“No matter how dirty your past is, your future is still spotless.”

A perfect pair of white sneakers can elevate any outfit. It’s universally chic and versatile. They literally can go with everything. It’s an essential.  So when traveling, I pack my Mercer Edit’s (see above) with me. It is light, simple and comfortable. And the best part when you keep em white, you look effortlessly polished and cool.

The downside (of course) is you gotta care for them, or why invest in a pair of white sneakers?

Before you take them traveling, make sure you pre-treat them. This means spray them with stain and water repellant. If you have a pair of white canvas’ you can waterproof them with white tea candle wax. Start by rubbing your shoe surface with a layer of wax and then use a blow-dryer to melt the wax into the shoe surface. And voila! you are done. 

For anything that is made from a special material or leather, I would you use a stain / water repellent spray. Now that you have prepped and protected them, here are some three small knick-knacks you can bring with you on your next trip to keep them white while traveling.


Carrying handy wipes or antibacterial wipes. These wipes are not only great to use to disinfect your hands and keep your hands clean. Now you can also use it wipe dirt off your shoes! If this is something you don’t carry when you travel, a plain paper towel with a dash of soap & water is great for cleaning off anything. *Key – don’t let anything sit too long or the stain can deepen.

White nail polish or white-out for touch ups. This is like killing two birds with one stone. You can touch up your nails and use it to cover up scuffs, scratches that you can’t wipe off.

Erasers. Who would’ve thought this office stationary (stick to the white ones) can erase stains and shiny marks on leather shoes. Gently sweep the eraser over the area in one direction instead of back and forth and brush off marks.

For those who like to pack even lighter and like to improvise. 


Soap, water and/or dish detergent. These three combos can go a long way in getting stains out. use a cloth to gently rub and clean. Wring out the cloth and use it to dab to dry.

White toothpaste and a toothbrush is also another great option. Again gently using it to brush against the material with light strokes.

Baking soda is also known as not just a great stain remover and cleaning agent. It’s also known for deodorizing. So if you find your sneakers starting to smell you can take a coffee filter and fill it with baking soda to get rid of the odor. 

Another quick odor tip – stuff your shoes with newspaper. It keeps your shoes in shape and smelling fresh. To kick it up a notch, try wrapping lemon in newspapers or dab some lemon essential oil onto the newspaper before stuffing them into your shoe.

Lastly, after cleaning your shoes, the best option is to air dry them indoors and out of direct sunlight until they are dried.   I cannot stress this enough! Often, it’s the sunlight that causes the unwanted discoloration and yellowing in the process of drying.  *Only put your shoes out in direct sunlight if it is dry to help air out the stench.

Photo by: Michael @m_minimal