What temperature to wash Converse in washing machine?

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As a continuation to our previous article: Is it safe to put Converse in the washing machine?, today we shall be answering an almost similar question: what temperature to wash Converse in washing machine?

Additionally, we shall see some dos and don’ts you should follow when washing your Converse shoes in a washer.

What temperature to wash Converse in washing machine?

While handwashing Converse shoes is the most recommended option, sometimes throwing them in the washing machine is just more convenient.

Now, as you well know, Converse shoes are quite delicate.

As a result, if you opt to wash them inside a washing machine, it is crucial for you to know what temperatures to use when washing them.

This is because using the wrong temperature might damage your favorite shoes.

Having said that, when washing your Converse inside a washer, you will want to use either cold or lukewarm water.

In other words, use water that has a temperature of utmost 40⁰ C.

Here’s the thing: Hot water is likely to dissolve the glue that binds the sole in place causing it to come off.

Additionally, hot water might damage the canvas material thereby destroying your shoe’s esthetics.

Important tips to consider before washing your Converse in the washer

The material used to make the shoes

Before you put your Converse sneakers inside the washer, first take into consideration the material they are made of.

If they are made using suede or leather, then do not put them inside the washer as this will most likely ruin them.

However, if they are made of canvas, then, they are good to go inside the washer.

Do not soak them overnight

At times, your shoes might have some stains that just won’t come off.

However, don’t be tempted to soak them overnight. This is because their bottoms might start coming off the next time you wear them.

And, while still on the same, do not over-scrub your Converse shoes because you might end up discoloring them.

Instead, you can use a good magic eraser for the rubber parts on the sole – the magic eraser will remove even the toughest of stains.

On drying your Converse sneakers

As I have already mentioned, the glue in Converse sneakers will come off if exposed to heat.

For this reason, drying your Converse shoes using a dryer is not advisable.

Instead, you should air dry them at room temperature (of course, they might not dry as fast as you would wish, but this prevents them from getting damaged).

This is because the extra heat might end up damaging the canvas causing it to shrink or warp.

As a matter of fact, Converse advises that when drying your shoes, you should stuff them with paper to help maintain their shape and to occasionally change the paper during the drying process.

This helps to absorb any excess water that might still be in the shoe.

Alternatively, you can use some small dry towels – but be sure to occasionally change them.

Once your shoes have dried, I recommend you stick a teabag inside the toecap to absorb any extra moisture.

I have found that this helps a lot, especially with the smell, bacteria, and the general drying process.

Choosing the right detergent

Making sure that you are using the right detergent is yet another important point to keep in mind when washing your Converse shoes.

For one, it is not advisable to use powder detergent because the powder might get stuck inside your shoe.

Additionally, I do not recommend you to use harsh chemicals such as bleach.

This is because such harsh chemicals have the potential to damage your Converse shoes.

So, what kind of detergent should you use?

Generally, you will want to use a mild detergent because it will not damage your shoes.

Quick tip: When handwashing your Converse shoes, you might use clear dish soap such as Clear Dawn and Palmolive soap. However, do not use the same soap in a washing machine as it might cause troubles with the washing machine.

Also read: Will dish soap ruin a washing machine (And how to remove it)

Still on the same, it is also a good idea to avoid using a fabric softener because it can cause the canvas to stiffen thereby making it uncomfortable to wear.

Quick tip: Do not use toothpaste as it has high chances of damaging your shoes. This is because it is incredibly abrasive hence it will destroy the look of your shoe not to mention that it doesn’t do an excellent job of cleaning. Additionally, depending on the color of the toothpaste, you might end up discoloring or changing the shoe’s color.   

How to machine wash Converse shoes – steps to follow

  1. Take the laces out and tie them loosely around something. This way, you will be preventing them from tangling themselves around the shoes. Or worse still, getting sucked down the drain.
  2. Using a soft brush or toothbrush, brush off any excess dirt from your shoes.
  3. Measure the normal amount of liquid detergent that you would use to wash a small load.
  4. Throw in a couple of towels together with the shoes especially if you are using a front-load washer. The towels will stop the shoes from battering around the washer (which might damage both the shoes and the washer). Also, the towels help in balancing the washer.

Something else: Make sure that the towels you throw in together with the Converse are of a similar color to the Converse to avoid color bleeding.

  1. Select a delicate or gentle spin cycle and leave your shoes to wash for 30 to 40 minutes. The gentle spin cycle will ensure that the sneakers do not get tossed around too much reducing the risk of damage.
  2. Once the cycle is done, air dry them as quickly as possible (this prevents the rubber from perishing).

Quick tip: If the shoes do not come out as clean as you might want them to be, you can try using OxyClean (or spray & wash). I also find alcohol-based Lysol disinfectant sprays to do a pretty good job of making the toecaps white again. So, if you have any alcohol-based Lysol around, you can also give it a try.

What temperature to wash Converse in washing machine – recap

Converse sneakers are a classic footwear option that can get dirty quickly. While handwashing them is an option, using a washing machine is at times more convenient.

Having said that, when using a washing machine to wash your Converse shoes, it is best to use cold or lukewarm water (utmost 40⁰ C) with a mild detergent and a gentle wash cycle.

Finally, remember to stuff in some paper and air dry your Converse shoes instead of using a dryer as the excess heat might damage them.

By following these tips, you can keep your Converse sneakers looking great for years to come.


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