How to clean white shoes with Bleach or Baking Soda?

How to Clean WHite Shoes with Baking Soda and Bleach

White shoes have become a year-round fashion essential for both men and women. White sneakers are one of the most adaptable pieces in your collection, whether you’re wearing a suit or your favorite jeans and shirt. The main disadvantage to white sneakers is cleaning them after the usual stains and scratches appear.

How to Clean WHite Shoes with Baking Soda and Bleach

It might seem like a difficult process if you haven’t figured out the best technique to wash your white shoes.

But believe us when we say it is doable. Try our step-by-step recommendations for cleaning white shoes to see how simple it is to keep them looking nearly pristine and fresh.

Actually, you don’t need a lot of advanced equipment or a specific white shoe cleaner to clean white shoes. You may clean your white sneakers with just a little cleaning bleach and baking soda.

Why use bleach and baking soda to clean white shoes?


Bleach is a household cleaner and disinfectant that may be purchased separately or combined with other cleaning products. This cleaner may be used to clean white leather, suede, sneaker, satin shoes as well as to brighten whites, eliminate mold, and even sterilize infant bottles. 

Also, bleach is a great disinfector as bleach destroys 99.9% of bacteria.

Baking Soda

Baking soda’s inherent chemical and physical characteristics are responsible for its numerous safe and successful applications/solutions for cleaning.

Baking soda is mostly used as a cleaning agent since it is a moderate alkali that causes dirt and oil to dissolve easily in water, allowing for efficient removal. This soda is moderately abrasive when not entirely dissolved, such as when poured on a moist sponge, and can loosen debris for easy cleaning as a soft scrubbing powder.

Also, Sodium is non-toxic since it is a pure, natural substance that is also a food, unlike many other home cleaners. It is suitable for cleaning white leather and suede shoes and is safe for usage. 

Which one is better to use?

Our experts did a simple test and survey of which one will be better to use for cleaning your white shoes based on these 9 factors, shown in the table below. Remember, we’ve put the result based on the most better solution of the test. For example, Bleach can be found at a very cheap price but that doesn’t mean Baking soda is pricey, it’s just bleach is the most cheaper solution in the overall situation. We found that Baking Soda is the better solution overall for white shoe cleaning.

FactorsBaking Soda vs Bleach
Lowest costBleach
Easy to useBaking Soda
Easier to getBaking Soda
Safest To UseBaking Soda
Less Time ConsumingBleach
Best DisinfectorBleach
Best Stain Remover Bleach
Best Smell Remover Baking Soda
Better White Shoe Cleaning Baking Soda
Overall WinnerBaking Soda

We feel that both bleach and baking soda have advantages, but we would go with baking soda if we had to select one.

In a nutshell, baking soda is less expensive, more effective, and convenient than bleach. We can say this with confidence because of the survey and test we’ve conducted plus our personal experiences throughout the years.

Should you use both?

The combination of bleach and baking soda has no negative consequences, and baking soda is likely the only cleaning product that may be properly used with bleach. It is because, unlike other cleaning chemicals, this combination will not react negatively and produce hazardous gases such as chloramine.

Many individuals use this DIY cleaning trick when laundry white sneakers. You may add half a cup of bleach and half a cup of baking soda. The baking soda neutralizes most of the strong bleach odor while increasing the cleansing power of the bleach.

Cleaning White Shoes With Bleach

For years, bleach has been the benchmark for restoring white shoes to an immaculate white state. When used correctly, bleach is excellent for removing stains and dirt off white shoes as well as disinfecting them but it’s hardly the gentlest option.

The majority of white shoes, as well as certain colored shoes, may be bleached.

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 3-4 hours

Essentials: Household Items


  • Bleach
  • A container
  • Water
  • Toothbrush
  • A fan or an open window around.


  • In a well-ventilated location, combine a tiny amount of bleach with at least five times as much water.
  • Scrub the shoes carefully with a toothbrush dipped in the diluted bleach solution.
  • After that, wash the shoes with hot water and let them air dry for at least 3-4 hours. Overnight is ideal! 

For Removing Stains With Bleach

Do the same steps as above but just make the paste thick with baking soda and water, then spread it to the stain. This combination is effective at removing stains associated with food, grease, and dirt.

Don’t Use Bleach

The problem with using bleach to clean white shoes is that you must properly dilute it. The amount of bleach to use to clean white shoes varies, but experts have found a 1:5 Bleach and water ratio works for almost any shoe. The more bleach you use, the more likely it is that your white clothes may develop a weird yellow color. Read here about the Disadvantages of using bleach.

It is essential to remember that home bleach, also known as sodium hydroxide, is not scientifically corrosive or poisonous, however, it can lead to irritation in the eyes, mouth, lungs, and skin.

Cleaning White Shoes With Baking Soda

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 3-4 hours

Essentials: Household Items


  • 1 tablespoon of Warm Water
  • 1 tablespoon of White Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Baking Soda
  • Tooth Brush


  • Mix 1 tablespoon of warm water, white vinegar, baking soda and make a paste.
  • Smear the paste over the canvas sections of your shoes with an old toothbrush.
  • For best outcomes, work in circular movements.
  • After covering the shoes with the paste, put them outside in bright, warm sunshine for three to four hours.
  • Once the mixture has dried, slap the shoes together to remove it.
  • Then clean it with a toothbrush to remove it completely. Shoes should be several colors whiter as a consequence.

