Converse sneakers are a cult favorite, thanks to their simple but versatile style. White converse shoes are a closet staple that goes with everything from a simple tee and a pair of jeans to a short or maxi summer dress.

Considering that you will be wearing your white canvas converse shoes frequently, they are bound to get dirty. Scuffs, stains and smudges on your converse sneakers can easily make them less attractive regardless of what you are wearing. For this reason, you must know how to clean converse shoes to restore them to their new look.

This article seeks to guide you on how to take care of your favorite Chuck Taylors using products you already have in your house. So, whether your newly bought white converse sneakers are dirty or, like many of us, are still holding on to your old pair, this guide is for you.

But first, let us get into the basics of how to prep your canvas shoes for cleaning.

Cleaning White Converse Shoes - Snapshot

This section covers the general steps you will need to follow in cleaning your white converse sneakers, regardless of your chosen method.

  1. Remove the shoelaces - This first step is important when cleaning your canvas or leather converse. It allows you to clean around the eyelets and tongue properly.
  2. Run the entire shoe under cold water till it's wet - This will make it easy to apply the cleaning solution.
  3. Make/ pick your cleaning agent from the methods below - Choose any method of your choice, from bleach to hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.
  4. Rub the cleaning paste all over the shoes - Use a brush and gently ensure you apply the cleaning solution throughout the canvas shoes.
  5. Rinse your clean white converse sneakers - Use cold water to rinse the shoes. Alternatively, you can place them in the washing machine
  6. Don't dry the shoes in a dryer -Avoid putting the shoes in the dryer. Instead, hang them to air dry.

How To Clean White Converse Shoes

a). Use A Washing Machine

Although Converse advises against washing your favorite Chuck Taylor pair in the washer, most people machine wash and the shoes turn out white as ever.


  1. Rinse - Rinsing your white sneakers beforehand helps to get rid of dirt and debris as it could end up clogging your washing machine.
  2. Apply Stain Cleaner - The next step is to apply stain cleaner before throwing your white shoes into the washing machine. You could also use the stain cleaner that you use on clothes. In addition, applying this product all over your canvas converse and waiting for it to sit before starting the wash helps to remove all the dirty spots and smudges stuck on your shoes.
  3. Put Your Shoes In A Protective Bag - Put your laces, shoe inserts and shoes into a bag before putting them in the washing machine. You could also use a garment bag or pillowcase as a protective bag.
  4. Select A Gentle Wash Cycle - You want to use the gentle wash setting to avoid being rough on the shoes. Cold water is best to keep your white converse's bright. However, you can choose the warm water setting to remove stains and dirt. In addition, avoid using hot water as it weakens the glue holding parts of your shoe together, hence damaging them.
  5. Dry the Shoes - Finally, take your shoes out of the washing machine and leave them out to dry. You want to avoid leaving them in direct sunlight as they could turn to a yellowish color. This is because of the sun's natural bleach effects. In addition, put paper towels or toilet paper inside the clean white converse sneakers to keep them in shape. However, do not use newspaper because the ink can bleed into your shoe.

b). With Baking Soda and Vinegar

This baking soda and white vinegar mixture is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to wash converse shoes. Follow the steps below to use this method.

What You'll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Old toothbrush
  • Glass bowl


  1. Create Your Mixture - Add one part baking soda to two parts vinegar in a glass bowl. Add hot water to your mixture to create a paste. Additionally, you could increase each quantity depending on how much you'll be using.
  2. Wet Your Sneakers - Put your white sneakers in a basin of cold water or run them over cold water till they are completely wet.
  3. Use A Toothbrush To Apply the Paste - Apply the paste-like substance to the entire shoe using an old toothbrush. Ensure to leave no part out.
  4. Rinse - Use a damp cloth or a paper towel to remove dirt and stains on the shoes, then rinse with warm water. In addition, you could put the shoes in a washing machine at this stage.
  5. Dry - Hang the shoes to air dry away from direct sunlight. Again, use paper towels to help them keep their shape.

c). Use Toothpaste

Aside from cleaning jewelry, you can use toothpaste to keep your converse sneakers clean.

