Do you wash your shoelaces?

white shoe maintenance

This habit tricks everyone into thinking my eight month old shoes are box fresh.

Last November I bought a pair of Stan Smiths. When you have size 11 feet it’s not straightforward to find secondhand, or get your hands on a pair of Veja’s (believe me, I tried). With some help from the Good On You app, I settled on Adidas.

I wear these nearly everyday. I wear them to work. I bike in them. Earlier this year, they were the perfect shoe for three days of 15km walks around Tokyo. Still, I get asked all the time if they are new.

My secret is that once a month I wash the laces.

As you can see in the before shots, after lots of use, they don’t look so fresh. Look closer and you’ll notice it’s mostly the laces that are driving this bad first impression.

white shoe maintenance

white shoe maintenance

Good thing cleaning shoelaces is easy and quick. I remove the laces, wet them and wash them with a scrap of olive oil based bar soap.

white shoe maintenance

white shoe maintenance

When they rinse clean, I hang them to dry overnight before relacing.

While that’s happening, I give the shoes a wipe with a rag and use a coconut coir brush to scrub the visible rubber part of the soles back to a reasonable level of clean.

clean shoe laces

And voila! Back to brilliance. Do you clean your shoelaces?

2 thoughts on “Do you wash your shoelaces?

  1. That’s amazing soap! Or you have really good water.
    Yes, I’ve washed my shoelaces. All my life. For some of the same reasons mentioned. 😉 “Are those new?” “Not even a little bit.” Partly also, I hated tying gross looking shoelaces.
    Usually the shoes too, if it was sunny out, next few days, and not raining a layer of pollen. The shoes came that clean before, on city water in Florida (US), but I’ve never had the shoe laces come that clean! It was either grass stains, or black tar stain (no idea?) through my childhood and early 20’s.
    After that in other parts of North America (all well water), it’s been: red clay stains, or now water stains (?) or something grey-ish brown that stains and stiffens everything eventually. I thought it was the soap nuts for awhile, but everything fabric gets like that after about 6 months.

    1. The soap is pretty good, and our water is on the soft side. Nothing like clean shoes to make a person feel a bit more together 😀

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