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Style How To Clean Your White Trainers To Make Them Look Better Than New

13:31  14 may  2020
13:31  14 may  2020 Source:   elleuk.com

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  How To Clean Your White Trainers To Make Them Look Better Than New © Getty Images

A pair of classic white trainers are essential to anyone's closet. Be it chunky New Balance and Alexander McQueen versions, sporty Nike and Adidas offerings, or sleek Veja and Converse shoes, adding a pair to a silk midi dress, vintage jeans and a t-shirt, or a floral mini, lends every ensemble a laid-back feel.

And while scuffed-up white trainers can look great (here's looking at you, Converse All Stars), it's dazzling, box fresh white sneakers that are truly chic.

Unfortunately, existing mainly on your feet and all, white trainers are not prone to staying that dazzling, box fresh white for long, with scuffs and stains swiftly ruining them.

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But bashed-up kicks shouldn't mean they deserve the bin. Instead, you can give your trainers new life, and restore them to their former glory.

We spoke to Bart Kaniuk, Head of Operations and Restoration Specialist at ShoeSpa (and Bag-Spa), to find out exactly how to clean white trainers at home.

  How To Clean Your White Trainers To Make Them Look Better Than New © Getty Images

What Makes White Trainers Dirty?

Frequent and prolonged direct sunlight exposure can cause white trainers to fade over time, so when storing them, keep them away from any direct light, artificial or otherwise, to prevent the dazzling white colour from going dull.

However, any paint will naturally undergo an oxidation process, and this will change the way it reflects light, so you might notice the white becoming more yellow over time.

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The more often you wear your trainers, the more likely they will accumulate stains and dirt, so try to watch your step to avoid particularly messy situations.

But, try not to over clean your trainers either, as excessive cleaning can also cause white colour fading, so at some point, a form of professional colour restoration may be necessary to bring back the dazzling white colour.

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How To Clean White Trainers

Take the laces off your shoes, leave them to soak in either water or water with a small amount of baking soda added, or a water and soap solution, and make sure you do it on a clear a countertop that can be wiped down easily.

If they are canvas:

  1. Apply soap to a clean, damp cloth and/or toothbrush - not directly to the trainer- then gently rub the surface of the trainer in circular motions.
  2. If there are any stains, use a water and baking soda or water and washing powder solution, and gently rub it onto the stained areas.
  3. Leave the trainers for a few minutes to allow the solution to latch onto the stain.
  4. Rinse the stain off using a clean damp cloth. In the case of more stubborn stains, simply repeat with Step 2. until the stain has been removed.
  5. Allow the canvas trainers to dry properly before use.
  How To Clean Your White Trainers To Make Them Look Better Than New © Getty Images

If they are leather:

Follow the above steps but use professional leather cleaning milk.

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However, if you don't have leather cleaning milk to hand, there are other substitutes: very diluted bleach or white vinegar (excessive use of any chemical can rub the dye from the trainers) and, very diluted hair shampoo.

The use of a toothbrush works particularly well on leather, but remember to be extra gentle – treat leather like you would your skin.

It's great to use a leather balm after the cleaning process to nourish the leather and keep it properly moisturised.

How to clean shoelaces, midsole and insole:

Take the shoelaces out of their soaking solution, rinse them under a tap and then clean your shoelaces, midsole and insoles (which can often be taken out of the shoes for ease) exactly as your would the outside of a canvas trainer.

a pair of feet wearing blue and white shoes: how to get white trainers clean © Christian Vierig - Getty Images how to get white trainers clean

How to clean the soles of shoes:

Cleaning soles every so often is a really good idea as it provides a hygiene boost, especially if you’re wearing them indoors around the home, and improves grip as they won’t have a film of dirt and debris over them.

  1. Combine one half water and one half baking soda and mix the solution until it turns into a soft paste.
  2. Dip a toothbrush into the paste and ‘paint’ it onto the soles of your shoes, gently rubbing the bristles against the soles in a circular motion, or going with the markings on the sole. The baking soda particles will help to gently lift off any dirt and debris without leaving any residue behind.
  3. Once complete, take a wet cloth to it and wipe clean.

What are the best products to use?

Professional cleaning milk and professional leather balm are the best products for trainer cleaning. For best results, buy cotton cleaning sheets and brushes as advised by the cleaning product manufacturers.

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How often should you clean your trainers?

The frequency of cleaning depends on the usage and condition of your trainers. Excessive cleaning can cause leather and fabric deterioration, so it really isn’t necessary to clean them too often. However, visible stains should be removed the same day, ideally before they dry out and stick to the surface.

Should you put your trainers in the washing machine?

It may seem like the quick, easy, and hands-off solution, but don’t be tempted to put them in the washing machine as this can cause long term damage both for the washing machine and the trainers.

Putting trainers in the washing machine can melt the glue, cause any logo to fade, damage the structure of the shoe, and in some cases cause colour transfer (dark internal linings can stain the outer layers), so it is definitely not recommended.

  How To Clean Your White Trainers To Make Them Look Better Than New © Getty Images

Where can I get my trainers professionally cleaned?

If all of this seems a bit too much like hard work, or you fear your trainers need specialty TLC, then ShoeSpa are offering free pickup and delivery for their shoe restoration service.

How should you keep your trainers when not in use?

When not being worn, use cedar shoetrees to keep them in proper shape and minimise wrinkles. They’re long-lasting, provide a clean, fresh scent and draw out any moisture to prolong the life of your trainers. Alternatively, you can stuff your trainers with a kitchen towel to help them keep their shape.

Store them in a dry place, away from any sources of humidity or heat, and away from direct sunlight as it accelerates the oxidation process.

Where possible, use the dust bags that manufacturers provide, or any cotton bag, or store trainers in cardboard shoe boxes.

If you’re storing your trainers for longer, give them a clean and nourish the leather before putting them away so the material doesn’t dry out and stains don’t settle in.

Also, you might be tempted to wear your trainers every day, but look after them by giving them a bit of a break - alternate your shoes so they can all rest.

So there you have it, ShoeSpa's professional advice on how to clean white trainers at home.

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