Can You Put Converse In A Washing Machine

Can You Put Converse In A Washing Machine? [Answered]

Converse shoes are popular for casual footwear, known for their iconic style and versatility. When it comes to cleaning these shoes, there is often confusion about whether or not they can be safely washed in a washing machine.

So, can you put Converse in a washing machine? Yes, but not all. You can safely machine wash canvas, cotton, and stretch Converse shoes with delicate and 30-degree Celsius settings. However, you cannot put leather or suede Converse in the washing machine as they require more delicate cleaning care.

How do you machine clean your Converse shoes properly and safely? What does Converse say about this? Are there any risks involved? All these answers are answered below. 

Can You Put Converse In the Washing Machine?

If you have ever tried hand washing Converse shoes, you understand it can be really tiring. So it’s understandable if you’re wondering, ‘Can you put Converse in the washing machine?’

Well, the simple answer is YES, but only for certain materials and with proper precautions. You can put canvas, cotton, and stretch Converse shoes in a washing machine. You should always avoid putting leather and suede in a washing machine as they require delicate hand washing.

Most Converse shoes feature an outer canvas, which is a sturdy cotton fabric. The material can withstand the gentle agitation of a washing machine on a cold, delicate cycle. The biggest concern with canvas Converse in the washer is colors running or fading.

The same washing machine guidelines apply when it comes to cotton materials like t-shirt-style sneakers. Stretch fabrics, commonly used on the sides and backs of newer Converse models, are also generally conducive to machine washing. 

Depending on the fabric blend, some Gore-Tex Converse may also fare well in the washing machine. However, the delicate membranes in Gore-Tex shoes require extra special handling. Check labels for specific cleaning instructions which may prohibit machine washing.

Risk of Washing Leather and Suede Converse in a Washing Machine

While leather and suede materials are very durable, submerging them in water poses risks like discoloration or breakdown of the materials. These styles are always hand-washed only with a cloth or soft brush. The washing machine should always be avoided for leather and suede to preserve the uppers.

It is good to mention that this goes against Converse’s recommendation on how to clean Converse shoes. According to their official website, you SHOULD NOT MACHINE WASH canvas, leather, synthetic and suede shoes. 

How To Clean Converse in Washing Machine Properly?

What procedure do you follow to ensure you do it right and not damage your shoes? After all, you’re going against the manufacturer’s recommendation. Well, here are the steps you need to follow to wash your Converse in the washing machine. 

Step 1: Remove Shoelaces

It is important to first remove the shoelaces from the Converse shoes before putting them in the washing machine. Leaving the shoelaces attached can cause them to become tangled in the agitation of the wash cycle. This tangling can damage both the laces and potentially even the washing machine. 

Step 2: Prep the Shoes 

To prepare the shoes for washing, use a soft-bristled brush or an old, clean washcloth to scrub away any dirt or debris on the shoes gently. Pay particular attention to scrubbing the mud, scuffs, or deeply embedded soils. This prep work helps loosen stubborn dirt and stains so they can be fully removed during the wash. 

For any noticeable stains on the canvas, pretreat them by applying a small amount of laundry detergent or fabric pretreatment directly onto the stain. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes to further break down the stain before placing it in the washer.

Step 3: Place the Shoes in a Wash Bag

Place the shoes inside the washing machine in a washable mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them from damage. This contains the shoes and prevents them from banging against the washing machine drum or other items in the load. 

Select a large bag to allow the shoes to move freely without being squeezed tight. Secure the opening so shoes won’t slip out.

Step 4: Add Towels for Support

Adding a few old, clean towels to the wash provides extra cushioning and support for the shoes. The towels help prevent scuffs or scratches that could occur from the shoes rubbing together or banging into the hard surfaces inside the washing machine. 

They absorb impacts to gently clean the shoes without risk of damage.

Step 5: Add Detergent

Use a mild, liquid laundry detergent suitable for washing delicate clothing items. Measure the recommended amount for a small load and add it inside the washing machine drum before placing it in the shoes. 

Avoid using too much detergent, as the excess soap could potentially damage the canvas or rubber.

Step 6: Set the Washing Machine Settings

Set the washing machine to the most gentle wash cycle available, such as a delicate or hand-wash setting. This provides a low-agitation clean without rough tumbling that could damage the shoes. 

The temperature should be set to cold. Warm water to a maximum of 30°C may be suitable, but never use hot water, which could damage the adhesive or rubber soles. Select the lowest spin speed or no spin to avoid excess rubbing. 

Step 7: Begin The Wash

Close the washing machine door and start the wash cycle. Let it complete the cycle without interruption. Most wash cycles on the delicate setting take 30-40 minutes. During the wash, keep an eye on the shoes to ensure they are properly cleaned without banging or rubbing excessively against the inner drum.

Step 8: Air Dry The Shoes Completely

Remove the shoes from the wash bag or pillowcase when the wash cycle finishes. Shape them manually while still damp to prevent the canvas upper from wrinkling as they dry. 

Allow them to air dry completely away from direct heat or sunlight before wearing them again. Stuffing with paper or clothes can help maintain the shape during drying. Also, add some towels to the white Converse shoes to avoid stains.

Here is a video demonstrating how to clean white Converse shoes in a washing machine:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about putting Converse in the washing machine? Here are some FAQs to help you out.

How Often Should You Wash Your Converse Shoes In a Washing Machine?

Considering how agitating the washing cycle can be, it’d be best to machine clean the shoes once or twice a month. Avoid it when you can, as it might cause early wear and tear.

Can You Use Bleach To Clean Converse Shoes?

No. While bleach is an effective cleaning agent, it can turn white Converse to yellow, which is irreversible. It can also damage the fabric and discolor other parts of the shoe.


You can put Converse shoes in a washing machine if they are made of materials such as canvas, cotton, and stretch. It is important to take the necessary precautions, such as using a mesh laundry bag, a gentle soap, and a delicate cycle when washing the shoes. 

It is best to avoid machine-washing leather and suede shoes as they require delicate hand cleaning. Overall, machine washing Converse is a viable option, but the cleaning instructions should always be followed for the best results.

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