Because dirty shoes are ugly shoes.

There are a number of essential items every man should have in his wardrobe, and white sneakers are near the top of the list. Whether pairing with a suit or something more casual for a night out, white kicks go with literally any outfit, but the biggest problem is trying to keep them clean. 

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Short of wearing plastic bags around your sneakers to keep them protected, there's not much you can do to avoid getting your kicks dirty. Fear not, as small marks and blemishes can be easily cleaned if you follow a few simple steps. To help you keep your sneakers looking brand new, here are a few handy hints for cleaning your new white shoes. 

How To Clean White Leather Sneakers

Leather sneakers are the easiest to clean as leather absorbs water and liquids slower than other materials. Your best bet when it comes to keeping them clean is to spray your kicks with a high quality leather protector before you first slip them on, but if it's too late, here's an outline of what to do when they start getting dirty.

  1. Use a wet wipe (or equivalent) and carefully wipe your sneakers. If you're lucky this will do the job, but if not, on to step two.

  2. You can use a toothbrush to gently scrub dirty spots, or apply nail polish remover to a cotton ball and work away at hard to clean areas.

  3. Avoid using the washing machine.

  4. Keep your sneakers out of the sun as white shoes will fade and turn an ugly yellow if left in direct sunlight for too long. 

How To Clean White Canvas Sneakers

Unlike leather, canvas is a much more durable material and thus can be thrown in the washing machine as a last resort. There are many methods you can use to keep your canvas sneakers looking spick and span, outlined below.

  1. A wet cloth with soapy water is always your first port of call, but if that fails, try adding a tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of white vinegar to a cup of warm water. Use a dry cloth or toothbrush to apply the concoction to your sneakers and you should be able to do away with most undesirable marks. 

  2. If the above method doesn't do the trick you can whack your canvas sneakers in the washing machine, although this isn't without risk. Sneakers in a washing machine are susceptible to damage, especially if they have any unique embroidery or detailing. Let's just say I wouldn't go putting your white Air Jordan's in the wash.

  3. Darker stains might be harder to clean so also invest in a stain remover to get the tough stuff out.

  4. Dry with newspaper inside each shoe and keep away from direct sunlight.  

How To Clean White Suede Sneakers

Suede sneakers are the most challenging to keep clean, and because of this, most suede shoes are off-white in colour to help disguise small imperfections. That said, it doesn't take much to turn them from white to grey, so regularly cleaning them is a must.

  1. The best way to keep your whites white is by first taking a soft cloth and wiping down the sneaker, removing any moisture. Then take a pink eraser and gently rub away at any stains. It might sound ludicrous but this usually does the job.

  2. If the eraser trick fails grab apply a cloth dipped in vinegar, but be sure to use a dry cloth soon after cleaning to avoid moisture seeping into the suede and ruining your sneakers for good.

  3. Once your sneakers are dry use a suede brush to keep the fuzzy texture in mint condition.

  4. Do not, I repeat, do not put suede sneakers in the wash. It will 100% end in tears.