How to Clean Sneakers With Bar Keepers Friend

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Removing stains from white tennis shoes keeps them looking new.
Removing stains from white tennis shoes keeps them looking new. (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Bar Keepers Friend is a smooth, nonabrasive cleanser for multipurpose cleaning and stain removal. The active ingredient is derived from the rhubarb plant to remove stains from items without using bleach. White sneakers can become yellowed with age or have a yellowish tint from multiple washings in bleach. Bar Keepers Friend products will remove the yellowing and any other stains that accumulate on sneakers from spilling or stepping in condiments or clay-type mud.

Things You'll Need

  • Bar Keepers Friend liquid
  • Bar Keepers Friend powder
  • Sponge
  • Towel

Wet a sponge with water and wring it partially out so it remains wet.

Squirt a generous amount of Bar Keepers Friend liquid to the sponge. Remove the laces from your sneakers. Rub the sponge gently on the side of the soles of your sneakers to remove any stains near the bottom of the shoes.

Rub the sponge on the tongue, uppers and all top surfaces of your sneakers to whiten a yellowing tint. Rinse your sneakers thoroughly under a full stream of water from the kitchen sink until the water runs clear. Allow your shoes to air-dry or toss them in the dryer.

Fold your shoelaces into quarters and lay them side by side on a clean towel. Squirt a generous amount of Bar Keepers Friend liquid onto a wet sponge. Apply downward pressure on one end of one shoelace with your hand to keep it steady. Rub the shoelace from your hand to the other end to clean it. Turn the shoelace over and repeat this action on all sides. Clean the second shoelace in the same manner. Rinse your sneaker laces in water thoroughly. Allow the laces to air-dry or put them in the dryer.

Tips & Warnings

  • For stubborn stains, pour Bar Keepers Friend powder into a container and add a small amount of water to make a thick paste. Wet your shoes and apply the paste to the stained area. Allow the past to sit for one minute and then rinse it off.
  • This product is available in grocery stores, hardware stores and some dollar stores.

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