How to Get Grass Stains Out Of White Shoes

Every summer season is a great time to be outdoors walking or running. However, you’ll soon realize that the grass has grown in full force and your shoe could get grass stains that are difficult to remove.

Some white shoes can be an investment costing as much as $300 - $1000, such as tennis shoes, sneakers, suede shoes, and boots. Or it could be your favorite white converse!

Before you get tempted to throw in your white shoe in the washer and break down its unique construction, here are several easy DIY ways of cleaning grass stains out of your favorite white shoes. 

Different shoes have been constructed using different fabrics and materials for various usage. Removing grass stains from some footwear is a lot easier while others might be more difficult.

Having the right tools, detergents and with a little work, you’ll be able to get rid of that annoying grass stain on your white shoe.

Here are some things that you’ll consider when getting rid of grass stains:

1.    Cleaning different types of everyday white shoes

2.    Cleaning different parts of your white shoe 

What are grass stains?

First, we’ll need to understand what a grass stain is. Protein, chlorophyll, and fiber are the main components that make up the green stains.

Using your shoe for outdoor activities such as jogging, running, golfing or just walking will get your boots or sneakers dirty. The dirt, fiber, and green stain bind your shoes making it difficult to clean.

Here, we’ve discussed five ordinary fabrics and materials that are used to construct shoes and how you can wash them. It's important to know which method you can apply to clean your white footwear and keep them looking brand new. 

Cleaning different types of everyday white shoes

Many people make a common mistake of cleaning their pumps, sneakers and other shoes without considering the specific material used on a shoe.

Precaution must be taken to avoid discoloring or damaging your white footwear. This expert advice will help you tackle tough grass stains efficiently and in the shortest time possible.

1.    Cleaning White Leather Shoes

White leather shoes can easily discolor if they’re not well cleaned. However, they are also easy to clean. You can use affordable natural products to rid your white leather shoes of grass stain.

Items that you’ll need

  • A basin
  • Soft cloth
  • Olive oil
  • A brush
  • Towel
  • Non-gel whitening toothpaste
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • A bowl of warm water


First, get rid of any loose dirt with a soft dry cloth and scrape off mud from the surface of the shoe. Remove the laces and soak in a bowl of warm soapy water. You can proceed and wash the laces in the washing machine.

Dampen the shoe with a wet towel and rub the entire footwear to get rid of initial dirt. Avoid damaging the leather by getting it too wet.

Rub a dab of toothpaste on the grass stain and rub thoroughly with your fingers. Rub off the toothpaste with a moistened soft cloth then dry the shoes. If the stains are still visible repeat the process.

The other natural and effective method that you can use to clean your white leather shoe is using vinegar and olive oil.

Combine ¼ cup vinegar and ½ cup olive oil in a spray bottle and shake it thoroughly. Spray a generous amount of the solution on the shoes and let it soak for five minutes. Wipe off the solution, and you’ll notice the stain will come off.

2.    Cleaning White Canvas Shoes

Take precaution not to bleach your white canvas sneakers that are grass stained. Here are the steps to follow to get you canvas cleaned.

Items that you’ll need

  • Dry brush
  • Detergent
  • Basin
  • Cold water
  • An old toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Small bowl and a container


Start by letting off any mud and loose dirt using an old toothbrush. Remove the shoe laces, and soak them in a small bowl of soapy water for ten minutes. Rinse and dry.   

Put some water in a container and add a handful of baking soda (in equal parts). Rub the paste in the outsoles with a toothbrush and wipe out the sole with a clean dumpy cloth.

In a basin, make a cold water soap solution (add a few drops of the detergent). Dip the toothbrush in the solution and clean the canvas in a circular motion concentrating on the stained areas.

Prevent the water from getting inside of the shoes. Rinse and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the outcome. Stuff the shoes with paper towels to maintain the structure when drying. Air-dry the shoes.

Important note: Never bleach your white canvas shoes as this could break down the glue on the shoe causing it to detach from the sole.

3.    Cleaning White Mesh Shoes

Mesh is one of the most unadorned lightweight fabrics to wash in a white shoe.  You can spot this fabric in most sneakers which have a combination of mesh fabric and other materials.

