How To Clean Trainers And Keep Them Looking Box-Fresh For Longer

Don't invest in a new pair - just follow our handy guide to keep your existing kicks in good order.

how to clean white trainers

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

There’s nothing quite so deflating, and guilt-inducing, as writing off a brand new pair of white trainers on their very first outing. But with a few preventative measures, those bin-bound, mud-painted sneakers could easily have lived to see another festival/bbq/holiday season. If you're at a loose end this weekend, why not show yours a little TLC? Here's how to clean trainers.

SHOP: How To Clean Trainers


The best way to keep trainers clean is not to get them dirty in the first place! Of course, that's


Timberland's kit has everything you need to freshen, clean and brighten trainers, including a


Crep's gift set is the gold standard of shoe care, featuring a spray, brush, cloth and wipes to


Jason Markk's deep-cleaning solution helps to gently remove dirt - and is designed to refresh up


When Liquiproof Labs joins forces with The Lab Co, one of the best purveyors of plant-based


This cleaning kit's products are safe to use on all fabrics, including suede, nubuck, leather and

Hannah Rochell, writer, sustainable fashion advocate and founder of, is something of an oracle when it comes to keeping your trainers looking box-fresh for as long as possible. Here, she shares her tips for how to clean trainers - and, in particular, how to keep white trainers pristine...

Step 1: Spray Your Shoes

The first step is spray-protecting anything suede. ‘I do this religiously as it’s so easy to wreck a pair of trainers in the rain if you haven’t,’ says Hannah, adding, ‘The creme de la creme is Liquiproof. You need a whole bottle for one pair of shoes, but the liquid literally runs straight off once you’ve used it.’

Step 2: Use A Brush

Rochell also swears by suede brushes to remove spots and keep the texture of your suede looking fluffy after it’s got wet. Mud, incidentally, should be left to dry and then brushed off with a coarse brush.

Step 3: Put Your Trainers In A Pillowcase In The Washing Machine

‘I’ve always washed canvas trainers in the machine and they come up a treat, but you do need to be careful,' says Rochell. 'Place the trainers in a pillowcase - this will protect the drum of your machine - and don’t dry them on a radiator because the heat might shrink the canvas.’ As for how many washes they can survive, Rochell says you need to be sparing. ‘Don’t wash them too often. Eventually it will start to degrade the glue that holds them together. It’s best as a last resort now and then!’

Step 4: Rescue White Trainers With A Cure Kit

If you’ve sworn off white trainers since wrecking your favourite pair, Rochell has good news. ‘I love Crep Protect’s Cure Kit. I’ve used it on white leather shoes and chunky white soles as well as trainers. It’s amazing at getting them gleaming again - and also smells lush.’

Step 5: Buy New Laces

If you've tried everything and your trainers still don't look as clean as you'd like them to, try investing in a new pair of laces. This is particularly effective for white trainers, as nothing beats the gleam of a brand new pair of white laces. You'll notice the difference immediately.

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