From the dawn of time mankind has puzzled itself with one question, and one question only – how to keep your shoelaces clean, white and sparkling? Well, maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is a problem nonetheless. White shoelaces are the most vulnerable kind of shoelaces out there, being a magnet for any dirt, dust, and stain. So instead of trying, and failing, to keep them untouched, we need to find a better solution. We need to understand how to clean shoelaces, once and for all.
White shoes are a status symbol, no doubt. They grab the attention of any passer-by, they require a certain measurement of finesse when walking in them (so to not get them dirty) and they go with almost any look and style.
That’s why the highest purchased version of Nike’s air force 1 shoes, for instance, is the white-on-white one.
That’s why Adidas’ Stan-Smith shoes are almost always white with accents of other colors.
We could go on and on giving you some more examples of white shoes, but ultimately one question has got to be asked: why get white shoes if they’ll just get dirty in a couple of minutes out on the street?
Well, since we asked this question ourselves, we went out to try and figure out why, and also find you the best ways to keep them white longer.
You’re very welcome.
To answer that, let’s go back in time – to the age where the laundry machine wasn’t even a distant dream.
During that time, one of the hardest and most time-consuming jobs tasked on the average housewife was laundry.
It’s important to put it out there: hygiene wasn’t a thing back then.
At least not as much as it is today.
So when the time came and they did wash the clothes it was usually once a month or two, going to the nearest body of water and getting deep and physical with all of last month’s mess.
Understandably – white clothes were not a preference for these people, requiring that much maintenance and effort was just beyond any regular bloke’s ability.
That’s how a status symbol was born.
Those who could not only own white clothes but also keep them white and clean were telling anyone who would simply glance at them that they do not have to work hard.
Not working equals no dirt, as simple as that.
White clothes became fancier, more luxurious, and more coveted – and if we go back to our time and age, we can understand how things have pretty much stayed the same.
The only difference now is that we have to tools to clean them more easily and to keep them white.
As we should.
Modern tools have come to the rescue when dealing with cleaning.
The most prominent tool being, of course, the washer and drier, but surprisingly enough – it never really does the job.
Most of us tend to buy white shoes and think that with a little a pop in the ol’ washing machine we’ll get rid of all the grime – just to find out that it’s not the case.
Shoelaces are usually made of knitted cotton that is knit so tight it traps in a lot of debris, dries it in the crevices and then kind of fuses with it.
The normal circulation of the washing machine just can’t reach this dried up, stuck-in, the filth that changes the color of the laces.
So how can you clean them?
Firstly, you’ll need some scrubbing brush, like an old toothbrush.
The bristles can get all the dirt out of the crevices as a preparation for the actual cleaning process.
After you finish brushing all of the lace it’s time to bleach it up!
Get a small basin and fill it with a gallon of water to 3 tablespoons of bleach and soak the laces in it.
Since bleach is a highly potent detergent it literally liquidates the pigment of fabrics – which is perfect to get that white color back to your laces.
Stir the laces in the basin for several minutes, and only then throw them into the washing machine.
There you go – now you know and you have no excuse for your filthy shoelaces, go clean them.
Your shoelaces aren’t white?
Don’t use bleach!
There are other ways.
We’ll get to it later.
If you want white shoelaces that are squeaky clean the fastest way to get them is to just go out and buy new ones.
Don’t be a slob – if you want to get a perfect white shoelace at the end of the process it’ll take time.
We went out of our way to provide you with all the tools to clean them for yourself, and the whole process will take a few minutes anyway before you just pop them in the washer, what more can you want?
There aren’t any shortcuts for hygiene, and cleaning your shoes and shoelaces isn’t any different.
If you want to do it fast you could always just throw them in the washer, but the dirt will just remain there untouched.
Maybe a little wet.
If you already committed to the cleaning of your shoelaces, do it properly, stop looking for shortcuts and go on to do the job.
We promise you, it’ll all be worth it when you get that shiny“new-white” look back to your shoes.
Converse shoes, or most aptly their iconic “AllStar” shoes, are made of a fabric that is not only easy to clean – but also extremely easy to get dirty.
Luckily, they’re washable and you can clean them relatively fast to restore them to tip-top shape.
Deal with the shoelaces the same way we’ve already discussed, with bleach and all, and leave them in the basin until you can get the shoes into the washer with them.
In the meantime, go grab your toothpaste – yeah, what’s good for your teeth is good enough for your shoes as well.
Put some on a dry napkin and start scrubbing all of the plastic parts of the shoe, the rim of the sole and the tip above the toes.
The active ingredients in the toothpaste work the same way they do on your teeth, allowing them to take apart the dirt and spots that just won’t go away with a regular detergent wash.
What’s the next step?
You got it right!
Use your washing machine!
After you bleach the shoelaces and scrubbed your shoes, time for the fabric to be cleaned thoroughly.
And now you can enjoy your newly clean shoes!
Try to keep them clean, so you won’t have to go through this process again in two days.
Once a month is a good idea, but basically clean them whenever they get too dirty for your taste.
If your laces aren’t white you absolutely cannot use bleach.
That is if you want them to keep their pigment.
Instead, use the following method:
Brush the shoelace as you would do with a white one, using a scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush.
In a basin, make a solution of water and laundry detergent, and soak the laces in it for a few minutes.
Take the laces out, and brush them again – the solution made most of the dirt loose and now you can brush it off!
To finish it all off, throw them into the washer as well.
And that’s it – cleaning is not that much of a chore, right?
Cleaning your shoelaces and shoes is just another part of keeping that prestige that comes with a white-on-white look.
White has been a color of unique nature since the dawn of time, symbolizing purity, cleanliness, and high status – even if that’s not completely the case today, keeping the whiteness of your kicks intact is an easy job that benefits your look immensely.
Now that you know how to do it, why would you ever go and walk in the old, shabby, once-white-but-now-grey shoes?