How to Clean White Leather Shoes in 4 Steps

Spring is officially here, which means it’s time to break out those bright white go-with-everything sneakers. It always seems that no matter how careful you may be, white shoes manage to gather every bit of grass, water, and dirt in their path. If you’ve invested in leather shoes, you’re in luck—it’s one of the easiest materials to clean. Learning how to clean white leather shoes isn’t as daunting as you may think, and adding this simple protocol to your skill set will help keep your shoes looking fresh no matter what you put them through. Read on to see how it’s done in four steps.

1. Gather Your Supplies

To clean white leather shoes, only a few simple ingredients are needed: A magic eraser sponge; gentle, dye-free soap; a toothbrush; and a soft microfiber cloth.

2. Clean With Care

First remove any excess debris with the toothbrush. (It’s also absolutely worth investing in a shoe brush, like this one from Jason Markk.) Use gentle, circular motions, and don’t rub too hard. Use the magic eraser to gently buff out any scuffs.

Next, dampen the toothbrush and add a couple drops of mild, natural soap. Again using gentle, circular motions, carefully clean the surface of the shoes, then wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.

3. Dry Properly

Your shoes should at no point be soaking wet, but a little dampness to get the shoe clean is perfectly fine. Using a dry microfiber cloth, pat the exterior of the shoes dry. Set them out to fully air dry, and be sure to let them dry completely before wearing. To help shoes retain their shape and absorb any excess moisture, fill them with paper towels while they dry.

4. Protect Against Future Damage

Guarding against future scuffs and stains is as simple as prepping your shoes with a high-quality leather protector. We like these waterproof sprays, several of which can be used on canvas and vegan leather as well.

Up next, this is exactly how to clean white mesh shoes to keep them looking like new.