How to Clean Converse Shoes

How to clean and whiten converse shoes

When it comes to Converse sneakers, I like mine white. The only problem is, because I wear mine everyday, my white Converse shoes get dirty! Luckily, it’s easy to clean Converse shoes in just a few simple steps. You don’t need fancy products either. In fact, I’m certain that you have all of the materials you need to whiten Converse shoes already in your home!

How to Wash Converse

How to wash converse shoes

Before we talk about whitening Converse shoes, let’s get them clean. This Converse cleaning process can be used on shoes of any color. We are going to whiten our Converse sneakers in the next section! This part of the process is meant to remove surface-level dirt and grime. 

Step 1: Remove Laces and Dry Brush

Remove the laces from your shoe and use a cleaning brush to brush away loose dirt. If you have one, I recommend using a fabric or clothes brush for this task.

Step 2: Create a Cleaning Solution

You can mix your own effective cleaning solution using the following household ingredients:

Don’t have liquid laundry detergent on hand? You can substitute the following alternatives:

  • Dish soap
  • Shampoo
  • Other liquid soap if needed

I recommend making two bowls of this solution. One you will use for the shoes and the other for the laces.

Step 3: Wash Converse Shoe Fabric and Laces

How to wash and whiten shoelaces

Washing Converse shoes is easy with your DIY cleaning solution and a cleaning cloth or sponge.

  1. First, soak your shoelaces in one of the cleaning mixture bowls.
  2. Next, dip a cleaning cloth in the other bowl filled with your cleaning mixture. 
  3. Use the damp, soapy cloth to scrub your Converse shoe fabric.
  4. Be sure to rinse the dirty cloth in clean water before dipping back into the soap mixture.
  5. Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse your Converse shoe under clean water to remove any soapy residue.
  6. After soaking for 15 minutes or so, give your shoelaces a scrub between your fingers or with your cleaning cloth then rinse under clean water.
  7. Repeat as necessary.

NOTE: If your shoes are extremely dirty, you might have to make a separate batch of soapy cleaning solution for the second shoe.

Step 4: Wash Soles and Toe Caps

Clean Converse toecaps and rubber soles with Magic Eraser

The rubber soles and toe caps of your Converse shoes might require a little more elbow grease to get scuffs out. A small cleaning brush (like an old toothbrush) makes this part of the job much easier.

  1. Dip a cleaning toothbrush (an old toothbrush dedicated to cleaning tasks) in the cleaning mixture.
  2. Use the soapy brush to scrub dirty rubber soles and toe caps.
  3. Rinse under clean water to remove soapy residue.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

NOTE: For extremely stubborn stains on the rubber portion of the shoe use a magic eraser to scrub.

How to Whiten Converse Shoes

Whiten canvas shoes with this cleaning paste

Now that your shoes are clean, it’s time to whiten. This section is meant for white Converse shoes specifically. 

With that said, the products I use here can help lift stains out of colorful fabrics as well. I found that color-safe bleaching products were plenty effective and I avoided chlorine bleach.

Step 1: Create a Whitening Cleaning Paste

Create a paste using equal-ish parts of:

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap

Adjust the amounts of each ingredient until you end up with a paste that resembles the texture of toothpaste.

Step 2: Spot Clean Stubborn Stains

  1. Use a cleaning toothbrush to scrub the whitening mixture on stubborn stains or areas that need extra whitening. You can even scrub the mixture on the entire shoe surface if necessary.
  2. Don’t forget about your laces! If those are also in need of whitening, coat them with the whitening paste as well.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for 15-30 minutes before rinsing off in cool water.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

How to Dry Sneakers

Now your Converse sneakers should be clean and white again. The last step in this process is drying your shoes properly.

There are a few things to keep in mind when drying Converse sneakers so check out the tips detailed below.

Air Drying Sneaker Tips

  • Air dry – never tumble dry. The last thing you want to do is shrink your shoes or cause cracks in the rubber soles from a hot dryer.
  • Place wet shoes in a warm location with good air circulation.
  • Stuff wet shoes with crumpled newspaper to speed up the drying process.
  • Be careful if you leave your shoes in direct sunlight to dry. Too much sun exposure can cause the rubber or leather to crack. The sun can also bleach colored shoes to a lighter shade.
How to wash and whiten Converse shoes.

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