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Crocs are such versatile shoes. They’re great for wearing indoors and out—I wear them when I’m walking around my house and strolling through my garden. I wear my Crocs when I’m working in the garden, taking easy strides across wet or dry lawn, through puddles of water, and over soil and gravel. I love to wear my crocks to the beach. It doesn’t matter if they get wet, and they are great for clambering on the rocks while I explore the tidal pools.
Because Crocs are all-terrain shoes, they’re inclined to get really dirty. Especially if, like me, you have a favorite pair that happens to be white! Some days, when my Crocs and I have been on a real adventure, I look at them and wonder how I’m ever going to get them to look as good as new.
The most important thing for me is cleaning my Crocs without damaging them. I love my Crocs, and I’d like them to last. After trying various ways to clean them, I’m now able to let you know what you can and shouldn’t do to get your Crocs squeaky clean again.
This article will detail 5 ways you can clean your Crocs:
- Hand wash in soapy water
- Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Magic eraser
- Soak in bleach
- Wet wipes
Crocs are made from “Croslite™,” a type of resin made from polymer, which, in turn, is made from crude oil. Crocs are neither rubber nor plastic. They have one nemesis, and that is heat. So, when you’re washing them or leaving them to get dry, don’t use very hot water and don’t leave them in the baking hot sun. And never ever put them in a tumble dryer or near a heater or fire.
Related: How To Dry Your Shoes In The Dryer
No matter which method you choose for cleaning your crocs, you will need to do a little bit of preparation first:
- Choose a suitable place to clean your Crocs. I prefer to wash mine outdoors, but I know people who use their bathtub.
- If you’re not using your bathtub, you’ll need a bucket, tub, or large bowl.
- Wear gloves if you want to protect your hands from dirt or cleaning agents.
- Remove all chunky dirt with a shoe brush.
- If you have decorated your Crocs with jibbitz, I’d recommend that you remove them and wash them separately with warm, soapy water. If you’re worried you might forget where your jibbitz were, take a photo with your phone. Personally, I like to rearrange my jibbitz after every wash. Then my crocs really do feel like a new pair of shoes.
1. Soap and Water Solution
Cleaning with soap and water is recommended by Crocs themselves.
You can use almost any soap. I’ve used dishwashing liquid, washing powder, and ammonia-based agents. One year, when I was on holiday in a hotel, I didn’t have access to any cleaning products, so I used shampoo to wash my Crocs, and it worked!
If you choose to use soap and water, follow these steps:
Step 1: Fill a bucket, tub, or large bowl with warm (not hot) water.
Step 2: Add your choice of detergent to the water and mix to dilute.
Step 3: Hold one Croc under the water and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush, shoe brush, or soft scrub brush. You could use a bottle brush when you wash inside the crocs, especially the toe area. A sponge or a cloth will do if your Crocs don’t need a deep clean.
Step 4: Pay particular attention to the inner and outer sole of your Crocs—that is where the most dirt builds up.
Step 5: If you encounter a suborn stain, you might want to apply a dab of detergent directly to the stain and leave it for a bit while you wash the other Croc.
Step 6: If the water gets very dirty, you will have to change the water after washing the first shoe.
Step 7: Rinse your Crocs in clean cold water and leave them to dry. Don’t be tempted to leave them in the sun to dry, and never put them in the tumble dryer.
2. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Have you ever wondered why baking soda and vinegar make a good cleaning agent? When the two are mixed, the acid breaks down the soda, releasing carbon dioxide gas that can help lift dirt from the surface. This combination of cleaning products is ideal for a deep clean and odor removal.
So, if your Crocs are dirty and smelly, be sure to give this method a try.
Step 1: Mix one part baking soda, one part white vinegar, and two parts water to form a thin paste.
Step 2: You will definitely want to wear gloves when working with this solution. It’s inclined to sting your hands if you have the smallest scratch.
Step 3: Use a sponge or cloth to dab the paste onto every inch of your Crocs—outside and in, including the outer sole.
Step 4: Rub the paste into the holes in the shoe and those under the strap. You may want to enlist the help of a small brush, like a pipe cleaner or a toothbrush.
Step 5: Leave the solution on the Crocs for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 6: Rinse them thoroughly with cold water.
Step 7: Leave your Crocs to dry in a light, airy space.
3. Magic Eraser
The Magic Eraser works best for quick-cleaning white Crocs.
If you’re not familiar with the ‘magic’ behind Magic Erasers, you’ll be curious to know how they work. Very briefly, they are made from melamine foam and only need water, no detergents, to clean most stains. They may look and feel like regular sponges, but they’re not. Melamine foam acts almost like very fine sandpaper. When it’s damp, it uses the small pockets of air in the sponge to lift stains.
Step 1: Soak the Magic Eraser sponge in some warm water until it is saturated.
Step 2: Rub the Magic Eraser over your Crocs, inside and out, removing all the dirty marks.
Step 3: The corners of the magic eraser are ideal for cleaning between the ridges and inside the holes.
