How to Clean Converse Without Leaving Scratches

Converse shoes are so comfortable and popular. Even though they’ve been around for quite a long time, Converse shoes are always a viable option for both casual wearers and shoe collectors. There are different types of Converse that you can wear or collect, like white Converse, the All-star series, and other legendary brands! They can be quite expensive, so learning how to clean your rare Converse properly is crucial.

Although Converse sneakers are strong and durable, they are still prone to dirt and stains (especially the white ones!). Therefore, you really need to step up and try to clean them regularly. Down below, I’m going to mention different alternatives to cleaning your Converse shoes, which includes some advice from Converse themselves.

Why Do People Wear Converse Shoes?

There are a lot of reasons for people to love Converse. As a matter of fact, Converse shoes have somewhat become an icon in American culture. Their simplistic designs are really timeless.

You can wear it and look cool, but so are your parents and grandparents. Plus, they are the godfather of sneakers and have been around for quite some time now. This is why I love Converse so much. Their “immortality” makes it more interesting, especially for sneakers lovers like me. 

Aside from their cool legacy and awesome design, Converse sneakers are so comfortable to wear (we’re going to discuss this later on, so make sure to hang on). Moreover, most Converse sneakers are also affordable, hence making them a viable option for those of you who want to use comfortable and premium shoes. To sum it up, I can proudly say that Converse is versatile, as it is perfect for lots of occasions, both formal and informal.

Why is Converse so Comfortable?

How to Clean Converse

Comfortability is a point that people often look at when picking the right shoes for their feet. Fortunately for you guys, Converse shoes are also very comfortable to wear, and we’re going to be taking a look at some of the reasons why. 

Converse shoes feel so comfortable on your feet, and it’s down to the materials that were used. Most Converse is made using canvas. This material is lightweight and breathable, which proves to be comfortable for your foot. Moreover, the lower part of the shoes will offer excellent protection thanks to the extra cushioning that won’t hurt the lower part of your feet. 

Honestly, I think Converse is like wines or even jeans in that the three of them really get better with age. Yes, a pair of Converse will feel comfortable from the get-go. However, you’ll notice that as they wear out, they become softer and more comfortable.

Converse’s Official Advice on How to Their Shoes

How to Clean Converse

Like other brands, Converse also provides instructions as well as some tips to clean their product in order to keep them fresh. Converse shoes have different materials, such as suede, canvas, or leather. Each of them will require different attention and ways.

But before I lay out the detailed instructions, please make sure that you have prepared a cloth that you can use. 

Canvas and leather

Prepare a bucket of warm water. Mix a small amount of mild soap inside the water. Then, soak your cloth inside the mixture and use it to wipe dirt off your Converse.

After you have rubbed the shoes gently, make sure that you rinse the shoes with warm water (carefully) to get rid of soapy remnants. Then, proceed to dry the shoes at room temperature. 


Although canvas and leather Converse can get the same treatment, you do need to use a different trick in order to clean your suede Converse safely. Instead of using a cloth, you should opt to use a suede brush. Brush away the dirt with this special brush. Avoid cleaning them using water unless it’s really necessary!

No matter what Converse you own, please make sure that you avoid using a laundry machine to machine wash your shoes. The best way to keep your Converse intact is to clean them manually!

Product Care & Repair According to Converse

Cleaning isn’t the only thing that you should do when it comes to preserving the life of a Converse shoe. As a matter of fact, you also need to take care of them in order to keep them fresh. Fortunately, Converse has a list of advice that you can take note of. Please take a look at some important things below:

  • When you store your Converse, please stuff paper inside to help maintain their shape.
  • You can also use and stuff paper inside the shoes when you’re about to dry them. Change the paper occasionally. 
  • Avoid using a machine to wash or clean your Converse. The best way to keep your Converse fresh is by cleaning them manually. 
  • Never apply direct heat, especially when you’re trying to clean or dry off your Converse. 
  • Before attempting to clean your shoes, you should try and test the process that you’re about to do on the part of your sneaker that isn’t visible. This way, you’ll avoid damaging your shoes on an essential part. 
  • Some Converse shoes have specific guarantees or warranties in case of a defect. You can return them in a certain period of time.

Cleaning Kits Suitable for Converse

1. ShoeCleaner

I strongly recommend that you use special shoe detergent to clean your favorite and precious Converse. This type of shoe, especially the collectible ones, can be more sensitive to chemicals. If you want to preserve its value, by all means, do not spare any expenses!

2. Apron

Not an obligatory item, but it will come in handy when we’re talking about keeping your shirt clean while washing your Converse shoes.

3. Premium Brush

This tool is ideal for cleaning the upper part of your shoes that mainly use canvas, suede, leather, synthetic leather, mesh, knit, nubuck, and other lighter materials.

4. Medium Brush

Used to clean your Converse’s midsole section.

5. Standard Brush

Used to clean your Converse’s outsole section.

