How to Clean White Mesh Shoes

Is there anything that is more aesthetically pleasing than a pair of clean white mesh shoes? These shoes are incredibly versatile as you can wear them with almost any outfit.

While these shoes easily become the go-to for most people, the combination of the color white and the material mesh means that these shoes are also the most prone to being dirty. This is due to the fact that mesh is infamous for being the most absorbent material.

Whether it be mud, dirty water, or stray dust, white mesh shoes are vulnerable to them all. Nevertheless, after conducting thorough research, we have found some of the most effective ways to keep your favorite pair of white mesh shoes clean.

Method 1: Clean Your White Mesh Shoes in the Washing Machine

Step 1: Start at the top of your shoe and work your way down to the tip, removing the laces from the holes closest to your leg. After removing your laces, stuff them into a sock to clean them at the same time as your shoes. Tie the sock tightly with an elastic band so that you do not end up losing the laces of your shoes.

Step 2: Place all of your shoes in a pillowcase of the appropriate size and tightly curl the end to hold it closed. After that, loop a rubber band around the twisted end two or three times. How many times you loop it may vary depending on the size of the rubber band and the thickness of the twisted end.

Step 3: Put your pillowcase containing the white mesh shoes, and the sock filled with the laces in the washer. Then, to prevent the bags from hitting the walls of the machine, stuff them with rags around them. Finally, pour a cup of your preferred laundry detergent into the machine.

Step 4: Click the "Cold" button after turning the load size dial slightly before "Medium." Set the spin mode to "Normal" in the "Delicate" setting. Double-check your settings, then switch on the washer and wait.

Step 5: Remove the laces from the sock and the shoes from the pillowcase. Allow your shoes to air dry for one day in a cool, dry spot. Indoor spaces, such as a hayloft or barn, or outdoor locations with plenty of shades are perfect. Don’t store your shoes in a basement, and stay away from garages, which also lack sufficient airflow.

If you have an electric household fan, position it in front of your shoes to reduce drying time and increase airflow.

Put the laces on your shoes once they have finished drying.

Method 2: Clean Your White Mesh Shoes in the Old-fashioned Way

Step 1: In order to clean your white mesh shoes, any brand of liquid dish soap will suffice. To keep the water clear as well as not too harsh, add about a teaspoon of the dish soap. Stir the cleaning solution with a toothbrush to ensure that it is uniformly distributed. 

If for some reason you do not want to use dish soap, use half a cup of white vinegar instead.

Step 2: Dip a towel in the soapy water and wring it out. Wipe pieces of your shoes together in brief back-and-forth motions. Continue rubbing the towel over the scuff marks and stains until they are gone.

Step 3: Use a stiff-bristled toothbrush to scrub away at the stains. Wet the bristles of the toothbrush by submerging the head in the soap water. Work the bristles in tiny circular motions around the surface of your shoes, focusing on heavily stained regions. Use a light amount of pressure to work the cleaning solution through the shoe's lining.

When your shoelaces get dirty, remove them from your shoes and clean them with your toothbrush separately.

Step 4: Using a towel, dab away any excess liquid. Using a cloth or paper towel to wipe the soapy water and dirt off the shoe. Stop rubbing the towel over the shoe's surface because you could spread the dirt all over the fabric again.

Step 5: After you have patted them dry with a towel, place them in a well-ventilated area of your home so they can dry fully. Allow them to rest for at least a couple of hours before putting them back on.

Method 3: Clean Your White Mesh Shoes with Some Baking Soda

Step 1: In order to make a paste, combine equal parts of the baking soda, with hot water, and vinegar. A tablespoon of each ingredient should be more than enough. Continue to stir the solution until a thick paste forms. If your paste is too runny, add an extra teaspoon of baking soda. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz and bubble as they react together.

Step 2: Apply the baking soda paste to your white mesh shoes with a toothbrush. Put paste on the toothbrush and brush it into the leather. Put gentle pressure to the bristles of the cloth to help it absorb the paste. Cover all of the outer surfaces of your shoes with the baking soda paste.

When you're done, thoroughly clean your toothbrush to prevent the paste from drying in the bristles.

Step 3: Hit the soles of the shoes outside to remove the paste, which will then fall to the carpet. Scrape any leftover dried paste chunks from your shoes with a dry toothbrush until they are clean.

Method 4: Remove Stains with Toothpaste

Step 1: Wipe your shoes with a wet towel to make them wet. Soak the end of the microfiber cloth or towel and gently brush it over your shoes. Get your white mesh shoes somewhat damp, however, they should not be soaking wet in order for the toothpaste to foam up.

Step 2: Make sure you're using white, non-gel toothpaste. Apply a pea-sized dab of toothpaste to the shoes with a toothbrush. Apply a dab of toothpaste directly to the areas of your shoes that have heavy stains. Before using the toothbrush, spread the toothpaste thinly across the entire area in short circular motions. Before letting the toothpaste sit for 10 minutes, rub it deeply into the lining of the shoes.

Step 3: Remove the toothpaste and dirt with a wet cloth. Make sure all of the toothpaste is removed from your shoes so that no traces remain.

Allow your shoes to air dry fully for 2-3 hours. Place your shoes in front of a fan or in a well-ventilated area. Allow for full drying of the shoes. 

How to Remove Odors from White Mesh Shoes?

Just cleaning your shoes on the outside to whiten them is not enough. Sometimes it is necessary to put in the extra effort to remove the stinky odor from your shoes as well. Now we are going to look at some easy methods to remove the bad odor from your white mesh shoes. 

  1. Let your shoes bathe in the sun. Bacteria are naturally destroyed by the sun's UV rays. Although shoes should not be left in clear, warm sunlight for long periods of time, it is perfectly fine to let them get some sun for a short period of time. Keep in mind that although it does not fully eradicate odor, it will certainly reduce it, and it is completely safe and free. 
  2. Use a concoction made of vinegar and baking soda after every use. Mix half a cup of water with a cup of white vinegar. Add a few drops of the tea tree essential oil, and mix them all together. Pour the mixture into a small spray bottle, and you now have your very own anti-odor spray. Spray the mixture inside the shoes after you've taken your shoes off after a long day. This will surely prevent any growth of bacteria as well as stop bad odor.
  3. Stuff the shoes with dryer sheets and leave them overnight. Fabric softener sheets not only smell good but also neutralize odors. One or two of them should be rolled up and placed in each shoe overnight.
  4. If the smell of your shoes is more of a minor annoyance than a truly humiliating problem, you can take this easy solution. A few drops of tea tree, citrus, or lavender essential oil directly into the shoe will significantly reduce odor. Citrus peels, which are high in natural essential oils, may be used in the same way. Leave an orange peel or two in the shoes overnight to see what happens.

Final Words

Taking care of your favorite pair of white mesh shoes is the only way to keep them in shape for an extended period of time. Cleaning them does not require a lot of fancy equipment or ingredients, a little effort can go a long way. We hope this article helped you learn some new tricks to keep your white mesh shoes clean and odorless.


Read: How to Choose Cycling Shoes.

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