How to Clean White Mesh Shoes?

White mesh shoes are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and comfortable to the feet. However, the aftermath of wearing them is not all jolly, as they tend to absorb dirt and get stained quickly.

The mesh is lightweight hence aids in breathability, which is a necessary feature for long distance running shoes. Unfortunately, this conversely translates to the shoe being absorbent to any dirt and liquid stain.

The breathability in mesh shoes makes them everyday shoes. They are even ideal school shoes and perfect shoes for teachers. So, knowing how to clean them is essential.

Being of white color makes the stain and dirt pretty visible, further making it not aesthetically pleasing. So, how do you get rid of the dirt and have your clean and durable shoes? Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean your white mesh shoes.

No Day Off

Cleaning your white mesh shoes should start from the first day you use them. Remember these are white running shoes they'll get dirty from the first use. So, it's advisable to wash your shoes regularly.

Washing your shoes daily, either after hiking or running, might seem like a wrong thing to do, partly due to longevity and durability.

But in a real sense, it is the most advisable thing to do. Leaving your shoes to accumulate dirt, messes up their quality as compared to washing them daily. So, as long as you follow the right procedure of cleaning them, you don't have to worry about durability and quality loss.

However, it's important to note that some shoes come with different washing instructions. So, make sure you check whether your shoes have washing instructions. If they do have instructions on how to wash them, then follow the given instructions.

Get Rid of the Excess Dirt

Brush cleaning

Get a soft-bristled brush, if you haven't, purchase one. Alternatively, you can opt for a toothbrush. Brush away the excess dirt while using less amount of pressure. Too much pressure may spoil the mesh fabric, further reducing its durability. 

Apart from damaging the fabric, too much pressure might smear dirt on the mesh. So, this first step needs a keener approach, lest you end up with a dirtier shoe.

Create a Cleaning Solution

Warm four cups of water and two teaspoons of dish soap. Stir the mixture thoroughly until foam forms on the surface of the mix. Warm water helps in getting rid of resistant dirt or stain, while the added dish soap makes the process more effortless.

Once the solution is ready, take off the laces and use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to clean off the dirt. Dip your toothbrush or soft-bristled brush (whatever your preference) in the solution and carefully brush off the dirt.

Time to Soak

Once you have cleaned off the extra dirt and got done with the less-resistant stain, it's time to soak your shoes. Add detergent to lukewarm water, stir vigorously to get a foamy solution, set aside a little of the solution. Remove your shoes’ laces and dip and soak your shoes in the foamy solution. Dip and soak the shoes’ laces in the set-aside solution.

Leave both solutions for a while to let the dirt from the shoes and laces to dissolve in the solutions. You can machine wash your shoelaces.

Related: How to Clean White Shoelaces

Time to Wash

Shoe clean

If your shoes are not machine washable, use a soft brush to brush or a clean damp cloth to wash the soaked shoes. Make sure you get rid of non-resistant stains. Also, do not apply too much pressure when cleaning the mesh; remember the mesh fabric can easily loosen up upon too much pressure.

After thoroughly washing off the dirt. Set up clean water and rinse your white mesh shoes, make sure no soap is visible on the shoe. Rinsing your shoes is the final stage of handwashing them.

Don’t Forget the Inside of the Shoes

Inside wash

Whether you have sweaty feet or not washing your shoes inside is necessary when cleaning your shoes. Use warm water with a little bit of detergent, approximately one tablespoon, soak in a soft brush then brush the inside of the shoes thoroughly. Once done with brushing, use a clean wet cloth and wipe down gently. Finally, let it dry.

If you have sweaty feet, or your shoes quickly get damp after an intense workout like zumba and aerobics or from long-distance walking. Then take off the insole and place in paper towels to absorb the excess moisture from your sweat.

Directly washing them without getting rid of that moisture leads to smelly shoes. Besides that, the shoes will stay damp for long and harbor bacteria, which overall is not suitable for your feet's health.

I once had New Balance Men's Mx623v3 Training Shoe, and I would recommend them to anyone because I could walk all day and still do a workout in them. They are easy to wash and durable.

Incorporate Stain Remover


If the stains persist, use a stain remover. However, avoid bleaching agents; they harm your shoes. A better-proven alternative is using vinegar. Vinegar helps kill bacteria, and when incorporated with baking soda, the solution kills bacteria and eliminates odor.

