For my birthday last January, my little sister gave me a new pair of white converse that I fell in love with. I wear them a lot; probably 3-4 days a week, so they get pretty dirty. They go through so much wear and tear! Because I'm such a clean freak, it probably wasn't the best idea to get white shoes, because the paint splatters and dirt on them drive me crazy. But there's nothing like a good clean to keep your stuff nice and new!
In the past, I've cleaned my white shoes with bleach, but this time I wanted to try and clean them without chemicals. I did a but of research to get some different ideas, and most suggested using baking soda as the main ingredient, as it had some natural bleaching properties. I also added just a bit Castile soap to the mixture to get rid of germs, bacteria, and whatever grossness my shoes had picked up along the way. Here's the recipe of the mixture I used:
3 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 drops of Castile soap
First, I combined the baking soda and water and mixed it vigorously. The baking soda didn't totally dissolve like I expected it to, but it worked perfectly fine after adding the soap.
I'm not going to lie- I spent a lot of time cleaning my shoes. I scrubbed the heck out of the soles, the fabric part of the shoe, and I even removed the laces and soaked them in the mixture of water, baking soda, and soap. I probably went a little over the top, but what's wrong with being a little extra when it comes to cleaning?
After scrubbing them for awhile, I rinsed my shoes thoroughly and left them by a fan to dry. I did read online of some people leaving the baking soda on their shoes and letting it sit in the sun, but it was a rainy day and I was pretty satisfied with the way they looked. It took some time for them to dry completely, but in the end, they looked great!
I will say that cleaning my shoes with bleach in the past did make them whiter. The baking soda solution still left some stray marks on the fabric part of the shoe. But overall, I was pretty satisfied with the results of the baking soda mixture, and I was able to cut chemicals out of the process. Maybe I'll allow myself to use bleach on rare occasions in order to keep my shoes looking new instead of having to buy a new pair.
Moral of the story: don't be so quick to throw away what you have and buy more. Take care of what you own, and embrace simple living!