Easy Ways to Clean Converse

Converse is known for its high-top Chuck Taylors that were originally worn as athletic shoes. Today, the company produces both canvas and leather shoes, and they must be cleaned accordingly. There is a simple way to clean, deodorize and store your leather or canvas Converse shoes to keep them looker newer for longer.

Canvas Converse

Remove the shoe’s laces and wash them in a future laundry load. Prepare a mixture of 2 tbsp. liquid dish soap and water. Dip an unwanted toothbrush into the mixture and scrub the entire outside of the shoes, including any plastic or leather embellishments and the soles. Wipe off the shoes with a wet kitchen towel to remove any soapy residue. Stuff the shoes with wadded pieces of paper towel, which will help the shoes keep their shape, and allow them to air dry. Replace the shoelaces once the shoes are completely dry.

Leather Converse

Remove the shoe’s laces and wash them in a future laundry load. Use an unwanted toothbrush to remove any loose dirt, debris or dust from the surface of the shoes before wiping the exterior down with saddle soap. Apply the soap in overlapping circles with a kitchen towel. Wipe off the saddle soap with a soft cloth and apply a layer of leather conditioner, if desired. The leather conditioner will help prevent any cracks or breakage to the leather.


Over time, the inside of sneakers, including Converse, will become smelly from repeated wear. To remove the odor from the inside of the shoes, sprinkle a light layer of baking soda inside each shoe. Allow the baking soda to remain for 30 minutes. Once the time has expired, turn the shoes over and shake them over a garbage can to remove the baking soda.

Machine Washing

Canvas Converse shoes, including Chuck Taylors, are machine washable. This cleaning should be handled with care, as the machine’s agitation could damage the shoes. Darkly colored canvas Converse shoes will also bleed in the washing machine. Wipe off any mud from the soles of the shoes before placing them into the washing machine on the gentle cycle.