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How to Clean White Shoes Without Baking Soda (4 Ways)

Fact checked by A. Thompson

how to clean white shoes without baking soda

Baking soda has always been a go-to home remedy to get dirt out of white shoes. Yet, it’s definitely not the only way. Besides this common cleaner, you can use other household items, including vinegar, toothpaste, and diluted bleach, to name a few.

Read below to know how to clean white shoes without baking soda to keep your pair spotless.

How to Wash White Shoes With No Baking Soda

Method 1: Treat stains with toothpaste


The best way to get mud out of white shoes if you have no cleaner around is using your toothpaste.

Specifically, you should get the white paste formulated for whitening your teeth, as this type will work wonders on stains.

Step 1: Prepare the following item

  • White toothpaste, preferably non-gel one
  • A clean cloth
  • A small and soft brush
  • Water

Step 2: Dampen the shoes

You should use a clean cloth to absorb some water and dab it onto the whole shoe. It helps the toothpaste to work better.

Step 3: Spot-treat the stains

You can now remove stains from white shoes by applying the toothpaste onto the dirty marks and scrubbing with a bit of pressure.

Step 4: Clean the rest of the shoes with toothpaste

After letting the toothpaste on the stains work for about 10 minutes, gently scrub other parts of the shoes.

You can leave the paste there for about 5 minutes more.

Step 5: Wipe the paste off and redo the above steps if necessary

With the damp cloth, wipe the shoes clean. If all the stains are gone, you can wash the pair with water and let it dry.

If the stains are still there, you might want to scrub them with your toothpaste again. This time, let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse it off.

Method 2: Clean white shoes with bleach


If you need a potent cleaner for your white shoes, diluted bleach is the correct answer. When mixed with the right ratio, bleach can safely clean white Vans without hurting their fabrics or leaving yellowish marks.

Make sure you follow the guide below to clean your white sneakers well.

Step 1: Prepare the following items

  • Protective gear: A mask and a pair of rubber gloves
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • A measuring cup
  • An old toothbrush or a small and soft brush

Step 2: Make the cleaner

Put on your protective equipment first and bring everything out in an open space to start washing your shoes.

Now, you should pour the bleach in the measuring cup first, then water, with a ratio of 1:4 or 1:5.

Step 3: Work the bleach on your white shoes

When the cleaner is ready, you can use the toothbrush to apply it to your white shoes. Make sure to gently scrub the whole piece, even the corners that are hard to reach.

You can apply more pressure and scrub in a circular motion on areas with stubborn stains.

Step 4: Brush the shoes with clean water

Then, you will want to brush the dirty marks again, but with clean water. Let’s wash the brush and use it to do the job.

Gently rub the soft wet brush against the stubborn stains until you see the dirty marks give way to a pristine white surface.

Step 5: Rinse and dry

Now, it’s time to finish washing your shoes. The bleaching and scrubbing parts should take you 15 minutes only. Do not let the bleach stay on for too long.

Rinse off your pair with clean water and bring it out to dry in the sun for a better whitening effect.

Method 3: Clean white sneakers with soap


We often leave out soap or mild detergents as we try to be creative, but these cleaners can do the job just fine. You should make it a habit to hand-wash your white shoes, so the dirt does not build up.

Here’s how you clean white canvas shoes without baking soda, using the soap sitting in your bathroom instead.

Step 1: Prepare all the necessary items

  • Warm water and mild soap or all-purpose cleaner
  • A bowl
  • A toothbrush
  • A magic eraser/sponge
  • Clean towels

Step 2: Make the soapy water

This step is fairly easy; just pour the all-purpose cleaner or dissolve your soap in the warm water and stir until lather appears.

Step 3: Clean the soles first

You can dip either the magic eraser or a sponge in the cleaner. After squeezing the excess soap out, you can use any of these tools to remove dirt from the soles.

Step 4: Scrub the shoes

Next, you will want to clean your white shoes with a toothbrush dipped in soapy water. You can focus on the stains, rubbing in circles to work the dirt out.

Make sure to brush the whole piece, leaving out no corner of your shoes untouched.

Step 5: Rinse the pair off and dry

You can either use a wet towel to wipe off the lathering soap and dirt or rinse the pair under warm water.

Make sure you take a clean, dry towel to absorb the excess water in your shoes before hanging them to dry.

Method 4: Clean white leather shoes with vinegar


While the above methods are often used to clean white Converse, Vans, and other canvas shoes, this final method is dedicated to leather pairs.

Step 1: Prepare the following items

  • White vinegar
  • A soft cloth
  • Olive oil
  • A small spray bottle

Step 2: Make the cleaner

You can mix vinegar and olive oil in a ratio of 1:2, and pour the mixture into your spray bottle and shake well.

Step 3: Apply the solution

Spray the mixture onto the stains of your white leather shoes. Make sure to focus on the dirt and avoid soaking the whole pair.

Now, you can leave the cleaner there for 3 – 5 minutes for it to work.

Step 4: Wipe it off

Finally, you should take the clean cloth out and wipe the vinegar and olive oil solution off. The stains dissolved with the cleaner should come off and stain the cloth.

Leave your pair to dry naturally.

Can I Clean White Shoes With Hydrogen Peroxide?


Well, you can, but you need baking soda in the mix for effective cleaning.

Often, we create a cleaning paste that combines hydrogen peroxide, a bit of water, and baking soda.

Then, we can apply this mixture to the shoes and uppers for 20-30 minutes to whiten the whole pair.


There are multiple different ways on how to clean white shoes without baking soda. This agent effectively whitens shoes and removes hard stains, but it’s not the only magical cleaning solution. You also have toothpaste and vinegar, which are safe and easy-to-find household items.

For tough stains, you can use bleach, as long as you dilute it right. Still, it’s important to clean your white shoes with soap frequently. Do not wait too long until the dirt sticks.

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