Can You Put Converse Trainers in the Washing Machine

Can You Put Converse Trainers in the Washing Machine?

If you’re short on time and you desperately need to clean your Converse trainers ready for your day out, you might be tempted to throw them in the washing machine.

But, is that really the best idea?

No, it’s not a good idea. You shouldn’t put Converse shoes in the washing machine (even Converse says this on their site). It’s always better to hand wash Converse trainers in mild soap and warm water mix.

Let’s take a look at how you should clean your Converse trainers properly.

Here are a few points to consider before you try washing your Converse trainers, after all, you don’t want to ruin your awesome shoes!

  • When you clean any shoe, you should test the product you intend to use on a discreet part of the shoe. In the case of your Converse trainers, you could pop a bit of product on the side of the shoe’s tongue. This part isn’t too visible, so it’s a good place to do a test.
  • There is no need to use piping hot water to clean your shoes – this could actually weaken the glue on the rubber soles.
  • It’s handy if you can remove the laces from your shoes before you begin cleaning – but not 100% essential if you’re stuck for time.

Let’s get on with the cleaning.


How to Clean Converse Trainers

Converse trainers are not supposed to be thrown into a washing machine, so this is how you’re supposed to clean them properly.

There are many styles of Converse trainers to be had, so go to the section that applies to you below. Each type of material has its own method of cleaning, so make sure you know what to do before you start.

Canvas Converse shoes

If you own a canvas Converse shoe you need to:

  1. Prepare what you need – cloth, lukewarm water and some mild soap.
  2. Use a damp, but not saturated cloth, to wipe the shoes down.
  3. There is no need to over-soap the shoe.
  4. Try and get into all the small areas to thoroughly clean the shoes.
  5. Wipe away any excess soap.
  6. Take a toothbrush and use some soap to clean the base and toe caps on your shoes.
  7. Allow the shoes to dry naturally.


Suede Converse shoes

If you own suede Converse shoes you need to:

  1. Avoid water at all costs. No water should be used to clean these shoes.
  2. Use a suede brush to brush off any dirt and dust from the shoes.
  3. To protect your suede shoes from rain, you could treat them with water repellent like Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector – specially made for suede and nubuck.


Synthetic/leather Converse shoes

If you own synthetic/leather Converse shoes you need to:

  1. Prepare what you need – a cloth, some lukewarm water and mild soap.
  2. Use a damp, but not saturated cloth, to wipe the shoes.
  3. There is no need to go overboard with the soap.
  4. Make sure you clean all the tiny areas too.
  5. Wipe away any extra soap.
  6. Use a toothbrush and some soap to clean the base and toe caps on your shoes.
  7. Allow the shoes to dry naturally.

By now you’ll have immaculate Converse trainers to wear, but what about your laces? Read on to find out how to clean them correctly too.

Remove Converse Laces Before Cleaning and Clean Separately



Your laces can be washed with soap and warm water too. Again, there is no need to over-soap them, just wet them with a cloth and rub at them gently, being careful not to click and fray the threads. Leave them to air dry as well.


Things to Avoid When Cleaning Converse Trainers

  • Don’t use bleach to clean your Converse trainers – this can cause discolouration or yellowing.
  • Don’t use harsh soaps – the material is delicate, so be gentle with it.

Although handwashing is definitely the preferred cleaning option when it comes to these shoes, there will be some of you who always wash your trainers in the washing machine.

So, if you definitely want to go down the washing machine route, read the section below to see how to get the best results by using this method of cleaning.


How to Wash Converse in the Washing Machine (Though We Don’t Recommend It!)

Although it’s recommended by Converse to clean Converse trainers by hand, there may be an occasion when you just have to throw them in the washing machine, or perhaps you don’t have the time and just want to machine wash them for speed.

Either way, if you choose to use a washing machine to clean your Converse trainers here’s what you should always do:

  1. Remove the laces from the shoes – this avoids potential tangles.
  2. Wipe down the shoes to get rid of any additional dirt – use a cloth or a smooth brush.
  3. Put your shoes into a pillowcase – you can buy specialised wash bags too.
  4. Put the pillowcase in the washing machine.
  5. Add a few towels into the washing machine too – this will help with the noise and balance.
  6. Use a very gentle detergent during this wash.
  7. Pop the washing machine on a low-temperature cycle – the colder the better really, as it’ll protect the colour of the shoes.
  8. Don’t use a conditioner.
  9. When the washing machine has finished take out the shoes and allow them to air dry.

Drying Converse trainers properly is just as important as washing them correctly. Read on to find out how you dry Converse shoes.


Drying Converse Trainers After Washing Them

Converse trainers need to be dried in a specific way too. So, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Get some tissue paper or newspaper.
  2. Stuff this paper inside each shoe – this will help to keep the shape of the shoe.
  3. Swap the paper every few hours, or when it looks too wet.
  4. Dry the shoes in a well-aired room – room temperature is fine.

Here are some extra rules for drying Converse shoes:

  • Don’t apply direct heat to Converse shoes.
  • Don’t put them on a radiator.
  • Don’t use a hairdryer to make your Converse shoes dry faster.

Obviously, you can’t avoid getting your shoes dirty, but here are some tips to help you keep your shoes clean on a daily basis. So, you won’t have to spend hours and hours hand cleaning your Converse trainers every few months.


Keeping Your Converse Clean

Here are some basic tips on how to keep your Converse shoes clean on a daily basis.

  • You could purchase some shoe protection. This type of protection could make your shoe water repellent, it could make removing stains easier and it can help you when it comes to overall cleaning. Here’s an example, Scotchgard Water Repellent Shoe Protector.
  • Look outside to check the weather, so you can choose the right shoes to wear – suede shoes are a big ‘no-no!’ in the rain, for example.
  • Give your shoes a quick wipe down if you see mud on the toe caps or bottoms.
  • Don’t let the dirt just sit on them and build up, clean your Converse trainers.
  • Magic erasers can also work wonders when you need to get scuffs off your toe caps – this can help to bring Converse trainers, that are a bit rough around the edges, back to life.



Can I tumble dry my Converse shoes?

Absolutely not. Even Converse advises against this. Hang your shoes out to dry on the line or leave them in a well-ventilated room.


How long will it take to dry my Converse shoes?

Drying can take up to a day, but longer in some cases. It depends on the temperature and if the shoes are getting enough sunlight.



Converse trainers should not be cleaned in the washing machine. In fact, they should always be washed by hand.

However, if you are short on time and you must throw your Converse shoes in the washing machine, you should follow the advice above.