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How to clean converse sneakers

How to Clean Converse With the Most Effective DIY Methods

How To Clean Converse

Aren’t you tired of buying a pair of Converse, just to find out how dirty they look even after a week or two? Keep reading to find out how to clean your converse sneakers.

We’ve made a list of some different DIY methods, that can make your Converse sneakers look brand new; or at least clean them up quite a bit.



REMEMBER: The initial and final steps are mandatory, no matter which solution you choose.

Initial Step – Remove the Shoe Laces

For easy access around the eyelets and the tongue, remove the sneaker laces from your Converse sneakers. Run your pair of shoes under running lukewarm water to thoroughly dampen them before you actually clean them. Shake off the excessive water.



Method #1- Using Powder Cleaners To Clean Up Your Converse

You can use an abrasive powder detergent and pour some into a bowl as you mix this with a small amount of heated water. This should create a consistency that is sort of ‘paste-like.’ Dip a toothbrush into this mixture and scrub on the shoe’s rubber areas. Scrub in a small, forceful circular motion and concentrate on the areas of the shoe that are stained the most. Use warm water to rinse the shoe and a clean towel to wipe this dry. Check the shoe and see if the previous steps need to be repeated on certain areas that still have stains. You might even consider using the Magic Eraser product by Mr. Clean to eliminate any stubborn stains that remain. When finished, let your shoes air-dry. You can use baking soda instead of an abrasive powder cleaner if you prefer. Find a powder cleaner that does not contain bleach, as this tends to fade the fabric.


Method #2 – Using Toothpaste To Clean the Dirty Spots On Your Converse All Stars

Believe it or not, toothpaste works great for cleaning your Converse shoes as well. Use a non-gel white toothpaste. Obviously, colored toothpaste may stain rather than clean your shoes. Use an old toothbrush to apply toothpaste to your dirty shoes. Work the paste into your shoes dirty spots. Once you have worked the toothpaste into the fabric of the shoes, let this sit for about ten minutes. After the elapsed time, wipe the toothpaste off your shoe using a damp towel. Get your shoes as white as you want by repeating this step as many times as possible. This is a quick and easy method for cleaning your Converse shoes as conveniently as possible.


Method #3 – Using Baking Soda And Vinegar To Clean Your Converse Sneakers

Combine one tablespoon of hot water, one tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda and mix this until it reaches a consistency which is pasty. Using an old toothbrush, work the pasty mixture into the rubber soles and canvas of your sneakers. To clean deep set stains, work in circular motions. If needed, mix more cleaning paste. Under lukewarm water, thoroughly rinse your shoes to remove all the vinegar and baking soda. If there are any remaining stains, repeat this step on certain areas. In a warm, sunny location, allow your converse sneakers to dry completely before you replace the shoelaces. Before drying the shoes, you might want to apply a light spray of starch for that new Converse sneaker feel.


Method #4 – Machine Washing Your Converse Shoes

In a small bucket halfway filled with warm water, sprinkle two-thirds cup of baking soda. Into the bucket, pour a dime-sized amount of dishwashing detergent and use the end of a toothbrush to stir the mixture. Next, dip the bristles of the toothbrush into the bucket. Vigorously scrub the white toe patch or the front area until you see that the scuff marks and the dirt are removed. Scrub around the toe protective guard that borders the shoe base. Remove and smudges of dirt stuck within the pattern marks. Set your washing machine on low cycle and put in the pair of shoes without any other garments in the washer. Begin the wash cycle after adding in half a cup of laundry detergent. Avoid using a bleach agent so that the pattern of your Converse shoes remains intact. Use a cold rinse cycle for this.


Method #5 – Using a Dishwasher to Clean Your Converse

Yes, you read that right – you can actually use a dishwasher to clean your Converse All Stars. Make sure that your washer is empty with no dishes or utensils in it. Run your kitchen faucet’s water on ‘hot’ so that the water in your dishwasher is also heated. Add in dish detergent like you do normally and put your Chucks on the topmost rack facing down. Run your normal dishwashing cycle. Once the wash cycle has been completed, take your damp shoes and lay them out in the sunshine. If the weather does not permit, put them in the dryer along with a couple of large towels so that your shoes don’t bang around too much.


Final step when you’ve cleaned your Converse

Air dry your Converse shoes in a location where there is moderate heat. You can whiten the toe patch of your shoes by smearing a dime-sized amount of liquid chalk for shoes. For best results, follow the exact instructions on the whitening agent. Wipe the toe patch clean using a wet sponge that is dampened in mild soapy detergent. Air-dry your shoes once more. Lace-up your freshly cleaned Converse shoes the way they were when you first bought them. The laces need to be straightened to prevent looseness and twisting. Inside the shoe, adjust the tongue so that it centers beneath both eyelet rows.