Mesh fabric provides aeration in sneakers keeping the feet cool and dry. Here are the simple steps that you’ll follow to clean your white mesh shoe.

Items that you’ll need:

  • A soft bristled toothbrush
  • A small bowl
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towel

Remove any dirt from the mesh with a soft bristled brush. In a small bowl combine one part white vinegar and one part baking soda.

Apply the paste on the mesh concentrating on the areas with the stain, let the paste sit for ten minutes. 

Stuff the shoe with paper towels for quick absorption of excess water and rinse off the paste with a wet paper towel and air dry the shoe.

4.    Cleaning White Converse Shoes

White converse shoes look great when they are new. However, the more they get used, the more they become less appealing. Getting rid of grass stains in your white converse shoe could be a problematic procedure especially if the dye has stayed for longer.

Here is what you’ll need to do to get rid of that suborn stain in your converse shoe.

Items that you’ll need

  • Bucket
  • Warm soapy water
  • A bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Toothbrush


Remove the shoelaces and soak them in a bucket of warm soapy water. Brush off any dirt from the shoe and rinse under running cold water (the cold water prevents the stains from setting in).

In a separate bowl combine the vinegar and baking soda solution (two-part each). Spread the paste with a toothbrush over the shoe ensuring that all grass-stained parts are well covered - scrub thoroughly.

Rinse the shoes and if you’re not satisfied repeat the procedure again. Wrap the shoes in a mesh and place them in the washing machine and let it run a full cycle using cold water. Don’t dry the shoes using the washing machine instead, air dry your white converse shoes in the sun.

5.    Cleaning White Satin Shoes 

The ordinary footwear used on formal and special occasions is the satin shoe.  Satin is soft and silky and needs a lot of attention when cleaning it. To remove grass stains, this is what you’ll need.

Items that you’ll need:

  • A soft, clean cloth (cotton or microfiber)
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Basin
  • Bowl
  • Water


Start by brushing off any dirt and debris on the shoe using a soft bristle brush. Next, fill a bowl with cold water and dip a soft cloth, wring excess water.

Gently blot out any stain following the grain on the shoe. If the stain is stubborn, apply a small amount of liquid hand soap and dub gently on the stain. Repeat this on all visible stains, rinse and dry the shoes with a dry microfiber cloth.

Cleaning Different Parts of Your White Shoe

Every shoe has its specific construction and various components that define it and its use. Let’s have a look at how to clean different elements that make a shoe.

Cleaning the Insole to reduce odor and bacterial growth 

Remove the insole from the shoe by gripping its back near the heel and gently pull it. Immerse the insoles in warm soapy water and scrub. Rinse your insoles and air dry them.

Keeping your insoles clean will reduce odor and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Cleaning laces 

Shoelaces differ in their make, from cotton to leather materials. Keeping your white laces sparkling clean requires effort since you’ll need to wash them regularly. First, remove the laces from the shoes and put them inside a small mesh laundry bag.

In a small bowl put some water and add three tablespoons of bleach. Add some detergent in the water solution to make a cleaning solution. Wear gloves to avoid irritation and dip the laces in the solution for 10 minutes.

Remove from the solution and place in the washing machine. Use hot water and detergent to launder. Take out the laces and allow them to air dry.

Cleaning the outsole – maintaining a white-soled sneaker

The cleaning intensity of the outsole of any white shoe will largely depend on the specialty, make and use of sneaker. Cleaning a trail running shoe with mud and grass stains will require more effort than studio fitness shoes.

Cleaning the surface of the shoe

Various factors come into play when getting rid of grass stains on white shoes as we have discussed in this article.

You must consider the type of shoe, the delicate materials that make the shoe and the type of shoe that you’d be cleaning.

Expert Notes on Keeping White Shoes Clean

Clean your shoes regularly to keep your white shoes from getting permanent grass stains. You can also use water repellants for white leather shoes to help prevent your shoes from getting water damaged.

Protect your white vans and fabric shoes from liquid and dirt by applying crepe protect in a neutral color. The protection can last you up to four weeks. 

Leave your shoes in the sun regularly to deodorize your footwear naturally and prevent the growth of bacteria. 

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