The Most Effective Way to Wash Converse

Keep your Chucks spotless.

Chances are you've owned a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes at some point—especially since the company has been making shoes since 1908. They’re a classic casual sneaker that goes with just about everything from jeans and T-shirts to dresses (and even a wedding gown for the adventurous bride). We’ve seen people wear them at school, work (if the dress code is casual), and even on a fancy red carpet.

The versatile shoe is a favorite, because it comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles (low top or high top). Even high fashion brands like Missoni and Commes Des Garçons have collaborated with the brand to make limited edition kicks.

But like any everyday or favorite shoe, we know that it can get some wear and tear. The good news: There are some easy ways to get your Chucks looking (almost) new. All you need is soap, water, and a little elbow grease. Take a look at our step-by-step guide below.

1

Test First.

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Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

When cleaning any product for the first time, you’ll want to test a small part of it before you clean the whole thing, just in case the cleaner or method doesn’t work and stains the material. Converse suggests testing your cleaning method on a section of the sneaker that isn’t visible (like the sides of the tongue that’s hidden inside the shoe).

2

Rub With Soap and Water.

Converse advises against throwing your sneakers in the washing machine. Mild soap and lukewarm water will do the trick for your canvas sneakers. Use a damp cloth to rub the shoes—don’t be too rough on the material. You can take a toothbrush or smaller brush to scrub the toecap and rubber base of the shoe.

3

Let Dry.

You might be tempted to put your shoes in the dryer for a quick fix, but the manufacturer recommends leaving the shoes out to air-dry. Don’t even think about using your hair dryer to speed up the process—it won’t help prolong the life of your shoes. Before you leave them out to dry, fill the shoes with paper to reshape, changing the filler throughout the process if the paper gets damp.