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How to clean white shoes sustainably

June 23, 2022
Hannah McBrearty
Our beloved white trainers always end up dirty, with scratches or scuffs despite our best efforts to protect them. You may already have a shoe cleaning routine but we challenge you to switch your products to something more sustainable and eco-friendly!


White shoes are usually the most difficult to remove stains from due to the colour difference, it's often much easier to hide dirt on black shoes. We’ve taken the time to compile our favourite eco-friendly shoe cleaners below.


Suede and Leather shoes need to be treated with care and with specialist products that clean your shoes safely and get the dirt and stains out from your sneakers, boots and all other shoes. The KAPS Eco-friendly Cleaner is suitable for cleaning leather, nubuck, suede, fabric, vegan suede, vegan leather and textile.

The KAPS Shoe Cleaner is made in the EU adhering to strict quality and safety standards to create a unique cleaning liquid for shoes and leather goods. This environmentally friendly liquid shoe cleaner is 100% biodegradable with active ingredients derived from plant origin. It is also completely solvent and PFC-free. The palm seed oil cleaning agent in this liquid shoe cleaner is tough on dirt and grime but gentle on materials and kind to the planet.

How to use: Apply the Kaps Shoe Cleaner to a cloth or brush and gently clean the surface. Remove the resulting foam with a clean dampened cloth and leave to dry. The foam will powder and can then be brushed away leaving your shoes in pristine condition. When trying to remove a stain on Vegan suede or Vegan leather, always test/trial on a small part of the shoes and read the instructions carefully to avoid making more stains by putting too much product. 

KAPS Shoe Cleaner

If you don’t already have a shoe cleaning kit you can get an eco-friendly one! Attirecare's shoe cleaning kit is made without any harsh chemicals and helps remove any unwanted dirt and stains from your well-loved shoes. It is made with a plant-based formula that offers multi-surface effectiveness on all materials from leather to suede by creating a gentle foam that conditions and cleans.

How to use: Squirt a small amount of cleaning solution onto the brush. Then dip the brush into water and scrub in circular motions removing all dirt, leaving your shoes white and bright again.

Attirecare's Shoe Cleaning Kit

The Liquiproof LABS Footwear & Fashion Eco-Cleaner conditions and cleans, removing stains and soiling from all types of fabric and textiles including shoes, bags and clothes. ​​Uses a 100% natural cleaning solution biodegradable, eco-friendly and non-toxic formula.

A strong concentration of cleaning enzymes works deep into the fibres of the fabric, attacking deep-set dirt particles and drawing them to the surface. The cleaner will leave your items stain-free and restore their natural look and feel. Liquiproof also sells shoe protector, leather nourisher, premium fresheners, eco-wipes as well as cloths and brushes.

How to use: 1. Shake well before use. 2. Mix a few drops of concentrate with water. 3. Apply mixture immediately to soiled area 4. Use a brush or cloth to clean deeply into the spoiled fibres 5. Remove excess liquid with a cloth and allow to dry. Repeat if necessary. 



There are some great natural alternatives for typically chemical-filled shoe fresheners that cost a fraction of the price too here are our favourites:


Dry shampoo typically is used for soaking up the oils in your hair but it’s also scented to make it smell fresher. Spraying it in your shoes works in exactly the same way. Spray a liberal amount of dry shampoo in your shoes and leave them to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours they will be ready to wear and smelling like your favourite haircare. 


Dryer sheets do exactly as their name suggests and suck the moisture from their surroundings. If you don’t have any newspaper, dryer sheets will absorb the moisture in your trainers in exactly the same way. Simply scrunch a dryer sheet for each shoe and insert it in your trainers. Take the sheet out the next time you want to wear your trainers and enjoy the freshness. You can also use dryer sheets to eliminate odours from the area you store your trainers, such as your gym bag. Just place a dryer sheet in the area and leave it to soak up any moisture. 


Bicarbonate of soda is fantastic for removing odours due to the fact that it’s very absorbent. Sprinkle a thin layer of bicarbonate of soda in each shoe and leave it to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, shake the powder from your shoes and if you want an even fresher smell add citrus or a couple of drops of essential oil to your bicarbonate of soda. 


The best way to ensure a clean throughout is by throwing them into the wash. Before you put your trainers in the washing machine firstly, check their care labels to make sure that they are machine washable. 

If your trainers are machine washable, remove the soles and laces before putting your trainers in an old pillowcase to protect them from the harsh cycle of the washing machine. Put your machine on a gentle cycle, and let your trainers spin. Once they have finished their cycle, take them out and leave them to air dry. DO NOT put your trainers in the dryer as the heat will ruin the material and cause irreversible damage. Finally, make sure that your trainers are completely dry before wearing them or you risk creating an even worse smell! 

If that sounds too intimidating and you don’t want to risk ruining your shoes, we can wash them for you! Our expert laundry assistants know exactly how to take care of your shoes the right way for every material. Click here to order your shoe clean.

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