Whenever I wear my white converse, I always get reader comments asking how to keep them clean, and how they want to buy a pair but are worried about them getting filthy dirty so fast, especially with kids.

So today I’m sharing my secrets for keeping mine bright white so you don’t have to be scared of buying a pair — really it’s so easy.

1. Plan for the days you wear them. If it’s raining, or you’ll be going through dirt or mud for some reason, skip them. Because that’s a guaranteed way to get them super dirty. Errands or park days give you a better chance of keeping them clean.

2. Run them through the wash every few wears. A spin in the washing machine with your towels will make them like new!

3. Remove the laces when you wash them. Wash the laces too, but don’t leave them in the shoe or else they won’t come out completely clean.

4. Use a bleach pen for those tough spots. Just a quick swipe of the bleach pen (I do it pretty much all over the shoe — not just on spots), then throw them right in the washing machine. If the rubber gets dirty, use a magic eraser to clean it off!

5. Don’t run them through the dryer! I think this makes the biggest difference in how the shoe holds up. When converse get old, they tend to look shriveled and shrunken a little bit. Know what I mean? Mine will instantly do this when run through the dryer, probably because it shrinks the cotton material. Instead, pull them out of the wash and stuff them with crumpled up plastic bags, wash cloths, or a shoe tree to give them back their original shape. Let them dry completely, and then re-lace them.

Now don’t be scared — go buy yourself a pair!

photos by rad and happy 


  1. Carmen Jny (carmitive) says:

    I love this post! I always put my white converse into the washing machine – they look like new ones after they’re dried 🙂 xx, Carmen

  2. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    These are all great tips! I’ve done the same things with my Toms and they hold up great! I’ve never even thought to put shoes in the dryer so luckily I’ve never had that problem!


  3. Linda Z says:

    Great tips! I do similar things with my shoes! The one thing I’d do differently, is that I’d suggest washing them alone. I used to wash my sons’ dirty white socks with my white towels, and they ended up graying the towels and making them look all dingy.

  4. Courtney says:

    Thanks for this post – I was JUST looking at buying a pair, but was hesitant with 3 boys running around me all day. This gives me hope!

  5. Roybn says:

    Or just buy the leather ones! They are only about $10 more a pair, and look just as good for a whole lot longer!

  6. Susan Stange says:

    I just bought some and LOVE them! You really can wear them with EVERYTHING! Glad you just posted this! Perfect timing.

  7. Caitlin says:

    This post is everything! My white chucks are starting to get dirty and I’ve been dying to find the right way to clean them up! Thanks!

    xx, Caitlin

  8. Roxi says:

    Thank you for this! Bought my first pair this summer and I was starting to get nervous that it wasn’t looking as white as it used to be.

    Roxi –

  9. Ali says:

    a funny question – do you wear any sort of socks with your converse? it doesn’t look like it, but I find my rub without them, but I love the look of them without socks

    • Merrick says:

      I don’t ever wear socks with any of my shoes (except athletic shoes to exercise or unless I’m traveling and know I’ll be walking miles and miles). But I know they make those super low cut socks that just go around your toes and heel, so maybe try those?

  10. Judi says:

    Hi, I love converse, especially combine them with necklaces from the collection , but your advice on how to keep them clean is just great. I think that almost every owner of white converse faced this problem.

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