How to clean white trainers

White trainers are a wardrobe staple – so much so that we have a round-up of the best ones right here. They go with everything, from jeans to dresses, skirts to leggings; they’re excellent for dressing down an outfit, and stopping a dressy dress from becoming well, too dressy.

white trainers and jeans
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But how to clean white trainers? Keeping them box fresh and sparkling clean is virtually impossible, and enough to put you off bothering buying any at all. However, we’ve stumbled across a few DIY hacks that make cleaning white trainers a breeze and restore your kicks to their former fresh-out-the-box state in no time.

How to clean white trainers

1. Toothpaste

It sounds odd, but the natural stain removal properties of toothpaste makes it excellent at cleaning white trainers, fabric and leather. Simply use an old toothbrush to work toothpaste (make sure it’s a non-gel white toothpaste, to avoid any colour transferring) into the surface of your trainers in small circular motions. Then simply wipe off with a damp cloth – there may be a lingering minty smell on your shoes, but it’s better than what some trainers smell like! Nicola Lewis aka This Girl Can Organise on Instagram shares her tips for using toothpaste on trainers here.

white trainers and green trouser suit
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2. Soap

Good old fashioned soap will help alleviate a substantial layer of dirt – simply apply it to a clean damp cloth or toothbrush and gently rub the surface of the trainer in circular motions.

3. Bicarbonate of soda

For particularly stubborn stains, a picture of water and baking soda will do the trick. Gently rub in to the material and leave for a few minutes before wiping off with a damp cloth. For especially persistent stains, simply repeat this process until the stain has been removed.

white trainers and orange skirt
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4. Shampoo

Ideally with real leather you’d use a professional leather cleaning product like a cleansing milk, but if you find yourself with any to hand, very diluted hair shampoo will also do the trick (ideally use a shampoo that’s white in colour to avoid accidentally dying the leather).

Remember to be gentle on leather and use a leather balm to lock in moisture, just like you would with your skin.

white trainers and red handbag
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5. WD-40

For grass stains, WD-40 will work on leather and fabric trainers – simply spray a few drops onto the stained area and wipe away with a clean cloth.