Drying Converse shoes properly is crucial for maintaining their shape, comfort, and durability. It’s widely known, especially among those who grew up in the 90s, that these canvas classics demand care. Despite the temptation, never throw your Converse in the dryer. The heat can warp the rubber soles, shrink the fabric, and potentially ruin the shoes completely.
So, what’s the alternative? Here are the steps to safely dry your Converse shoes:
1. Air Drying Method
- Step 1: Crumple up newspaper or any paper into balls.
- Step 2: Stuff your Converse with these paper balls to help the shoes keep their shape and absorb moisture from the inside.
- Step 3: Hang the shoes by the laces outside on a clothesline in the sun, which also helps disinfect them. If sunshine isn’t an option, lay them on a flat drying rack.
- Step 4: If the paper becomes damp, replace it with fresh, dry paper to continue absorbing moisture.
- Step 5: Let the shoes air dry completely, which can take from 2-3 days. Avoid the urge to wear them damp to prevent any health issues or discomfort.
Remember, patience is key when drying canvas shoes. While it may be slower than a dryer, air drying ensures your Converse will stay in good shape and serve you well for years to come. Plus, this method is a great opportunity to practice shoe maintenance and care.
2. Newspaper Wrap Method
- Step 1: If the insoles are removable, take them out to air dry separately. Damp insoles can lead to mold and unpleasant odors.
- Step 2: Fill the interior of your shoes with balled-up newspaper to soak up the moisture.
- Step 3: Tightly wrap each shoe in three layers of newspaper and secure them with rubber bands to maximize moisture absorption.
- Step 4: Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area inside your home.
- Step 5: Swap out the wet newspaper for dry sheets every few hours, continuing this cycle until the shoes are fully dry, which may take overnight for thoroughly wet shoes.
Remember, if you’ve got brightly colored Converse, steer clear of newspapers that can bleed ink; opt for paper towels or blank newsprint instead.
3. Fan Drying Method
- Step 1: Prepare two 6 cm wire pieces.
- Step 2: Bend the middle of one wire to form a hook using pliers, then bend one end in the opposite direction to create an S-shape with a large and a small hook.
- Step 3: Repeat with the second wire.
- Step 4: With the fan off, attach the wire hooks to the front of a box fan, spacing them apart to accommodate each shoe.
- Step 5: Place the shoes onto the hooks with the soles facing outwards, ensuring they’re secure.
- Step 6: Prevent the laces from dangling into the fan to avoid accidents.
- Step 7: Turn on the fan to the highest setting and place a towel underneath to catch drips.
- Step 8: Periodically check and stop the fan every 30 minutes until the shoes are dry, which should take about 1-2 hours.
For an extra speed boost in the drying process, position the fan near a sunny window. This blend of airflow and sunlight is like a spa day for your soaked shoes—gentle, effective, and thorough.
Tips on Maintaining your Converse Shoes
Maintaining Converse shoes to ensure they last as long as possible involves several key steps, from the purchase to regular care and storage. Here are some refined tips to keep your kicks in top condition:
Buy Genuine Converse
Firstly, invest in genuine Converse from reputable retailers. Authenticity equates to quality, which translates to longevity.
Cleaning Your Converse
Clean them promptly when they get dirty. Delaying might set the stains deeper into the fabric, making them harder to remove later. Post-cleaning, don’t leave them soaking; prolonged water exposure weakens the glue that holds your shoes together.
Let Them Breathe
We get it, Converse are cool, and you want to wear them all the time. But give them a break. Alternate with other shoes to let them air out. Loosen the laces and let them relax in an open space.
Always Wear Socks
Socks are the barrier that keeps your Converse from trapping odors. They absorb the sweat that would otherwise go straight into your shoes.
Avoid Wearing Them Wet
Wet Converse aren’t just bad for the shoe’s health; they can also make your feet smell. Let them dry fully before wearing them again.
Repair Rather Than Replace
If they’re damaged but you’re not ready to part with them, a shoe repair shop might just give them a new lease on life.
Store Them Right
A good shoe rack and proper stuffing, like with paper or a shoetree, will help them maintain their shape and form.
How to Clean Converse Shoes
Before using any new cleaning solution, do a spot test on a less visible area. If it’s safe, proceed with the following steps:
- Brush off any loose dirt.
- Mix mild soap in lukewarm water.
- Gently clean the fabric with a damp cloth and use a soft brush for stubborn stains.
- Clean the soles with a stronger brush if needed, and carefully bleach them if they’re white. Avoid getting bleach on the fabric.
- Rinse thoroughly to remove soap residue.
For a DIY solution, a mixture of window cleaner, dish soap, or even shampoo can be used in place of a commercial cleaner.
Washing Converse in a Machine?
Converse advises against machine washing as it can be harsh on the fabric and adhesives. However, if you must, use a gentle cycle and place the shoes in a protective bag.
Baking Soda for Cleaning Converse?
Yes, baking soda can be used to clean Converse, especially the white ones. Create a paste with laundry detergent, apply it with a toothbrush, scrub, rinse well, stuff with newspaper, and air dry overnight.