How To Clean Dirty Crocs The Right Way (Quick & Easy)

Since their inception in 2001, Crocs have become some of the most popular shoes around.

Pitched as a comfortable, multipurpose shoe, Crocs are great for beachwear, gardening, or even in some industries as workwear.

But with all of this, how do you keep your Crocs looking clean and pristine? Read on to find out how to clean dirty crocs the right way.

How To Clean Dirty Crocs (Quick & Easy)

How to Clean Dirty Crocs: Standard Crocs

As they are widely used as beach wear, work wear, and as children’s shoes, Crocs understandably get dirty quite often.

However, thanks to their unique Croslite composition and design, standard Crocs are incredibly easy and quick to clean, and there are many methods you can employ to do so.

Hand Washing

This is an obvious one, and should of course be everyone’s first port of call.

  1. Use a spot wash to rinse off any excess dust, grime and debris, using cool to warm water.
  2. Apply a mild soap. This could be dish soap, hand soap, or washing powder, it doesn’t really matter as long as it isn’t caustic or harsh.
  3. Apply a generous amount to the dirty part of the Croc and massage it gently, using a soft sponge or similar implement to get some traction on the dirty areas.
  4. Rinse off with the tap or nozzle, until all of the soap has been washed away. This will get rid of the top layer of dirt and residue.
  5. Soak them in warm soapy water, using a bathtub, the sink, or even a large bucket to do so. Leave them to soak for a few minutes.
  6. Scrub for a deeper clean. For this you could use a toothbrush or similar implement, ensuring you get in between all of the cracks and crevices to ensure all the dust and dirt has been removed.
  7. Then rinse under the cold tap or shower nozzle to get rid of the soap and the residue, leaving them to air dry before wearing again.

Washing Machine

This is not necessarily a good move when it comes to cleaning shoes, and the Crocs company themselves go back and forth on whether it would be a good idea.

Washing machines can get incredibly hot during most washes, and there is always the worry that the heat could warp or perish the croslite foam, ruining them in the process.

However, using a cold wash, the Crocs should be perfectly protected against heat damage, and the thorough cleaning patterns of most washing machines should make them crystal clean in no time at all.

Remember to check with the manufacturer information before trying this, and be sure that if you do, you only put them on a short cycle.

Cleaning Canvas Crocs

Canvas Crocs, on the other hand, can be slightly more difficult to clean.

The first thing to do is to spot clean them with a damp cloth. Use some mild dish soap and massage into the dirtiest areas of the shoes, leaving the soap to soak into the shoe for a few moments.

Once this is done you can soak them. Once again, the water shouldn’t be too warm, and you should only let them soak for a few minutes for the best results.

Once they have soaked, wash off the excess residue before scrubbing with an old toothbrush or soft-bristled brush, working it into the dirtier areas and scrubbing in circular motions to shift bedded in grime.

Next comes the rinsing. This is even more important with canvas, as it is more absorbent than the foam models. Make sure you rinse them well, letting the water pass through until it runs clean and soap-free.

Then use a dry rag to dab as much of the excess water, before letting them air dry naturally.

I have a whole article on cleaning white converse shoes if you want some more methods.

Cleaning Leather Crocs

Leather can be simpler to clean than canvas, but with this material comes the risk of causing scratches and abrasions in the surface. Because of this, extra care is needed.

Begin with a gentle spot clean, using a sponge or cloth to gently get rid of any excess dirt and dust.

How To Clean Dirty Crocs

With leather comes the need for polish and restorative products. You can use anything (as long as it’s designed for leather) and massage it in well for maximum efficacy.

This will rehydrate the leather and prevent damage or cracking. Once dried, you can also use a soft shoe brush to (very gently) buff the leather for that added sheen.

Cleaning Suede Crocs

The trickiest of the bunch, suede is a temperamental and sensitive material, and as such requires a lot of care during cleaning.

First of all, do not get them wet at all. Water is a notorious enemy of suede, and so these types of crocs shouldn’t be washed at any cost.

Instead, use a suede brush in gentle circular motions, brushing away buildups of dirt and dust.

