White leather shoes are crisp and fashionable, but keeping them clean can be challenging if one is unsure how to do it. Using the right products and techniques for protecting white leather and protective finishes is important. In this article, I will share the best ways to safely and easily clean white leather shoes.
How to clean white leather shoes is to effectively remove dirt and stains and prevent yellowing while protecting the material’s finish. Using the proper leather cleaning products and techniques, anyone can eliminate unwanted soil spots and successfully clean white leather shoes.
Do you have a pair of white leather shoes that need cleaning? Are you looking for a way to clean white leather shoes to prevent them from yellowing? Let’s review some of the best ways to safely and easily clean white leather shoes.
What Is Cleaning White Leather Shoes?
Cleaning white leather shoes is using various methods to remove debris, stains, dirt, and yellowing from white leather while protecting the leather material and finish. The right cleaning materials and leather products must be used to keep white leather looking great and in good shape. White leather shoes should be cleaned every two to three weeks to maintain their whitest white and prevent them from yellowing.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- Reasons You Might Choose to Clean White Leather Shoes
- Variations or Styles of Cleaning White Leather Shoes
- Cleaning White Leather Shoes Overview Table
- Skill Level of Cleaning White Leather Shoes
- Tools and Supplies Needed for Cleaning White Leather Shoes
- How to Clean White Leather Shoes Step by Step
- How to Get Better at Cleaning White Leather Shoes
- My Personal Research on Cleaning White Leather Shoes
- Helpful Insights on Cleaning White Leather Shoes
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
One misconception regarding white leather shoes is that they will turn yellow over time, and nothing can be done to prevent this This is untrue because regularly cleaning and conditioning white leather can postpone yellowing and prevent cracking and discoloration if the right products and techniques are used.
Another myth about cleaning white leather shoes is that magic erasers can be used for this process. This is very untrue because a magic eraser is harsh on protective finishes and will lead to damage.
Test any products for cleaning and conditioning white leather shoes on inconspicuous spots to see if any color change occurs.
Reasons You Might Choose To Clean White Leather Shoes
White leather shoes can start to look dirty and even turn yellow with exposure to elements and time. It’s a good practice to clean white leather shoes regularly to maintain the finish and keep them white longer. Here are other reasons you might choose to clean white leather shoes:
- Dirt and mud
- Looking dingy
- Water damage
- Unpleasant smells
- Everyday use
Variations or Styles of Cleaning White Leather Shoes
Several variations of cleaning white leather shoes exist and will depend on the type of leather being cleaned. Dry brushing is often the first and easiest method for gently removing stains. White leather shoes can be dry-dusted using a lint-free cloth, a soft-bristle brush, or a vacuum cleaner brush attachment on a low setting.
If the leather shoes are made of non-absorbent white leather, then a proper liquid leather cleaner approved for white leather may also be applied to a microfiber cloth and then used to remove stains gently. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for leather cleaning products and test them in an inconspicuous place before applying them to the entire shoe.
Take caution when cleaning specialty white leathers like Nubuck and suede. They require unique stiff brushes to restore the surface texture and may darken when cleaned with moisturizers. In general, Nubuck and suede require specific cleaning techniques.
Cleaning White Leather Shoes Overview Table
|Area of Preparation||Details|
|Technique||Cleaning White Leather Shoes|
|Overall Level of Skill (1–5)||1|
|Time to Complete (minutes/hours)||30 minutes to an hour|
|Skills Needed||Basic leather care knowledge|
|Tools and Supplies Needed||Soft brush or shoe brush, microfiber towels or old t-shirts, vacuum with a soft brush (be cautious of suction power), leather cleaner, leather conditioner, protector, or oil, hair dryer on a cool setting, specialized stiff brushes for Suede and Nubuck (different brushes for each)|
|Key Helpful Tip||Avoid getting white leather too wet, and always apply leather conditioner once completely dry.|
Skill Level of Cleaning White Leather Shoes
Thankfully, cleaning white leather shoes doesn’t require much skill. Some basic knowledge of leather care is helpful but certainly not required. It is best to test any cleaning or conditioning product on an inconspicuous spot to see if any staining or color changing of the white leather occurs. Use the shoe tongue or inside cuff around the ankle to test products, as any discoloration will not show.
