How to Clean Shoelaces

Shoelaces can sometimes make or break the appearance of your shoes, especially the white ones.

Just like most things, shoelaces get dirty with frequent and repeated use. They need to be cleaned in the proper way; otherwise, your look will suffer.

Shoelaces are made using a verity of materials, but cotton is the most common one. And to keep them looking clean and fresh, you need to give them a wash.

So, let’s talk about how you can clean your shoelaces.

Taking the Shoelaces Out

Many people make the mistake of cleaning the shoelaces while they are still looped in the shoes, but this might end up damaging your shoe, especially if it is made of leather or artificial leather.

So, take it out of the shoes to give them an easy and efficient cleanse.

Wash with Your Hands

The first thing that you should do is take a brush and scrub up all the dirt on your shoelace. By doing this, you will be able to get rid of all the built-up mud from the laces. This will also stop the dirt spreading to other parts of the lace when water is added.

Now to actually get rid of all the stains and the discoloration, you are going to have to wash it up. And the best way for you to do that would be to add 2 tablespoons of bleach in two and a half liters of water. You can even include a bit of soap or detergent to the solution.

Once the solution is ready, you should drop the shoelace in the container. Make sure that you give enough time for the shoelace to soak up as much of the solution as it can. Make sure that it stays under the surface of the water by keeping it inside using your hand. Don’t forget to rinse them afterward.

Make sure to wear a pair of gloves before putting your bare hand in the solution because the bleach may harm your skin.

An Alternative Way: Washing Machine

Using your hands to the work is a very good method to clean the shoelaces, as you can ensure that all the dirt is out. However, it can, in fact, get a bit tiring, especially if you have to do this task often. Another way for you to clean them up would be by using a washing machine.

The instructions are actually very simple; the laces have to be put inside a laundry bag and then inside the machine. Add in bleach with hot water and some detergent, and you shall find yourself with some new looking shoelaces.

What to Do If You Have Colored Laces?

If you have colored shoelaces, you need to keep them away from bleach, which is used to brighten the whites up. On colored laces, however, this will be bad as the bleach will destroy the original color. And the longer you keep them in, the worse they will become.

How to Dry the Shoelaces?

As for the drying, this too can be done using a machine or naturally. After you take them out of the washing machine, just put them into the dryer with the rest of your clean laundry. But this method is not recommended as it might at times damage the aglet.

Otherwise, you can just let them air dry by hanging them up in your bathroom. Might take a bit more time than the dryer, but this will keep you away from having to buy new ones after all the hard work.

What About the Leather Shoelace?

For a leather shoelace, the clean-up process is a bit quicker. Just like you would with the cotton ones, brush the dirt and mud off. Then wet a washcloth with some hot water and a bit of soap and go over the lace. It will get all the dirt right off.

Finally, when they dry down completely after the wash, just coat it with some olive oil on a piece of tissue paper. This additional step will make these shoelaces shine and look brand new.


Cleaning the shoelaces is not a difficult task at all if you just follow along with the steps. And once you’re done with the cleaning, you can relace them up however you like.

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