How To Clean White Converse: Step-by-Step Instructions

How To Clean White Converse: Step-by-Step Instructions

White Converse sneakers are a fashion staple, versatile enough to pair with almost any outfit. However, their pristine whiteness makes them a magnet for dirt and stains. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to clean white Converse so you can keep them looking brand new.

Why Do White Converse Get Dirty Easily?

White Converse sneakers get dirty easily due to their canvas material and light color. The canvas is porous, allowing dirt and stains to penetrate more deeply than other materials.

What You'll Need To Clean White Converse

Before you start, gather all the necessary cleaning agents and tools. Having everything at hand streamlines the cleaning process.

Cleaning Agents

  • Soap: Mild dish soap works well.
  • Bleach: Use as a last resort and dilute it properly.


  • Brush: A soft-bristle brush for scrubbing.
  • Cloth: A microfiber cloth for wiping.

Pre-Cleaning Steps

There are a few things you need to do to make the actual cleaning process more effective:

Remove Laces

First, remove the laces from your Converse. This allows you to clean every nook and cranny.

  • How: Unlace each shoe completely.
  • Why: Laces trap dirt and are easier to clean separately.

Dry Brushing

Before wet cleaning, brush off loose dirt from the surface.

  • Technique: Use a soft brush in gentle, circular motions.
  • Focus Areas: Pay attention to the rubber trim and tongue.

Cleaning Methods

Now that you're prepared, let's get into the cleaning methods. These methods range from hand washing to machine washing, each with its own set of steps.

Hand Washing

Hand washing is the safest and most effective method. It allows you to focus on problem areas and is less harsh on the fabric.

Soap and Water Method

  • Mix: Combine a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of dish soap.
  • Scrub: Use a brush to scrub the shoes gently.
  • Rinse: Rinse off the soap with cold water.
  • Repeat: If stains persist, repeat the process.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Mix: Combine equal parts baking soda and vinegar.
  • Apply: Use a brush to apply the mixture on stains.
  • Wait: Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse: Rinse off with cold water.

Machine Washing

Machine washing is quicker but riskier because the agitation can weaken the fabric. To mitigate this risk:

  • Settings: Use a delicate cycle with cold water.
  • Detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Precautions: Place the shoes in a mesh bag to prevent damage.
  • Rinse: Run an additional rinse cycle to remove detergent residue.

Alternative White Converse Cleaning Methods

Sometimes, traditional methods don’t work for stubborn stains or mold. Here you have some tried-and-tested alternatives:

Using Toothpaste

Toothpaste is effective for spot cleaning. It's a handy alternative when you're out of other cleaning agents.

  • Apply: Dab a small amount of white toothpaste on stains.
  • Scrub: Use an old toothbrush to scrub the area.
  • Rinse: Rinse off with cold water.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is effective for deeper stains. It's a powerful cleaner but should be used cautiously.

  • Apply: Use a cloth to apply hydrogen peroxide on stains.
  • Wait: Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Rinse: Rinse off with cold water.

Using Nail Polish Remover/Acetone

Acetone can remove stubborn stains. However, it's a strong solvent that can affect the color and integrity of the fabric.

  • Apply: Dab acetone on a cotton pad.
  • Rub: Gently rub the stained area.
  • Rinse: Rinse off with cold water.

How to Clean Converse Laces

Your laces need separate cleaning. Dirty laces can make even the cleanest pair of shoes look grubby.

  • Place the laces in a bowl of soapy water.
  • Use a brush to scrub away the dirt.
  • Rinse the laces under cold water.
  • Hang the laces to air dry.

  • Drying Your White Converse

    After cleaning, proper drying is essential. The right drying method ensures that your shoes maintain their shape and color.

    Air Drying

    Air drying is the safest method. It prevents the shoes from shrinking or warping.

    • Place: Leave the shoes in a well-ventilated area.
    • Time: Allow at least 24 hours for drying.

    Machine Drying

    Avoid machine drying as it can warp the shape and shrink the fabric. The high heat can also cause the glue to weaken, leading to the sole separating from the shoe.

    • Alternative: Use a fan to speed up air drying.

    Post-Cleaning Care

    Once your shoes are clean and dry, some additional steps can keep them looking good for longer.

    Stain Prevention

    To keep your shoes clean longer, use a stain-repellent spray after each cleaning.


    Store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.

    Tips To Keep Your White Converse White

    Regular maintenance helps keep your shoes white. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Apply a stain-repellent spray after each cleaning session.
  • Address stains immediately to prevent them from setting.
  • Steer clear of muddy areas or puddles to minimize staining.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I Use Bleach on White Converse?

    Bleach isn’t recommended as it can weaken the fabric and cause yellowing over time.

    How Often Should I Clean My White Converse?

    Clean them at least once a month for regular use. If you wear them frequently, consider a bi-weekly cleaning.

    Why Did My White Converse Turn Yellow After Washing?

    Yellowing occurs due to exposure to harsh chemicals or sunlight. To avoid this, use mild cleaning agents and air dry your shoes away from direct sunlight.

    Final Thoughts

    Keeping your white Converse clean can feel like a never-ending battle, but with the right techniques and products, it's entirely manageable. Just as you would use specialized products for different cleaning tasks around your home, the same principle applies to your footwear. 

    For instance, Krazy Klean, known for its highly effective toilet bowl cleaner, exemplifies the importance of using the right solutions for specific cleaning challenges. While our specialty is in bathroom cleanliness, the underlying philosophy is the same: the right tools and products make all the difference. 

    So, as you consider how to keep your white Converse looking their best, remember that the broader context of a clean living environment contributes to the longevity and appearance of all your belongings, from your shoes to your bathroom.

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