5 Easy Hacks to Clean White Shoelaces!

White shoelaces are no doubt ideal shoelaces for Canvas shoes; some even prefer to wear with their everyday shoes, running, and even hiking shoes. 

However, these shoelaces tend to pick dirt and grime from the ground when maybe embarking on long-distance walking. Additionally, if the laces are long, they might get dragged on the ground, and this turns them gray or brown; stains might appear in the places where the laces go into the shoes’ eyelets. 

The color of your work shoes might also be transferred onto the laces. In most cases, people overlook laces when they are spot cleaning their shoes. That means the shoelaces don’t receive the attention they deserve.

If you have white shoelaces on your everyday shoes and you want tips on how to clean them efficiently, then you’re in luck. 

Here is a list of several ways you can clean shoelaces from washing by hand to throwing them into the washing machine. Keep reading on to get more informed.

1. Cleaning White Shoelaces With a Toothbrush

Cleaning White Shoelaces With a Toothbrush

This is probably the first go-to method of getting rid of dirt on shoelaces. First, remove the laces from the shoes. Get the old toothbrush that you’ve been holding on and use it to brush off the dirt particles that you can get to.

When cleaning with a toothbrush, don’t forget to carry out the whole thing on paper towels. The paper towels catch all the dirt, and this saves you from having to clean the dirt later.

2. Cleaning White Shoelaces in the Washing Machine

Cleaning White Shoelaces in the Washing Machine

If you do have a washing machine, then the cleaning process just got easier. Of course, the white laces have to be made of cotton or at least from washable material. A washing machine will take the sting out of the cleaning process.

What You’ll Need

  • Soft toothbrush
  • Mesh bag
  • Bleach if required
  • Stain treater
  • Laundry detergent


  • Remove the shoelaces from the shoes and hold them under a stream of cold running water. With the aid of the soft toothbrush, get rid of the visible dirt or mud.
  • Take a keen look at the surface of the shoelaces. If there are discolored areas, apply a stain treater and let it be for 20 minutes.
  • Once you are through with this, put the laces in the mesh bag and close it. Throw the bag into the washer and add laundry detergent. Wash on cold. If you are washing the laces alongside white items, you can add a cup of bleach into the washer. This will help make the white fabric on the laces brighter.
  • Once the washing process is over, remove the laces and hang them on the drying rack and not in the dryer.

This process will perfectly work when cleaning the Zumba Shoes.

3. Washing the White Shoelaces by Hand

Washing the White Shoelaces by Hand

If you don’t have a mountain-load of laundry to do or you want to get hands-on with the cleaning of the laces, then washing by hand is a viable way to clean them. This may be labor-intensive but a sure way to have them clean and bright.

What You’ll Need

  • A soft toothbrush
  • Sink or bowl
  • Warm water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain treater


  • First, get rid of all the obvious dirt by holding the laces under running water. Afterward, dab stained areas with some stain treater and let it sit as you wait to wash them.
  • Next, fill the sink or bowl with the warm water and add the detergent.
  • Put the laces into the water and let them soak for 30 minutes. If the laces are stained or yellowed, consider adding a teaspoon of bleach, which will help brighten them.
  • Once the laces are soaked enough, again, use the toothbrush to gently scrub any dirt or stains that may remain on them. Put on rubber gloves if you added bleach to the water.
  • Next, rinse the laces thoroughly in clean running water. Afterward, wring them and then hang them out to dry.

4. Cleaning Yellowed or Stained Laces

Cleaning Yellowed or Stained Laces

Once you are back from long distance running, aside from sweaty feet, the laces may be yellowed or stained.

If your feet are sweaty and you need breathable shoes, I would recommend ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoes, which have served me well for long.

Cleaning them with a weak bleach solution may do little to have them clean again. Instead, what you need is a good soak in slightly stronger bleach water.

What You’ll Need

  • Bleach
  • Mesh bag
  • Laundry sink
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Small plate


  • First, get rid of any visible dirt with the aid of a soft toothbrush and some running water. Try to get as much dirt as possible as it will make the whole process easier.
  • Fill the sink or bowl with a gallon of hot water. Next, pour three tablespoons of bleach.
  • Put the laces in the mesh bag. Wear rubber gloves to shield your skin and submerge the mesh bag into the water. Place the small plate on the bag to ensure it remains submerged.
  • Let the laces soak for five minutes. However, stained they may be, do not exceed this time. Exposing them too much to the bleach may weaken the fibers on the shoelaces.
  • After the five minutes, remove the laces and either wash them by hand or in the machine. If you choose the washing machine, then add half a cup of bleach if the laces don’t show much change.

Bleaching is safe on cotton and polyester. Also, bleaching is pretty much evident. You should be able to see whether the bleach is effective within 5 minutes. However, avoid bleaching for long as it may cause the laces to turn yellow. Also, overusing bleach will damage the laces. Finally, bleach does not work on white leather laces.

Bleaching Alternatives

There are some alternatives to bleaching. These include:

  • Soaking in hot water and shout stain remover.
  • Making a paste out of 6 tablespoons of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and applying it on the laces. Dry them before you rinse and dry them again.
  • Soaking the laces in a gallon of water with half a pint of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Rubbing the shoelaces with baking soda and leaving it for 10 minutes, then rinsing.

5. Soaking Laces in Soapy Water

Soaking Laces in Soapy Water

Bleaching too many times can damage the fabric. Avoid bleaching shoelaces too often. An alternative is soaking them in shoe cleaner or soapy water.

What You’ll Need

  • Soft toothbrush
  • A bar of soap or shoe cleaner or dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Sink or bowl


  • First, get rid of any noticeable dirt by scrubbing out using the soft toothbrush. Next, run the laces under cool running water.
  • Pour the warm water into the bowl or sink. Put a handful of dish soap into the water and soak the laces in the warm water for about 15 minutes.
  • Next, hold them in your hand and scrub them using the bar of soap. Afterward, dip them again in the water for more soaking. Finally, put them into the washing machine or just wash them by hand using regular laundry detergent.

This method is the easiest and most convenient as most people have dish soap. Also, using dish soap will not have any damaging effect on the fabric as bleaching would. However, soaking in soapy water may not be as effective as using harsher chemicals in restoring whiteness in the shoelaces.

Also, remember to leave your shoes to dry completely, especially for those that are not breathable.

Important Points to Note When Cleaning White Shoelaces

Now that you have several ways of getting your white hiking shoes sparkling clean, here are some tips that you should take into mind:

  • Once you buy shoelaces, pre-treat them with a fabric protector. This will help repel stains and spills.
  • Once you are back from hiking, don’t dump your shoes and clean them later. Get into the habit of cleaning the shoelaces as soon as possible. This will make removing most stains very easy.
  • Some people prefer to clean shoelaces while they are still on the shoes. While this is applicable, removing them from the shoes first is more effective, especially when they pick up color from the shoe.
  • Once you are done cleaning the shoelaces, whether by hand or washing machine, do not put them in the dryer. Doing this can damage the tips of the laces or even shrink them. Instead, hang them and air dry them.
  • Don’t use heat to dry the laces. Laces may need around 3 hours to air dry. Most people try to hasten the drying time using a hairdryer or a hot tool. However, this heightens the risk of damaging the laces.
  • Try as much as possible to dry the white shoelaces in the sun. Doing this gives them a bright boost.

Some people opt just to buy replacement laces to counterstained ones. However, when you have several pairs of shoes with white shoelaces, it might end up being an expensive affair. With the above methods and tips, you should be able to have your white shoelaces clean at a reasonable cost.

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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