How to Clean White Mesh Shoes In 10 Steps

How to clean white mesh shoes

Looking for some great tips on how to clean your white mesh shoes? Muddy, dirty shoes can be a hassle to clean especially if they are white.

On top of that, mesh attracts way more stains than regular shoe material. In this article I will be giving you a breakdown of how to increase the shelf life of your shoes by cleaning them on a regular basis.

By regularly cleaning your shoes either manually or by using a washing machine, you can make them look brand new even after years of use.

Tackle all sorts of stains on your shoes, be it the usual outdoorsy stains like grass, mud, dirt or puddle water and even unusual stains like ink, coffee or ketchup.

Cleaning White Mesh Shoes Manually

    Materials You Will Need:

  • Dish Soap: to make the cleaning solution
  • Vinegar: to make the cleaning solution (optional)
  • Baking Soda: to make the cleaning solution (optional)
  • Bowl: to hold the cleaning solution
  • Water
  • Soft shoe brush or spare toothbrush: to scrub away the dirt and grime
  • Spare cloth or newspapers: to stuff your shoe with during the cleaning process
  • Cloth or sponge for cleaning the shoe

Step 1: Make the Cleaning Solution

Mix one-part regular dishwashing liquid and four-parts slightly warm water in a bowl. If your white mesh shoes have any stubborn stains on them, you can make a stronger cleaning solution by mixing one part dish soap, one part baking soda and four parts white vinegar.

Step 2: Prep Your Shoes

Remove the laces from your shoes and soak them in a soapy water solution. You can wash them separately under running water after you are done cleaning your shoes. 

Use spare absorbent cloth or balled up newspapers to fill your shoe with. This will not only help soak up any excess washing liquid to seep into the shoe but also provide your shoe some sort of support structure so that it does not become disfigured during the cleaning process.

Note: Do not overstuff your shoes with spare cloth or newspapers and be sure to take the stuffing out before air drying them to help keep their shape intact.

Step 3: Dry Scrub

Use a soft bristled brush to scrub away any solid muck or grime on your shoes. If you don’t have a special shoe brush, you can always use a spare toothbrush.

Just make sure the bristles on the toothbrush are not hard and use a softer stroke when scrubbing since mesh is a sensitive material and can be easily damaged by excessive abrasive friction.

Step 4: Target Stubborn Stains

If your shoe has stubborn stains, apply the home-made cleaning solution with vinegar and baking soda on the problem spots and leave it for 20 minutes to half an hour.

Step 5: Thoroughly Clean Shoes

Now, dip a soft sponge or cleaning cloth in the water and dish soap solution and gently yet firmly start to clean your shoes. Make sure you use circular motions and get into all the nooks and problem areas even beyond the mesh body.

If you feel like you need a stronger approach for certain areas, you can always use the soft toothbrush you used in step 3 by dipping it into the soapy solution and gently scrubbing the stains.

You can use cleaning wipes or a few drops of bleach on a wet towel to clean the mid-soles and soles of the shoes.

Remember to never use any bleach based cleaner on the body of your shoes because it can severely damage and impact the longevity of your shoes.

Step 6: Wipe Cleaning Solution

Once your shoes have been rid of any stains and dirt, rinse your cleaning cloth or sponge with clean water and wipe down across every surface of the shoe to remove the cleaning solution from the shoe’s body.

Step 7: Dry Your Shoes

After you remove the stuffing from your shoes, leave them to dry in a cool airy place. Make sure the place you choose is not damp and humid and has enough ventilation to provide a good flow of air.

Don’t dry your shoes in direct sunlight as the heat and excessive light may damage your shoes.

Dry the shoes for at least 24-36 hours before using them.

Cleaning White Mesh Shoes Using a Washing Machine

Materials You Will Need

  • Washing detergent – Non bio washing liquids are the best bet since they don’t contain enzymes and are great for sensitive skin but your regular detergent will work too as long as it doesn’t have any bleaching agents
  • Shoe laundry bag/spare pillowcase

Step 1: Prep Your Shoes

You may be an expert at doing laundry but you need to take extra care in learning how to wash shoes in the washing machine. 

When cleaning your mesh shoes in a washing machine, you don’t have to prep your shoes as much as during a manual cleaning process. Just check if your shoelaces are secure enough to not come off during the wash cycle.

If you suspect that they are not, remove them and place them in a sock or glove before popping them in the machine, to keep them from getting stuck in the lint filter or any other crevice.

Place your shoes in a specialized laundry bag. You can get one from your nearest department store or online. If you do not have a specialized laundry bag, you can use a makeshift one by placing the shoes in a clean spare pillow case.

Step 2: Run the Cycle

Place the shoes and laces to your washing machine and add enough detergent for one full load of laundry. 

Do not use fabric softeners. Make sure you run the cycle on the gentlest setting with the coldest temperature of water. It’s always better to run a cycle with multiple shoes or clothes to prevent the shoes from bumping around too much.

Step 3: Dry Your Shoes

After you remove the shoes and laces from their protective casings, leave them to dry in a cool airy place. Never use an electric dryer to dry your shoes. Let them dry for at least a day before using them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use bleach to clean my white mesh shoes?

Never use any cleaning products with bleaching agents to clean your shoes, since they can be harmful and reduce the quality and life of your footwear.

Can I use an electric dryer to dry my shoes after washing them? 

An electric dryer can expose your shoes to unnecessary friction and also cause the shape to be damaged. Always air dry your shoes in a cool, dry place for 24 hours after washing. 


White mesh shoes are a great fashion statement and if cared for properly, can last years and years giving you countless combinations of great outfits.

Did my tips help you in finding the answer to your question of how to clean white shoes? Let me know how your experience went in the comments!

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