If white shoes notoriously attract dirt and mesh shoes absorb virtually any substance they come into contact with, then white-mesh shoes are the perfect storm. Fortunately, keeping your favorite white-mesh shoes clean may be easier than you think. From your favorite summer slip-ons to the latest athletic footwear, all you need is a few simple materials to keep them looking good as new. Learn how to clean white-mesh shoes in just five simple steps below and get some outfit inspiration along the way. Then, of course, shop our favorites because it wouldn’t be a Who What Wear story without some items to add to your cart.
Using a soft shoe brush (a soft-bristled toothbrush can also do the trick), gently brush away exterior dirt. Use light, simple motions, and be sure to use a softer degree of pressure than you might with a heavier material like leather.
In a small bowl, combine warm water and a small amount of gentle laundry detergent. The consistency should be slightly soapy but not overly frothy or sticky. When cleaning white-mesh shoes, it’s important to avoid bleaching agents since these can cause discoloration or damage to certain types of material.
Using a soft cloth, apply your cleaning solution to the shoes in gentle, circular motions. If you’re dealing with difficult grass stains or embedded dirt, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring your brush from step one back into the picture. Keep a second bowl of clean, warm water handy to periodically rinse the cloth to ensure you don’t spread existing stains over the rest of the shoe.
When cleaning white-mesh shoes, it’s important to fully remove all excess cleaning solution. Simply wet a second soft cloth so that it’s damp (not soaking), then wipe down the exterior of the shoes. Avoid fully dunking the shoes in water since this could affect their shape and structure. (Certain adhesives used in shoe design don’t respond well to this level of moisture.)
Choose a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight and allow your shoes to fully air-dry. If they got especially wet during the cleaning process, it might not hurt to fill them with paper towels to better retain their shape as they dry.
Up next, learn how to clean white leather sneakers with eight easy hacks.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.