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

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.

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

Before Cleaning

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

  • Remove shoelaces from shoes

  • Gently remove debris with a soft, dry toothbrush

  • For any leftover debris, rinse with water

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

Using a Washing Machine

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

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

  • Add laundry detergent to washing machine and run a regular wash cycle

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

Washing by Hand

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

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

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

  • Remove Shoelaces from the solution

  • Rinse shoelaces with clean water

  • Hang shoelaces on drying rack

How to clean shoelaces important notes

Drying laces in a dryer may cause the shoelaces to shrink and can melt the plastic tips.

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.

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.

Cleaning shoelaces with baking soda

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

  • Places your white laces in the solution for a minimum of 15 minutes

  • Remove shoelaces from the solution and rinse under warm water

  • Rub dishwashing soap on shoelaces and rub together gently 

  • Use a soft toothbrush to remove old stains and dirt 

  • Rinse shoelaces under warm water again

  • For extra whitening, sprinkle baking soda on shoelaces and let sit for 10 minutes

  • Rinse the shoelaces one final time

  • Hang shoelaces on drying rack


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.

Cleaning shoelaces with bleach

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

  • Prepare two buckets, one for a bleach solution and one for a detergent solution

  • In the first bucket add 4 cups of warm water and 2 ¼ teaspoons of bleach

  • In the second bucket add 4 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of laundry detergent

  • Fully submerge shoelaces in the bleach solution and let sit for 5 minutes

  • Remove shoelaces from the bleach solution solution and rinse shoelace in the laundry detergent solution

  • Rinse shoelaces with clean water

  • Hang shoelaces to dry

Washing machine with bleach

  • Follow the steps listed above for “Using a Washing Machine”

  • When it’s time to add detergent, add ½ cup of bleach (some laundry machines have a slot meant for bleaching agents)

  • Run a regular wash cycle

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

Hand wash shoelaces with bleach

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

  • Prepare two buckets, one for a bleach solution and one for a detergent solution

  • In the first bucket add 4 cups of warm water and 2 ¼ teaspoons of bleach

  • In the second bucket add 4 cups of warm water and ½ teaspoon of laundry detergent

  • Fully submerge shoelaces in the bleach solution and let sit for 5 minutes

  • Remove shoelaces from the bleach solution solution and rinse shoelace in the laundry detergent solution

  • Rinse shoelaces with clean water

  • Hang shoelaces to dry


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

  • Soak shoelaces in warm water for a few minutes

  • Using fingers or handle end of a toothbrush, rub shoelaces to remove excess dirt and grime

  • Poor Baking soda into a small bowl or plate

  • Dip toothbrush in baking soda and brush shoelaces.

  • Rinse and Repeat until shoelaces are thoroughly clean

  • Do one final rinse with clean water

  • Hang shoelaces to dry


Option 2

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

  • Places shoelaces in the solution for a minimum of 15 minutes

  • Remove laces from the solution and rinse under warm water

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

  • Use a soft toothbrush to remove old stains and dirt 

  • Rinse with clean water

  • Hang shoelaces to dry

Option 3

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

  • Rinse with clean water

  • 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.

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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