For individuals with smelly shoe problems, a mixture of ½ a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda eliminates these problems. However, you have to confirm whether using baking soda or vinegar on your shoes is a recommended procedure.

If its safe to use stain removers on your shoes, then use it. Spray stain remover on your shoes, then use a soft-bristled brush or a clean rag and rub the stained area in a circular motion. An important thing to note is you can use bleaching agents on your shoes’ midsoles.

So, if your shoes’ midsoles have picked stubborn stains or unbearable dirt, clean off the dirt and use a safe cleaning bleaching agent. Spray the stain remover on the midsole and run it through clean water to clean it. Make sure you protect your shoes’ upper parts while using a bleaching agent on your midsole.

Time to Dry Your Shoes

Shoes dry

Once the shoes are clean and looking next to new, it's time to dry them. The apt way to dry any shoes, be it ideal work shoes or even everyday shoes, is to air dry them. Place the shoes under a shade and in a conducive environment where air flows freely and easily. Looking for work shoes, you can never go wrong with Timberland PRO Men's 6" Pit Boss Steel-Toe.

Once your shoes and laces are dry, tie the laces. And if the drying takes an awfully long time, use a household fan to improve air circulation.

Machine Washing

Machine wash shoe

It's not advisable to machine wash your sneakers. Machine washing your shoes may affect the foam and fabric. However, some boots are machine washable. So, if your shoe is machine washable, then this procedure will come in handy.

First things first, take off laces from your shoes and place them separately in a clean sock. Take the shoes and stuff them in a pillowcase, nicely fold, or make a knot on the end of the pillowcase. Make sure the shoes fit perfectly in the pillowcase.

Once you've perfectly stuffed the shoes in the pillowcase, place them in the washer. Also, don’t forget to set the sock containing the laces in the machine.

After putting everything in the washer, stuff any left spaces with cloths to prevent the case and sock from hitting the washer's walls. Upon stuffing everything correctly, turn-on the washer to ‘cold and delicate’ and let your shoes wash.

Washing your mesh shoes on delicate prevents the fabric from getting messed up or quickly stretched. For older washers, washing your shoes on ‘knits and gentles’ will work.

Drying Your Shoes

Just like drying hand-washed shoes, drying machine washed shoes also requires adequate airflow. Take the shoes from the pillowcase and place them under a shade, where air circulation is enough.

Do not however, dry them in a basement or garage; these areas do not have good airflow and are mostly humid and warm. Drying your shoes needs a cool, dry place.

f the weather condition is not favorable for your shoes to dry, there are other options. These options include using an electric household fan to dry your shoes. An important thing to note is never machine dry your shoes, machine drying them will ultimately affect the shoes’ mesh.

Take Good Care of Your Shoes

As much as cleaning your shoes is necessary. Taking care of them by being mindful of how you use them helps you reduce the cleaning hassle in the long-run. Some of the steps of taking care of your shoes include:

  1. Avoid dampening them- Mesh shoes are highly absorbent. Using them in highly damp conditions affects their quality as they soak in too much water.
  2. Use good-conditioned socks- Do not use worn-out soaks as they tend not to absorb any sweat or wetness in the shoe. So alternatively use good-conditioned thick socks.
  3. Never wear shoes without socks. Wearing shoes with no socks lets the sweat from your feet accumulate in the shoe fabric, hence leading to smelly shoes.

Lastly, if you have sweaty feet, make sure you use foot powder and place your shoes in the sunlight after using them. Foot powder helps fight any odor. With high-quality sweaty feet shoes can control sweat, thus keeping your feet cool and fresh.

Buying quality shoe matters, especially when it comes to running; otherwise, you will go shopping every month. ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe is a great pick if want durable, lightweight, and comfy running shoes.

Generally, mesh shoes need a special procedure when it comes to cleaning them. Additionally, washing white mesh shoes can even be more frustrating as you need to be keener when cleaning them as they are not stain-resistant.

Fortunately, with the above guide, washing white mesh shoes will no longer be a complicated task.

Robert Hallman

Robert is a sports enthusiast, writer, blogger & chief editor at Sportsly.NET. He hailed from Big Lake, Texas. He also loves to play all types of exotic games, test different kinds of sports gear.

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