Can You Put Converse in the Washing Machine?

A prevalent theory regarding washing Converse in a washing machine suggests that it could damage the machine. However, the truth is quite the opposite, as the risk primarily lies with the shoes or sneakers. 
Chuck taylor all star sneakers in a laundry basket, Can You Put Converse in the Washing Machine?

Yet, this only tells part of the story. This leads us to the important question: is it a good idea to wash Converse footwear in a Washing Machine? Let’s break it down once and forever!

Can You Put Converse Sneakers in the Washer?

You can wash the Converse shoes in the washing machine if you carefully choose the delicate wash cycle and low temperature. That said, Converse sneakers, made of canvas, are not recommended to put in a washer with normal or aggressive wash cycles. This official instruction is for Converse users to keep the shoes in the best order. 

While they are washable in a washer under certain and strict circumstances, most people wouldn’t keep up conforming to the preventive guidance from the brand, which can damage the sneakers soon. So, if you want to stick to the official cleaning instructions of the brand, do not load your Converse into the washing machine.

However, you can still put them in the washer. Why? Simply because the canvas is washer-safe. That is not to say that you can throw the sneakers into the washing machine and wait for the spotless and snowy Converse to come out. 

You have to maintain the proper standards to keep the footwear well-maintained, as there are washing machine-related risks associated with these items.

How to Clean the Converse Sneakers in a Washer

Remove the Laces and Insole

Leaving laces and insoles in Converse shoes when putting them in the washing machine is a bad idea. The laces may get stuck into the holes of the drum and tangled around the items in the washing machine – which can incur damage to both the washer and the sneakers. 

Similarly, insoles are easy to get waterlogged during the wash cycle. You may need days to dry the Converse shoes when you do not separate the insoles. So, don’t leave the insole inside the shoes. 

Put the Converse in the Washing Machine Bag

Put the Converse shoes into a mesh washer bag once you keep the laces/insole apart. A laundry bag keeps sensitive items like Converse contained and prevents the sneakers from tumbling and spinning around the washer inconsistently. 

Moreover, keeping the items in the laundry bag reduces the effect of spinning and agitation of the washer, which makes Converse sneakers less likely to damage. Alternatively, you can use a pillowcase if a laundry or washer bag is unavailable. However, as you are going to choose a delicate wash, it is best to have a laundry or washer bag.

Load the Bag into the Washing Machine with Other Items

After you put the Converse sneakers into the bag, load them into the washing machine. However, it is also important to pay attention to the overall load of the washing machine. Putting only the sneakers into the wash drum may make the load unbalanced, causing vibration and banging noise. You can add other items to the washing machine, such as a towel, to prevent this.  

This step is particularly important because the washing machine sometimes even stops the wash cycle and shows an error code whenever it detects an unbalanced load. For example, the Samsung washing machine displays a U6 error code upon detecting an unbalanced load. 

Choose the Delicate Mode on Your Washer

This step is very crucial to wash the Converse. The Converse sneakers should not go through the aggressive agitation and wash cycle. That’s why you should choose the wash cycle mindfully and carefully. 

To protect your Converse sneakers, choose the delicate wash cycle that uses cold water and lower spin speed. Don’t worry; it will still remove the odors and stains from the sneakers. Some washers don’t even spin in the delicate wash but still do the job perfectly for sensitive and protective items. 

If you are to choose the temperature, choose the coldest possible option. The reason is parts of the Sneaker, like rubbers and foam, are sensitive to heat. 

A crucial fact is that you should always use liquid detergent instead of powder detergent. As you wash the items with a delicate wash cycle using cold water, the power is less likely to dissolve in cold water. 

Not only do they not dissolve easily in cold water, but the solid detergent particles can also accumulate in your Converse sneakers. That’s why you should choose the mild liquid laundry detergent.

Lastly, avoid using bleach or harsh detergents and fabric softeners, as they can damage the canvas material of Converse.

Dry the Converse Sneakers

Once the washing and cleaning are done, the next part is to dry those Converse sneakers. This time, as well, you need to be extra careful and follow some rules. 

Once you’ve taken the Converse shoes out of the washer, use paper towels or cloths to soak up excess moisture inside the sneakers. When shoes are wet, they can lose their original shape as the materials, like canvas or leather, become more pliable. 

Drying the Converse shoes in the dryer is not an option for the same reason they couldn’t be washed in hot or warm water in the washer. So what do you do?

Well, dry them in the airy open space on a drying rack. While it may take time, it is the best way to keep your Converse shoes in good condition. You can also keep them under the running fan for speedy drying. However, never let the wet shoes or sneakers dry in the dark and poorly ventilated area, and not even in the rainy weather. 

Moisture from the wet sneakers, combined with a lack of airflow and sunlight, can create the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow on the shoes. This can result in a foul odor and potential health concerns if you wear the shoes.

Clean and Dry the Laces and Insole Manually

Remember that you still have laces and insole to wash. You can put them in a washer bag along with Converse sneakers. However, the best practice is to hand-wash the insoles to protect the foam of the insole from moisture. 

Create a solution of warm water and detergent liquid, and drop a few liquids on the insole. Gently scrub the insole to remove any stubborn and tough stains. The insole easily gets damaged when left wet. 

To prevent this, you must absorb the moisture by blotting, but never squeeze it to remove water. Don’t let the insole dry in the dryer as well. They should also be dried by air in a well-ventilated open space.

Leave the laces in soap solution to soak, and add some stain remover. Wait 10-15 minutes and allow the laces to soak in the soapy solution. You can also use an old toothbrush to remove soil from the laces. Finally, rinse the lace into warm water and hang them to air-dry.

Put the Insole and Laces Back into the Sneaker

Once the sneakers, laces, and insoles have thoroughly dried, it’s time to reassemble the Converse. Begin by carefully placing the dry insoles back into the sneakers, ensuring they fit comfortably. 

Next, thread the laces through the designated eyelets, giving your sneakers that snug and secure fit. Now, you’re all set to put your sneakers back on and enjoy your day in comfort and style.


Which One is the Safer Method to Clean the Converse? 

Ans: Converse and other sneakers are relatively easy-to-clean items both by hand and washer. However, Chuck Taylor All Stars discourages washing their sneakers in a washer as one needs to remain very careful. That’s why the hand washing method is preferred. You just need to give a gentle rub around the surface using lukewarm water and a detergent solution.

Can I Use a Fan to Dry My Converse?

Ans: Yes, you can indeed dry Converse shoes. They should be dried in a well-ventilated area, avoiding both the dryer and direct sunlight. If you’re in a hurry, you can place them in front of a fan for faster drying.

Is It Bad to Keep Converse in the Box?

Ans: Yes, it is a bad idea to keep the Converse in the box where air can’t get in or out. This especially increases the chance of mildew and mold growth. At least keep them in the box with holes for air to flow or circulate. 


In a nutshell, Converse sneakers are washable in the washing machine in a delicate cold water cycle with a slow-to-no-spin configuration. If you want to be cautious enough with your sneakers, then follow the brand’s recommendation and avoid the washer’s wash. If you want to do the job with a washing machine, you have to watch your steps and follow the regulations in this guide.

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