Friday, June 22, 2012

How to wash Chuck Taylors

I’ve already mentioned the great benefits of a white canvas plimsoll for spring/summer here. Quick recap: they’re cheap, casual, look good, and best of all, they can be beat to hell, then thrown in the wash to look like new.

All white shoes will inevitably scuff, although I once had a friend who religiously walked backwards in a pair of Air Force Ones to prevent them from getting dirty. He was an idiot though. With simple shoes like these Chuck Taylors, made from canvas and rubber, you can quickly and easily wash them. 
There’s several ways to clean shoes like these. The first, and most time consuming, would be to diligently attack stains with a mix of water, detergent, and a toothbrush. If you really care for you shoes, this is probably your best bet, as you’ll avoid getting them completely soaked, and you can focus your own level of attention to detail on particular spots. Just mix a small amount of laundry detergent and water, then get to scrubbing. 

OR, if you’re a bit more lazy pressed for time, you can toss them in the washing machine with a mild detergent. I recommend taking out the shoe laces, but you can still wash them in the same cycle. I’m using a “warm” setting, because I’m worried about how truly hot water may affect the rubber soles.

Now that they’re clean, they’re still wet. DON’T put them in the dryer, because this can damage the shoe. Allow them to air dry at a normal temperature (so avoid things like blow dryers or rotisserie spits). You want these things to be really dry when you put them on, so allow for at least 10 hours, but obviously you can gauge for yourself. 
Finally, if you’re looking to really clean the rubber outsoles, grab a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. These things are awesome to have around the house, so you should get some anyway (seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if they could scrub off skin cancer). Use them on the outsoles though and you’ll be good to go. 
Important: Bleach might seem like an obvious choice for getting your shoes sparkly white, but AVOID this. Bleach weakens the integrity of the canvas. It can be used as a last resort for really stubborn stains, but also keep in mind that a little dirt never hurt anyone, and can add a bit of character to an otherwise blank canvas (pun intended). 
Thanks for reading,

Pictures from here, here, and here

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