Lets start off by saying that the official Converse website specially says do not wash your Converse in the washing machine. With this being said, please proceed at your own risk and with caution.
I would not throw a new pair or near new pair in the washer anyways.
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This is for the pair of Chuck Taylors that are beyond simple spot cleaning and need a fresh start.
If you have an old pair of Converse sitting in your closet that you think are toasted, then you might want to think again and try this first.
Preparing Converse for the washer
First and foremost you will need to knock off as much dirt and mud from the shoes as possible. You don’t want the water in your washer getting anymore dirty than it needs to be.
Next the best practice is to remove the laces from the Chucks before entering the washing machine. Shoe laces can wrap around things and squeeze things and cause a whole lot of trouble that you do not want.
Check out: How To Wash Shoe Laces
Protecting your Converse All Stars
Have you every thrown a pair of shoes in the washer and you can hear them clunking around the whole time? Yeah, well that isn’t exactly what you want.
Washers can throw your shoes around causing them to slam into the walls of the washing machine and other components.
This can cause damage to not only your Chuck Taylor’s but also your washing machine.
A very good solution to this annoying issue is simply washing your shoes along with a towel or two. To take things a step further you can put your Converse in a mesh bag while they wash for even more protection.
Wash your shoes with a couple towels.
Detergent and stain fighting
Regular laundry detergent will work fine for washing your Converse, preferably if you can use a detergent that is free and clear of dyes and perfumes that would be best.
Use the amount of detergent you would normally use for a load of clothes. Things like tide pods can be used as well, but remember you should try to find some that are free and clear.
Laundry detergent that has dyes or scents can have color altering effects on your shoes when you wash them. Something like Purex is a good choice.
If you have stains on your shoes you can use a stain fighter of your choice diluted with water, then with a toothbrush work the solution into the stain before you wash them.
Be careful with using stain fighters for spots, sometimes the solution can darken or lighten the area you scrub.
You may end up having to scrub the whole area rather than only where the stain is, this way everything will blend together a little better.
Washer settings / temperature
A good rule of thumb is to never wash something in super hot water, if you are concerned about that particular item.
Cold water is always going to be the best choice for protecting color, but if your Chucks are on the dirtier side of things then warm water can be used.
Your washer setting should be turned to the delicates, light, or gentle setting. You want a less aggressive setting when washing shoes.
Cold/Warm water selected? Gentle cycle selected? Detergent added? Smack that washing machine on!
After the washing machine
Just like the washing machine, Converse also does not recommend using the dryer for your shoes. We do not either.
Using a dryer can do things like shrink your shoes.
If you want to use the dryer you can use a low heat, we have a whole other article on drying your shoes with the dryer.
The best and safest method to dry your shoes is going to be to set your Converse in a warm well ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight, but an outside location may be chosen.
It can take up to 24 hours for your shoes to fully dry. Possibly even longer depending on the temperature.
So pull those old All Stars out of the closet and hit the refresh button on them!