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Make your old pair look good as new! Ointment Mixer
A pair of white shoes look sharp and fresh. They are always in style, bounce great off a tan, and match everything in your closet. On the other hand, a pair of shoes never stay white for long. They get scuffed and tinge yellow when exposed to water. They are beaten and battered and worn until they look like they've been through quite a scuffle (or maybe just a day on the Drummond ranch). For many, that's when it's time to head to the mall for new comfortable sneakers.
But wait! You don't need to invest in a new pair—you just need to give your current pair a bit of TLC. For those willing to put in a little elbow grease, you can revive your well-loved white shoes.
It all starts with pinpointing the shoe's material. Each material is treated differently using homemade cleaners. Some need toothpaste while others need dish soap and some need a cycle in the washing machine while others need to air-dry. Once you've figured out your shoe's material, scroll below for detailed instructions on cleaning.
Whether it's faux leather or real leather, toothpaste works just the same. Pull out your Nike Air Force 1's or white cowgirl boots and give them some love. You'll need white toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a towel.
Add a dollop of white toothpaste onto a toothbrush. Wet the brush under water. Scrub the shoe from top to bottom, remembering to scrub the soles. Apply more wet toothpaste as needed. Once the shoes are clean. Grab a towel, and wet it under water. Squeeze out the excess water until it's damp. Then, use the towel to wipe the toothpaste off of the shoes.
From Converse to Keds to Vans and more, canvas seems to be the dominant material for your best pair of white sneakers. Though a bit harder to clean than leather, they can still be treated. You'll need liquid dish soap, toilet paper, and a utility brush.
Soak the shoes with water. Pour liquid dish soap directly on the shoes. Scrub the shoes with a utility brush all over. Rinse the shoes with water and repeat until shoes are visibly cleaner. Cover the wet shoes with squares of toilet paper. The paper will soak up yellow stains that would have otherwise settled into the shoe. Place the shoes in direct sunlight to dry. Once the shoes are dry, peel off the toilet paper.
Suede is a bit of a stickler. That's why the best decision you can make for your suede shoes is to invest in a suede cleaner.
Add a small amount of suede cleaner to a utility brush. Avoid soaking or drenching the shoes. Gently scrub the shoes with the suede cleaner until the stain is no longer visible. Then, place the shoes in direct sunlight to air dry.
Spiffy up mesh running shoes with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It's a natural whitener, which is why it's in many toothpastes. You'll need baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, a toothbrush, clear detergent for the washing machine.
Mix two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Apply the paste to the shoe with a toothbrush. Scrub to clean. Once the shoes have been scrubbed, let them sit with the mixture on for 30 minutes. Place the shoes in the washing machine by themselves. Add a small amount of clear detergent to the machine and wash with warm water. Once the washing machine cycle is complete, pull them out and let air dry.
For the cozy pair of slippers you can't live without, hit them with a combination of dish soap and stain remover. To avoid matting, fluff them out with a blow dryer after washing. You'll need liquid dish soap, stain removal spray, a toothbrush, towel, and blow dryer.
Soak the shoes with water. Pour liquid dish soap directly on the shoes, scrub the dish soap in circular motions with a toothbrush, and rinse the shoes with water. Soak up the excess water with a towel until the shoes are damp. Generously spray the shoes with stain remover until they are completely coated. Place the shoes in the washing machine with dirty towels and rags, and wash on normal.
Once the washing machine cycle is complete, blow dry the shoes on low using circular motions to fluff the fur.
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