6. Small Brush or Toothbrush

This type of brush will come in handy when it comes to cleaning the inner part of your shoes that is usually hard to reach.

7. Microfiber Cloth

Used to wipe Converse clean from dirt and stains.

8. Shoe Tree

This an essential item to keep your Converse’s basic structure intact.

9. Container or a Pan

Used to store water that will be mixed with Shoe Perfume in order to generate a certain odor for your Converse.

How to Use the Cleaning Kit on Converse Parts

Upper Part of the Sneakers, located on the top side of a Converse shoe. For this part, you better use a Premium Brush, as its soft and gentle nature won’t damage this section. 

Midsole, or the side section of your Converse. You can use a medium brush in order to clean the midsole of a Converse. The midsole will get scratched or dirty more often than not, hence making medium brush the best option for the job. 

Outsole, or the lower section of your Converse. This time, you’ll be needing a standard brush to complete the job. A lot of mud and stains will be found here, so a strong and sturdy brush is the only right answer. 

Insole, or the inner base of the Converse, that also acts as a cushion in order to make your foot feel comfortable. If possible, you should try and remove the insole before cleaning it using a premium brush. But if it isn’t a viable option, you shouldn’t force it and opt to clean the insole with a toothbrush instead.

How to Clean Converse Properly

1. Prepare the Converse shoes that you want to clean

How to Clean Converse

A pair of dirty Converse shoes or Converse shoes that need some freshening up. I highly recommend that you inspect the shoes before you do some scrubbing. This way, if you find any damaged parts, you won’t make things worse.

2. Prepare the necessary cleaning kit and tools

Prepare the Shoecleaner, apron, Premium Brush, Medium Brush, Standard Brush, Small Brush, Microfiber Cloth, two pieces of Shoe Tree, and a container to store water and ShoePerfume. 

3. Remove the laces from your Converse:

How to Clean Converse

I recommend that you remove the lace from the shoes before you proceed with the cleaning process. After you manage to separate them, you can soak the laces in the Shoe Cleaner solution. This method will be more effective, and your shoes will be a lot cleaner!

4. Insert the Shoetree in your Converse:

How to Clean Converse

This is an essential step, as a Shoetree will be important to maintain the shape of your sneaker when it’s being washed. However, make sure to remove the insole before inserting a Shoetree. If the insole can’t be removed, don’t force it. 

5. Dry Clean the Converse

Before you clean the Converse with water, make sure to brush the upper part of the shoes with a Premium Brush to remove any dirt and dust.

6. Wash the Outsole and Midsole of the Converse

How to Clean Converse

During this cleaning stage, you can use a Standard Brush. Make sure to use all your strength when cleaning the outsole, as it’s naturally the dirtiest part of a shoe. I did say that you should be careful when scrubbing, but the outsole can take some beatings. So yep, I believe it is okay to put more strength into it.

As soon as you have finished cleaning the outsole, you can proceed by cleaning the midsole with a Medium Brush.

This time, patience and diligence are needed, as there will be a lot of dirty spots that are hard to clean. If you have found that the midsole is still dirty, make sure to repeat the steps again until you have achieved a satisfying result. 

Please consider my advice to clean the midsoles more gently because these parts are not as strong as the bottom sole.

7. Wash the Upper Part of Your Converse

In order to avoid any unnecessary scratches or damages, you should use a Premium Brush to clean the upper part of your Converse. After you have finished scrubbing the section, wipe the dirt remnants with a microfiber cloth. Avoid using standard brushes at all costs.

8. Wash the inner part of the Converse shoe

Use a small brush to clean the inner section of your Converse. Naturally, a small brush will be able to reach a much harder and smaller space than a normal brush can’t. Then, wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. If possible, you can also try cleaning the inner section with a Premium Brush. 

9. Detailing

How to Clean Converse

Before proceeding to clean the details of your Converse, you need to soak your microfiber cloth inside a bucket of clean water. Then, you can proceed to wipe the cloth across the details of your shoes that are dirty. Wet tissue is a viable option as well, although you might want to lean more on using a microfiber cloth. After all, a microfiber cloth is more efficient in absorbing water and dirt. 

10. Drying Process

Place your clean Converse in front of a fan and leave them for around an hour or two. I’ve said this repeatedly before on various occasions, but I’ll say it again here now: never dry your converse under direct sunlight!

11. Finishing

How to Clean Converse

Once the Converse is dry, you can remove the shoe tree and place the laces (and, in some cases, the insoles) back where they belong. Now, your Converse is as good as new.

Converse Shoes Do & Don’t

Cleaning a pair of Converse shoes is fun. However, there are some important things that you need to take note of. I do think that these “do’s and don’ts” are essential in order to clean your shoes without necessarily causing any damage to them. 


Dry clean the Converse before washing them with water. This step is necessary to remove dust from your shoe. Dry your shoes by leaving them in front of a fan or at room temperature.