Also, be aware that too much moisture on any leather can cause stains and mold, so only lightly dampen the white leather with the cleaner to prevent damage, and use a microfiber towel or old t-shirt to remove excess moisture. Once completely air-dried, leather conditioner should be applied to keep the white leather supple and soft.
Tools and Supplies Needed for Cleaning White Leather Shoes
There are several methods for cleaning white leather shoes, but very few tools and supplies are needed for each. One will need microfiber towels or old t-shirts and leather conditioner for all methods. Microfiber towels or old t-shirts are best for cleaning any leather because they are soft, lint-free, and will prevent scratching any protective finishes.
For heavy dirt or stains, a soft toothbrush or shoe brush may be used in one direction to remove deep dirt. A leather cleaner can be used on non-absorbent white leather shoes, and a hair dryer on a low setting can help speed up drying time.
How To Clean White Leather Shoes Step by Step
Typically, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any leather cleaner you choose for the best guidance, but here is a general overview of the cleaning process for white leather shoes:
- Remove any shoelaces to wash separately.
- Brush off any dirt or debris with a lint-free or microfiber cloth, soft brush, or vacuum cleaner attachment with a soft brush on low suction power.
- Test the absorbency of the white leather shoes by placing a water droplet in a hidden place. Absorbent leather most often should not be cleaned with any liquid cleaner.
- If the leather is non-absorbent, test the white leather cleaner in a discrete place, like the tongue of the shoe.
- If no staining or undesirable outcome occurs, apply a small amount of liquid cleaner to a lint-free cloth or old t-shirt and gently wipe the white leather shoes.
- If the yellowing or stains remain after gently wiping, lightly reapply the liquid cleaner and allow it to soak on the leather for several minutes.
- Use a clean cloth to wipe the liquid cleaner off the white leather shoes.
- Allow the white leather shoes to air dry completely, or use a hair dryer on low to medium heat at least 6 inches away to speed up drying.
- If the white leather shoes are still soiled after drying, only complete the cleaning process once more; anything that remains may be permanent or require a professional.
- Always use a proper leather conditioner after cleaning and drying white leather shoes.
How To Get Better at Cleaning White Leather Shoes
Getting better at cleaning white leather shoes simply takes practice. Regular cleaning will keep white leather shoes looking great while learning what works and what doesn’t. Try different products and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
Also, be aware of any finishes on white leather shoes because, according to research published in the Journal of Leather Science and Engineering by Fan, Ma, and Xu, different types protect against water, bacteria, and even yellowing resistance that one doesn’t want to damage with cleaning.
Mistakes will be made, so I suggest testing any products on inconspicuous spots, so any damage remains hidden Learning from mistakes and cleaning those white leather shoes is the best practice!
Check out this helpful video to learn how to care for and clean white leather shoes to keep them looking whiter and lasting longer.
My Personal Research on Cleaning White Leather Shoes
White leather shoes are an investment that should last a very long time, so keeping them clean means a little more investment in the right products. I have compiled a list of some commonly used supplies for cleaning white leather shoes to give the reader an idea of what to expect.
|White Leather Shoe Cleaning Method||Supplies||Price|
|Leather, canvas, and vinyl shoe whitener||2.5 oz whitening agent with advanced polymers and sponge applicator||$6–$8|
|Leather, suede, and nubuck shoe care kit||Includes 2 oz cleaning foam, 2 oz stain and rain guard, shoe brush||$20–$30|
|Leather cleaner and conditioner||4 oz cleaner and 4 oz conditioner, towel, brush||$10–$15|
|Light-colored leather care kit||4 oz color transfer remover, 6 oz cleaner, 6 oz barrier, 2 cloths, and sponge||$40–$40|
|Leather care kit||8 oz conditioner, 8 oz cleaner, 2 cloths||$35–$45|
|Microfiber cloths||3 cleansing cloths||$10–$15|
Helpful Insights On Cleaning White Leather Shoes
What is the best thing to clean white leather shoes?
