One converse shoe being covered by water.

How to Wash Converse

Converse, those cool canvas shoes that everyone seems to love, have a history that stretches back over a century. Yup, that’s right! People have been rocking these kicks for generations. But just like any favorite item in our closet, they tend to get dirty after a while. Whether you’ve accidentally stepped in a muddy puddle or simply worn them a bunch of times to school, knowing how to wash Converse is a must.

It’s not just about looking stylish (although clean shoes do give you some major style points). Keeping your Converse clean means they’ll last longer, feel fresher, and, let’s face it, smell a lot better too! If you’re scratching your head wondering the best way to give those sneakers a good scrub without damaging them, you’re in the right place. We’re about to dive deep into the ins and outs of washing Converse. So, pull up your laces, and let’s get started on making those shoes look brand new again!

Why Regular Cleaning Is Essential

Prolonging Shoe Lifespan

Alright, let’s start with the basics. Shoes are a bit like people; they age! The more they’re out and about, the quicker they can show signs of wear and tear. However, when you figure out how to wash Converse regularly, you’re giving your shoes a little “TLC” (that’s tender loving care!). This can help them stay in shape and keep up with your daily adventures for a longer time. Think of it this way: if you were a shoe, you’d want some spa days too, right?

Preventing Odors

Now, onto the less glamorous part – the smell. Every shoe, no matter how awesome, has the potential to develop some…let’s call them “unique” aromas. Especially when worn frequently. Sweat, rain, or just the environment can make your favorite Converse start to smell a bit off. Thankfully, understanding how to wash Converse can save you (and your friends) from some unwanted sniff tests. Plus, your feet will thank you for the fresh environment!

Keeping a Pristine Appearance

And of course, there’s the look. Whether you’re wearing them to school, hanging out with friends, or even rocking a casual Friday at work when you’re older, you want your shoes to shine, not shout “I’ve seen better days!”. Getting into the habit of washing your Converse not only ensures they look brand new, but it also gives you that confident pep in your step. After all, when you look good, you feel good!

So there you have it. Understanding how to wash Converse is not just about keeping them clean; it’s about ensuring they stay with you for the long run, smelling fresh, and looking fabulous. Stay tuned as we jump into the specifics of getting those kicks squeaky clean!

Preliminary Steps Before Washing

Before you dive right into the washing process, it’s always smart to prep your shoes a bit. It’s kind of like when you get ready for a big day – you don’t just rush out the door! You make sure everything’s in order first. So, let’s look at the essential steps to take before you learn how to wash Converse properly.

Remove Shoelaces for a Thorough Clean

First things first: those shoelaces need to come off. It might seem like a small step, but removing your laces ensures you can clean every nook and cranny of your Converse. It’s also a great way to prevent the laces from getting tangled or damaged during the wash. Think of it as giving both your shoes and laces their individual spa time!

Brush Off the Loose Dirt

Before adding any water, grab a soft-bristle brush or even an old toothbrush (just make sure it’s not the one you’re currently using!). Gently brush away any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the surface. It helps to make the actual washing process more effective, ensuring you’re not just moving dirt around. This step is like brushing your hair before you wash it, making sure there are no tangles or extra dirt.

Check for Special Care Instructions

Lastly, it’s essential to remember that not all Converse shoes are created equal. Some might have unique designs, colors, or materials that need a bit more care. So, give the label inside your shoe a quick glance or pop over to the Converse website. Checking for any special guidelines ensures you’re washing your shoes the right way and not accidentally fading that cool design you love so much.

So, now that you’ve got everything ready and know the basics of how to wash Converse, it’s time to dive into the actual cleaning process. Let’s get those shoes looking and feeling their best!

Hand Washing Method

We’ve all heard the saying, “sometimes, the old ways are the best.” When it comes to giving your Converse a good clean, hand washing can be the gentlest and most effective method. It might take a bit longer than tossing them in a machine, but the results can be well worth it. If you’re ready to learn how to wash Converse by hand, let’s gather our supplies and roll up our sleeves!