There’s no need to leave them under direct contact with the sun. Whenever you’re going to wipe your shoes, make sure to use a microfiber cloth. Wipe them thoroughly and make sure that you have covered all areas in order to prevent any marks. 


Do not brush the upper section of your Converse (which is usually made of suede, leather, or canvas) with a strong brush that is normally used to clean the outsole.  Don’t use baking soda or vinegar to clean non-white Converse shoes.

Converse Shoecare

Cleaning your Converse is one thing, but taking care of them is another important stage that you also need to master. After all, you don’t want (or don’t have the time) to clean your Converse every two days, right? Plus, you can also prolong the life expectancy of your precious Converse. 

Although Converse has mentioned some things that you can do to preserve their products (as I have stated before), let me add some important things that you might want to know:

  • Don’t store your Converse in a moist area
  • Store the shoes inside a box
  • Never store your shoes when they’re not cleaned yet, and don’t put them inside a shoe wrapper. 
  • Clean your Converse after usage. If you use them regularly, make sure to clean them once every week or two.

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Frequently Asked Questions Related to Converse

What household products clean converse well?

A detergent can be used to clean your Converse. It would prove to be an even more efficient household product when it comes to cleaning Converse which is made from canvas material. However, make sure to use mild detergent!

How to clean converse with detergent

  • Remove your shoelaces and insoles (if possible) so that they can be cleaned separately. 
  • Pour a nice amount of mild detergent into a bowl of clean water. 
  • Dip a cloth and soak it inside the mixture that you have just made. 
  • Wipe the upper section of the Converse first, then proceed to the midsole and outsole.
  • If you can’t remove the dirt on the outsole with a cloth, you can use a standard brush or toothbrush instead. 
  • Wipe your shoes clean.
  • Leave them in front of a fan for a while and let them dry.

How to clean converse with baking soda

On the other hand, you have two other alternatives in the form of baking soda and toothpaste.

  • Prepare baking soda and vinegar. Create a mixture between both ingredients.
  • Remove shoelaces from your Converse.
  • Before proceeding to use baking soda, make sure that you have rinsed your Converse with cold water. 
  • Use toothpaste and scrub the mixture across your Converse. You can put more of the mixture on the dirty sections.
  • Rinse the Converse once more to get rid of both the dirt and mixture.
  • Let the shoes dry off before storing them back or using them once more. 

How to clean Converse with Toothpaste

  • Prepare white toothpaste and a cotton swab.
  • Remove the laces from your Converse shoes.
  • Scrub the dirty section of your Converse shoes with toothpaste and a cotton swab.
  • Make sure to scrub it as many times as possible until the dirt has been lifted. 
  • Rinse the Converse with water to get rid of toothpaste remnants. 

How do you clean dirty converse at home?

You can clean your dirty Converse at home. As a matter of fact, the instructions that I have laid out before is a specialized instruction for a manual cleaning method! You can also take note that Converse forbids you to clean their shoes using a machine. All you need to do is to prepare the cleaning kits that I have mentioned before and follow the detailed steps above!

What can you soak converse in to clean them?

Converse can actually be soaked directly inside a bucket of warm water that has been mixed with a mild detergent. However, it’s important to note that I don’t personally recommend this method, and it seems that the people on Converse also agree with me! Some materials that are used to make Converse aren’t resistant to water. Therefore, putting them under a bucket of water might not be a really great idea!

How do you clean white converse without ruining them?

Generally, you can deal with a white Converse by using the same trick that I have mentioned before. But the fun part is that you can also use bleach and vinegar as an alternative for mild detergent. Still, you need to make sure that you use a soft brush in order to prevent any damage to the shoes. 

Will washing my converse ruin them?

Washing a Converse won’t necessarily damage it. It’s actually a matter of preference, as a lot of people love to have dirty Converse shoes that look aesthetically more pleasing. 

How do you clean white converse without turning them yellow?

Yellow stains will appear on your Converse if there are some parts that didn’t dry off well after a cleaning process. Therefore, I suggest a more careful approach when you clean your Converse. After wiping dirt and stains with wet tissue, you need to make sure that you have dried them off before storing your Converse back in their box. 

How do you clean super dirty converse?

The first thing that I do when my Converse has become super dirty is to wipe off the loose dirt, mud, and stains. After that, I would proceed to clean my Converse by using the steps that we’ve discussed before.

Summary on How to Cleaning Converse

Converse shoes are cool, unique, and one-of-a-kind. Despite their budget-friendly cost, people still love to wear and collect them. Although some people love to leave their Converse dirty, it’s still important for you to know the tricks in order to keep your shoes clean without damaging them. After all, Converse is made using sensitive material that can be prone if not treated well. 

While cleaning your Converse can be tricky sometimes, I believe that this task will be worthwhile! If you are a shoe lover like me, try out the methods above at home and see how effective they are!