Step 4: Rinse your Crocs with cold water and leave them to dry away from direct heat and sunlight.
4. Bleach Soak
Bleach soak is ideal for an intense clean for white Crocs.
If your once white Crocs are yellowing or stained, you may need to give them a bleach soak to restore them to their former glory. Only use this method on white Crocs that have been formerly washed with soapy water.
Step 1: Work in a well-ventilated area.
Step 2: Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and some bleach. I recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons (5 to 10 ml) of bleach per 1,3 gallons (5 liters) of water.
Step 3: Submerge your Crocs in the solution and leave them to soak for a few hours. You may notice at this stage that Crocs float! Well, there are two things I can think of doing to keep your Crocs under the water. Firstly, you could weigh them down by putting something heavy in the toe of the shoe. Be sure to use something that won’t be damaged by the bleach. Secondly, you could part-fill a smaller bucket or tub with water and float that on top of the bleach and water solution to hold your Crocs under. Be careful that the second container of water doesn’t squish your Crocs.
Step 4: Rinse your Crocs in cold water and leave them to dry.
5. Wet Wipes
If you’re out and about and need to clean your Crocs quickly, say you dripped ice cream on them, or you walked on a sandy path, wet wipes are great for an on-the-go clean.
Wipes will remove spills and dirt that haven’t had time to set. They are also handy because you can squeeze them through the holes. If the wipes are in short supply, ignore the sole of your crocks and focus on the visible bits until you can do a more thorough job later.
Don’t Forget About Cleaning the Strap
Muck can build up under the strap, so don’t forget to clean under there. No matter which of the above methods you use when you’re deep cleaning your Crocs, the strap mechanism will probably need a good go-over with an old toothbrush to get it properly clean.
Cleaning Crocs That Have a Fur Lining
Crocs’ official website assures me that their liners are removable. This is good news because it means they will be as easy to clean as the Crocs themselves. Seeing as I love my Crocs so much in summer, this additional insight means I’ll probably get myself some warm fur-lined ones for winter.
The best way to clean Crocs that have a fur lining is to remove the fur. Follow the directions above for cleaning the Crocs and follow the directions below for cleaning the fur.
- The fur lining is best washed by hand in warm soapy water.
- If the fur smells bad, you can soak it in a baking soda, vinegar, and water solution. Use one part vinegar to one part baking soda and two parts water.
- If the fur becomes stained, you can soak it in a water and bleach solution.
- You can use a damp cloth to spot-wipe the fur if the dirty mark is fresh.
- If you just want to freshen the fur lining without taking your Crocs apart, sprinkle a little dry baking soda inside them and leave it to stand overnight. In the morning, you can vacuum or shake out the baking soda; it should have soaked up any bad smells.
- After washing the linings, you can use an old comb or brush to fluff up the lining to look as good as new.
- Rather don’t machine wash your fur liners and don’t use hot water—they could become stretched or misshapen.
Additional Crocs Care Tips
- Crocs and their liners are best left to dry naturally in a well-ventilated space. Don’t expose them to heat in the form of direct sunlight, a hairdryer, tumble dryer, heater, or fire.
- Don’t leave your Crocs in a hot car.
- Use specially formulated polish or Crocs Shine to restore your Crocs to life. Be aware that you have to clean your Crocs before you apply any kind of polish—the polish does not clean dirty shoes; it livens shoes that have been cleaned.
Can I put my Crocs in the washing machine?
The short answer is, No. The only reason for this is the hot water. If, however, you made sure to use cold or lukewarm water, it will be okay to wash your Crocs in your machine.
Can I put my Crocs in the tumble dryer?
This is a definite, No. The heat from the tumble dryer will damage the Crocs. The resin they are made from will melt, causing the Crocs to shrink or warp. For the same reason, don’t expose your Crocs to any extreme heat source—including direct sunlight.
How do I remove stains from my Crocs?
The quickest way to get stains out of white crocs is to use a Magic Eraser. For colored Crocs, I recommend spot cleaning with detergents or washing in soapy water.
How do I keep my Crocs smelling fresh?
Cleaning your Crocs regularly would be the first way to keep them smelling fresh. I recommend that you give your Crocs a deep clean at least once a month. If they are smelly, you can leave them in a shoebox with baking soda or cat litter for 12 to 24 hours.
How often should I wash my Crocs?
Spot wipe your Crocs as and when is you need to. Deep clean at least once a month, depending on how often you wear them and whether you wear them outdoors a lot. However, even if you just wear your Crocs indoors, dead skin cells from your feet can accumulate in your Crocs and become smelly.
How do I clean the jibbitz on my Crocs?
If you have jibbitz on your Crocs, I’d recommend that you remove them and wash them separately with warm, soapy water and leave them to dry naturally or dry them with paper toweling.
In a Nutshell
Crocs are durable and versatile, and Croc-lovers love to wear them everywhere! If yours are looking slightly worse for the wear, the Croc washing tips and tricks in this article should have your Crocs looking as good as new in no time. Yes, even the white ones!