How to Clean Shoe Laces: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shoe laces are an essential part of our footwear, but they can accumulate dirt, grime, and stains over time, making them look dull and unattractive. Cleaning your shoe laces not only enhances the overall appearance of your shoes but also helps maintain good hygiene. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning shoe laces effectively, ensuring they look fresh and vibrant again.

Why Clean Shoe Laces Matter?

Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s understand why it’s important to clean shoe laces regularly. Dirty laces not only spoil the aesthetics of your shoes but can also contribute to the deterioration of the lace material itself. Regular cleaning helps prolong the life of your shoe laces and ensures they remain in top-notch condition.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

To get started, you’ll need a few simple cleaning supplies that are readily available at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Warm Water: Used as a base for the cleaning solution.
  2. Mild Detergent: Choose a gentle detergent to avoid damaging the lace fibers.
  3. Toothbrush: A soft-bristled toothbrush works well for scrubbing the laces.
  4. Old Toothpaste: The mild abrasives in toothpaste help remove tough stains.
  5. Baking Soda: An excellent natural cleaner for white laces.
  6. A Bowl: To mix the cleaning solution.
  7. Clean Towel or Cloth: For drying the laces.

How to Clean Shoe Laces? Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Shoe laces are an essential component of our footwear, yet they often go unnoticed when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. We spend hours scrubbing our shoes, but neglect the very thing that holds them together – the laces. Over time, shoe laces can accumulate dirt, grime, and even bacteria, causing them to lose their original color and become frayed or discolored. However, fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the process of effectively cleaning your shoe laces so that they look as good as new. Whether you have white laces that have turned gray or colorful ones with stubborn stains, these tried-and-tested methods will restore their cleanliness and extend their lifespan.

Remove the Laces

The first step in cleaning your shoe laces is to remove them from your shoes. This makes the cleaning process more manageable and ensures that the laces receive thorough cleaning.

Pre-Treat Stains

Before immersing the laces in the cleaning solution, pre-treat any stubborn stains with a small amount of mild detergent or toothpaste. Gently rub the stained areas with a toothbrush to lift the dirt.

Create the Cleaning Solution

In a bowl, mix warm water with a tablespoon of mild detergent. Stir the solution until it forms suds. For white laces, you can use a paste of baking soda and water for a natural and effective cleaner.

Soak and Scrub

Submerge the laces in the cleaning solution and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. This will help loosen dirt and grime. After soaking, use the toothbrush to gently scrub the entire length of the laces, paying extra attention to any remaining stains.

Rinse Thoroughly

Once the scrubbing is complete, rinse the laces under running water until all the soap residue is gone. Make sure to squeeze out any excess water gently.

Dry Properly

Lay the cleaned laces flat on a clean towel or cloth to dry naturally. Avoid using direct heat sources such as a hairdryer, as this may damage the lace material.

Re-Lace Your Shoes

After the laces have dried completely, re-lace them back into your shoes. You will notice a significant difference in the appearance of your footwear now that the laces are clean and fresh.

Can I machine wash my shoe laces?

It is generally not recommended to machine wash shoe laces, as the agitation can cause them to tangle and fray. Handwashing is a safer and more effective method.

How often should I clean my shoe laces?

Cleaning shoe laces every few weeks, depending on how often you wear your shoes, is a good practice to maintain their appearance.

Can I use bleach to clean white laces?

It’s best to avoid using bleach, as it can weaken the fibers and cause discoloration. Stick to milder cleaning agents like baking soda.

What should I do if my laces are too stained to clean?

For extremely stubborn stains, consider replacing the laces with new ones for a fresh look.

Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process?

It’s best to avoid direct heat sources like hairdryers, as they may damage the lace material. Allow the laces to air dry naturally.


Cleaning your shoe laces is a simple yet rewarding task that can breathe new life into your favorite pair of shoes. Regular maintenance not only keeps your laces looking great but also contributes to the overall cleanliness and longevity of your footwear.

Now, you can confidently clean your shoe laces using the step-by-step guide provided in this article. Remember to take your time and be gentle with the cleaning process to avoid any damage to the laces.

Leave a Comment