We've all been there: as soon as you get a new pair of white sneakers you're excited to wear them pretty much everywhere (because, hello, they go with everything), but after just a few wears they start to lose that crisp whiteness. We'll be the first to admit that certain sneakers actually look cooler after months of getting worn in and scuffed—for me those are my white high-top Converse All Stars. But for the rest of my pairs, the reality is that keeping them box-fresh is harder than it looks. If you're a die-hard sneaker fan, chances are you actually clean your beloved pairs after each wear. Tedious as it may seem to a casual sneaker lover like myself, I was curious to find out the insider tips that everyone else seems to know when it comes to maintaining a pristine shoe collection.
I quickly discovered how to wash shoes in the washing machine, and, honestly, I'm never going back. Putting my shoes in the washing machine is the most efficient way to bring those sneakers back to ultra-white. There are just a few steps I recommend following to protect them if you plan to pop them in the wash.
Step 1: Sprinkling baking soda on the outside and inside of the shoes is a tiny detail that can make a significant difference in how they turn out. Use a few tablespoons (about three should work) the night before and be sure to dust it off before you wash your shoes.
Step 2: Remove the laces, if your sneakers have them,and put them in a pillowcase or wash bag before throwing everything in the washer. By taking the laces out, you'll make sure they get totally clean and no remaining dirt stays caked on underneath each loophole.
Step 3: If your shoes have a significant amount of dirt, you'll want to brush most of it off before putting in the washer. This is easily done with a shoe brush or an old toothbrush.
Go ahead and throw them in the washer along with several towels. The towels will essentially act as a buffer between the shoes and the washer, preventing them from getting too knocked around or damaged during the wash cycle.
Step 4: Set your washer on the cold delicate cycle and use a liquid detergent. Then, let your shoes air dry after the wash. Be sure to never put sneakers (or any shoes) in the dryer as the extreme heat will warp any rubber or metal details on the shoe.
Now that you can confidently keep them clean, shop the coolest white sneakers: