How to Wash Converse Sneakers

Written by sylvia branch
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How to Wash Converse Sneakers
Wash Converse tennis shoes carefully to keep them looking new. (shoes image by April K from

Converse tennis shoes have a classic look and timeless appeal. Since they are cloth-based, they absorb dirt and mud like just like items of clothing. Cleaning stains from the shoes will help their appearance. Taking the time to care for your shoes properly can lengthen their lifespan. Wash dirty shoes as soon as possible for best results. Concentrate your efforts with a toothbrush and specially made cleaning formulas for shoes that will look brand new.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Toothbrush
  • Stain stick
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Mild detergent
  • WD-40

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  1. 1

    Remove the shoelaces. Clean these with mild detergent. Use a toothbrush to scrub out stains. Rinse thoroughly and dry flat.

  2. 2

    Stuff the Converse shoes with plastic grocery bags. This helps the shoes retain their shape while being cleaned.

  3. 3

    Rub a stain stick over the canvas, generously coating the stains and discolourations. Scrub with a toothbrush in a circular motion to loosen any dirt or grime. In lieu of a stain stick, mix white vinegar with baking soda to make a thick paste. Rub into the canvas with a toothbrush.

  4. 4

    Toss in the washing machine. Use a cold water setting with mild, bleach-free detergent. Add towels or a blanket to cut down on the noise and avoid damaging your machine. Allow the shoes to dry naturally. White shoes can benefit from drying in the sun, while coloured pairs should avoid direct sunlight.

  5. 5

    Clean black scuff marks with WD-40. Spray a shot on the rubber and rub with a soft cloth to remove marks.

Tips and warnings

  • Spray white Converse tennis shoes with a little spray starch for a crisp look.
  • Even with white Converse tennis shoes, you should avoid using straight bleach, it will yellow the shoe and cause the rubber to loosen.
  • Do not put Converse tennis shoes in a dryer. This will shorten the life of the shoes by causing the rubber sole and toe to loosen. The heat of the dryer can also change the colour of the shoe.

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