How to Clean White Leather Tennis Shoes

How to Clean White Leather Tennis Shoes Effectively

It goes without saying that white is by far the most popular color when it comes to leather tennis shoes. This isn’t only apparent with professional tennis players, but white tennis shoes are also the choice of color when it comes to casual tennis players. 

While wearing white leather tennis shoes exude style, they can be quite tricky to maintain, as they get dirty fairly easily when playing on grass, clay and even on a hard court. 

The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, while anything that’s white in color picks up dirt just as fast as any other color, it’s a lot more visible. Secondly, leather is an extremely porous material that absorbs foreign elements fairly quickly. 

Therefore, you should clean them regularly to preserve the appearance and also the quality of your leather. In summary, you can clean your white leather tennis shoes by using a leather shoe cleaner, an eraser sponge, vinegar oil or baking soda mixes or even toothpaste. Wondering how you can do this? Read on to find out!

Guide Overview:

  1. Perform a Quick Clean Using a Damp Cloth
  2. Apply Your Preferred Cleaning Solution
  3. Inspect Your White Leather Tennis Shoes
  4. Condition Leather Using a Wool or Cloth

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can clean your white leather tennis shoes effectively. Because white leather is extremely susceptible to stains and marks, we suggest you follow this guide thoroughly. 

1. Perform a Quick Clean Using a Damp Cloth

When playing tennis, chances are that your white leather tennis shoes will pick up plenty of dust, dirt, clay, mud, marks, scuffs among various other things. The problem with leaving white colored leather untreated is that it can damage your leather and also make your tennis shoes look old.

Therefore, the first thing you want to do is give them a quick clean. We’re not talking about giving them a thorough cleanse using a cleaning solution. At this stage, the goal is to free the surface from dirt and any other substances, so that the cleaning solution you are going to use is more effective.  

If your white leather tennis shoes are covered in dry mud or clay, then it’s best to knock them off first, before proceeding. When it comes to cleaning the white leather surface, the best tool for this is a simple damp cloth. 

cleaning white leather tennis shoes

Parts to Clean

  1. Foxing
  2. Midsole
  3. Heel Stabilizer
  4. Toe Cap
  5. Eyestay
  6. Quarter
  7. Heel Counter
  8. Heel Tab

Refer to the list above on what parts you should clean. Take a damp cloth and run over all parts of your white leather tennis shoes. You won’t need to apply too much pressure, as you just want to remove the surface layer dirt. 

It’s completely fine if your damp cloth doesn’t remove tough stains and scuff marks. We’re only preparing it for the actual cleaning solution in the next step. You’re also recommended to unlace your tennis shoes while cleaning them. 

2. Apply Your Preferred Cleaning Solution

Now that you’ve removed the main impurities from your white leather tennis shoes, you’ll be able to clean it more effectively with an appropriate cleaning solution. Take note that there is no single best method, as it depends on the type of stain, dirt or scuff mark, as well as the type of leather of your tennis shoes. 

There are many types of professional and homemade solutions available. Below, you’ll find the 4 most effective methods that should get rid of all types of dirt so that your leather tennis shoes are sparkling clean again! 

For Tough Stains: If you’re dealing with stubborn stains, you may need to use a combination of these methods. Feel free to apply some of these solutions several times and ensure that you don’t use any aggressive chemicals that can damage the white leather of your shoes. 

Method 1: Use a Dedicate Leather Shoe Cleaner

A dedicated leather shoe cleaner is designed to remove stubborn stains. Our preferred product is the Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner, as it works well with on white leather and also comes with a brush. However, anything similar should be suitable. 

Instructions: Simply pour some leather shoe cleaner onto a brush and scrub the stains and scuff parks away lightly. Ensure that the brush isn’t too hard and start with low pressure circular motions.

Method 2: Use an Eraser Sponge

Eraser sponges are another great way to clean your white leather tennis shoes. They’re typically made out of melamine foam and can help to remove stubborn stains. You can give STK Eraser Sponge a try, as they are suitable for white leather. 

Instructions: Take a piece of eraser sponge and douse it with water. After that, squeeze it and rub off any type of stain on your white tennis shoes. Apply this only to the sections that need to be cleaned. 

Method 3: Use a Vinegar & Olive Oil Mixture 

A great homemade solution that you can apply to your white leather tennis shoes is vinegar and oil. You can either mix them into a spray bottle or apply it through a soft brush or sponge. 

Instructions: Mix olive oil and white vinegar, in a 2:1 ratio into a bowl or spray bottle. Lightly apply onto your tennis shoes and rub the stains out. This should be very effective. 

Method 4: Use a Baking Soda & Olive Oil Mixture

The same thing also works effectively with baking soda, instead of white vinegar. Baking sodas is great at dissolving organic compounds like dirt, mud or marks. 

Instructions: Simply mix a little baking soda into a bowl with olive oil and stir until it’s fully mixed. Then, apply using any type of convenient applicator and apply gentle circular motions onto your white tennis shoes. 

Method 5: Use Toothpaste

Another trick you can try is using toothpaste mixed with a little bit of water. It’s actually great for removing scuff marks from leather and is also safe to use on white colored leather shoes. 

Instructions: Simply mix toothpaste with water and use either a toothbrush or a sponge to apply across your tennis shoes. It’s also safe to use and doesn’t discolor white leather. 

3. Inspect Your White Leather Tennis Shoes

Now that you’ve applied some of these solutions and products on your tennis shoes, you should inspect them carefully and ensure that all areas are clean. If you’ve missed a spot, simply reapply any methods that were mentioned above and they should come right off. 

If you’re satisfied, then make sure that you let your shoes dry naturally and proceed to the next step. You should clean your shoes once you notice them getting dirty. The faster you treat them, the easier the dirt and stains will get off.

4. Condition Leather Using a Wool or Cloth

The final step revolves around conditioning your white leather tennis shoes. The conditioning process is important, as you want to protect your tennis shoes with a coating. 

This coating adds a protective layer, ensuring that it won’t pick up unwanted dirt and elements the next time you’re on the court. Secondly, it also ensures that you’ll be able to remove any type of scuff marks from the protective layer, instead of your leather. 

For this, it’s best to use your preferred leather conditioner with wool or cloth as an applicator. Lastly, once you’re done with this step, put your laces back on and watch as your white leather tennis shoes are sparkling clean!

About Gerrit

Co-Founder, Researcher & Writer At Leatherskill

I’m a leather enthusiast who spends most of his free time crafting, researching, and writing about the many facets of this versatile material. Thanks for reading!