Housekeeping House Cleaning Cleaning Tips How to Clean Converse Shoes Keep your Chucks looking like they just came out of the box with these easy cleaning tips. By Jolie Kerr Jolie Kerr Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can't Ask Martha. Her work has appeared in GQ, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times and Town & Country. A graduate of Barnard College, Jolie lives in a tiny Manhattan apartment with her five vacuum cleaners. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Published on May 25, 2023 Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Getty Images / Jency Morales Project Overview Total Time: 20 minutes Skill Level: Beginner Estimated Cost: $10 Converse sneakers, including the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star, are among the most popular footwear styles, appearing everywhere from the basketball court to the red carpet. And one of their most appealing qualities is that Converse shoes look just as cool when they're well-worn as they do fresh out of the box. But not everyone wants to sport lovingly worn-in Chucks; there are times and styles that call for a new, or almost-new, looking pair of shoes. Ahead, find instructions for cleaning canvas, leather, and synthetic Converse sneakers, as well as tips for avoiding damage and treating common stains like grass, mud, and blood. Before Getting Started Converse recommends cleaning its canvas, leather, and synthetic sneakers with mild soap. Typically, "mild soap" refers to dish soap, hand soap, or diluted liquid laundry detergent. One good option is foaming liquid hand soap, because its formula is gentler than concentrated liquid soaps, making it ideal for spot-treating fabrics, especially those that aren't launderable. Regardless of the cleaning agent you choose, it's important to test that it's safe to use on the sneakers to avoid permanent damage to the shoes. Converse suggests testing the cleaning process "on a hidden section of the sneaker, such as the outer edges of the tongue. This ensures that your cleaning solution will not affect the color or material." How to Clean White Shoes (No Matter the Material) What You'll Need Equipment / Tools Melamine foam sponge (optional) Soft bristle brush or toothbrush (optional) Leather conditioner (optional) Materials Microfiber cloth Mild soap Stain treatment product (optional) Instructions How to Clean Canvas Converse Shoes Converse provides official cleaning instructions on their website, which are helpful to review to note what they caution against doing. Converse does not recommend machine washing or drying under any circumstances. To prolong the life of your Converse shoes, do not apply direct heat. The following instructions provide more specific detail for cleaning canvas Converse sneakers. Remove Laces Remove the laces before cleaning Converse shoes. Dirt and grime collect around the eyelets and on the tongue, and removing the laces allows access to clean those areas of the shoe. Brush Away Debris Use your hands, an old toothbrush, or clap the shoes against one another over a trash bin to knock loose any dried-on mud, dirt, grass, or other debris. It is important to remove as much loose soil as possible before cleaning Converse sneakers so it doesn't turn into mud when liquid cleaning agents are introduced to the shoe. Spot-Treat and Clean Uppers Apply mild soap to a damp microfiber cloth or toothbrush. Gently rub the uppers to remove stains and give the shoe an all-over clean, paying particular attention to the tongue and toe box, where most staining occurs. If there are deeper stains, use a stain treatment product to remove them. The 9 Best Laundry Stain Removers of 2023, According to Testing Clean Midsoles Clean the rubber midsoles using the same cloth and mild detergent, or using a melamine foam sponge like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. To use a melamine foam sponge, wet it, wring it out very well so that it's just barely damp, and rub it on the midsoles to remove scuffs and stains. Rinse Converse Shoes Rinse the microfiber cloth very well and wring it out so it's damp but not dripping wet. Go over the entire shoe several times, rinsing the cloth as needed, to remove soap residue, which can cause staining and stiffness if left on the shoe. Dry and Re-Lace Allow the shoes to air dry away from direct sunlight and other heat sources. To reshape sneakers, stuff the shoes with paper or a shoe tree while drying. Once the sneakers are dry, re-lace them. How to Clean Shoes, Including Canvas, Leather, Suede, and More How to Clean Leather Converse Shoes The following instructions provide details for cleaning leather Converse sneakers. Remember to avoid machine washing and drying Converse shoes under all circumstances. Remove Shoelaces Remove the laces before cleaning leather Converse sneakers. Dirt and grime collects around the eyelets and on the tongue, and removing the laces allows access to clean those areas of the shoe. Brush Away Mud, Grass, and Debris Use your hands, an old toothbrush, or clap the shoes against one another over a trash bin to knock loose any dried-on mud, dirt, grass, or other debris. If using a toothbrush or other type of soft bristle brush to remove dirt, take care not to use undue pressure to avoid abrading the leather. Spot-Treat and Clean Uppers Apply mild soap to a damp microfiber cloth. Gently rub the uppers to remove stains and give the shoe an all-over clean, paying particular attention to the tongue and toe box, where most staining occurs. If there are deeper stains or scratching, apply a small amount of leather cleaner and conditioner to a dry microfiber cloth and gently buff the sneaker using a circular motion. Clean Midsoles Clean the rubber midsoles using the same cloth and mild detergent, or using a melamine foam sponge. Wet the melamine sponge, wring it out well so that it's slightly damp, and rub it on the midsoles to remove scuffs and stains. Rinse Shoes Rinse the microfiber cloth well and wring it out so it is damp but not dripping wet. Go over the entire shoe several times, rinsing the cloth as needed, to remove soap residue, which can cause staining and stiffness if left behind. Dry and Add Laces Buff the leather dry using a clean, dry microfiber cloth and re-lace the shoes. To reshape leather Converse sneakers that have creased, stuff them with paper or a shoe tree. How to Remove Dirt, Mud, and Grass Stains on Converse Shoes Mild soap and water will take out most light stains on Converse sneakers, but if deeper stains from mud, dirt, or grass persist, use a laundry stain pre-treatment product to remove them. In the case of dirt, mud, and grass, which are protein stains, an enzyme-based stain treatment like Zout will be most effective. To use a laundry stain pre-treatment product on sneakers, apply the product to a damp microfiber cloth or toothbrush. Rub the stains gently, applying more stain treatment to the cloth if needed, until the stains have lifted. Then, rinse the cloth well and go over the area several times to remove residue from the stain treatment product. How to Clean Suede Shoes Without Wrecking Their Velvety Texture Tips for Treating Blood Stains on Converse Sneakers Blood stains are also protein stains, and they can be removed using the same method for dirt, mud, and grass stains. In addition to enzymatic stain treatments, there are several other stain-removing agents that work on blood, including hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide works well on both fresh and set-in blood stains, however, hydrogen peroxide can have a bleaching effect on some materials, so be sure to perform a spot test before using it to treat blood stains on Converse sneakers. Avoid the use of bleach, or products that contain bleach, like bleach pens, on blood and other protein stains; chlorine bleach can cause protein stains on fabric to deepen in color to dark yellow.