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. 

Table Of Contents

Supplies & Tools

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Baking Soda
  • Mesh Laundry Bag
this is a photo of laundry detergent to clean shoelaces
Laundry detergent
this is a photo of a mesh laundry bag to clean shoelaces
mesh laundry bag
This is a photo of baking soda to clean shoelaces
Baking soda

How To Clean Shoelaces

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min

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.

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.

how to clean shoelaces

1. Take a photo

Take a quick picture to help you remember how your shoelaces were tied

This is tall paul taking a photo of his nikes before he cleans his shoelacesof

2. Remove shoelaces

Remove shoelaces from shoes

This is the shoelaces removed before cleaning them

3. Gently remove debris

Gently remove debris with a soft, dry toothbrush

This is tall paul gently removing debris before he washes them

4. Rinse with water

For any leftover debris, rinse with water

this is a photo of tall paul rinsing his shoelaces before cleaning them

5. Spot treat stains

Spot treat stains by applying detergent directly and let it sit for 20 minutes before cleaning.

this is tall paul spot treating his shoelaces

6. Place shoelaces in laundry bag

Place your shoelaces in mesh laundry bag, or knotted pillowcase to prevent laces from getting tangled with other items

This is a photo of shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag to be cleaned

7. Place bag in washing machine

Place mesh laundry bag or pillow case with shoelaces in washing machine. 

This is a photo of tall paul placing the mesh bag with shoelaces in it into the washing machine

8. Add laundry detergent

Add laundry detergent to washing machine and run a regular wash cycle (How long does a washer take

This is a photo of Tall Paul adding detergent to the laundry

9. Remove from washer

When cycle is complete remove shoelaces from laundry bag or pillowcase and hang to dry.

This is a photo of shoelaces hanging to dry

How To Clean Shoelaces By Hand

Total Time: 45 min

Cost: $0

1. Wear gloves

Always wear gloves, as bleach and other detergent can cause harm to skin

2. Grab a bucket

In a bucket add 4 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of laundry detergent

This is a photo of tall paul adding detergent to a bucket of water to clean his shoelaces

3. Submerged shoelaces

Place shoelaces in bucket, ensuring they are fully submerged, and let them soak for 20-30 minutes

this is a photo of tall paul submerging his shoelaces in a bucket of water

4. Remove shoelaces

Remove Shoelaces from the solution

This is a photo of tall paul removing his shoelaces from being cleaned

5. Rinse shoelaces

Rinse shoelaces with clean water

this is a photo of tall paul rinsing his cleaned shoelaces

6. Hang shoelaces

Hang shoelaces on drying rack.

this is a photo of shoelaces being hung to ry after being washed

How to clean shoelaces: quick 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.

While your cleaning your shoelaces, take the time to clean your shoes.


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.