That’s all there is to it! Enjoy your clean ‘Chucks’ 🙂


  1. Ashli

    Thank you so much! Honestly, my white chucks look better than when I bought them after using your tips..

  2. Ashli

    Also will definitely be sharing with family and friends!

  3. Emily

    Does anyone know if it yellows the shoe ? And does it work on red dirt stains and mysterious black stains?

    • Lolly Washington
      Lolly Washington

      Never ever use bleach on the converse I made that mistake once and the fabric got loose and they ripped. 🙁 but I can tell you the black stain are from the metal hokes in the shoe they rub on the shoelace transferring to the shoe itself 🙁 but try using toothpaste. I’m kinda scared to use the baking powder and vinegar. Scared it ll eat away the fabric. But I have two suggestion for you. First use this cleaner called ivory. It makes anything white so white it’s almost blue. (Not really it’s just really really white.) Just add it to your washer. Second I would get a Whitener tides stick and add hot water with it and it should be good as. Ew! Hope this helped! 🙂

  4. J

    Re Method #3: Mixing bleach and vinegar will release toxic chlorine gas!

  5. Ethan

    Which tip would you recommend for my red converse?

    • Hannah

      I have red converse and I put them in the washing machine on cold and then I took them out and scrubbed the white with a toothbrush and dish soap then I put them back into the washing machine and rinsed them and they came pretty clean, the toungue is still a little dirty from the metal rings but I think they’re clean enough.

  6. meg

    was cleaning my blue converse shoes with toothpaste and now i got white marks on canvis anyone know how to get it off was using baby wipe but not going away

    • Hannah

      Well, you’ve essentially scrubbed off the colour dye from your fabric on your Converse. I don’t think there’s any way to undo that but I could be wrong. Try googling it or something, but you may have ruined your Converse 🙁 sorry!!
      I think the toothpaste method would only work on white ones, which I’ve got and it works amazing so, best of luck!!

  7. Brian

    Who said bleach?

  8. Ken

    The Magic Eraser did the trick in 20 seconds. Cleaned the toe cap and the sides, then some dishwashing detergent and water for the front end, with all its grooves.

  9. Bradi

    I scrubbed my shoes with bleach for 20 minutes each. Then rinsed in the bath. Then put in the washer with more bleach and detergent. They look brand-new. I did the same with the laces. I took out the souls and scrub them with bleach. Then rinsed in the bath. Then let sun dry. When I put everything back together it looked like I just took them out of the box!! ( White converse)Good luck !!

  10. Nola

    is it okay to us method #3

  11. Tron

    Peroxide Vinegar and Baking Soda cleaned soy sauce off of the tongue of my bf’s Jordans!#Amazing!! He hasn’t worn them in months.Theyre like new again!!

  12. Unicorpious

    Does it work on Red Converse

  13. Tessa Travis

    i have a yellow bleach stain on my mint green converse. do any of these methods help get rid of it?

  14. Tianna

    Will laundry detergent work ???

    • Juless

      Yes but make sure you mix with baking soda and laundry detergent- add some water and scrub away!!! I used an old tooth brush

  15. John

    How long did it take them to dry?

  16. Isabella

    I got my converse stained by food coloring what can you recommend me to use [ no bleach]

  17. ThatQuietGirl

    Lol I haven’t even owned my white converse for more than a a week and there’s this very tiny brownish dot on it. It’s annoying me so much

  18. Dani

    I used method #3 for the white rubber on my black converse high tops. I used 2 tablespoons hot water, white vinegar, and 4 tablespoons baking soda. I also added 1 tablespoon of dawn dish detergent to the mix. The rubber parts of my converse shoes came out looking very close to new! However, when I started the rubber was not yellow as they tend to get with age they were still white with some dirt, dark stains, and a slight brown tinge in the crevasses. As far as I can tell the black fabric was not damaged, warn down, or changed color. I put them next to our fire place to dry and should be ready to wear within 12-24 hrs.

  19. Lili

    Did method 2 work?

  20. Renee

    If the fabric of a white converse starts to turn yellow from bleach is there anyway you could turn them back to white

  21. Caroline

    i used the toothpaste method and although it did make my shoes whiter it did not clean the stains it simply dims it with a white layer over it. you might as well just put paint over your shoe. the toothpaste ruined the fabric on my shoe and am very disappointed.

  22. Anonymous

    I recently purchased a pair of checkered converse. Do you know anything, or which method, that will allow me to clean them without blurring the black boxes on the canvas?

  23. Ayri

    Does this bleach the shoes ??

  24. A.

    I have white converse… I’m willing to try the toothpaste method, does it matter what color the toothpaste is? It will it not affect it?

We'd love to hear which method you chose and how it worked for you! Or perhaps you combined or tweaked some of the methods? Feel free to drop a few words about it!