What You'll Need:

  • Toothpaste
  • Old toothbrush


  1. Apply Toothpaste On Your Canvas Shoes - First thing is to apply non-gel white toothpaste on all the dirty spots on your shoes. However, ensure not to use colored toothpaste as it could stain your shoes.
  2. Let the Toothpaste Sit - Leave the toothpaste to sit for about 10-15 minutes once you have covered the dirty spots.
  3. Rinse and Dry - Use cold or warm water to rinse off the toothpaste and then dry them. If stains are still present on your clean white converse shoes, you can repeat the process.

d). With Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

What You'll Need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Gloves


  1. Create Your Mixture - In a glass bowl, add one part baking soda to half a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Mix it up to form a paste.
  2. Apply Paste On Canvas Shoes - Use the old toothbrush to apply the paste all over your shoes or on specific dirty parts.
  3. Leave the Mixture to Sit - Once you have coated the shoes, leave the paste to dry for about thirty minutes.
  4. Rinse and Dry - Rinse off the shoes with water and leave them to dry. You can also put them in the washing machine to rinse off but do not use the drier to dry them.

e). Use Bleach

What You'll Need:

  • Bleach
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Lemon (optional)


  1. Make A Paste - Mix about 50 ml of liquid bleach, a tablespoon of baking soda and toothpaste. Add warm water to make the paste runny.
  2. Apply All-Over Shoes - Apply this paste on your canvas converse Chuck Taylor shoes and leave them to soak for several hours.
  3. Rinse then Dry - Use cold water to rinse the shoes, then leave them to dry.
  4. Alternative - Rub lemon on your shoes and sprinkle baking powder on top. Lemon has bleaching properties hence will remove spots and streaks.

f). Use Acetone/ Nail Polish Remover

What You'll Need:

  • Acetone
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton pads


  1. Wet the Cotton Pads - Dip the cotton pads in acetone or polish remover to wet them.
  2. Apply - Using the cotton pads, rub gently on the dirty parts of your converse sneakers.
  3. Wash - Wash the shoes in mild soap water and rinse. Next, hang the shoes to dry.

g). Laundry Detergent, Baking Soda and Water

What You'll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush


  1. Create Your Paste - Mix equal parts laundry detergent and baking soda. Add water to make the paste runny.
  2. Apply Paste - Apply the paste all over your shoes. Next, leave the paste to sit for about thirty minutes.
  3. Wash and Dry - Wash your pair of Chuck Taylors with water or throw them in the washing machine. Then, hang them away from direct sunlight to dry.

How To Wash Shoe Laces

  1. Machine Wash - Put the laces in the washing machine and use mild soap under a cold setting. Ensure to put the laces in a protective bag to prevent them from getting tangled. In addition, avoid drying them in the dryer as they could shrink.
  2. Soak In Hydrogen Peroxide - Soaking your laces for about 30 minutes will help to remove the toughest stains. Once they look clean, rinse them and dry them.

How To Clean Rubber Parts

  1. Use A Damp Cloth And Mild Soap - One easy method is to use a wet cloth and mild soap to clean your leather shoes' toe cap and rubber part. However, this method may not remove all the dirt spots and smudges.
  2. Baking Soda and Laundry Detergent - You could also use two parts baking soda and three parts laundry detergent to make a paste. Scrub the rubber part using a toothbrush, then rinse and dry once clean.
  3. Use A Magic Eraser - Wet the magic eraser and squeeze out the excess water. Rub the eraser on the toe cap and rubber part to remove the dirty areas. In addition, this method doesn't need further rinsing, which is particularly good if you have a pair of leather converse.


There you have it, cleaning your white converse shoes is super easy and does not require many products or steps. However, protecting your shoes beforehand, either by using a sneaker protector or wiping down after you have worn them, will help keep them clean, white and newer longer. 

About the Author Brian

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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