White shoes have always been favored for their versatility in outfit matching, but they also often bring a lot of trouble, especially when getting ugly stains.

Things to know, white shoes made of different materials will have distinctive ways of cleaning. In addition to popular materials such as canvas, leather, suede, etc., mesh shoes are now widely chosen by many fashion followers. However, it is one of the hardest cleaning materials because they are notorious for being able to absorb pretty much anything they come into contact with.

Wait, do not let that become the main reason why you dare not own a pair of trendy white mesh shoes. With this article, Workwear Magazine will guide you through the best methods on how to clean white mesh shoes easily with just a bit of care.

Let’s read on!

How to clean white mesh shoes. What is mesh fabric?


What is mesh fabric?

Mesh fabric is made from polyester fibers – a petroleum-derived ethylene material. There are 4 types of polyester fibers: filament, short fiber, coarse fiber, and fiberfill, however, in reality, only filaments (because of their high strength and elasticity) and short fibers (because of the ease of blending with other fibers) are available. used to make the mesh fabric.

Mesh products are completely waterproof because the material is mainly nylon, so users do not have to worry about fabric cracking, deformation when used for a long time in the liquid. The mesh fabric also has a certain gloss, soft and smooth, completely meeting the aesthetic needs of the most demanding customers!


– Not absorbent, so it is able to resist stains naturally.

– No shrinkage when washing with water, not stretching, loosening during use.

– Withstands great impact force without tearing.

Extremely lightweight and breathable.

– Mesh fabric is also quite good heat resistant, below 90oC can still work normally.


– Easy to stick to dirt.

– Difficult to clean.

How to clean white mesh shoes

  1. Use a soft brush

The first and also quickest method to clean your sneakers if picked up dirt on the road is using a brush. This way is also helpful to avoid wetting the pair. However, the technique won’t work for liquid stains.

How to clean white mesh shoes with a soft brush

How to clean white mesh shoes with a soft brush

Here is the instruction:

Step 1. Use the brush to gently wipe the areas with stains.

Step 2. Then, lightly brush the entire shoes. Do not press too much or you might make the material fray. 

You can also take this step to remove loose dirt particles when washing any shoes before using other tricks.

  1. Use soapy water
Typical method on how to clean white mesh shoes

Typical method on how to clean white mesh shoes


If the stains are more stubborn or the liquid types, you now have to try to wash the shoes with soapy water. What you need to do is:

Step 1. Remove the laces or the insoles if they can be disassembled.

Step 2. Mix soap with a bit of oxygen bleach and warm water into a bucket.

Step 3. Then, submerge your white mesh shoes in the mixture for five minutes.

Step 4. Continue to use a soft brush to gently scrub at the dirt spots.

Step 5. Finally, rinse the shoes until all of the soap comes out. After that, hang the shoes to dry naturally.

Now, your dirty white mesh shoes have worn a new clean cover!

  1. Use vinegar and baking soda
Best combination to clean white shoes: vinegar and baking soda

Best combination to clean white shoes: vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda are long to be natural approaches to remove stains. In this case, we can also use them to clean white mesh shoes. But first of all, you’ll need to prepare vinegar, baking soda, a spray bottle, and a soft brush.

Step 1. Spray vinegar on the dirt.

Step 2. Right after the dirty spots are wet, sprinkle baking soda onto them.

Step 3. Use the brush to scrub gently.

Step 4. Following that, leave it in the sun for a few hours.

Step 5. Rinse the shoes with cold water until the stains are gone.

  1. Use bleach

Bleach is especially used for heavy stains on both clothes and white shoes due to its excellent performance. Nevertheless, you should be careful while using bleach because it’s basically a potent chemical that can cause skin redness, burning, or even hard breathing if exposed too much. Oak Street recommends you wear gloves and do the process in an airy room.

How to clean white mesh shoes with bleach

How to clean white mesh shoes with bleach

Step 1. Mix bleach with warm water in the ratio of 1:5. If you use more bleach than water, the shoes can get slightly yellow.

Step 2. Use a brush to loosen surface stains.

Step 3. Dampen a small soft towel in warm water, then squeeze out excess water from the towel.

