How to Clean Converse With the Most Effective DIY Methods

Last updated Feb 19, 2019 | Cleaning | 59 comments

How To Clean Converse

Are you also tired of buying a pair of Converse, just to learn how dirty they look even after a week or two?

Keep reading to find out how to clean your converse sneakers.


First Step – Remove the Shoe Laces

For easy access to 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 in certain areas that still have stains. You might even consider using the Magic Eraser product by Mr. Clean (available on Amazon here) 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.

Important: The ingredients in toothpaste may vary from brand to brand, so make sure to try this method on a small unnoticeable spot on your Converse sneakers before applying it to the rest of the shoe. This way you’re sure the toothpaste doesn’t accidentally stain your sneakers.


Method #3 – Machine Washing Your Converse Shoes

In a small bucket half filled with warm water, sprinkle two-thirds of a 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 bleaching agent so that the pattern of your Converse shoes remains intact. Use a cold rinse cycle for this.


Method #4 – 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 after you’ve cleaned your Converse

Air dry your Converse shoes in a place 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’ 🙂