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
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 enbrogue.com, 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.