Let’s start by uttering a truism: if we buy white sneakers we want them to continue to stay that way every time we put them on. And here we hit the elements: the asphalt, the public transport, three days at a festival… And our gleaming sports are transformed into a brownish and sad colour that has nothing to do with the original.
The good news is that there is a solution. Maintaining the state in which the sneakers left the store is easy, fast and cheap. All you need to do is have some baby wipes on hand. Yes, the same ones with which you cleaned your children (or your nephews) when you still pretended the spoon was a plane at mealtimes. A package of 72 units costs about 1.66 euros ($2.65). That means each clean only costs about three cents.
“When white sports shoes are made of leather [as are most: Stan Smith, Reebok Classic, Nike Cortez, New Balance], the fastest way to keep them white is with a baby wipe. As an express remedy this is the best option, as they help to remove the stains very well and it does not take much effort,” says Alex, owner of the Madrid store Numbers Sneakers.
The technique? Before cleaning, it is advisable to wipe sneakers dry to help remove the dust. Then, all you have to do is pass the wipe over the sports shoes and keep them in your box or on the shoe rack. This last step is essential so that the dirt that is acquired with each use does not accumulate. “If we want the shoes to keep their original white, it is very important to keep them properly and not leave them lying around the house. Even if the dust seems harmless, it gets dirty faster than we think.” His thing is, after having cleaned them with the washcloth, let them dry and put them in their box, explains Carlos Toscano, head of TheSneakerOne chain.
If the white shoes are suede, there is another homemade trick to keep them as clean as they were on the first day. What you will need is a lot of delicacy and an eraser. “It is important to brush the shoe to comb the suede that has been crushed after passing the rubber through the dirtiest areas, and be very patient, of course,” says Folch.