The DIY Sneaker Cleaning Ingredients You Likely Already Have In The House

Wearing a pair of shoes often, especially white ones, means they will start to show this wear fast. It only takes one rainy day to turn your sneakers from a pristine pair to ones that have definitely seen better days. In spite of them becoming something of a trend, nobody wants dirty shoes to ruin their look, and shoe cleaners can often be on the pricey side. The good news is that you don't need to go out and buy special shoe cleaner or a cloth — there are plenty of DIY methods to get your footwear sparkling once more.

The following DIY ingredients are all things you likely already have in your home for various purposes, whether that's to brush your teeth or disinfect a cut. Your shoes can become dirty for a number of reasons, like wearing them often or because you have spilled something on them. Not only do sneakers look better when stain-free, but it's important to clean your footwear regularly so it doesn't bring odors into your home. With the DIY methods below, you can restore your sneakers to how they were when you first bought them.

Toothpaste to brighten up white sneakers

If the soles of your shoes are not looking their best, TikTok's solution for cleaning stained white sneakers is to head to your bathroom and grab your toothpaste. Not just for making your mouth feel squeaky clean, this bathroom staple will help to get your sneakers less dirty. You'll also need an old toothbrush for scrubbing purposes. Apply a small amount of paste to the rubber soles of your shoes and work it in well using the toothbrush (avoid gel paste as it can stain your shoes). Don't be afraid to scrub vigorously to really remove stains.

You should only need one blob of toothpaste per sneaker, but keep the tube nearby if your shoes are in particularly bad condition. This hack probably won't work if your shoes are extremely dirty and have lots of grass or dirt marks, but it's a great refresher for sneakers that have been out in the mud. Spot-test the toothpaste first on a small area of your sneaker — some types of rubber soles may not react well with the toothpaste

Toilet paper will make your shoes bright white once more

This cleaning tip also involves another bathroom essential — toilet paper. Along with dish soap and hot water, TikTok showed how toilet paper can whiten your shoes and restore them to their pre-worn condition. Fill up a tub with hot water and put your shoes in the tub. Leave them for around five minutes before grabbing some dish soap and a brush. Within the bowl of hot water, scrub your shoes with the soap and brush to get rid of any stains.

Once your sneakers are looking better, it's time for the toilet paper. Wrap each shoe in toilet paper, covering every part except the soles, and then put them outside. Leave the toilet paper on until the sneakers have fully dried, and then remove it. Your shoes should look far cleaner. This hack will work best on a sunny day, so your footwear dries faster. If shoes take too long to dry, they can sometimes develop a musty smell, so put them in the full sun for optimal drying.

Reach for white vinegar to freshen up your sneakers

Vinegar is most often used as a seasoning ingredient, but it also works well as a versatile cleaning agent and stain remover. This method is ideal to use as a pre-treatment before you put your sneakers in the wash. Mix equal parts vinegar and water together and dispense the liquid into a spray bottle for easier cleaning (if you don't have a spray bottle, you can use a cloth to apply the mixture). Spray or apply the vinegar/water combination to your sneakers liberally.

Leave the mixture to soak in for around half an hour before putting your sneakers in the wash as usual. We recommend choosing a gentle cycle, if possible, to stop your sneakers from getting overly beat up when spinning. It doesn't matter if you let them dry naturally outside or keep them indoors, but don't let them sit for too long in case they develop a musty smell. As always, spot-test the vinegar and water mix on an inconspicuous area. There's a possibility not all fabrics will work with this method, and you don't want to end up staining your shoes.

Hydrogen peroxide will have your sneakers in brand new condition

If the above ingredients haven't worked for you, a surprising way to use hydrogen peroxide is to freshen up your white sneakers. Commonly used to clean cuts and scrapes, this medicine cabinet essential will transform your sneakers with the help of baking soda and an old toothbrush. Before beginning, remove the laces from your shoes. You can wash these separately or use the same cleaning method below.

Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together until a paste-like consistency has formed. Use the toothbrush to apply the paste all over your sneakers and leave them to sit for approximately half an hour — perhaps a little longer if they're particularly dingy. When time is up, wash your sneakers thoroughly to remove all traces of paste and then dry them either with a cloth or outside in the sun. Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use at a 3% level, but we recommend wearing gloves while carrying out this sneaker cleaning method to be on the safe side. We also recommend a spot test beforehand.

This makeup removal product could make stains vanish

Last but not least, you can also try using micellar water to banish stains from your shoes. Typically used as part of a skincare routine to remove makeup, micellar water will work wonders to eliminate pesky stains. Simply pour a little of the water onto a clean cloth or cotton pad and rub at the stains until they are no longer visible. Though this method will remove stains, it isn't a substitute for washing, so we recommend following up by thoroughly washing your sneakers with one of the other methods mentioned on this list.

Additionally, this hack is unsuitable for all stains and won't work on stubborn marks or any that have become ingrained into your shoes. Moreover, it might stain non-leather and fabric sneakers, so we recommend testing it out on an older pair before trying out micellar water on a newer pair. Any of the above DIY methods are great ways to clean your shoes. If one doesn't work, you can simply try another until your sneakers are box-fresh once more.