how to clean white shoelaces

How to Clean White Shoelaces in 3 Simple Ways

Whether your shoes are white or any other color, white shoelaces have a tendency of attracting dirt than any other part of the shoe. Primarily, this can be linked to the material of the laces or the fact that sometimes the shoelace knot unties and the ends begin to drag on dirty ground. Learning how to clean white shoelaces spares one the struggle of looking unpolished and getting a replacement pair every now and then.

How to Clean White Shoelaces in a Washing Machine

Machine washing shoelaces is not always necessary but below is the procedure to follow when the need arises.

On a side note, I prefer to wash my white laces in the washing machine when I have a bunch of white laundry to clean. It is much more economical because I can use products generously and run the machine on a full cycle without feeling like I am doing too much for just laces.

Tools and Supplies

  • A toothbrush /soft brush
  • Stain remover
  • Mesh lingerie bag
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Bleach (optional)


Step 1: Remove the laces from the shoes since the whole point is to clean them and not the entire shoe.

Step 2: Use your hands and a toothbrush/ soft brush to remove grime or any dirt that is visibly attached on the surface of the laces. Wet the laces under running water and brush gently to get rid of stubborn grime.

Step 3: Use the stain remover to treat areas that are visibly stained or discolored. Inspect the stains thoroughly to determine the choice of a stain remover.

Step 4: Transfer the laces into a mesh lingerie bag and put them together with the rest of your white laundry into the washing machine. Loading laces directly without a bag or something similar can destroy the machine especially if it has an agitator.

Place the laces inside a pillow case or any other piece of laundry and tie the end(s) with an opening if you do not have a mesh laundry bag.

Step 5: Add laundry detergent and bleach and wash with cold or warm water. Ensure that you use oxygen bleach for synthetic laces but chlorine bleach works just fine for cotton laces.

Step 6: Take the load through a rinse cycle and remove the laces from the laundry bag for inspection. Place back into the bag if they are not thoroughly cleaned and remove the rest of the load. Draw water into the machine, add bleach and soak the laces for a few minutes.

Step 7: Rinse well and hang on the clothesline to dry. Avoid using a dryer because it damages the plastic tips found on shoelaces.

Handwashing White Shoelaces

Handwashing is my favorite method for cleaning shoelaces. Getting involved throughout the entire process makes me feel like I get the job done to perfection.

Tools and Supplies

  • Toothbrush/soft brush
  • Wash basin
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • A pair of rubber gloves (Optional)
  • Bleach (Optional)


Step 1: Follow steps 1-3 as listed in the procedure for using a washing machine.

Step 2: Combine warm water and bleach in a wash basin or bathroom sink. Put on rubber gloves and place the laces inside the solution. Ensure that they are properly immersed and let soak for about 10-15 minutes. You can skip this step if your laces do not require deep cleaning.

Step 3: Remove laces from the solution and transfer them into a solution of warm water and detergent. Use a brush to scrub off the dirt gently until the laces are completely clean.

Step 4: Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry.

How to Clean White Shoelaces with Baking Soda

Baking soda is an ideal natural cleaning agent for shoelaces and other types of laundry. However, it might take longer to remove dirt since it is not as harsh as detergent or bleach.

Step 1: Just like with hand and machine washing, use a soft brush to scrub off grime and hold the laces under running water to remove excess dirt

Step 2: Combine a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of baking soda to form a paste.

Step 3: Use a toothbrush to work the paste through the laces and soak them in a bowl of water for approximately 15 minutes.

Step 4: Transfer the laces into a wash basin and clean gently with warm water and dishwasher soap.

Step 5: Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry.

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