There's arguably nothing as disappointing as an accidental muddy or ketchup stain on your pair of crispy white, cool, freshly out-of-the-box sneakers – i.e., other than a nasty break up. Ouch. But the good thing is that unlike such an emotional turmoil that can take weeks or months getting over – ouch again – your sneakers' pristine white can be restored in only one or two washing sessions. While you may not be able to get back that 'new car smell' that hit you when you first unboxed your sneakers, you will at least now rock them as proudly as your first did when you walked out of your favorite Adidas or Nike store.
So why don't we get to it? Here's how to recover that attractive, 'Yeezy effect', immaculate white uppers in a single cleaning session.
1. Begin by washing all non-knit areas with soap, a sneaker cleaner, and water.
Obviously, even before you think of bleaching anything, you will want first to get rid of any excess mud or dirt than can be scraped away from the rubber or leather surfaces.
2. Use your favorite blemish remover on stubborn stains and spatters.
Instead of spending a whole afternoon scrubbing that dried in rogue tomato squirt, why don't you use your conventional stain remover ( the one you use on your white tees ) to make your work easier?
3. Pour out about a 1/4 cup of bleach.
In case you're wondering how we came up with those metrics, then that's just about half of what we would use when bleaching a couple of bedsheets.
4. Set your machine to a warm & regular cycle.
First of all, remember that warm water is a better cleaning solvent than cold water. Yes, it may have all those negative effects of shrinking your fabric and all, but we're not bleaching fine linen here. These are sneaker heads, not shirts or tees.
5. While washing, ignore the clanking.
As you would expect, shoes ( thanks to the thick rubber soles and heavy uppers ) are likely to make more noise in a washing machine than normal. In fact, even your fellow laundromat goers may throw an occasional weird glance at you. You know, like the scowl that says 'that's crazy' in caps? Ok, just ignore them. Everything will be just fine!
6. Dry them overnight.
Since you're not dry cleaning them, then expect them to be wet and stinking of bleach after you're done. So it's advisable to air dry them for at least 12 hours to get them back to a wearable state. Avoid wearing them if they're not completely dry to the touch. You will ruin all the efforts you've invested in this process so far.
7. Get into the habit of doing this at least every week.
The problem with purely white sneakers is that even though they look super sleek and sophisticated when new, they tend to discolor and stain much faster than other types. But that's only if you're not keen on extending the life of your shoes using simple routines such as this one. So instead on ending up with a bunch of an unattractive creamy sneakers ( which were once white, mind you ), why don't you take an hour or two in getting them all fresh and crispy every fortnight or so?