Step 4. After that, rinse the shoes under the water.

Step 5. Finally, let the shoes dry for five to six hours in natural light, not too harsh sunlight.

Tada! Your shoes will now undoubtedly look brand new!

  1. Use toothpaste or shaving cream
Toothpaste is helpful to clean stains

Toothpaste is helpful to clean stains

Another surprising yet simple shoe-cleaning hack is using toothpaste or shaving cream, which are always available in your bathroom. However, bear in mind that only white toothpaste helps while the colored or gel types will stain your shoes.

Step 1. Squeeze some toothpaste or shaving cream onto an old toothbrush and start rubbing the dirt on shoes.

Step 2. When you’re done, let the shoes dry for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3. Use a damp cloth to wipe the cream off.

  1. Use specialized shoe cleaner
Use shoe cleaner to clean white mesh shoes

Use shoe cleaner to clean white mesh shoes

If all the methods above don’t work on your pair, try the last one, which is to use the specialized cleaner for mesh shoes. You can find these products in shoe shops or footwear companies.

Step 1. Damp a soft brush then dip it into the shoe cleaner.

Step 2. Use the brush to gently scrub all over the stain surfaces.

Step 3. Take another damp cloth to wipe the remaining stains.

This product can even be used on the soles of the shoes.

How to treat your white mesh shoes

  1. The best way to protect white mesh shoes

Since the first day you bought the shoes, pay attention to care for them. If not in use, you should keep them in a dust-free area or store them in a box with shoe covers.

While you have to wear the mesh shoes a lot, spray around the surface with a sneaker protector, which is the liquid used to protect footwear from dirty stains or liquids.

  1. How to dry white mesh shoes

Every pair of shoes needs an appropriate method to dry; most of the footwear type should not be used in the electric dryer. Here is the best instruction on how to dry your white mesh shoes:

Step 1. Cover and stuff the shoes with dry paper towels.

Step 2. Leave the pair dry naturally in gentle sunlight for a few hours. This can help to eliminate the bacteria causing odors.

Step 3. Then, pull out the paper to let the shoes completely. You may need to leave them overnight.

Suggestions on cleaning white shoe of difficult materials

  1. Artificial leather

Sneakers made of artificial leather are usually quite comfortable, stylish, and easier to clean than mesh fabrics because stains often do not penetrate the skin. Simply soak a towel in warm water mixed with shoe cleaner or mild detergent, then wipe off any dirty areas.

For more stubborn stains, you can use a brush to gently scrub in circles for about 1-2 minutes until they disappear. Finally, to remove any remaining detergent, wipe your work boots with a damp cloth and let them dry naturally.

  1. Knit

Sneakers made with knitting technology will need gentler care because they are soft, spongy, large, and elastic, making this fabric more susceptible to damage if cleaned incorrectly. The most user-friendly cleaning tool is a soft cloth. Even though you only remove the stain with a soft cloth, it still works fine.

In addition, you also need to be careful with the use of chemical products to clean sneakers with knitted fabric because it can be too harsh. Instead, you can use a light bath soap bar with a soft cloth soaked in cold water to remove stains. Be sure to wipe off any remaining soap with a damp cloth and leave shoes in an airy place until completely dry.

  1. Canvas

Canvas sneakers are durable yet easy to get dirty. Luckily, they are also quite easy to clean. Simply use a brush dipped in baking soda mixed with warm water and scrub the stains until they are clean. Leave this mixture on your shoes and wait for them to dry. In addition, a damp cloth will help you wipe away any leftover baking soda while also refreshing your shoes.


Mesh is used commonly for making sneakers, sports shoes or work  boots due to their soft and light features. However, if mesh shoes, especially the white ones, are not cleaned properly, they may begin to smell and grow mold or bacteria. How to clean white mesh shoes is not as difficult as you think at first, but the most important thing is you have to apply the right methods. It will be very useful for the life of the shoe as well as the health of your feet.

Workwear Magazine hopes that all the mentioned approaches will work effectively in your cases. We also always welcome new great methods from our readers, too! Don’t be shy to leave a comment if you have other good ideas.