Despite hardly ever touching the ground, shoelaces tend to accumulate dirt and grime far faster than the rest of the shoe surface. When your shoelaces look filthy, their presence detracts from the appearance of your entire outfit. Luckily, shoelaces are incredibly easy to clean with the right products and approach. Here’s what you need to know to make your shoelaces look amazing once again.
1. Obtain Your Cleaning Supplies
You will need to gather up the right cleaning supplies and tools to make this project go by much faster. Before beginning, you should have:
Bleach or hydrogen peroxide
You can utilize either bleach or hydrogen peroxide to lighten your shoelace fibers, but not both. Never mix these two cleaning solutions or use them one after another.
2. Mix Up Your Soaking Solution
To restore your shoelaces to their former bright white tones, you must remove trapped dirt and lighten stained pigments in the fibers. To achieve this feat, you can create a soaking solution using water and bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Simply pour a half gallon of distilled water into your cleaning bucket, and then add either 1/4 cup of bleach or 1/2 pint of hydrogen peroxide. Mix the water and cleaning solution together before moving onto the next step.
3. Scrub Stains Out of Fabric
Before getting your shoelaces wet, try to remove as much surface dirt as possible by scrubbing the fibers with a clean, dry scrub brush. You should work from one end to the other while scrubbing along the length of the fibers. Do not scrub from side to side or you could cause the fibers to break loose and look frizzy.
4. Soak Your Laces
Upon removing the surface dirt on your laces, you may place them in the soaking solution overnight. Make sure to check your shoelaces in the morning to see if their color has reached the brightness you wish to achieve. If not, place them back in the soaking solution for four more hours. Check the cleaning progress at the end of this time period to avoid overexposing your laces to the cleaning solution.
5. Rinse out the Laces
Once you are happy with the overall appearance of your white shoelaces, rinse them under running water. You must remove all traces of the soaking solution to help your laces feel soft and clean after drying out. If any dirt or cleaning products are left in the fibers, the laces may feel crunchy to the touch. A few minutes under running water tends to remove all remaining residues, so your laces look and feel like-new after drying. Squeeze out extra water in the laces with a towel before moving onto the next step.
6. Dry on a Rack
You should not dry your white shoelaces in the dryer, as the fabric will surely shrink with exposure to high heat. Instead, wrap your laces around a drying rack and let the ends hang down in the breeze. Depending on their thickness, your shoelaces will likely need to dry overnight to reach a useable state. After your shoelaces are dry, you can thread them through the eyelets in your shoes and resume using them like normal.
When you take the time to clean up your white shoelaces, you dramatically improve the overall appearance of your shoes and your entire outfit.