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How to Clean White Leather Shoes Without Ruining Them

Do you have a pair of white leather shoes just sitting in the closet? You can’t wear them because they look dingy but you’re too scared to clean the shoes because you don’t want them ruined?

Cleaning leather can be a difficult task in itself. However, white leather may seem nearly impossible.

Rest assured, it’s not impossible. It can actually be fairly simple to clean white leather shoes without ruining them. There are many products on the market designed for safely cleaning leather products, and there are many easy at-home DIYs you can follow as well.

Now, we encourage you to take your favorite leather shoes from that closet, set them aside, and read this article. Once you do, those gorgeous pumps and fabulous loafers will never have to be locked up in the dark again.

Great Products to Clean Your White Leather Shoes

Cleaning white leather shoes correctly.

If you have access to the internet, then you have access to a whole world of products designed specifically to clean your white leather shoes without ruining them. Manufacturers have custom-made formulas to get your shoe smudge-free without damaging the material or destroying the color.

Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner KitOpens in a new tab.

Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner has been proudly made in the U.S. since 1985. There’s always been a great public response to the company’s products. Also, all of the products are safe to use and non-toxic.

This product has been specifically designed to clean delicate materials such as leather without harming them. It works on all colors, including white, without discoloring or dulling the shoes’ original shade.

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How to Use This Product

  • Simply dampen the brush included in the kit with water
  • Add a few drops of Pink Miracle to the brush and start gently scrubbing your shoes
  • If your shoe is very soiled you may need to add more water throughout the process
  • Once your shoe is clean, use a soft fabric cloth to remove all the water and soap and let your shoe air-dry

Tip: Follow up with Pink Miracle conditioner to keep your shoes soft, smooth, and beautiful.

Apple Brand Leather Cleaner & Conditioner Kit Opens in a new tab.

Apple Brand has been the trusted leather cleaner of professionals for many years, saving high-end leather products from dust, dirt, and scuffs. Using this product on your white leather shoes regularly will keep them looking great for a long time.

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Combining this cleaning product with the leather conditioner won’t only help your shoes look amazing, but it’ll also help them last longer. The best part is you can use it worry-free on white. Apple Brand guarantees its product will not darken or alter the color of your leather.

How to Use This Product

  • Apply a small amount of cleaning solution to a brush or damp cloth
  • Gently scrub at the stained or soiled area until the blemish is gone
  • Wipe off all access solution with a dry cloth
  • Let the shoe air-dry

Tip: It’s recommended you only use the cleaner for heavy stains or dirt and grime buildup. Using Apple Brand’s conditioner product for the average cleaning is ideal.

Cadillac Leather CleanerOpens in a new tab.

All Cadillac Leather Cleaner products are proudly made and manufactured in the U.S. A trusted shoe expert since 1983, Cadillac Leather Cleaner has formulated the perfect solution to keep your leathers clean and protected for years.

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This product is safe to use on most leathers and all colors, and it won’t dull or tint your white shoes. It’s been designed to deep clean even the most delicate materials without destroying them.

How to Use This Product

  • Apply a few drops of cleaner to your shoe
  • Gently massage the formula around the shoe in a circular motion with a cloth
  • Remove all residue with a dry clean cloth
  • Let it air-dry

Tip: Follow up with a conditioner or polish for an even more remarkable shine.

Alloda Shoe CleanerOpens in a new tab.

This shoe cleaner is environmentally friendly, containing no abrasive or harsh chemicals that would irate your skin or your shoe material. It’s biodegradable and non-toxic, so you can feel safe using this product at any time.

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Alloda created its products to be user-friendly and easy to do. With its lightweight bottle and press on the design, you can take this cleaner everywhere you go to take care of stains or dirt on demand.

How to Use This Product

  • Push down on the sponge applicator directly on the shoe blemish
  • Wash away all dirt and debris (use a scrub brush if necessary)
  • Wipe away all excess foam with a dry cloth

Tip: Stick this product in your car or purse to use while you’re out and about. Also, be sure to cover any non-white portion of the shoe with tape to keep it safe.

Premier Shoe Cleaning WipesOpens in a new tab.

If you’re looking for something quick and simple, there’s nothing easier than these cleaning wipes. They’re designed to clean your white leather shoes without any harsh chemicals, keeping your shoes and your family safe.

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You’ll never risk ruining your leather when using this product. The dirt and debris will be cleared with each wipe, keeping the white resilient and the leather smooth.

How to Use This Product

  • Remove a wipe from the package
  • Massage the mess area gently
  • Gently rub down the area with a clean damp towel to remove residual dirt
  • Toss the wipe into the trash

Tip: Use the abrasive side of the wipe for large marks or dirt buildup. Use the softer side for quick color and shine restoration.

Things to Note Using Cleaning Kits

Using a shoe cleaning kit can make cleaning your white leather products a lot more convenient. However, these kits aren’t foolproof, nor are they a one-step process. You still need to add a little elbow grease into whatever process you’re using to clean your shoes to keep them from getting damaged and to return them to their natural color.

It’s Not One Size Fits All

No matter what the labels say, you can’t be guaranteed you’ll have the same amazing results as someone in the review section. On the other hand, you won’t necessarily have the same negative experience as someone who complained about the way the product worked on their shoes.

Make sure you’re reading the labels carefully and thoroughly to ensure you’re buying the right product for the specific color and material you’re cleaning. Some leathers can handle a more abrasive scrub, whereas others will be destroyed.

Use a Conditioner

Keeping your shoes clean and free of dirt is only half the battle. After being cleaned, along with years of use, the natural oils in your leather are going to start to wear away. Using a good conditioner will restore the oils and prevent your shoes from cracking or fading.

Try it Out First

Use a small amount of leather cleaner on a tiny portion of your shoe before cleaning the whole thing. Make sure it’s in a hard-to-see spot to be sure it’s not going to create any noticeable damage. If no blemishes or problems occur from the cleaner, go ahead and finish the rest.

Note: It’s recommended to leave the treated area of the shoe to sit for about 30 minutes before checking back for any negative results

Shoe Polish

Find a good shoe polish and use it. Shoe polish is a must-have when you have a pair of white leather shoes (or any leather footwear). Shoe polish is designed to not only polish and shine your shoes, but it also waterproofs them to keep them protected.

There are many shoe polishes designed for white leather such as KIWI White Shoe Polish and Tarrago Natural Leather Shoe Cream. They’re affordable, well-made, and they’ll help keep you in the shoes you love.

DIY Alternatives

Many people prefer to clean their shoes with good old-fashioned soap and water. There’s nothing wrong with doing this as long as you make sure you’re using soft dye-free soap and a non-abrasive cloth. Some people have also used toothpaste in place of soap.

How to Clean Your Leather Shoe

  • Use a wet cloth to remove any loose dirt and debris
  • Apply a small amount of soap or toothpaste to the shoe (paste, not gel, and one containing baking soda is a great option)
  • Gentle massage the formula into the shoe with wet cloth in a circular motion
  • Lightly use a soft bristle toothbrush for the stuck-on gunk and grime
  • Use clean, damp, water-only cloth to remove all leftover residue
  • Dry with a microfiber cloth
  • Allow the shoe to air-dry completely

Be cautious when trying any suggested DIY cleaning tips or tricks. You never know the true outcome until it’s too late. Don’t use something that may wear away at the leather’s protective coating or cause any type of water damage or scratches to the material.


Now it’s time to take those shoes out of the closet for good. There are many different ways you can return the shine to your old, dirty, white leather shoes without risking the color or quality of the material. The hard part is deciding which is right for your shoes and what product will work best. Be sure to do your research, and your shoes will thank you for it later.

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