can you put converse in the washer

Can You Put Converse in the Washer? Safety Precautions

by jacky chou
Updated on

Cropped jeans, a white t-shirt, and white Converse sneakers are the go-to casual wardrobe choice for most people. It gives you an edgy yet simple look. Proper maintenance of your Converse sneakers is important to extending the life of your shoe.

When your shoes get dirty, the obvious solution is to clean them. The options are either to wash them in a washing machine or hand wash them. Of course, hand washing has always been the preferred method. But should you put your Converse in the washer?

Consider this paradox to help you answer this question. If I say, "This statement is a lie." Is it true or false? If the statement is a lie, it is telling the truth. How can the statement be both true and false? This is called the liar paradox.

And it relates very much to our topic in question. So to answer the question, 'Can you put Converse in the washer?" the answer is both yes and no. We shall consider both outcomes:

  • Not putting Converse shoes in the washer
  • Putting Converse shoes in the washer

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Not Putting Converse Shoes e Washer

The long and short of this is that Converse advises against machine washing and drying its canvas sneakers. It would be best if you also did not machine wash or dry their suede and leather shoes. Do not use water with the suede shoes.

Of course, Converse advises this for the health and durability of your shoe. However, they allow for returns within 30 days without strictly specifying the reasons allowed.

Converse sells more than 100 million pairs of Chuck Taylors a year. The Chuck Taylor All-Star is the most popular Converse shoe out there.

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Converse suggests that Converse shoes be washed using mild soap and lukewarm water. Next, you should gently scrub using a damp cloth for the canvas part and a toothbrush for the toecap, side rubber, and rubber base.

Putting Converse Shoes in the Washer

Choosing this option will require you to proceed with caution. Assuming this is your first time putting Converse shoes in the washing machine, and this is your comprehensive how-to guide, do an acid test first. Use older Converse shoes first.

You will be able to see whether the washer will remove stains. If your Converse shoes were a dark color due to ingrained dirt, then they become spotlessly clean or at least become a few shades lighter after a wash cycle, then you are good to go.

Doing laundry is an art. I bet no one told you so. You must be very careful about what you put into your washing machine. The following are some of the materials that you can put a in your washer:

  • Canvas
  • Cn
  • Polyester
  • Nylon

Converse shoes are examples of canvas sneakers - the most basic form of sneakers. The upper part is canvas, while the lower one is a rubber sole. This is why Converse shoes may be washed in the washer.

An automatic shoe washer was created in Japan, saving time and energy in hospitals and households.

Tips for Putting Converse Shoes in the Washer

Converse trainers are a casual classic. They can be worn with anything; pants, dresses, jumpsuits, and even suits. Their versatility ensures that they remain a daily shoe for people of all ages.

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Therefore, they get dirty pretty often. And some become stained. A pair of sneakers can be worn for many years without too much wear and tear. You will need to clean them every once in a while. The tips are as follows:

  1. Prepare the Shoes for the Washer

Before putting muddy shoes in the washing machine, scrape the mud away. If the mud is wet, you could wait for it to dry because it's easier to knock off the mud.

You could also hit your shoes together to eliminate the mud, and deep grass stuck in the shoe's crevices. Use a toothbrush if the clumps are hard to reach. Wipe away any excess dirt.

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Also, remove the laces from the sneakers to wash them separately. Put the laces in net bags while washing. White laces may need to be soaked and washed thoroughly to remove stains. Shoelaces, especially white ones, can get dirty very quickly. Therefore, washing Converse shoes without removing the laces will not guarantee that the laces will be fully clean.

White Converse shoes are a little more sensitive to cleaning, so it is essential to pre-treat them. Mix warm water with bleach and put your shoes in for a few hours before washing.

  1. Use Mild Detergent

You can make homemade detergent to clean your Converse shoes. Just use two scoops of baking soda for three parts of white vinegar. You may choose to replace the white vinegar with a gentle detergent of your choice.

This process of cleaning may be nail-biting, but eventually worth it. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the canvas part and the rubber sole using homemade detergent and cold or lukewarm water.

