How to Clean White Trainers: Expert Tips

Step 1: Gathering the necessary supplies

Trainers are an easy-going pair of shoes to wear. So it’s common to wear them often – and that means they are more likely to get dirty quickly! When it’s time to give them a good clean, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies first. You will need a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush, Vanish Oxi action Crystal White powder, warm water and a clean cloth. These items will help you effectively remove dirt and stains from your white trainers. Having the right tools at hand will make the cleaning process much easier and ensure that you achieve the best results. So, gather everything you need and let's get started on bringing the sparkle back to your trainers!

Step 2: Preparing the trainers for cleaning

The best way to wash white trainers is to prepare them properly. Before you start cleaning, begin removing the laces and any inserts or insoles. This will allow you to clean every part of the trainer thoroughly. Properly preparing your trainers will ensure that you can reach all the nooks and crannies, giving you the best chance of achieving a thorough clean. If you’re wondering how to wash white trainers in a washing machine, check first that they are machine-washable. If they are, place them in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the washing process. If they aren't, proceed with the following steps.

Step 3: Removing loose dirt and debris

A deep and effective clean is essential to get your white trainers back to their former glory. While it may take a little longer, it is worth it! Remove any loose dirt and debris from your trainers with a soft-bristle brush or soft toothbrush. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this may damage the material of your trainers. This step will help prepare your trainers for the next cleaning stages, allowing the cleaning solution to penetrate deeper and work more effectively.

Removing loose dirt and debris

Step 4: Using a mild detergent

In a bowl, mix the detergent with water that will help tackle stains and dirt on your trainers. While you may think it would whiten your trainers, avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the material and colour of your trainers. Once you have given everything a good mix, you’re ready to start cleaning!

Step 5: Cleaning the trainers

Dip the soft-bristle brush or toothbrush into the mix and gently scrub the surface of your trainers. Pay extra attention to any stained or dirty areas. Use small, circular motions to lift the dirt and grime. Be patient and thorough in this step, as it will determine the overall cleanliness of your trainers. Remember to focus on both the exterior and interior of your trainers, ensuring every part is given the attention it needs. If there are some stains you want to remove, you can take a look at our guide on removing stains on shoes

Cleaning the trainers

Step 6: Rinsing and drying the trainers

Once you have finished cleaning your trainers, it’s important to rinse off any remaining product. Take your clean cloth and dip it into warm water then start to wipe away the soapy residue. You’ll probably have to do this a few times to make sure the exterior and interior of your trainers are thoroughly rinsed and no cleaning solution is left behind. After rinsing, gently squeeze out any excess water and pat your trainers dry with a clean towel. Avoid placing them under direct sunlight or using a dryer, as this can cause damage to the material.

Finishing touches and maintenance tips

To ensure they stay clean and fresh for longer, there are a few maintenance tips you can follow in the future. Firstly, try to avoid wearing your trainers in muddy or dirty areas to minimise the risk of stains. If you want to remove grass stains or stubborn mud stains from your clothes, we can help with that, too! Secondly, regularly spot clean your trainers using a mild detergent and a soft cloth. This will help remove any surface dirt or stains before they become deeply embedded. Lastly, consider using a protective spray or waterproofing product to prevent future stains and dirt buildup.

Finishing touches and maintenance tips


Congratulations, you have all the information you need to successfully clean your white trainers! If you’re wanting to keep your whites whiter, we have a handy guide for that, too. So remember, to keep your trainers looking fresh, make sure you gather all the necessary supplies, prepare your trainers properly, remove loose dirt and debris, create a cleaning solution, clean your trainers thoroughly, rinse and dry them properly, and follow up with regular spot cleaning for long-lasting cleanliness. So go ahead and give your white trainers the care they deserve!