How To Clean White Converse Shoes & Remove Yellow Stains: Method #4 May Really Surprise You

White Converse shoes are one of my absolute favorite shoes to wear. However, their crisp white color comes at a price. They can easily become dirty, instantly turning your once bright white shoes into yellowed dirty footwear. Thankfully, their white color is easy to restore and I will show you how to clean white converse shoes.

To clean your white Converse shoes and remove yellow stains, scrub them with vinegar and baking soda. You can also use mild dish soap and warm water, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, or whitening toothpaste. Acetone nail polish remover and lemon juice also work well. 

Some of these methods may surprise you but I will lay them out one by one. If you read to the end, I will share some other easy and effective hacks you can use to clean white Converse shoes plus the best protectants I have found hands down.

1. how to clean white converse shoes: Scrub With White Vinegar and Baking Soda

This is the method I typically use because well – I always have these items in my pantry and if you have read any of my other cleaning articles you will know I have a love of baking soda.

Here’s how to clean your Converse shoes with white vinegar and baking soda:

  1. Remove the laces so you can access more of the white areas and clean the shoes thoroughly.
  2. Fill a large bucket with water and soak the shoes in it. This will help prep the shoes so the stains can come off easily. Avoid using warm water as this can cause the stains to become further embedded.
  3. Mix equal portions of baking soda and white vinegar in warm water to form a thick paste. You can add more, depending on how much cleaning needs to be done.
  4. Dip an unused toothbrush into the vinegar and baking soda paste. Apply the paste to the affected areas and then scrub for five minutes. Work in a circular motion if the stain is deeply set.
  5. Rinse the shoes in a bucket of cool water or under a running tap to remove the paste. Repeat this process if the stains do not clear out completely. 
  6. Soak the laces in a bucket of soapy water. When they are dry, place them back on the shoes. If you can’t get the laces back to their original white color, replace them with new ones.
  7. If the weather outside is pleasant, hang your white Converse shoes outside in the sun to dry. This can help them to dry faster and eliminate any damp odors from forming. If you can’t dry your Converse shoes outside, leave them in a well-ventilated area but avoid using a dryer as this could cause them to become misshapen. 

You should avoid using red vinegar because the pigment can stain your shoes, making them look messier than they already were. Also, mix the ingredients in a plastic or glass container with a plastic spoon because vinegar corrodes metal.

If you have converse as dirty as these you may be wondering How To Clean White Converse Shoes

2. Wash With Mild Soap and Warm Water

This method is quite common and safe, and also works well with cleaning white leather shoes which I have also written an article on.

  1. Gently wipe the shoes with a dry cloth to remove any dust or surface dirt. Take the laces off and soak them in soapy water. 
  2. Mix a small quantity of soap in warm water to form a foamy mixture. You can use a dish liquid or any soap that doesn’t contain strong chemicals and/or fragrances. 
  3. Dip a clean towel or an old toothbrush into the mixture, and then use it to scrub the shoes. If the water turns brown, throw it out and prepare a fresh solution.
  4. Use a bucket of clean, cool water to rinse the shoes but do not submerge them. Instead, dip a clean towel in the water, squeeze out the excess water, and use it to wipe the shoes clean. 
  5. Use another clean, dry towel to wipe the excess water from the shoes. You can also wrap the shoes in some paper towels to quickly absorb the moisture.
  6. Leave the shoes in a well-ventilated room to dry. While the shoes are drying, wash the laces, rinse them in cool water, and place them on a clean, flat surface to dry.

3. Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are suitable for removing tough stains but you should wear gloves while working with these chemicals as they can be harsh on the skin. 

If you decide to use this method, here are the steps to follow: 

  1. Mix equal amounts of both ingredients in warm water, and apply the mixture to your shoes using a toothbrush. 
  2. Allow the shoes to stand for 10 to 20 minutes so the mixture can take maximum effect. 
  3. Brush the stained portions in a circular motion using the toothbrush. If the brush gets dirty while working, rinse it with clean water. Continue the process until the stains disappear. 
  4. Wet a clean towel in cool water and clean the shoes with it. Leave the shoes in a well-ventilated room to air dry.

