An expert on how to properly clean your Converse


Some tips to have your shoes looking brand new. 

As someone who generally steers clear of white shoes because I’m both lazy and have no idea how to clean them properly, I was pretty excited to hear about Converse’s new shoe repair, cleaning and customisation hub, Renew Labs Fitzroy

The freshly-opened space is encouraging people to bring in their old shoes to give them a second wind rather than replacing them with a brand-new pair once they start showing signs of wear. 

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Because, well, who among us doesn’t have a bunch of decrepit old shoes stashed away in the unseen space reserved for things that are too shabby to be seen in public but not far gone enough that they deserve to get hoiked? 

And we’ve all soaked a pair of sneakers in the sink or chucked them in the washing machine only to ruin them entirely. So to help save our soles (forgive me), we asked Renew Labs Fitzroy Manager, Josh Denniss, for some tips on how to properly clean your Converse. 

Renew Labs Fitzroy offers two cleaning options depending on the state of your shoes. There’s a deep clean for stubborn stains and a quick clean for shoes that are just in need of a freshen up. 

If you’re just doing a quick clean, you don’t want to use too much liquid, Josh tells us. Just wet a dry brush sparingly with clean water and scrub. This will shift any superficial marks and trapped dirt. Plus, you can do it at the last minute without worrying about drying time.

“Don’t stick your dirty chucks in the washing machine, I’ve seen a lot of ruined sneakers from the wash,” says Josh. For a more comprehensive clean, you’ll need something stronger than water. 

“We are using an environmentally-friendly solution from Sneaker Lab, but a mild soap will do the trick. Always run a little test patch on the fabric before you go all in. Along the seam or the edge of the tongue is perfect – just in case the soap you are using reacts with the colour of the canvas,” he says.

The rubber part of the shoe can be a bit trickier. You may just need to put some elbow grease into it or, for really tricky marks, you might need to call in an oil-based cleaner for back-up – Orange Power works a charm and you can pick it up from the supermarket for under ten bucks.

Once you’re done, dry with a microfibre towel and spray with protection spray. This will help keep them stain-resistant and add a little waterproofing action, too. 

“Chucking some protector spray on your sneakers will also keep the dirt and grime away, and make cleaning easier next time,” says Josh. 

Clean laces make all the difference, too. If they’re overly frayed or stained, you’re probably better off going with a fresh pair. Otherwise, a good soak should have them looking nice and bright again.

“Cleaning your laces is the quickest and easiest way to get your sneakers looking fresh again,” says Josh. Be sure to let them fully dry before re-lacing your shoes, otherwise, you’re likely to end up with marks where they rub against the eyelets and tongue.

Speaking of eyelets, these tend to get scuffed, scratched and discoloured over time, so it’s worth replacing them if they’re looking a little worse for wear. You’d be surprised by how much impact some shiny new eyelets can have. You can even switch up the colour, if you please. 

Last but not least, you’ll want to spray them with a deodoriser. We’re not saying your shoes stink, (let’s face it, they probably do), but you wouldn’t skip deodorant after a shower, so give your shoes the same courtesy and give them a little spritz. 

And if you’re lazy, pressed for time, or you’d rather just leave it to the experts, take them down to Renew Labs Fitzroy and the team there will do it all for you. They can even fix up split soles and detached lining around the inner heels of your Chucks, which are common problems with ageing shoes. Impressive, right?

Find out more about Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy here.

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