Crocs are popular for a reason: They’re comfortable, affordable, and durable. Over the last few decades, they’ve evolved past the initial “clog” and become a household name. Even if you don’t own Crocs, chances are you know someone who does!
There are all kinds of Crocs available now: the classic clog, of course, is still one of the top-selling designs. But there are also sandals, heels, puff boots, sneakers, boots with heels, and clogs with fur lining.
That being said, these shoes are designed to be tough. People who wear Crocs take them on all kinds of journeys through rain and shine.
When you’re finished with your adventure, you may find yourself with a muddy or smelly pair of shoes, wondering whether you can put Crocs in the washing machine to clean them.
This may seem like a relatively straightforward question, but as it turns out, it requires a little bit of finesse to properly—and safely—clean your Crocs.
Let’s take a look at a few facts about Crocs, and then we’ll discuss how you can wash your shoes.
What Are Crocs Made of?
Before you try to throw your shoes in the washing machine (or dishwasher!), you need to know how to safely wash the material they’re made out of.
Crocs are made from a closed-cell resin called Croslite. This is a fancy name the company gave to a foam resin material. It is made of a polymer called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA).
This is not the same thing as rubber or plastic. The design is made to be lightweight and comfortable.
The holes on the top of the Crocs allow airflow and help avoid moisture buildup because the Croslite itself is not breathable.
EVA is an elastic material—both flexible and soft. It does not retain moisture or odor. It has a high resistance to stress and UV radiation.
Considering all of these things, it is easy to see why it is so popular for outdoor activities.
However, despite these great features, Croslite does have a weakness: Heat. High temperatures can damage its integrity and cause it to crack or shrink.
Washing machines often have default settings that use hot water, which can become warm enough that it can damage the EVA material or cause it to shrink.
There are also Crocs styles made out of other materials. Some are leather, others have fuzzy linings, and still others are made from canvas, suede, or wool. Each of these materials requires a slightly different cleaning method.
Read Also: Why Are Crocs So Expensive?
What Does the Company Recommend When Washing Crocs?
Before we go ahead and give you advice on how you can wash your Crocs in the washing machine, we want to take a moment to let you know what the brand recommends.
Following the manufacturer’s recommendations is always the best option, as you would do when washing clothes or other materials.
We’ll go through the cleaning instructions for each Crocs design below.
Classic Clog and other Croslite Designs
The easiest way to wash Crocs is by hand, with mild soap and cold water. This method is used to clean the Classic Clogs and other styles made with the Croslite foam.
You can also hand wash them in cold water, as you might with something delicate you don’t want to put in the washing machine.
It would be great if the fuzzy Crocs had linings that could be removed—but unfortunately, that is not the case.
The company recommends that you wash these designs by hand with warm water and mild soap. Once your shoes are clean, let them air dry. Do not put them in the dryer!
Wedges and Heels
The wedges and heels are made of synthetic material that is bonded to the sole with glue. Because of this, they should not be put in hot environments.
You should also avoid solvent cleaner because this can destroy the adhesive. Simply clean any dirty spots with a damp cloth. No need for soap.
Wool and Suede
These materials should be cleaned with brushes and sprayed with waterproofing spray. The brushes can be made of plastic or soft wire.
If the wool design has a fleece lining, you can clean this with mild soap and a damp cloth.
Read Also: Are Crocs Closed Toe Shoes?
There are several kinds of leather Crocs: the Smooth Napa, Patent, and Standard Leather designs.
For the Smooth Napa Leather, the brand recommends removing dust and dirt with a damp cloth. After everything is clean, use a cotton brush to apply a shoe cream or wax in spiral motions.
Patent Leather Crocs should be cleaned with a damp cloth or any product designed for use with patent leather. Soaps and detergents will remove the shine from patent leather, so avoid these products when cleaning your shoes.
Standard Leather Crocs are unfinished, so they can safely be cleaned with a damp cloth or a brush. When you are finished, apply a shoe cream and polish!
Canvas and elastic materials should be cleaned with mild soap and damp cloth. Putting these designs in the washer or dryer can damage the integrity of the material and destroy elasticity.
Drying Your Crocs
When you’re finished washing your Crocs, you must let them air dry ONLY. Even if the shoes get soaked when you’re cleaning them, you cannot throw them in the dryer.
Exposure to such heat can cause the shoes to crack, shrink, or warp. Glues can be destroyed by the heat as well.
It might be tempting to toss them on a low-temp dry cycle, but don’t risk it. Just set them out to air dry, and you’ll be much less likely to cause any damage to your Crocs.
Read Also: Do You Wear Socks With Crocs?
Can You Put Crocs in the Washing Machine?
Yes, but you need to follow the below tips to not ruin your shoes. So if you’ve decided that your Crocs are simply too soiled to adequately wash by hand, then you may want to try putting them in the washing machine.
