Let’s face it, your shoe laces can get dirty pretty damn quick and therefore ruin your look. If you have ever wondered how to clean shoe laces then you are in the right place as I have a couple of methods for you! These methods are perfect whether you have white or colored shoe laces.

How To Clean Shoe Laces

Why should you clean your shoe laces?

If you do not want to spend any more money and you do have the items that I have listed for each of these methods then please check them out.

Each of these methods does depend on whether you have these items in your home and how much time you have on your hands.

All the following ways will assume that you have taken the shoe laces out from your shoe. These methods I describe below will fully clean your laces both front and back.

==> Check Out How To Clean Your Shoes Here! <==

Ways to clean your shoe laces:

  1. The Quick Way
  2. The Not-So Quick Way

Please note:

If you have leather shoe laces then please head on over to Wikihow. Here you will find the 5 easy steps that you will need to take to clean your leather laces.

The Quick Way

This method will literally have you walking out the door in minutes. That is if you have all the stuff that you need at hand.

But as this is a very, very easy it shouldn’t take you too long to get started.

Credit: Zane Smith

What You Need:

  • Shoe laces (duh)
  • Sink or Bucket
  • Hand Soap or Bar of Soap
  • Rag

Step 1 – Get your water

Before you begin you will want to have either your sink or bucket to be filled with water. Not too full mind you, half full is fine.

Warm water can be used but make sure that it is not too hot otherwise you will scold yourself.

Step 2 – Scrub those laces

Next what you want to do is place one of your shoe laces in one hand while the soap will be in the other hand. Trust me, working with one shoe lace at a time will be easier.

Then just lather up the soap and then scrub both your hands together. Keep working the soap into the shoe lace which will help get the dirt out of your shoe lace.

Applying pressure will help remove the dirt, so don’t be afraid to work that shoe lace.

Step 3 – Keep scrubbing them

You may want to dip the shoe lace into the water to help get out stubborn dirt. Using more soap is also a good idea.

As you place your shoe lace into the water you will see it become dirty. You will therefore know that this method is working.

Step 4 – Dry your laces

When you are satisfied that there is no more dirt in your shoe lace then you will need to dry it. For this you will need your rag.

Hold the shoe lace at one end and wrap the rag around it. Then pull down with the rag while the other hand works away from the rag.

This will help remove both water and soap from the shoe lace. Keep doing this technique until you are happy that you have got out most of the soap and water.

This way will not get rid of all the soap and water mind you, but it is a good way if you are in a hurry to get out the door.

When you are happy that your shoe lace is both clean and as dry as it can be then repeat the process for the other shoe lace.

If you do have more time on your hands then you may want to check out the following method.

Extra tip:

If your laces are still dirty then just leave them to soak in the bucket for a few minutes. That will help work the soap into the dirt.

The Not-So Quick Way

If you are not in a hurry then this method is for you. It will require you to have more items but these are all basic so you should find these items around your home.

Credit: HEAT Ledger

What You Need:

  • Shoe laces (of course)
  • Sink or Bucket
  • Small brush
  • Cup or bowl (to place shoe laces into)
  • Bleach and Laundry detergent
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Some kind of rack

Step 1 – Brush the dirt off your laces

First you will need to fill up your cup or bowl with hot water.

If your shoe laces are particularly dirty you may want to remove as much of it off as you can. For this you will need to use your small brush.

Just lightly brush each of your laces in turn. For this work down the lace and not from side to side. This will only damage your laces.

Don’t get too concerned if you don’t get rid of all the dirt. That is where the rest of this method comes in.

Step 2 – Put them in a bowl

Then you will need to place your shoe laces into the cup or bowl and use your brush to turn them around. This step will help remove any more loose dirt.

Step 3 – Start cleaning

Add some bleach to the cup or bowl. You do not need to add too much, probably either a third or a quarter of a cup.

Then use your brush again to get rid of more of the dirt.

Add a small amount of laundry detergent and mix the whole thing for between 1-3 minutes.

You do not want to get the bleach on your hands. So you probably will want to wear some rubber gloves for this step.

Step 4 – Let it sit

Leave the solution to sit for about 10-12 minutes. This will help the solution to get into the shoe laces and remove that dirt.

Please note that leaving the laces in the bleach for too long will cause damage.

Step 5 – Rinse off the bleach

Put on your rubber gloves and wash your shoe laces under a hot tap. Not only will the gloves protect you from the bleach but also the hot ware as well.

Also, use either the laundry detergent or soap to help remove the bleach and any dirt from your laces.

Step 6 – Leave to dry

You can either lay your shoe laces down on a piece of paper or hang them up on a rack to dry. I prefer to use a rack as this will make sure that all the laces will dry evenly.

But please do not use a dryer, either a hand or tumble dryer This will surely shrink the laces due to the exposure of such heat.

Extra tip:

Repeat the process if you are not satisfied as to how clean your shoe laces have come out the first time.

Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope that this how to clean shoe laces guide was helpful. If you think that this post will be helpful then please share it with friends and family using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Owain Couch

Making and repairing boots and shoes has been an occupation in my family for generations. I want to carry on the family business by helping you find the best footwear, as well as provide useful guides that will help make them last longer.


Maurice · February 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm

The process to clean shoelaces is a simple task. It is a wonder why people will not take the time to do so but instead go out and spend money for new ones. A sign of the times I guess

    admin · February 2, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Yes Maurice it is a simple process. It is really cheap to buy new shoe laces but if you have these items at home then why not spend a little time and clean them yourself.

Andrew Mcfarlane · February 2, 2018 at 3:07 pm

I have never ever thought of washing my laces and never have I given it much thought but I can say I have many dirty laces and this will help a ton thanks.

Both of these methods will work for me as I have these products at home. Will save me going down to the shops and buying new laces for sure.


    Owain Couch · February 2, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    You’re welcome Andrew. Why wouldn’t we want to save both time and money, hey? Glad the post was useful for you.

Andy · February 2, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Interesting post, never even crossed my mind to do this.

It looks super easy to do. I don’t know why people o out to the shops and buy new shoe laces when these are two very easy methods. You are right it can help you save both time and money.


    Owain Couch · February 2, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Yep Andy, it can help you both save time and money. Shoe laces are quite cheap but why go out of your way to get new ones when you can clean the ones on your shoes or boots easily at home.

akbar zaib · February 2, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Never thought of it that cleaning shoe laces could be so easy. Now I am angry why I have thrown away my dirty laces. But I’m not gonna waste any more money on buying the new one.
That was a very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

    Owain Couch · February 2, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Ah well, at least you know now. Keep checking thissite as I plan to add plenty more handy posts that I am sure will help you.

Kevin Mansoor · February 2, 2018 at 10:51 pm

I gotta admit that I fall into the category of never washing my shoelaces. I do occasionally throw my shoes into the washer and that gets the laces also. But many of my shoes I wouldn’t want to throw in a washer so this is really good information.

Thanks for the great article.

    Owain Couch · February 3, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Yes you’ll have to be careful of using the washing machine for your shoes and shoe laces. If you have it on a hot wash then this can do damage to your shoes and laces.

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