How to Get Mud out of White Nylon Mesh Shoes

Muddy Sport shoes
White nylon mesh shoes (sneakers) covered in mud. (Image: Y2jimbob/iStock/Getty Images)

Nylon mesh is a lightweight, versatile material used to create shoes that work well for activities such as hiking, fishing and enjoying an afternoon at the beach. However, all that outdoor fun means the accumulation of mud, dirt and gunk on your otherwise pristine white nylon mesh shoes. Because nylon mesh is fragile, you might not have the option to simply throw muddy shoes into the washer and walk away. Even if your shoes are machine-washable, it’s important to eliminate the mud and pretreat the stain to prevent any permanent discoloration.

Step 1

Grasp the shoes and, while holding them over a garbage can, gently bang them together to remove any large clumps of mud. Give the shoes a final shake before setting them down.

Step 2

Fill a plastic bucket with a combination of 1 gallon warm water, 2 tablespoons oxygen bleach and 1/6 cup laundry detergent. Remove the laces, if applicable, before submerging the shoes in the mixture.

Step 3

Allow the shoes to soak in the soapy water for five minutes before pulling them out. Dampen a plastic scrub brush or unwanted toothbrush with the soapy mixture and work the soapy water into the stain. Continue to dampen the toothbrush or scrub brush with the soapy solution and work it into the stain until it’s completely eliminated.

Step 4

Rinse the shoes thoroughly under a cool tap. Once the soapy mixture is completely eliminated, lay the shoes in a cool, dry spot and allow them to dry completely. Help the shoes keep their form by stuffing them with pieces of balled paper towel. Avoid newspaper, as the print can bleed onto your white mesh shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Garbage can

  • Plastic bucket

  • 2 tablespoon oxygen bleach powder

  • 1/6 cup laundry detergent

  • Plastic scrub brush

  • Toothpaste

  • Paper towel

Tip

Launder the shoes after removing the stain, if possible. If the shoe’s label urges customers to avoid laundering, skip this step.

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