4. Clean With Whitening Toothpaste

A tube of whitening toothpaste can whiten your teeth, and do the same for your white Converse shoes. This works exceptionally well for yellowed converse and I have used this method myself a couple of times and it did do the trick.

If you have some whitening toothpaste that you’d like to use for cleaning your Converse shoes, here is how you do it: 

  1. Apply the toothpaste to the stained areas, and scrub in a circular motion with a clean toothbrush. 
  2. Allow the shoes to stand for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Use a damp towel to wipe off the paste and then allow the shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated area. 

If you do not have whitening toothpaste, you can use non-gel toothpaste. Make sure it is white because colored toothpaste might stain your white Converse shoes. You can also add a whitening agent like baking soda to the toothpaste to make it more effective.

5. Use Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Acetone is effective at removing stains from white sneakers and this chemical is commonly found in nail polish removers. Before proceeding to clean your Converse shoes with nail polish remover, read the label as not all nail polish removers contain acetone. 

Follow these steps to clean your Converse shoes with nail polish remover: 

  1. Drop a small quantity of acetone nail polish remover on a cotton pad, and apply it to the stained parts. 
  2. Rub gently until the stains disappear. 
  3. Allow the shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated area. 

This method works well if you have accidentally stained your shoes and need a good spot treatment. 

You may need to let you white converse soak overnight

6. how to clean white converse shoes: Use Lemon Juice

Lemon contains bleaching properties, making it a natural alternative to any of the chemicals mentioned above. 

Here is how to clean your Converse shoes using lemon juice: 

  1. Grab a large lemon and cut it into halves. Apply one portion of the fruit to the yellow stains.
  2. Leave the shoes to stand for about 10 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Rinse the lemon juice off with cold water and wipe clean with a towel. 
  4. Allow the shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated space. 

You can use bottled lemon juice if you don’t have fresh lemons at home and want to clean your Converse shoes quickly before heading out. 

How To Protect Your White Converse From Getting Dirty

White Converse shoes are trendy but it can be challenging keeping them looking as good as new. 

Here are some expert tips to help keep them looking white:

  • Save your white Converse for dry, sunny days. If it’s raining, consider wearing others shoes as they can quickly become muddy and dirty.
  • Spray your shoes with a shoe protector. I recommend buying KIWI Shoe Waterproofer Protector (available on Amazon). It is a waterproof spray that guards against stains, rain, and dirt.
  • Spot clean your shoes with mild soap and water as soon as you get back home. Don’t procrastinate and clean your shoes as soon as possible to prevent stubborn stains. 
  • Clean stains using Shout Stain Remover Wipes when out and about. This product is available on Amazon, is compact, and effectively removes fresh stains. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are My White Converse Shoes Turning Yellow? 

Your white Converse shoes are turning yellow because of dirt, excessive use, and stains. It could also be because you did not clean them correctly the last time. Leaving stains for a long time gives them more room to settle in. As a result, they become difficult to eliminate. 

Can I Use Bleach on White Converse?

You can use bleach on white Converse. You must, however, dilute one part of bleach with five parts of water before applying it to your shoes. Concentrated bleach can leave yellow stains on your shoes, and could also irritate your eyes and skin. You should also use bleach in a well-ventilated area. 

Can You Wash White Converse Shoes in a Washing Machine?

You shouldn’t machine wash your white Converse shoes in a washing machine. The manufacturer warns against this in their product care guide. It’s thought that the spinning and agitation can damage the shoes. If you do decide to wash them in a machine, you should place them in a mesh bag before starting the wash cycle.


White shoes can be difficult to clean and maintain. However, the tips shared in this post will help you to clean them properly and keep them looking fresh and white. The materials you need are also easy to come by, and should be readily available at home, whether it’s toothpaste, baking soda, white vinegar, or soap. I hope I answered your question about how to clean white converse shoes.

Please share this article if you found it useful!

Joe Carrow

Reno addict, keen gardener, and baker. I  started blogging in 2012 and have been hooked ever since!

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