Chuck Taylors add a classic appeal and cool vibe to almost any outfit, and white Chucks are especially versatile. Unfortunately, these iconic shoes can also be a breeding ground for stains and dirt. If you want to keep your Chucks gleaming white, check out these tips on how to prevent and remove stains.
1. Be Proactive
Stain fighting should begin before you ever wear your Chucks. To protect your shoes, spray them with a layer of Crep Protect. Designed for use on canvas as well as leather and suede shoes, this spray creates a protective coating over your shoes, and that repels water and resists stains. It also makes it easier to scrub off stains when they do occur.
2. Wash on Gentle
Surprisingly, you can throw your Chucks in the washing machine. If you have a top loader, remove the laces so they don't get caught on the agitator, and make sure to wash the Chucks on their own, without any other clothing.
Select the gentle cycle and use warm but not hot water — excessive heat can be hard on the soles. Ideally, you should only wash your Chucks on a dry day. Humidity can make it hard for them to dry properly, and you don't want to risk mildew forming in your shoes.
3. Try the Dishwasher
If you don't have a washing machine and you don't want to take your Chucks to the laundromat, consider putting them in the dishwasher. Empty out the dishes, and put the shoes on the top rack. To get the most benefit of the spray, orient the shoes so the soles are facing upward and the canvas is facing the jets of water coming from the bottom of the dishwasher.
4. Make Your Own Stain Remover
With a few basic ingredients, you can also make your own spot cleaner. Mix baking soda with just enough vinegar to make a paste. Then, using a toothbrush, scrub any stains on your shoes. This stain-remover works for both the canvas and the rubber soles of the shoes, and as an added bonus, the baking soda helps neutralize any stinky shoe odors. To remove the paste, rinse off your shoes with water, and then, let them air dry.
Some cleaning guides recommend using whitening toothpaste on your Chucks, but this is not good advice. Toothpaste can work beautifully on leather and suede, but it typically stains white canvas.
5. Create an Abrasive Paste for the Soles
For a more thorough approach to cleaning the soles of your Chucks, consider making an abrasive paste. Just mix a product like Comet with a bit of water, and scrub as explained above. To make it easier, you can use a Mr Clean sponge — that's basically a sponge with abrasive cleaner infused into it. Rinse the soles thoroughly to remove the paste or sponge residue.
6. Replace the Laces
When cleaning your Chucks, don't forget the laces. If you like, you can wash laces — just put them in a small mesh bag or tie them up in a bit of old panty hose. Then, wash as usual. The bag prevents the laces from getting wrapped up in your baffle.
Alternatively, laces are cheap, and buying new laces is a great way to freshen up your shoes without spending a lot of money. You don't have to go with white either — you can add a bit of intrigue with colors, skulls or other fun designs.
If you ever face a stain that you just can't remove, consider embracing a new color. With a bit of fabric dye, you can easily turn your white Chucks into black, blue, red or even custom tie-dyed Chucks. Regardless of the color, you know that these awesome shoes are always in style.