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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Laundering White Tennis Shoes

By Dr. Laundry September 29, 2009

Q. I have white tennis shoes and they need to be brightened up. I was
wondering if it is safe to spray ® Clean-Up® Spray Cleaner on my shoes and then wash
them?

A. Generally, the answer would be it depends on what stains there are on the shoes that need to be removed, and whether bleach is the only product you’ll need to get the result that you want.

Assuming there are no other issues, here are some alternative ideas to getting your white shoes back:


  • The ready-to-use solution should be our Clorox® Clean-Up® Spray Cleaner. It also has some extra surfactants that are great for helping to loosen stains and dirt. I would dampen the shoes, then spray on the Clorox Clean-Up. Rub it in with a sponge, wait 3-5 minutes, then wash in hot water using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach. I like to air dry rather than dryer dry (less noise from the tumbling, and less shrinkage).

  • Another convenient product is our Clorox® BleachPen Gel. It has a thickened bleach solution in a handy dispenser with a fine and scrubber tip to control where the bleach is applied. Simply shake it up, pick the scrubber tip, squeeze out and rub in; wait 3-5 minutes, then wash in hot water using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Again, air dry and you should be good-to-go.

  • The last option is to do a quick liquid bleach soak before washing. Add the shoes to a solution of 1/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach and a gallon of cool water for 5 minutes, then wash immediately in hot water using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.