These 5 white sneaker cleaning myths are actually ruining your precious shoes

White Gucci rhinestones sneakers.  Photo by Matthew Sperzel
White Gucci rhinestones sneakers. Photo by Matthew Sperzel

But keeping your whites white is pretty challenging, right? The Kardashians would also agree with me here. 

Just kidding.

But honestly, as someone who has an affinity for white items of clothing and shoes, I must say the upkeep often has my repeated decision to purchase all things ivory and vanilla, stained with regret.

From my collars and linen being muddied by makeup to the scuff marks on my sneakers, and laces gone beige - how do you keep white items as crisp, pristine and glistening as they were when you first wore them? 

Well, for your shirts, see this W24 article below, and for your shoes, keep reading.

READ MORE: The impeccable white shirt and the torture of keeping it, well, white 

Chances are, you’ve either had your mom (I know mine has many tips) or every friend/colleague tell you their home remedy to keep your sneakers looking that sparkling white.

You may even be one of the thousands of South Africans who turned to Google for answers over the last year. If you were one of those people, you would have seen over 470 million results. And most of them would have given you the wrong advice. 

However, as the scientific authority on cleaning, caring and protecting sneakers, Sneaker LAB can help you bust those myths on how you can protect your investment pieces. 

So let's take a look at the myths Sneaker LAB has wiped away for us:

Myth 1: Dishwashing liquid 

Your kicks aren't ceramic dishes even if they've had a bit of food spilled on them.

You’ve probably been told more than once to use with dishwashing liquid to clean your sneakers. This advice gets a hard no from Sneaker LAB shoe care expert Cody Felix. Dishwashing liquid is highly likely to turn those gloriously white shoes into a dull yellow. 

Myth 2: Bleach-based cleaner

It’s also a nix on the bleach, peroxide or any other chemical you might be considering. These chemicals will damage the fabric of your shoes. Instead, turn to Sneaker LAB’s range of products, which are safe for use on all fabrics and work at a microscopic level to clean, care for and protect your sneakers. 

I'll interject here and say I bought their premium cleaning kit last year for just R249, and I use it for a quick scrub before I hit the streets. It works like a charm every single time.

I'll also add the disclaimer that this doesn't mean you should skimp on washing your laces, though. 

Myth 3: The washing machine 

Raise your hand if you've ever done this. 

Running a close second to bleach on the list of “the worst things you can do to a sneaker” is putting them in the washing machine. Washing machines and tumble dryers are a no-no for sneaker cleaning, as the water and heat can warp your shoes or destroy the adhesive used on them.

Myth 4: Prevention is better than cure

Your mom was right about this one. After admiring those Air Force 1s in the box, take them out and spray on a protector product to prevent them from getting stained. This will save you a lot of tears when have to walk through dust and dirt, as your sneakers will be protected from stains from day one. 

Myth 5: Leather doesn’t need specific cleaning products

Leather needs nourishment and protection to maintain its quality. Once you’ve cleaned your Stan Smiths, nourish and protect them with a leather care product. This will keep your leather sneakers looking newer for longer. 

Do you have any other sneaker cleaning hacks? Share them with us here.

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