How to Use Toothpaste to Clean White Shoes

white shoes cover

Your favorite pair of all-white canvas kicks are looking a little worse for wear, but you don’t have to give up on them yet. Toothpaste can get your beloved shoes feeling and looking fresh again in no time at all.

Aside from its teeth-whitening properties, toothpaste has mild abrasive properties that make it ideal for cleaning up white leather or canvas. The key is choosing the right type of toothpaste—stick with basic white toothpaste.

In this article, I’ll show you how to clean your white shoes with toothpaste.

Let’s begin.

What You’ll Need:

White toothpaste

An old toothbrush (for scrubbing corners and hard-to-reach areas)

A cloth or towel for wiping

Water (for rinsing your shoes)

Paper towels or a second cloth to dry your shoes with after the cleaning process is complete


  1. Rub toothpaste onto the white spots with an old toothbrush. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Then, use the same toothbrush to scrub gently at the stains. 
  3. Rinse off the shoe with a wet rag.
  4. Repeat until stains are gone!
  5. Make sure you rinse off all the toothpaste residue. Let your shoes dry before you wear them again.

Types of Shoes to Clean with Toothpaste

Let’s break down what type of shoes you can use toothpaste to clean. Toothpaste works best on leather, plastic, vinyl, and canvas shoes. If your shoes are made of a different material, such as suede or mesh, steer clear of using toothpaste to clean them.

Can I Use Colored Toothpaste to Clean White Shoes?

Colored toothpaste may stain your white shoes instead of cleaning them. So don’t risk it and just use a white toothpaste instead.


Now that you know how to clean white shoes, give the process a try. You’ll probably be pleased with the results! I’ve used toothpaste to get rid of yellowing and stains on canvas sneakers, running shoes, and more. 

The best thing about this method is that it’s safe for most shoes (except suede—don’t use this method on suede). It’s been my go-to shoe cleaning trick for years now.

If you enjoyed these tips for cleaning shoes with toothpaste, please share this article with your friends If you are looking for more ways to clean your shoes, please see my article on how to clean your trainers with baking soda.

Thank you for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Cover Photo by Rodolfo Quirós Pexels