It’s vital that the water temperature never goes over 30˚C (about 86˚F). Anything above this, and you risk damaging your shoes.
Again, remember that shoes like the canvas and leather designs should never be placed in the washing machine, not even at lower temperatures.
To keep your water at the proper temperature, you should select the “gentle cycle” option. On most washing machine models, this setting should keep the water temperature between 15-30˚C.
As a bonus, if you have brightly colored Crocs, you will protect the colors from fading or any dye transfer once they become wet.
Oh, and it uses less energy than hot water, so you don’t have to feel guilty using an entire load of water for washing a single pair of shoes.
You should also turn off the “spin dry” function on the washing machine. Your shoes can be damaged by the force of spinning so quickly.
If there are any steam drying functions, these should also be disabled, as it makes the environment very hot.
Read Also: Where Are Crocs Made?
Protecting Your Shoes in the Washing Machine
If you’re worried about your shoes even after accounting for the material, spin cycle, and water temperature, one way you can protect them is by putting them in a bag designed to wash shoes.
If you don’t have one of these bags, there’s no need to worry—you can also simply put them in a pillowcase and tie it closed.
This protects the shoes from the high speed of the spin cycle and from sustaining any damage from the agitator.
Another tip is to wash the Crocs with towels. If you do this, you don’t have to disable the spin cycle setting. The towels should help protect your shoes!
Brightening White Crocs
If you find your white Crocs have lost their bright luster, you may be wondering how you can brighten them up.
A machine wash will do the trick in most cases, but there may still be stubborn stains that require a little extra effort to remove.
One way you can do this is by pre-soaking your shoes in a mixture of water and detergent. You can soak the Crocs for about a half an hour and use your hands or a soft brush to rub off the dirt.
A lot of times, the shoes just need a little extra time in the soap to treat the hard-to-remove stains.
But in the worst-case scenario, bright white Crocs can be treated with a mixture of water and bleach. Simply add two capfuls to a gallon of water.
While they soak, you can scrub them with a brush. If you opt to use bleach in your cleaning process, you’ll need to ensure you dry your crocs in a cool area—bleach can make the Croslite more brittle, just like heat can.
This is also why you should NEVER put your Crocs in undiluted bleach. You will almost certainly destroy your shoes if you try to clean them this way.
Another trick is to use the Magic Eraser. You might know this for cleaning counters, floors, and walls, but it also works on white Crocs like a charm!
Can You Clean Crocs with Baking Soda and Vinegar?
Although Croslite foam is designed to repel stains and smells, Crocs can still start to stink after a while, especially with heavy use outdoors.
In this case, washing them with mild soap and water may not be enough to tackle the odor. Sometimes even machine washing won’t take care of the unpleasant scent.
If you find that your shoes need treatment with a product designed to get rid of smells, then you’ll be happy to know that baking soda and vinegar will work.
This classic power cleaning duo has been used for decades to deodorize and remove stains from all kinds of household items.
To clean Crocs with a baking soda and vinegar paste, simply mix one part baking soda with one part white vinegar (never use apple cider or rice vinegar!) and two parts water.
Apply the paste to the Crocs and cover them completely. Then let them sit for up to 30 minutes before washing everything off thoroughly. Put them in a well-ventilated space to dry—vinegar can smell very strong in a small, enclosed space.
Read Also: Do Crocs Run Big or Small?
Tips to Clean the Holes and Straps
If you’ve gotten your Crocs looking nice and clean, that’s great! But you may notice that the straps and holes still need extra attention. If this is the case, you have a few options.
One way to get rid of dirt in the holes is to use pipe cleaners. You can use the baking soda and vinegar methods, or you can try to tackle this task with an old toothbrush.
A toothbrush will work well for the strap of the Crocs as well.
For white Crocs, we recommend using the Magic Eraser approach before scrubbing with the toothbrush or pipe cleaners. You’ll see a lot brighter whites with this method.
How Often Should You Clean Crocs?
Of course, the answer to this question depends on how often you wear your Crocs and what you do while wearing them.
For most people who use their Crocs regularly, cleaning them once a month or 4-6 weeks should keep them from becoming too dirty or smelly.
But if you have noticed a tendency for your shoes to start smelling, there’s no reason you can’t clean them more often.
If you find that you need to clean your Crocs every few weeks, a gentle hand wash or scrub with baking soda and vinegar should be easy on the material. It is also affordable and quick—you won’t have to spend a lot on cleaning materials.
No matter which kind of Crocs you prefer to rock when you’re out and about, the time will come for you to clean them.
Be sure that you know what kind of cleaning process works best for your Crocs design.
With these tips, you should find cleaning your Crocs to be simple and painless—and hopefully, you’ll be able to get much more enjoyment out of your favorite shoes for a long time to come!