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How to Clean White Leather Shoes

How to Clean White Leather Shoes

Whether your smooth leather shoes are athletic sneakers or stiletto heels, you'll only need a few supplies to keep them clean.


  • Castile, saddle, or mild soap
  • Water
  • Melamine sponge
  • Baking soda (optional)


  • Soft cotton or microfiber cloths
materals for cleaning white leather shoes
  1. Wipe Down With Plain Water

    Remove laces, insoles, and embellishments. Dip a cotton or microfiber cloth in plain water and wring to remove excess water. Wipe down the entire shoe, paying extra attention to seams and areas that have trapped dust and dirt. Move to a clean area of the cloth as the soil is transferred. Allow the shoes to dry for at least 15 minutes.

    wiping down white leather sneakers
  2. Clean the Soles

    Dampen the melamine sponge and clean the edges of the soles. Do not use the sponge on the leather portions of the shoes because it can remove the top layer of the leather.

    using a magic eraser on the sole of a shoe
  3. Remove Dirt and Scuff Marks

    Wet a clean cloth and rub it over the soap to create a lather. Clean the leather by working on a small section at a time with a gentle, circular motion. Begin at the toes and continue working along the sides and heel.

    Remove tough scuff marks using baking soda, which is a gentle abrasive cleaner. Sprinkle baking soda on a cleaning cloth and gently rub the mark until it disappears.

    using baking soda to clean a white sneaker
  4. Rinse and Dry

    Wipe away any soapy residue with a clean cloth dipped in plain water. Wring out the cloth so it's not too wet. Allow the shoes to air-dry away from direct sunlight.

    If the shoes are not as white as you would like, repeat the steps.

    letting shoes air dry