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The Guide

Spring Cleaning: White Sneakers Edition

March 13th, 2024

A step-by-step guide to make your white leather sneakers look (almost) brand new.

All footwear requires some type of maintenance. But perhaps no kind of footwear shows the need for upkeep more than a pair of white leather sneakers. Time for some spring cleaning!

Here’s what you need to give your white leather sneakers a good cleaning and how to do it.

What You Need

A favorite of sneakerheads, Jason Markk products have become the standard for cleaning leather sneakers.

Here’s a list of everything you need to give your white leather sneakers a good cleaning.

1. Bowl of water

Grab any medium-sized bowl you’ve got in the kitchen.

2. Toothbrush

Any old (or new) toothbrush will do. We just don’t recommend using your regular toothbrush…

3. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

If you’ve never experienced the power of this product, do yourself a favor and order some. It really is magic…

4. Firm bristle brush

Different types of shoes require different types of brushes so while you’ll want to use the boar hair for your sneakers, you’ve got options for your other shoes as well.

5. Shoe cleaning solution

As stated above, there is nothing better than the products that Jason Markk produces.

6. Stain and water repellent

This is an essential step to help prolong the life of your sneakers and enjoy the fruits of your labor much longer.

How To Clean White Sneakers: Step-By-Step

  • Remove your laces.
  • Use the magic eraser to clean up around the sole. If there’s not a lot of grime on the sole, the magic eraser will do the job. If it needs a deeper clean, a good scrub from the brush will take care of that.
  • Add some cleaning solution directly onto the brush. Dip the brush in the water and scrub the leather and sole, working into a lather.
  • For places the brush doesn’t quite reach, use a toothbrush with hard bristles. This is a great tool for getting into all the areas where dirt can accumulate, like the ridges around the lace area and the sole.
  • Wipe off the lather with a towel and allow the sneakers to dry.
  • There are three options for cleaning the laces. 1) Clean them in warm soapy water. 2) Add them to a mesh wash bag and throw them in with your next load of laundry. Or 3) spend a few bucks for a set of new laces.
  • Once the sneakers have dried, spray them with the stain/water repellent and allow to cure for 24-48 hours.

A before and after you can’t argue with.

BONUS: For more regular maintenance and quick touch ups, definitely pick up a few packs of these sneaker wipes.

This is the method that I use to clean my white leather sneakers. I know there are lots of homegrown DIY methods out there. If you’ve got one you use and particularly like, chime in below and share it with everyone.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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Photography by Rob McIver


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