How to clean white mesh shoes

Are you having a hard time cleaning your white mesh shoes? Guess what? You are not alone.

White mesh shoes might be the trendiest footwear right now, but these fancy shoes are notoriously hard to keep clean.

One moment you look cool in them; the next moment, they’re all soiled up in dirt and grease. The shoes pick up anything and everything that comes their way. As soon as you step out of the house, the look on everyone’s face certainly tells it all.

Interestingly, cleaning white mesh shoes is not as hard as you think. In this tutorial, we highlight a few practical tips on how to clean shoes white.

Here’s how to clean white mesh shoes

  • Brush off excess exterior dirt first.
  • You can either use mild soap and water, shaving cream, vinegar or a washing machine to remove any remaining dirt and stains.
  • Clean the midsoles with disinfectant wipes.
  • Rinse using cold tap water.
  • Air dry your shoes.

an infographic about cleaning mesh shoes

Cleaning White Mesh Shoes

Cleaning white mesh shoes isn’t as hard as most people think. You only need to follow these simple steps:

Always Brush Off Excess Dirt First

Before cleaning your white mesh shoes, make sure you brush any excess dirt off the exterior surface.

Using a soft shoe brush, gently brush away surface dust and dirt while the shoes are still dry. Alternatively, you can use an old soft-bristled toothbrush.

tools for cleaning

Make sure you do not apply excessive force, as this may damage the shoes. Instead, use light, gentle strokes to avoid spoiling your mesh shoes.

If your mesh shoes are laced, remove the laces to better access the tongue and vamp areas.

Make Your Own Cleaning Solution

As you probably know by now, mesh shoes are extremely delicate. You can easily ruin your shoes if you use strong detergents and bleaching agents for shoe whitening.

That’s why we recommend you use natural cleaning agents to preserve the lifespan of your footwear.

The good news is that cleaning solutions do not have to be expensive. In fact, you can make your own natural cleaning formula at home. You only need to do the following:

  1. Bring water to a boil and allow it to cool until warm.
  2. Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl and add 1 teaspoon of laundry detergent.
  3. Stir the mixture until it is slightly soapy but not bubbly or frothy.

Don’t use bleaching agents to whiten shoes as they contain strong chemicals that might discolor or damage your shoes.

Use Mild Soap To Remove Grease and Grime

You need more than an ordinary detergent to remove grease and grime from your white mesh shoes. Using dish soap can do the trick since it contains a molecular formula designed to fight stubborn stains. Most types of dish soaps are mild, meaning they won’t damage your shoes whitening.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start making a paste by mixing dish soap and water and stir until foamy.
  2. Dip a rag or soft cloth into the foam and clean your shoes.
  3. Alternatively, dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into the soapy solution and use it to scrub your shoes gently.
  4. Rinse the shoes with cold tap water.

Using Vinegar To Clean White Mesh Shoes

Vinegar is an excellent agent for cleaning white mesh shoes. It’s 100 percent natural, and it does not contain any harsh chemicals that could damage your shoes. Most importantly, vinegar does a great job dealing with stubborn stains.

Follow these steps to clean your white mesh shoes with vinegar:

  1. Spray vinegar (in a small amount) on your shoes—focusing on the stubborn stains.
  2. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub away the stains.
  3. Place the shoes outdoors to dry away from direct sunlight.
  4. Rinse your shoes under cold water.
  5. If the stain doesn’t come out, repeat the above steps; but this time, add baking soda.

Clean the Midsoles With Disinfectant Wipes

Many people often ignore midsoles when cleaning their shoes, but leaving them untouched doesn’t make any sense. If you want a thorough cleanup job, remember to clean the midsoles with disinfectant wipes.

Avoid using bleach since this part of the shoes cannot handle the strong bleaching effect. Instead, you should use disinfectant cleaning wipes designed for cleaning white shoes.

Rinse Using Cold Tap Water

Now that your shoes are all wet and foamy, it’s time to rinse the soap away. Some people prefer to use warm water to rinse their shoes. However, you should only use warm water to get rid of stubborn stains and whitening shoes.

The best way is to wipe the excess soap using a damp cloth. Then, rinse the shoes under cold running tap water until they are soap-free. Do not submerge the shoes in cold water for too long as this could affect their shape.

Always Air Dry White Mesh Shoes

After cleaning, always air dry your shoes outdoors where there is adequate airflow. Never dry your white mesh shoes in the garage or basement to prevent mold growth and avoid unpleasant smells. Also, avoid using an electric dryer as the excess heat may damage the mesh on your shoes.

The ideal location for drying your shoes would be a window sill or a shaded area in your backyard. If possible, place a fan a few feet away from the shoes to improve airflow and reduce drying time.

Once the shoes are dry, remove the absorbent cloth and allow them to dry completely before replacing the laces.

Stuff Your Shoes With Absorbent Cloth To Retain Their Shape

As mentioned earlier, mesh shoes are fragile, meaning they can quickly lose their shape when submerged in water. To prevent your valuable shoes from losing shape, always stuff them with an absorbent cloth immediately after cleaning.

The cloth will soak up excess water, and the stuffed shoes will also be able to withstand frequent scrubbing, further protecting the surface from damage.

You may also use paper towels if you don’t have an absorbent cloth nearby. However, make sure you remove the paper towels as soon as they become soggy.

How To Clean White Mesh Shoes in the Washing Machine

If you loathe cleaning by hand, you can let the washing machine do all the hard work for you. You must take extra precautions, so you don’t damage your shoes.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start by brushing off any dirt from the exterior surface.
  2. Next, remove the laces and tie them up in a sock.
  3. Put your dirty shoes in a pillowcase and tie the end.
  4. Place the tied pillowcase and sock into the washing machine with detergent.
  5. Set the washer to “delicate and cold.”
  6. Wash for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Remove the shoes and laces from the washer and air dry them outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Can I Protect My White Mesh Shoes?

There are several ways you can protect your white mesh from damage.

Firstly, since the fabric is so delicate, you need to avoid using bleaching agents.

Only use mild soap and warm water, and if you notice any discoloration after cleaning, spray vinegar on the spot and let it dry.

To avoid bad odors, always sprinkle baking soda onto the insole.

Can You Put White Mesh Shoes in the Washer?

Yes, you can put your mesh shoes in the washer.

However, you are advised not to use the washer frequently since the heat emanating from the machine may cause the material to break down.

Should I Dry My Shoes Out in Direct Sunlight?

You shouldn’t leave your shoes out to dry in direct sunlight. Too much exposure to the sun can lead to discoloration.

Take Away

As you can see, the process of cleaning white mesh shoes doesn’t have to be hard.

All you have to do is follow our tips above, and your favorite footwear will remain as clean as new.

No more glaring looks and stares; you can now wear your classy, trendy shoes all the time without much fuss.

Try these hacks today and let us know how they go in the comments section below.


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