Using Both Baking Soda and Bleach to Clean

If your shoes have mold, a mixture of bleach and baking soda will clean them. Pour a cup of baking soda into a mixing dish and add just enough bleach to make a paste. Wear a face mask, gloves, and safety goggles since you will be putting this on molds, which can cause a chemical reaction. Leave the doors and windows open if the room lacks a ventilation grating or fan.

Scrub the shoes with a hard brush after applying the paste. Keep scrubbing until the mold is removed. Sit tight for the paste to dry before leaving the room. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Baking soda or Bleach

Pros of Baking Soda

  • Baking soda has several superpowers, one of which is the ability to neutralize undesirable smells.
  • It absorbs moisture in the shoes, reducing the likelihood of smelly germs developing.
  • Removing stubborn stains with Baking Soda.

Another advantage of using baking soda on fabric white shoes is that it might aid in stain removal. This might be due to spills, pet mishaps, or natural aging where your fabric shoe becomes discolored over time.

One example may be removing scuff marks from leather items by sprinkling baking soda on the blemished area of the leather and then dusting it off within a few hours.

The baking soda will soak the oil or grease and leave your leather item to appear nice and clear. Because baking soda is so simple to apply, you may use it to remove stains on your leather products.

You may use baking soda to assist restore the leather shoe to its natural color by removing any stains that may be affecting the appearance of the leather shoe.

  • Baking Soda Is A Low-Cost Cleaning Solution

Baking soda can be a cost-effective option for individuals who wish to clean their leather items at home while saving money. It is likely to be present everywhere you are or travel.

This is something that almost everyone keeps in their kitchen or beneath the sink. It’s also very easy to obtain at any grocery shop, so you will not have to worry about not being able to get one for your cleaning.

As a result, baking soda is widely available and inexpensive, especially in comparison to other leather cleaning treatments. Also, used for several other purposes, such as cooking and washing.

  • Baking Soda Is A Naturally Occurring Substance

The concept of cleaning your household goods without using chemicals may be quite tempting to those who want to keep their houses as healthy as possible with little work and exposure to pollutants.

Baking soda is a natural substance that you should have already in your house. So there’s no need to go out and purchase anything different.

Cons of Baking Soda

  • Baking soda can have a chemical reaction with certain leather shoes

This can be a problem depending on the sort of material you’re using. For instance, if your shoe has a particularly high-gloss finish, the baking soda may clash with it, dulling or ruining the surface of certain sorts of leathers.

Of course, it is not something any of us would want to happen since, while we have no means of knowing how well your product will withstand when baking soda is used on your leather items, we do know that certain products will not respond at all!

For example, we’ve seen folks discuss or post in certain forums how their patent leather responded badly when exposed to baking soda too regularly or for a long period of time.

Here’s a little advice, don’t keep the baking soda on your leather products for a long period of time, and remove any excess so that it doesn’t have a chance to react chemically.

  • Baking Soda Might Be Too Messy For White Fabric Shoes

While baking soda isn’t dirty when it’s dry, the powder might be a little difficult to deal with.

This implies that applying too much of it on your white fabric shoes may cause some filth, making cleaning more time-consuming.

For example, if baking soda does not entirely dissolve in water and begins to clump together, this creates an issue.

  • Baking Soda Leaves A Residue On The White Shoe Surface

Except for soaps and other shoe care treatments, baking soda can leave a residue on the surface of the shoe. That must be properly cleaned to prevent the baking soda from interacting with the white shoes’ surface.

Pros of Bleach

  • Cheapest

Bleach is a very affordable disinfectant or sanitizer when compared to other disinfection products or sanitizers. According to research, a gallon-sized container of bleach may be purchased for less than $2. Similar gallon-sized chemical disinfectants can cost more than twice as much.

In cases of using bleach, a tiny amount of the product mixed with fresh water is all that is required, which implies that bleach products may last for a long time while still providing great disinfection.

  • Acts as a Mold and Allergen Eliminator

Bleach not only destroys germs and viruses but also kills and removes mold from wood, shoes, clothes, tile, as well as other surfaces. Mildew and mold are tough allergens to manage. According to studies, even after a cleanser or cleaner kills mold, the particles in the dead mold might cause allergic responses.

Cons of Bleach

  • This substance is highly corrosive, which means it might corrode and irritate the skin.
  • If this product comes into contact with or is combined with other cleaning products, it will react with them, releasing hazardous gases such as ammonia and chlorine.

How to Care for White Shoes?

First and first, prevention is essential.

Experts recommend spraying them with a stain-and-water repellent before you put your new shoes on for the first time. Repeat the spray-on technique every few weeks to keep your shoes safe regardless of where you plan to wear them or what kind of weather, spills, or filth you come into touch with throughout the day.

Another useful tip is to make spot cleaning a routine.

Although it may appear to be time-consuming, regular spot cleaning can help you understand how to clean white shoes thoroughly. To do so, use a soft cleaning solution or wipe to remove any stains or scratches as soon as you notice them. Instead, they may sink into the fabric, making the process of getting them totally white again that more difficult.

Final Words 

You may now go wherever you wish, wearing your newly cleaned white shoes with bleach or baking soda with pride! Also, read our best shoe cleaners review to buy shoe cleaners for easy use rather than using home items.