Can You Bleach White Converses

We all like things to be clean, that’s the way we are! When it comes to white clothes, there’s nothing worse than a stain, and with some stubborn stains – bleach can help. But can you bleach white converses? Let’s find out! 


It can be confusing in the cleaning world. What can we use for certain things, and what is good for what etc. When it comes to our clothes, and particularly a pricy pair of converse – we want to ensure that if we’re going to use bleach on them, that we won’t ruin them! 

So, what can we do when our white converse has stains on them? We’ve got to do something! Well, worry no more – we’ve got a handy guide below that details the information about bleaching white converse. 

Can You Bleach White Converses?

This isn’t a simple yes or no question. In theory, you can – but it depends on what bleach you’re planning to use – and more importantly, making sure that you’ve diluted the bleach with water.

Depending on the strength of the bleach, you might need to dilute the bleach with water to around 70% water, 30% bleach ratio. A thinner bleach, you can get away with a 50/50 ratio.

Never use 100% bleach on converse, particularly white converse. Pure bleach is likely to change the color of the shoes to a yellow or even pink shade. Bleach is quite an abrasive product, meaning it can figuratively eat away at things it lands on or is used on. The thicker the bleach, the more abrasive it is. 

How Would You Bleach White Converse?

The important thing to consider when you plan to bleach your white converse is how you’re going to do it. Do it wrong, and you’ll have a terrible pair of converse as a result – and a huge waste of time! So, here are the steps of how to bleach your white converse. 

Step One: Laces

To begin, you’ll need to remove the laces. This can be a real grind to some, but it’s a necessary requirement for the cleaning process. If you don’t remove the laces, the chances are that the laces will change color and ruin the overall look of the shoes, but they’ll also be a hindrance and continually get in the way.

Another problem if you leave the laces on is that they might prevent the cleaning process being completed equally and evenly – so you may have patches. Best to remove the laces!

Step 1.5: Laces

If your laces are as dirty as the shoes, you can put them directly in the washing machine, hand wash them or simply buy a new set. 

Step Two: Removing Dirt 

If your converse’s whiteness is compromised visibly through mud, dirt or dust – consider removing this first with a wet rag or towel. This is required to ensure that the bleaching is completely even and avoid any patches or spots.

If your shoes are completely engulfed in dirt, you might need to use a large brush to get rid of it all. Remember to do this to the back, front and bottom of your white converse to avoid any dirt being transferred to other areas whilst cleaning.

After you’ve done this, you’ll want to use standard cold water to really get all of the small, hard to see bits of mud and dust off.

Also, before we go further – check the state of your converse to consider if they need a clean with bleach or not. If you think you might benefit from something less harsh like a fabric cleaner – it’s far more beneficial and less risky to do that first.

Step Three: Appropriate Bucket 

You’ll want to find a strong plastic (preferably polypropylene as bleach does not damage this as much as polyethylene). Depending on the size of your shoes, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting a bucket that is large enough for the shoes to be engulfed in liquid, with enough room to breathe. 

Next, you’ll want to go to an area with plenty of ventilation, such as a garage or basement. The fumes given off from bleach can be toxic, so you don’t want to be breathing in the harmful fumes.

Step Four: Create Your Mix 

After you’ve identified which bleach you’ll be using, check the strength and mix it with water appropriately (remember what we said about ratios earlier).

After you’ve done this, carefully mix the bleach with water into a large bottle – the best thing to have is an empty bleach bottle if possible. You might want to wear a mask when doing this and possibly goggles to protect your eyes.

With your mix created – it’s time for you to start the bleaching process. 

Step Five: Bleaching 

Pour your mixture carefully over the white converse in the bucket, and do it as slowly and spread evenly as possible. You’d be wise to wear gloves for this part to avoid having bleach damage your skin on your hands. 

An even coverage as you slowly do this will ensure that no part of the white converse is being left behind. Continue to do this until both of your converse are fully submerged in the mixture. 

Step Six: Post-Bleaching 

You’ll want to leave the white converse soaking in the mixture for around 8 hours. It’s wise to do this before you go to bed – if you bleach these overnight, you can safely go to sleep and sort the rest out in the morning. 

Step Seven: Removal From The Bucket

Carefully take the shoes out of the bucket with gloves on and transfer them to your sink where it is time to rinse them off with warm water. If you want to, you can add some detergent and brush them thoroughly to get rid of any bleach that remains on the shoes. Continue rinsing until you get the desired finish. 

Final Steps: Completion 

You should now air dry your shoes for at least 1 full day. You don’t want to wear wet shoes as it isn’t good for your feet or the shoes – and it allows any leftover water/bleach to fully dry up. 

If you were also cleaning your laces, ensure these have been fully dried before re-lacing the shoes, but only do this after the 1 day of drying has completed. 

The result is a clean, bleached pair of white converse!