How to Clean White Shoelaces

How to clean white shoelaces and get rid of stains

There are two types of people in this world: those who wear shoes inside of their home and those who don’t. I was raised wearing shoes inside, but as an adult I have done a 180 and now sit firmly in the “no shoes in the house” camp. I feel so passionately about this that I have written a full blog post about attractive shoe storage solutions in an entryway.

Because my family members can’t seem to handle placing their shoes on a shelf or rack of any kind, I keep a basket by the front door for their shoes to live. This method means cleaner floors throughout my home and a tidier entryway (yay!), but shoes and shoelaces get dirty much more easily. Luckily cleaning them is easy! Here is how to clean white shoelaces.

How to Clean White Shoelaces in the Washing Machine

The fastest and easiest method for cleaning white shoelaces is simply to pop them into the washing machine! 

What you’ll need:

Here’s what to do:

  1. Simply place dirty shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag and clean them in a delicate wash cycle. TIP: I recommend adding your mesh bag of dirty shoelaces to a load of white socks or undershirts to save water.

That’s it! Unless your shoelaces have severe stains, in which case you’ll want to follow the steps in the next section…

Machine Washing Extra Dirty Shoelaces

If your shoelaces are particularly stained and dirty, it might be a good idea to add oxygen bleach to the wash cycle. Simply add a scoop of oxygen bleach to the wash basin before running a delicate wash cycle. 

But if you want to guarantee your shoelaces will come out of the wash super white and bright, I recommend pre-soaking with oxygen bleach:

  1. Dissolve a small amount of oxygen bleach in a bowl of warm water. 
  2. Add the shoelaces to the bowl and soak for 20 minutes (or longer!). 
  3. If the stains are still very apparent after soaking, use a soft cleaning brush or a soft toothbrush to scrub them out a bit. 
  4. Remove from the bowl and rinse under clean water.
  5. Add shoelaces to a mesh bag, and wash on a delicate wash cycle.

How to Dry Clean Shoelaces

Always air dry! Never add your clean shoelaces to the dryer. Doing so could damage the plastic tips of your shoelaces or shrink the actual shoelace fabric.

It’s always best to air dry shoelaces on some sort of hook or drying rack before lacing them back through your shoes.

Air drying in the sun is your best option because the sun can help naturally bleach and whiten your white shoelaces.

How to Clean White Shoelaces by Hand

If you don’t have easy access to a washing machine, here’s how to clean white shoelaces by hand.

What you’ll need:

Here’s what to do:

  1. Start by brushing away loose dirt, then give your shoelaces a rinse under clean water.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm water and a drop of laundry detergent. TIP: Seriously, do not overdo it with the detergent! Too much detergent can actually make fabrics appear dingy over time and you’ll waste a ton of time (and water) rinsing the shoelace fabric if they become overly sudsy.
  3. Add your dirty shoelaces to the detergent and water then swish them around a bit with your hand. Scrub them with a soft cleaning brush or an old toothbrush where staining appears most severe, then let them sit in the bowl for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Rinse them with clean water and set them out to air dry.

If your shoelaces are still dingy, they might also benefit from a soak with oxygen bleach. 

  1. Dissolve oxygen bleach in a bowl of warm water then add your shoelaces to soak for 30 minutes up to a few hours or even overnight. 
  2. Use a soft brush to scrub out lingering stains, then rinse them under clean water. 
  3. Let them air dry in the sun if possible.

And there you have it – clean, white shoelaces! Once your clean laces have dried completely you can lace them back into your favorite shoes and enjoy the fact that they look new once again.

A step by step guide on how to clean white shoelaces fast!

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