How to Clean White Sneakers With Baking Soda and Vinegar Like a Pro

A pair of white sneakers

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White sneakers are a fashion staple that never goes out of style. They are versatile, trendy, and can be paired with almost any outfit. However, keeping them clean and bright can be a challenge. This guide will provide you with a simple, cost-effective, and eco-friendly method to clean your white sneakers using baking soda and vinegar.

Understanding the Cleaning Power of Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a natural deodorizer and cleanser. It has mild abrasive properties that can help remove dirt and stains from surfaces without causing damage. On the other hand, vinegar is a mild acid that can break down grime and bacteria. When combined, these two ingredients create a powerful cleaning solution that can restore the whiteness of your sneakers.

It’s important to note that this method is suitable for canvas and fabric sneakers. For leather or suede shoes, it’s best to use specialized cleaning products to avoid damaging the material.

The Science Behind Baking Soda and Vinegar

When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together, they create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas. This reaction helps to lift and remove dirt and stains from the surface of your sneakers. The vinegar also helps to neutralize any odors, leaving your shoes smelling fresh.

Despite the fizzing and bubbling that occurs when these two ingredients are combined, the solution is completely safe to use. It’s non-toxic, making it a great alternative to commercial cleaning products that can contain harsh chemicals.

Materials Needed

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure you have all the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A pair of white sneakers
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • A small bowl
  • A toothbrush or a soft scrubbing brush
  • A clean cloth or towel
  • Warm water

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your White Sneakers

Now that you understand the cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar and have gathered all the necessary materials, it’s time to start the cleaning process. Follow these steps to clean your white sneakers like a pro:

  1. Remove the laces from your sneakers. This will make it easier to clean the tongue and eyelets of the shoes. You can clean the laces separately by soaking them in a solution of baking soda and vinegar.
  2. In a small bowl, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir the mixture until it forms a thick paste. If the paste is too thick, add a little more vinegar. If it’s too thin, add more baking soda.
  3. Using a toothbrush or a soft scrubbing brush, apply the paste to the surface of your sneakers. Be sure to cover all areas, including the soles and the tongue. Let the paste sit on the shoes for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. After the paste has had time to work its magic, scrub the shoes with the brush. Use circular motions to lift and remove the dirt and stains.
  5. Rinse the shoes with warm water. Make sure to remove all the paste. You can use a clean cloth or towel to help remove any residue.
  6. Once the shoes are clean, pat them dry with a towel. Then, let them air dry completely before wearing them. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near a heat source as this can cause the material to warp or shrink.

Maintaining Your White Sneakers

Now that your sneakers are clean and bright, it’s important to maintain their appearance. Here are some tips to keep your white sneakers looking their best:

  • Clean your sneakers regularly. Don’t wait until they’re heavily soiled before cleaning them. Regular cleaning can prevent stains from setting in and keep your shoes looking fresh.
  • Protect your sneakers from the elements. Avoid wearing them in muddy or wet conditions. If you get caught in the rain, clean your shoes as soon as possible to prevent water stains.
  • Store your sneakers properly. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Consider using a shoe tree to help maintain their shape.

By following these tips, you can extend the lifespan of your white sneakers and keep them looking their best.


Cleaning your white sneakers doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With baking soda and vinegar, you can easily remove dirt and stains and restore the whiteness of your shoes. Not only is this method effective, but it’s also eco-friendly and budget-friendly. So, the next time your white sneakers need a good clean, give this method a try. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.

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