If the insides smell or are dirty, you can use foot odor products to make them smell fresh and clean, using the brush once more to remove any dust or grime on the lining.

Cleaning Fur Crocs

Another tricky material that requires a lot of care, faux fur is best cleaned using simpler solutions, like warm, soapy water or baking soda.

Soapy Water

The best way to do this is to fill a large bowl with warm soapy water, add two teaspoons of mild detergent (or wash powder) and submerge the fur Crocs into the water.

Once submerged, gently massage the fur, rubbing the detergent or soap into the material in circular motions, taking care not to damage or pull out any strands.

Depending on the dirtiness of the fur, this may need to be done several times, changing the water each time to ensure dirt isn’t being reapplied to the shoes.

Once you are satisfied, and all the dirt and dust has been removed, wash the soap away using cold water, before dabbing them dry with paper towels and letting them air dry in a warm, airy space away from direct sunlight.

Those lucky enough to own a dehumidifier can use these to expedite the drying process.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is also good for cleaning faux fur, and is a cheap and effective method to use.

Good for dissolving dirt and removing odor from the fur, the best way to do this is with 2 parts baking soda paste, 1 part white vinegar, and 2 parts water.

Gently massage this mixture into the fur lining of the Crocs for 1 minute, before rinsing it away with cold water. Alternatively, soaking them in a bowl of cold water is an equally effective way of removing the mixture.

Then, as before, pat them dry with paper towels, before leaving them to air dry away from direct sunlight.

Baking soda also makes a good, general deodorizer, and can be finely sprinkled on the insoles of your Crocs and left overnight to remove bad odors.

To get rid of the baking soda, simply use a vacuum cleaner to remove the particles. Then simply use a wide toothed brush or comb to fluff up the fur, ready for use.

Other Tips

Now that you know what to do with the main styles and materials Crocs are available in, here are some further tips to make your job easier.

Crosslite Lining

Some Crocs are lined with the patented crosslite lining, a fluffy, soft material for added comfort whilst wearing.

Soft materials can be hotbeds for collecting dirt and dust, and as such they will need to be cleaned especially.

These linings are removable, adding to ease of cleaning, and so they can be put into the washing machine, using a cold wash, gentle detergent, and a delicate cycle for the best results.

To reduce the risk of damage, you could put them inside a mesh laundry bag for added protection. This will mean they can take higher rougher cycles, leading to improved cleanliness.

Heels & Wedges

Yes, Crocs even make heeled and wedged shoes as part of their wider range, and these can require specialized cleaning to get them looking brand new again.

First, use a damp cloth to spot clean them, removing the top layer of dust, grime, and debris from the footbeds.

Then scrub the footbeds with a soapy cloth and warm water. Do this well, using an old toothbrush or similar implement for maximum effect.

Once you have done this, rinse them off using a damp cloth again to get rid of the suds, before letting them air dry naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Clean Crocs?

For the best results, it is recommended that you clean your Crocs once a month.

Should Crocs Be Air Dried?

Yes, Crocs can be air dried.

However, it is important to keep them out of direct, hot sunlight, especially if in a conservatory or indoor space where the glass could act as a magnifier.

How Do I Stop My Crocs From Smelling?

Whilst the Croslite material is anti-microbial, Crocs can still develop odor over time.

The best way to remove odor from Crocs is to use baking soda, which will dissolve dead skin particles, and leave them smelling fresh and new.

It is also a cheap solution, and can be found in most general goods stores.

How Do I Remove Marks?

If water doesn’t do the trick, the Magic Eraser can be a great way to remove smears and marks from the Croslite material.

These are cheap, and available in most general goods and hardware stores.

How do I clean yellowed Crocs?

I would recommend you check out my article on cleaning yellowed plastic as many of the methods in that article apply to yellowed crocs.

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know for keeping your Crocs clean and pristine, regardless of the type of material.

The most important thing to remember is to only use the methods prescribed for the particular material they are made from.

Do not just use water on them, as materials like leather and suede can be ruined permanently.

Once they are nice and clean, the only thing left to do is to wear them out. We’re sure you’ll look great, whatever the occasion!


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