I finally got on the white sneakers fashion trend, probably 5 years too late! But keeping them looking fresh is a job all on its own. I wore my Cole Hann Grandpro white sneakers when I was traveling in Europe and it got pretty beat so I wanted to give it a good refresh! The leather on these shoes are surprisingly delicate and seems to scruff at everything! So I’ll give some tips on making your white shoes look fresh without actually cleaning the leather!
Here’s another look at how the sneakers looked before cleaning. The laces are quite dirty especially at the tip. I have some dirt near the tip of the toe and lots of creases.
I find having clean laces makes the biggest difference in whether your shoes look fresh. So the first step is to make those laces white again! Before you start pulling out the laces, take a look at how the laces were originally put in if you want to have the same look. You’d be surprised how many ways there are to lace up shoes.
1) Clean the Laces
I took a bowl and put in some luke warm water. I added normal detergent until the water felt very silky smooth. Then I just dumped all the laces in the bowl and made sure they were all soaking. I kept them in for about 20 minutes. Then I used an old tooth brush to do a quick scrub end to end to break apart any dirt.
While the laces were soaking, I cleaned the tongue of the shoe. You’d be surprised how much dirt builds up in this area! At first I tried to use some water and soap with a cloth, but my shoe seemed to react badly to it. So I just took a dry cloth and lightly rubbed away at the dirt. This is also a good area to test out how your leather may react to certain products because you’ll be able to cover it up with laces if it goes badly.
2) Clean the Rubber Sole
The other thing I found that makes a big difference is the rubber sole! This area is not as sensitive to water and soap so you can scrub it back to it’s original whiteness. Filling the bowl with lukewarm water again and detergent, I dipped my toothbrush in the solution and scrubbed away dirt on the rubber sole. I also had a Mr.Clean eraser on hand for any stubborn spots.
As you can see, my shoes were looking a lot better after this clean! It took about an hour in total so it is a bit time consuming, but definitely worth the effort in my books. You should also protect your leather and you can buy the products at shoe stores (Aldo, Town Shoes etc.)
I wanted to “sneak” in a sneaker review (hah). These are the Cole Haan Grandpro Sneakers and are available at Nordstrom, the Bay, and online for $200 CAD. I picked these because of the slim profile, the contrasting heel, and most importantly because it’s so light! However, I found these sneakers to get beat pretty fast! I have a lot of creases already and the leather seems to scruff easy. I went to have my shoes cleaned at the airport and they used a gentle solution that seemed to damage the leather but the employee said it was just revealing the scruff underneath…either way, I had to be very careful when I was cleaning as the leather didn’t seem to like being cleaned by any liquid.
Overall, I love the design and comfort of these shoes but I’m pretty unimpressed by the quality of the leather. At $200, I would expect it to be a bit more durable especially since it’s leather for shoes.
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