Keep White Sneakers Looking Fresh With A Popular Household Essential

Doesn't stepping out in new dazzling white sneakers make you feel like a million bucks? But that's until the sparkling splendor succumbs to the battle against grime and pesky dry stains — the dreaded gradual fade from pearly white to an unappealing shade of off-white or, worse, a blotchy mix of grey and brown. Now, the enticing notion of dunking stained white sneakers in bleach or relentless scrubbing with abrasive detergents seems practical. However, these methods could only serve to damage your footwear. So, here comes the million-dollar question: What is the best thing to keep sneakers ultra-white? Your knight in shining armor could be a household staple locked away in your medicine cabinet: Hydrogen peroxide.

Frame it as a hidden gem or a secret weapon; hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that breaks down and discharges its extra oxygen molecule into the tarnished material, neutralizing discoloration agents in stains. Yet, the benefits don't stop at rejuvenating physical appearance — This solvent doubles as a disinfectant, ridding your sneakers of pathogens. But like all forces of nature, hydrogen peroxide must be unwrapped carefully. In lower concentrations, typically about 3% (your household variety), it might cause mild irritation. However, crank up the concentration, and the solvent could wreak havoc on the skin, eyes, and respiratory surfaces (per the CDC). So, keep the lid on the concentration at 3%. In addition, appropriately bandage any open wounds to prevent scarring from a chance encounter with H2O2.

How to get white sneakers to look like new again with H2O2

Begin making your white shoes look like new again by procuring the essentials: hydrogen peroxide (3% solution), baking soda, a compact bowl, an old toothbrush, a gentle yet firm cloth, and water. Don't plunge into the makeover ritual yet  untangle the laces, extract the insoles, and brush off any loose dust or dirt. The essence here is priming the fabric for the magic about to be unfurled by your homemade cleaning concoction.

In the small bowl, blend one part of hydrogen peroxide with a double helping of baking soda. Baking soda brings a surprise attack with its subtle abrasive nature, aiding in the erosion of surface dirt. You'll know the mixture is ready when it attains a paste-like consistency. Then, with a worn-out toothbrush, slather the paste on every inch of white on your sneakers. All great warriors know the value of patience. Thus, let the hydrogen peroxide-baking soda paste have its 30-minute moment of wrestling away the stains before rinsing the shoe under running water. 

Should the idea of washing off the paste not appeal to you, let your sneakers bask in a sun-kissed spot for roughly two hours. The grand finale here is brushing the dried baking soda-hydrogen peroxide powder off your now unblemished sneakers. Don't forget about the laces and insoles — give them a spruce-up in a water and detergent (or baking soda) solution before reuniting them with the shoes.