Materials Needed:

Before we jump in, make sure you have these items on hand:

  • Mild detergent (nothing too harsh or full of bleach)
  • Lukewarm water (not too hot, not too cold, just right!)
  • Soft cloth or sponge (to give your shoes a gentle scrub)
  • A soft-bristle brush (perfect for those tricky spots and soles)

Steps to a Perfect Hand Wash:

1. Preparation is Key

Begin by filling a basin or your sink with lukewarm water. Add just a bit of your mild detergent. You’re not looking for a bubble party, just enough to get things soapy.

2. Dip and Scrub

Now, dip your cloth or sponge into the soapy water. Don’t dunk your Converse directly into the water; we’re not giving them a bath, after all.

3. Circular Motion Magic

Start scrubbing the canvas part of your shoes gently using a circular motion. This technique helps to lift the dirt off without being too rough on the fabric.

4. Tackle Tougher Stains

For those stubborn spots or dirty soles, it’s time to bring out the soft-bristle brush. Remember to be gentle; we want to clean, not damage.

5. Rinse and Shine

After scrubbing away the dirt, rinse your shoes with clean water. This step ensures all the soap residue is gone and leaves your Converse sparkling clean.

6. Dry Them Off

Pat your Converse dry with a soft towel. But wait, you’re not done! Let them air dry for the best results. Direct sunlight or heaters might be tempting for a quicker dry, but they can warp or fade your shoes. So, patience is the name of the game here.

And there you have it! With these steps, you now know how to wash Converse using the hand washing method. Your shoes will thank you for the gentle care, and you’ll be stepping out in style.

Machine Washing Method

While the hand washing method gives you that personal touch, we get it; sometimes, life gets busy, and you need a faster way. Enter the machine washing method! But, before we jump in, it’s crucial to highlight that while convenient, machine washing isn’t the best for your Converse if done too often. Still, done right, it can be a lifesaver on those super busy days. Ready to discover how to wash Converse in your trusty washing machine? Let’s get started!

A Word of Caution:

Machine washing is super convenient, no doubt. However, doing it frequently might make your beloved shoes age a bit faster. So, consider this method as an occasional quick fix rather than a regular routine.

Materials Needed:

For this method, ensure you have the following items:

  • Mild detergent (Again, keep it gentle!)
  • An old pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag (To protect your shoes and your machine)
  • Your trusty washing machine

Steps to Machine Washing Mastery:

1. Bag ‘Em Up

First up, place your Converse inside the pillowcase or mesh laundry bag. This step is like giving them a protective shield during their washing adventure.

2. Detergent Time

Now, put the bagged shoes into the washing machine and add a small dose of your mild detergent. Remember, less is more; we don’t want a soap overflow situation!

3. Setting It Right

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle and cold water. This combo ensures a delicate wash, minimizing any potential damage to the fabric or structure of your shoes.

4. Reshape Post-Wash

Once the cycle is done, carefully remove your Converse from the bag. They might look a little out of shape from the spin, but don’t worry! Gently reshape them back to their original form while they’re still damp.

5. Air Drying is Best

Lastly, let your shoes air dry. As tempting as it might be to use a dryer or place them in direct sunlight, resist the urge. Letting them air dry naturally ensures they retain their shape and color.

And voila! That’s how to wash Converse using your washing machine. It’s a quick method for those tight on time, but remember to give them a hand wash now and then for the best care. After all, your shoes deserve a little pampering too!

Drying Tips and Recommendations

You’ve given your Converse a refreshing wash, but wait! The drying process is just as crucial. Get this step wrong, and you could end up with misshapen or faded shoes – and nobody wants that. So, let’s delve into the best practices on how to dry your Converse properly after you’ve figured out how to wash Converse. Ready to ensure your shoes look and feel their best post-wash? Let’s jump in!

