How to Clean Shoelaces: Simple Style Tip in Minutes

Don't make the mistake of cleaning your shoe but leaving the shoelace dirty. Taking the few extra minutes will pay off with your look.

How To Clean Shoelaces

On Your Sneakers

The easiest way to clean you shoelaces is to use your washing machine, follow these 6 steps:

  1. Place your shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag
  2. Place the laundry bag in the washing machine
  3. Add the laundry detergent
  4. Set to ‘regular wash’ cycle
  5. Remove laces from mesh bag once done
  6. Hang to dry

This is How to Clean Shoelaces: Simple Style Tip in Minutes.

How to Clean Shoelaces

In this blog I am going to share with you a handful of ways you can clean your shoelaces, exspecially the white ones. How you choose to clean your shoelaces will depend on the type of shoelace you’re working with and how thorough a clean your shoelaces require. 

Whichever method is best suited to your needs, preventing stains all together is your first step to keeping your shoelaces clean.  

Before using your shoelaces for the first time and after every clean, consider using a protective spray and/or having wipes on hand.  You can keep wipes by your front door, in your car or in a travel bag, and use them as often as you want.  Wipes can help prevent stains from setting in and reduce how often you clean your shoelaces.

When the sprays and wipes don’t cut it, and your shoelaces aren’t shining as bright as they once did, you can clean by hand or machine wash and the top cleaning solutions are:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Baking Soda

How to Clean Shoelaces by Hand or Washing Machine

There are two main ways to clean your shoe laces. One being with a washing machine, if you do this I suggest you put the laces into a washing machine safe bag so the laces don’t get tangled in the machine. The second method is to wash the laces by hand.

While washing your shoelaces you can also wash your shoes in the washing machine or by hand. If your in a wash, here is how you dry your shoes in the dryer.

Below are the step by step guides to washing your shoe laces both ways, and more!

1. Before Cleaning

  1. Snap a quick picture to help you remember how your shoelaces were tied
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  2. Remove shoelaces from shoes
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  3. Gently remove debris with a soft, dry toothbrush
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  4. For any leftover debris, rinse with water
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  5. Spot treat stains by applying detergent directly and let it sit for 20 minutes before cleaning.

2. Using a Washing Machine

  1. Place your shoelaces in mesh laundry bag, or knotted pillowcase to prevent laces from getting tangled with other items
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  2. Place mesh laundry bag or pillow case with shoelaces in washing machine. 

  3. Add laundry detergent to washing machine and run a regular wash cycle (How long does a washer take
?).
  4. When cycle is complete remove shoelaces from laundry bag or pillowcase and hang to dry.

3. Washing by Hand

  1. Always wear gloves, as bleach and other detergent can cause harm to skin
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  2. In a bucket add 4 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of laundry detergent
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  3. Place shoelaces in bucket, ensuring they are fully submerged, and let them soak for 20-30 minutes
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  4. Remove Shoelaces from the solution
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  5. Rinse shoelaces with clean water
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  6. Hang shoelaces on drying rack.

How to Clean Shoelaces: Tips

Drying laces in a dryer may cause the shoelaces to shrink and can melt the plastic tips (also known as aglets). We suggest using the tumble dry low option and be sure you understand how to use a dryer & how long does a dryer take.

DO NOT twist, squeeze or wring shoelaces as this can stretch or warp the shape of the laces.  Try placing laces in a folded towel to absorb excess water before hanging to dry.

Are you not sure what is tumble dry and all its settings? Learn about this specific setting on your washing machine with us (its also good to know how hot does a dryer get?)

The best option for drying your shoelaces is to dry them without a dryer. Choose to dry flat or line dry, and the the air wick the moisture out.

If your shoelaces are too far gone then buy a new pair. Read our article, what size shoe laces do I need? To get the perfect size.

How to Clean White Shoelaces

Keeping white shoelaces white can definitely be a challenge.  You’ll have the best success with baking soda or bleach and here’s how to clean white shoelaces effectively with them.

Once clean you will want to learn how to straight lace your shoes.

Cleaning shoelaces with baking soda

  1. In a bucket add 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda
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  2. Places your white laces in the solution for a minimum of 15 minutes
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  3. Remove shoelaces from the solution and rinse under warm water
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  4. Rub dishwashing soap on shoelaces and rub together gently .

