How To Clean White Shoelaces Without Bleach? [Explained]

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Which is the hardest thing to clean? If you ask me this question, then my answer would be white shoes and shoelaces. It is tough to get rid of stains from white shoes because which color does not pop up on white?

Do you want to stay away from bleach for cleaning stains from white shoelaces? Then you must be wondering how to clean white shoelaces without bleach?

There are natural methods that you can rely on to get your shoelaces to shine bright again. However, lets first take a look at why bleach is not an option.

Why not bleach?

Although bleach is a quick and easy method to whiten your shoelaces again, however, it comes in with many disadvantages as well such as:

  • Damaging fiber: If you use bleach often on the same shoelace, then the fiber of lace might start damaging
  • Turning shoelace yellow: Another disadvantage of bleaching is that if you apply it for longer, then there is a possibility that it might turn yellow instead of making it whiter.
  • Leather: Bleach cannot be used on leather as it can spoil its color.
how to clean white shoelaces without bleach

clean with soapy water

Soaking your shoelaces in soapy water is a simple technique to clean your white laces. No extra material required from the market. Soap and a gallon of water would do you right.

How to use it?

  1. Soak your shoelaces in warm water.
  2. Rub them with a soap bar.
  3. Again place them in the water for soaking.
  4. Give them a spin in the washing machine with any regular washing detergent.

Isn’t this simple enough? A little effort and time on your part can make your shoelaces white again!


This technique is beneficial due to the following reasons:

  • Soap bar or detergent is readily available at your home.
  • It won’t harm the fabric of your shoelaces.
  • None of the materials used will harm your hands.


With every advantage comes some disadvantages.

  • It requires more time and effort then harsh chemicals.
  • May not work as well as chemical methods.

with Stain Stick

Stain stick can come in handy for making your shoelace neat and tidy. Some stains such as coffee stain require the cleaning through a stain stick before laundering.

How to use it?

  1. Wet your shoelaces in warm water.
  2. Rub stain stick on the part that has a stain on it and wash it.

For a stubborn stain, you may make use of a laundry brush to scrub it away.


This technique is beneficial due to the following reasons:

  • It is a quick process as you don’t even have to remove shoelaces to clean them.
  • It is instant cleaning for even tougher stains.


The disadvantages that you might have to face with this technique are:

  • As people mostly use to clean without removing the shoelace so it may cause the colors of your shoes to become dull.
  • It might leave uneven colors on your shoelace.
  • People mostly skip the wash part and adapt this method for instant cleaning, but one day or another, you will have to clean your shoelaces properly in the laundry.

Still, wondering how to clean white shoelace without bleach? Then you might like these instant remedies.

clean with Stain Remover

If you are looking for an artificial replacement for bleach then stain removal is your thing.

How to use it?

  1. Soak your shoelaces in warm water.
  2. Apply stain remover on it and let it rest for a few minutes.
  3. Wash it off.


This technique is beneficial due to the following reasons:

  • Stain removers are readily available in the market under different brand names.
  • Easy to use and effective results.


The disadvantages that you might face with this technique are:

  • Not all stain removers out there are useful, so you have to choose wisely.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Home-remedies for getting your white shoelaces cleaned include the use of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

How to use it?

  1. Make a paste with 6 tbsp of baking soda and 3 tbsp of hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Apply this paste on your shoelaces.
  3. Dry it in the sun.
  4. Rinse it with water.
  5. Dry again.


  • Both materials are readily available in the market.
  • Effective results.


  • The paste has an unpleasant smell.
  • The texture of the paste is very gritty.

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can also work separately. For making use of hydrogen peroxide only, you need to mix ½ pint of hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water and soak your shoelaces in it. On the other hand, if you are planning on using baking soda only, then all you need to do is rub your laces with baking soda and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then wash it.

with Leather: Special Instructions

Leather shoelaces require some extra attention and care. They may not react to your strain, similarly removing methods as other fabrics do. Although leather is more robust than different materials, still when it catches some stains or dirt, your usual way would do no good.

When it comes to cleaning leather shoelaces, then try cleaning them with a toothbrush. If dirt sticks to your laces, then brush it off gently. If that does not work for you, then rub it with a wet cloth. You can soak the fabric in water and saddle soap and then use it for cleaning your leather shoelaces.

Once your shoelaces are dry, then remember to apply a thin layer of oil on them to restore their shine. Coconut oil or olive oil will work fine for you. After this step, you need to let your leather shoelaces air dry for several hours to make sure they catch the same original shine that they had previously.

General Tips for clean white shoelaces without bleach

Everything becomes easy with little tips and tricks. Even your shoelace cleaning needs some tips to end up having the 100% perfect result.

  • If you have got just a blot of stain on your shoelace, then don’t be lazy. Clean those stains then and there without any delay. Some stains can become permanent if not treated on it.
  • If you have decided on cleaning your shoelaces, put in a little more effort, and remove the laces before you begin the cleaning process, sometimes you might spoil the shoes while cleaning shoelaces without removing them.
  • Shoelaces are not dryer friendly, and you might get your laces to shrink in the dryer. Thus, they prefer drying them in air. 
  • Shoelace material is susceptible to heat, so be patient and don’t try to rush into the drying process by using a hairdryer or other drying appliances.
  • Precaution is better than treatment. Therefore, when you buy shoes, then apply a fabric protector on it beforehand so that you do not have to come across harsh cleaning situations in the future.

 White shoelaces give a brighter result if dried in direct sunlight, so once you clean your laces, take them out for a sunbath

Why is cleaning shoelaces necessary?

After all this discussion of how to clean white shoelace without bleach, you might be wondering why is it so essential to clean laces? Whenever you buy a pair of shoes, you try to keep the shoelaces neat and tidy, but naturally, when they become dirty, you replace them with new ones. No doubt that this is a fast and easy method of restoring shoelaces, but you don’t even realize how much extra it charges you. Thus, save your money and learn to clean them before it’s too late.

Adding more to it is that our shoes carry most germs as they travel through various places, and when we touch our shoelaces to tie them or untie them, we transfer those germs in our bodies. Never thought so deeply about this matter, right? You know about the minute details, then make use of the above mentioned useful tips about how to clean white shoelace without bleach.


If none of those mentioned above techniques work for cleaning your shoelaces and the stains become stubborn, then the last option that can save your shoes is dyeing them in a new color.

Keep your shoelaces clean and take care of them, just like your shoes. They make an essential part of your shoes, making them shine like the rest of your shoe.

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