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How to Clean White Shoes and Sneakers—and Keep Them Looking New

In a few easy steps, you can get dirty kicks looking and smelling their best.
Richard Pierce

Got a washing machine and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? Then it’s a cinch.

“If your Chucks have seen better days, it’s easy to get them looking—and smelling—like new again,” says’s Jenn Lifford.

First, remove the laces; use a dry brush to loosen dirt, debris, and mud in the grooves of the soles; treat major stains with a laundry stain remover; and take a wet Magic Eraser to the dirty, nasty-looking rubber parts. (And when you’re done with that, use it on your golf clubs, bike helmet, tire rims, even a scummy bathtub—the thing’s amazing, and we’re not getting paid to say that.)

Put the shoes and laces in the washer with detergent, plus a cup of vinegar if the shoes are extra smelly. For dark or colored shoes, use cold water to avoid fading; otherwise, wash on warm. But never use hot—it’s likely to weaken the glue on the shoes.

When the cycle’s done, do not put your Chucks in the dryer—just let them dry naturally. If you’re in a real hurry, stuff the insides with paper towels and they’ll dry faster.

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