  5. Use a soft toothbrush to remove old stains and dirt .

  6. Rinse shoelaces under warm water again
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  7. For extra whitening, sprinkle baking soda on shoelaces and let sit for 10 minutes
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  8. Rinse the shoelaces one final time
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  9. Hang shoelaces on drying rack
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How to clean white shoelaces with bleach

When cleaning shoes laces with bleach, keep in mind bleach will dull or remove colour, cleaning shoelaces with bleach is ideally recommended for white shoelaces.

1. Cleaning shoelaces with bleach

  1. Always wear rubber gloves, as bleach and other detergent can cause harm to skin
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  2. Prepare two buckets, one for a bleach solution and one for a detergent solution
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  3. In the first bucket add 4 cups of warm water and 2 ¼ teaspoons of bleach.

  4. In the second bucket add 4 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of laundry detergent
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  5. Fully submerge shoelaces in the bleach solution and let sit for 5 minutes
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  6. Remove shoelaces from the bleach solution solution and rinse shoelace in the laundry detergent solution
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  7. Rinse shoelaces with clean water
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  8. Hang shoelaces to dry.

2. Washing machine with bleach

  1. Place your shoelaces in mesh laundry bag, or knotted pillowcase to prevent laces from getting tangled with other items
.
  2. Place mesh laundry bag or pillow case with shoelaces in washing machine.

  3. Add laundry detergent to washing machine and run a regular wash cycle
.
  4. When cycle is complete remove shoelaces from laundry bag or pillowcase and hang to dry.
  5. When it’s time to add detergent, add ½ cup of bleach (some laundry machines have a slot meant for bleaching agents.)

  6. Run a regular wash cycle.
  7. When cycle is complete remove shoelaces from laundry bag or pillowcase and hang to dry.

3. Hand wash shoelaces with bleach

  1. Always wear gloves, as bleach and other detergent can cause harm to skin
.
  2. Prepare two buckets, one for a bleach solution and one for a detergent solution
.
  3. In the first bucket add 4 cups of warm water and 2 ¼ teaspoons of bleach.

  4. In the second bucket add 4 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of laundry detergent
.
  5. Fully submerge shoelaces in the bleach solution and let sit for 5 minutes
.
  6. Remove shoelaces from the bleach solution solution and rinse shoelace in the laundry detergent solution
.
  7. Rinse shoelaces with clean water
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  8. Hang shoelaces to dry
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How to Clean White Shoelaces Without Bleach

You can clean and whiten shoelaces without using bleach, Instead use baking soda as your main cleaning applicant.  When using baking soda instead of bleach you will want to soak, scrub, or cover your laces with baking soda to get your shoe laces spotless.

How to Clean White Shoelaces With Baking Soda

Below we have listed three options to use when cleaning your laces with baking soda. I suggest over the year you try all three and see what works best for you.

Option 1

  1. Soak shoelaces in warm water for a few minutes
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  2. Using fingers or handle end of a toothbrush, rub shoelaces to remove excess dirt and grime
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  3. Pour Baking soda into a small bowl or plate
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  4. Dip toothbrush in baking soda and brush shoelaces.
  5. Rinse and Repeat until shoelaces are thoroughly clean
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  6. Do one final rinse with clean water
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  7. Hang shoelaces to dry
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Option 2

  1. In a bucket add 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda

  2. Places shoelaces in the solution for a minimum of 15 minutes

  3. Remove laces from the solution and rinse under warm water

  4. Rub dishwashing soap on shoelaces and rub them with each other gently 

  5. Use a soft toothbrush to remove old stains and dirt 

  6. Rinse with clean water

  7. Hang shoelaces to dry

Option 3

  1. For extra whitening, while shoelaces are wet and before hanging to dry, sprinkle baking soda directly on shoelaces and let sit for 10 minutes

  2. Rinse with clean water

  3. Hang shoelaces to dry

How to Clean Shoelaces Conclusion

Cleaning your shoe laces is as important as keeping your shoes clean. The biggest mistake most people make when they clean their footwear is that they put back in the same old dirty shoe laces.

Do you have any tips for how to clean your shoe laces? I’d love to hear them and share them for others to use, leave the tip below in the comments.

How To Clean Shoelaces FAQ

There are many ways to get white shoe laces clean again, sometimes it’s as simple as hand washing them with soapy water. You can also try washing them with bleach or putting them into the washing machine in a mesh bag and use detergent and hot water.

Yes shoe laces can be washed. The simple way of washing them is to use soapy water and your hands, or you can put them in a mesh bag and wash them in the washing machine.

There are many ways to clean your shoelaces without ruining them. To make sure they don’t get ruined, always wash them inside a machine safe mesh bag.

Written and reviewed by:
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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