The best thing to clean white leather shoes is generally dry brushing with a lint-free cloth, a soft-bristle brush, or a vacuum cleaner brush attachment on a low setting. Depending on the type of leather being cleaned, a liquid leather cleaner applied to a microfiber cloth is another good choice for cleaning white leather shoes.
How do you clean white leather shoes fast?
To clean white leather shoes fast, use a lint-free cloth, a soft-bristle brush, or a vacuum cleaner brush attachment on a low setting to gently wipe away stains. Or apply a liquid leather cleaner to a microfiber cloth to quickly clean non-absorbent white leather shoes. Spot cleaning can remove dirt and discoloration without getting the shoes too wet, and using a hair dryer on a low setting at least six inches away from white leather shoes can speed up the drying process.
How do you clean white leather shoes without turning them yellow?
Cleaning white leather shoes is all about using the right products to prevent them from turning yellow. White leather shoes yellowing is a product of oxidation, which cannot be stopped-however it can be postponed. Using proper leather cleaners and conditioners can keep white leather shoes white for longer.
- Dry brushing using a lint-free cloth, a soft-bristle brush, or a vacuum cleaner brush or cleaning with a proper liquid leather cleaner are the easiest and quickest methods for cleaning white leather shoes.
- White leather shoes will turn yellow over time, but proper cleaning and conditioning can postpone this for many years.
- Test any products for cleaning and conditioning white leather shoes on inconspicuous spots to see if any color change occurs.
White leather shoes can be easy to clean with the right tools. You might even have all the supplies already in the home, so what are you waiting for? Hopefully, the instructions I’ve provided here give you what you need to keep those white leather shoes looking spiffy for many years.
- How to Clean Leather – The Simple Steps to Quality Results
- How To Clean White Leather – Unique Methods for This Color
- How To Clean Leather Boots – Guide from a Leather Crafter
- How To Wash A Leather Jacket – Tips From a Leather Crafter
- How To Get Wrinkles Out Of Leather for Different Leather Types
- How To Clean A Leather Purse – Guide from a Leather Crafter
- How To Disinfect Leather – Safe and Effective Methods
- How to Clean Mold From Leather – An Easy Step-by-Step
- How To Clean a Leather Jacket – Tips From a Leather Crafter
- How to Clean Leather Chairs – Step-by-Step from Experience
- Magic Eraser on Leather – Why It Should Generally Be Avoided
- How To Clean Patent Leather – Properly and Easily
- How To Wash Faux Leather – Clean Results Without Shrinking
- Can You Iron Leather? – When and How This Can Work Great
- Can You Steam Leather? – When It Works and How To Do It
- Water Stain on Leather – Easily Make It Look New Again
- How To Remove Creases From Leather Shoes Properly and Easily
- How To Polish Patent Leather Shoes and Preserve the Surface
- How To Clean Leather Sandals Without Shrinking Them
- How to Wash Leather – Based on Unique Leather Types
- How To Get Stains Out of Leather – Without Damaging Leather
- How To Clean a Leather Couch or Sofa With Proper Care
- Successful Methods To Easily Clean Leather Car Seats
- How To Clean Leather Shoes Properly – Step by Step
- How To Clean Leather Furniture – Methods and Options
- Remove Stains From Leather – Guide from a Leather Crafter
- How To Get Pen or Ink Out of Leather in Just a Few Minutes
- How To Clean a Leather Bag – Step by Step in Minutes
- How To Clean Leather Gloves – Steps, Tips, and Success
- How To Clean a Leather Wallet – With Helpful Maintenance Tips Too
- How To Get Sharpie Permanent Marker off Leather