says:

      You’re welcome, hope it works!!

  6. So… I got a brand new pair of white converse then fell in a swamp the first time I properly wore them on holiday and they were brown and green and totally gross and I had to throw them away because the colour just wouldn’t fade so I wish I had read this a few years ago! xxx

    1. admin says:

      Ahh I can only imagine how annoyed you were!!

  7. Wow your shoes look amazing! This process is so good to know but I would be so nervous to do it, whenever I’ve put shoes in a washing machine before they have shrunk and my white converse are my favourite shoes so I don’t know if I could risk it!

    1. admin says:

      I get what you mean! Luckily because I never wore them I was happy to risk it haha. They’ve not changed in size at all either!

  8. This is so handy! I’ll give this a try, I usually put my shoes in the washing machine (which is very risky) so I’ll have to give this a try instead! My converse are filthy 😫
    Thank you!

    1. I hope it works for you!

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