Introduction: How to Clean Your Chuck Taylors

About: Remy Jacque Orvis is the content manager for Shark University. She's an SJSU alumn with majors in Journalism and Broadcasting, a minor in Anthropology and a background in science writing. She's currently worki…

If you're like me, you wear Chucks for just about any occasion: school, business, casual date, you name it. You can even pull them off with a cute summer dress ... except when they're super dirty. Lucky for you, they're easy to clean.

To get your Chucks lookin' new, you'll need a few basic materials:

hydrogen peroxide
powdered laundry detergent
Mr. Clean Original Magic Eraser
liquid stain remover (in a spray bottle)
four or five dirty light-colored towels
one hand towel (for cleanups)
mesh wash bag for delicates
washing machine

Step 1: Prep

First, remove your laces, and set them aside.
Next, spray liquid stain remover on your shoes, soaking every inch of cloth.
Don't forget to spray under the tongues to get those pesky jeans stains out.

Let your shoes sit for about five minutes. While you wait, toss two or three of your towels into the wash so that half of the drum is full.

Optional: wipe down the rubber surfaces of your shoes with a wet Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove any loose grime or dirt.

Step 2: Prepping Your Laces

Stuff the shoelaces into the bottle of liquid stand remover. Leaving about half an inch to an inch of the laces sticking out of the bottle, screw on the cap/nozzle. Be careful not to cross-thread the cap.

Next, shake the bottle like you would a carton of orange juice. Do this for about 30 seconds. Careful though... some liquid will seep out. Use the hand towel to clean up the goopy mess.

Step 3: Ready to Wash

Remove the laces from the bottle, then place them in your mesh wash bag, making certain that they are thoroughly covered in stain remover. Also, rub some excess stain remover onto the dry ends of the laces that were sticking out of the bottle.

Afterward, zip up the bag, and place it in the wash on top of your towels. Add your shoes to the load next to the bag, then place the remaining towels on top. Your shoes and bag should sandwiched between two layers of towels. Make any necessary adjustments, and toss in the hand towel if you like.

Add a glug (about 2 oz) of hydrogen peroxide, a glug of the liquid stain remover, and one load's worth of detergent to the wash. Set machine to the "super load" or equivalent setting; set water to cold (warm if you can afford it), and select the "regular" or equivalent wash setting. Start the wash, and walk away.

Step 4: Setting to Dry

After pulling them from the wash, reshape your shoes and set them on a flat surface to dry. Pull the laces from the mesh bag, and place them down next to the shoes, freeing them of any tangles or knots that might have occurred in the wash.

I set mine on top of my dryer, but any area free of debris and moisture will do. You can even set them outside in the sun, for example. After about 12 hours, they'll be dry and ready to be re-laced and worn with any outfit (sooner if you place them in the sun).
Use a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to keep the rubber of your shoes brilliant and free of dirt.


Note: Some stains require two washes. If your shoes aren't stain-free after the first wash, repeat the process one more time. For example, it took me two cleans to get grass stains out of my Chucks. Also, don't forget to dry your towels!