Always Air Dry

Direct sunlight might seem like a fast track to dry shoes, but it’s a big no-no. The same goes for artificial heaters. Why? Both can cause your shoes to lose their color or even warp their shape. Instead, find a well-ventilated spot in your home, away from direct heat or sunlight. This method will let your Converse dry naturally, preserving their look and feel.

Maintain that Signature Shape

Freshly washed shoes can sometimes lose their iconic Converse shape. But don’t fret! A simple hack can help. Grab some paper towels or white paper (like from a newspaper or journal). Ball them up and stuff them inside your shoes. This technique helps your shoes maintain their form and also absorbs any lingering moisture from the wash.

Rotate for Even Drying

As your shoes are air drying, make sure you rotate them every once in a while. This tip ensures that every part of the shoe gets equal air exposure, leading to even drying. It might seem like a small detail, but it can make all the difference in ensuring your Converse dry perfectly.

In conclusion, the drying process is just as crucial as the washing method when you’re learning how to wash Converse. By following these recommendations, you’re ensuring that your sneakers not only get clean but also maintain their iconic look for many more wears to come. Happy drying!

Post-Wash Care

Alright, your Converse shoes are sparkling clean and dried to perfection. But what’s next? How do you ensure they remain looking fresh and fabulous for as long as possible? Well, after mastering how to wash Converse, the journey doesn’t stop there. Post-wash care is equally vital in preserving your shoes’ lifespan and appearance. So, let’s explore some top tips to give your shoes the love they deserve even after they’re clean!

Shield with a Water Repellent Spray

One of the best ways to protect your freshly cleaned Converse is by using a water repellent spray. This wonder spray creates a protective barrier on your shoes, making it harder for dirt, stains, and water to leave a mark. Think of it as an invisible shield, ensuring your shoes stay cleaner for longer. Just make sure to choose a spray that’s suitable for canvas materials and always test on a small inconspicuous spot first.

Spot Clean Regularly

While deep cleans are essential now and then, regular spot cleaning can significantly reduce their need. It’s like brushing your teeth daily to avoid big dental issues. Every time you notice a small stain or a bit of dirt on your Converse, give it a quick clean. Using a damp cloth or a soft-bristle brush can often do the trick. This way, you’re tackling potential problems right away, preventing them from setting deep into the fabric.

In the end, understanding how to wash Converse is just part of the equation. Post-wash care ensures that your beloved sneakers remain in prime condition, ready to accompany you on many more adventures. With a bit of proactive care, your Converse will keep turning heads and making strides in style!


Caring for your Converse shoes goes beyond just a periodic deep clean. While understanding how to wash Converse is crucial, the steps you take before, during, and after the wash play a significant role in determining the longevity and appearance of your favorite kicks. Whether you prefer hand washing or occasionally resort to machine cleaning, it’s the attention to detail, from drying to post-wash care, that makes all the difference. With the right techniques and a bit of TLC, your Converse shoes can remain as iconic and stylish as the day you first slipped them on. Here’s to many more steps in your clean and well-maintained sneakers!


While it’s possible to wash Converse in a washing machine, it’s not recommended for frequent use. Regular machine washing can reduce the shoe’s longevity. Always opt for hand washing when you can, and use the machine method sparingly.

It’s best to avoid direct sunlight when drying your Converse. Prolonged exposure can lead to fading or warping of the shoes. Instead, always opt for air drying in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources.

While not strictly necessary, using a water repellent spray post-wash can offer added protection against future stains and spills, helping to keep your shoes looking fresh for longer.

For particularly stubborn stains, consider using a mixture of baking soda and water to form a paste. Apply this to the stain and gently scrub with a soft-bristle brush. However, always do a patch test first to ensure it doesn’t affect the color.

It’s advisable not to use direct heat sources like hairdryers on Converse shoes. This can potentially warp the shape or affect the adhesive. Always opt for natural air drying.

The frequency depends on usage. If you wear your Converse regularly and they pick up dirt easily, consider spot cleaning weekly and doing a deeper clean monthly. Regular maintenance can reduce the need for intensive cleaning sessions.