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If you use the normal detergent at home, dissolve it in water to make a paste. However, dry detergents, those in powder-like form, may stick to the shoe's eyelets. In addition, they may cause a chemical reaction which may cause rust.

You may use bleach as a stain remover or to avoid the yellowing of your Converse.

  1. Never Use Hot Water

The best practice when washing sneakers is to use something other than hot water, harsh detergents, and bleach. Using hot water may damage your shoes permanently. In addition, it will loosen the glue used to make your sneakers so that the canvas part is detached from the rubber sole.

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A way around this would be to wash the shoes using lukewarm or cool water first, then rinse them using hot water. The hot water does a final check for stubborn stains. Just pour a jug of hot water with the shoes into the washing machine. Then, quickly pull the shoes out and let them air dry.

  1. Use a Mesh Laundry Bag

The mesh laundry bag will protect your sneakers from the washing machine drum. Use your washer's gentle cycle and low temperature to enhance the cleaning process further and protect your shoe.

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You may use a pillowcase if you need a mesh washable bag alternative. The point is to avoid direct contact between the Converse sneakers and the washing machine. Consider placing some towels inside the machine during the spin cycle to reduce the noise.

Tip: Do not put your Converse shoes in the washer, along with other clothes. The towels are to reduce noise.

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Drying Your Converse Sneakers

Do not dry your Converse sneakers using the washing machine's dryer. Preferably, set your sneakers outside to air dry in direct sunlight until they are completely dry. Placing them in a warm spot around the house for them to dry won't quite cut it, especially since you might have used excess water to wash them.

However, if you have had your sneakers for quite some time, especially white Converse shoes, you may notice that drying them causes a yellowing effect. A tip around this is to cover the shoes with toilet paper while still wet, then leave them to dry.

Another tip would be to use oxyclean to get rid of some of the stains. However, do not pre-soak the shoes in oxyclean; the sodium percarbonate can damage the glue that holds the rubber sole and canvas part together.

Don't use your hair dryer to quicken the drying process. This is because the shoe will not fully dry and will allow a damp environment for the growth of bacteria. The effect will be smelly feet and a generally uncomfortable experience wearing your shoes.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while Converse shoes can be washed in the washer with certain precautions, the same cannot be said for Hey Dudes, which require a different cleaning approach to maintain their quality and appearance.

We have compiled these points as a cheat sheet of sorts for any time you want to put your Converse shoes in the washing machine:

  • Let your Converse shoes air dry, or place them in a warm setting. Do not machine dry.
  • Cover your sneakers in tissue paper or cornmeal to avoid yellowing after drying over direct sunlight.
  • Preferably, do not wash new Converse shoes except if they have stubborn stains that refuse to come off by hand.
  • Your washer should be set to low speed, low heat, and gentle cycle.
  • Use a toothbrush to do a thorough spot clean starting with the toecaps, then the rubber base and the canvas part.
  • Lukewarm or cold water is best for washing Converse, not hot water.

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The choice to put your beloved pair in the washer is ultimately yours. If you opt not to, we have outlined the steps to do so by hand. However, if you choose to use the washer, we have also outlined the precautionary tips for you to follow.

So, ultimately, you are left with the liar paradox, where any outcome you choose is correct.


How long does it take to wash Converse sneakers in the washer?

Using the gentle cycle option on your washing machine takes 30 to 40 minutes to clean your entire shoe, including the laces. It would take approximately the same time to clean them by hand.

Can the sun destroy my black Converse shoes when leaving them to air dry after a wash?

Yes. Sunlight is a catalyst for so many chemical reactions. Sunlight quickens the process of bleaching. Now, imagine your new black Converse soaked out in the sun. The washer may not have rinsed out the bleach completely, so your shoes will still experience a chemical reaction that will cause their color to fade.

Can you use dish soap to wash Converse shoes?

You can use any dish soap to wash your Converse trainers because most dish soaps are all-purpose, so they are mild yet effective at stain removal. Mix a few drops of dish soap into warm water, and gently scrub your Converse shoes.

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jacky chou


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