How to Clean Crocs & Make Them Smell Great in 5 Steps

How to Clean Crocs

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Are your trusty Crocs in need of some serious cleaning and refreshing? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! Whether you’re a Crocs devotee or just someone who appreciates comfy footwear, it’s no secret that these rubbery companions can get pretty grimy over time. That is why I created this step-by-step guide on how to clean crocs!

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the process of bringing your Crocs back to life. From basic maintenance to deep cleaning, I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to banish dirt, grime, and odor. Say goodbye to those tired, dirty Crocs and hello to a pair that looks and smells as good as new.

So, grab your Crocs, and let’s embark on a journey to restore them to their former glory. Your feet will thank you!

What are the Supplies You Need for Cleaning Crocs?

How to clean crocs - Cleaning supply

Cleaning your Crocs is a breeze, and here’s what you’ll need:

  • Warm Water: Start with a basin or sink full of warm water. It’s not too hot, just comfortably warm.
  • Mild Soap or Detergent: Choose a gentle soap or detergent. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the material of your Crocs. I like this Crocs cleaning spray.
  • Soft Bristle Brush: A soft-bristle brush like an old toothbrush or a dedicated shoe cleaning brush works great. It helps to scrub away dirt and grime without scratching the Crocs.
  • Cloth or Sponge: You’ll need a cloth or sponge for gentle wiping and drying.
  • Baking Soda (Optional): If your Crocs have stubborn stains or odors, a paste made from baking soda and water can work wonders.
  • Towel: Have a clean towel ready for drying your Crocs after cleaning.
  • Sunshine: This one’s free! Letting your Crocs dry in the sunlight helps eliminate any lingering odors and ensures they’re completely dry.

How to Clean Crocs? – Step-By-Step Guide 

Now you have the materials needed, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you clean your Crocs effectively:

Step 1: Removing Laces and Inserts

The first step in this Crocs-cleaning journey is to remove those laces and inserts. It’s an easy task, but it’s crucial. Start by taking off any decorative or functional laces you might have on your Crocs. Simply slide them out of the holes, and you’re good to go. 

I know a lot of Crocs don’t have laces, but there are a few styles that do.

If you have any removable insoles or inserts inside your Crocs, take them out as well. This will allow you to clean your Crocs more effectively, reaching all those nooks and crannies.

Step 2: Brushing Off Loose Dirt

Now that your Crocs are lace and insert-free, it’s time to deal with any loose dirt that might be clinging to them. Grab a brush – an old toothbrush or a soft-bristle brush works wonders here. 

Give your Crocs a gentle but thorough scrubbing to remove dirt, dust, and any loose debris. Focus on those hard-to-reach areas like the grooves and the sole. This step will make your deep cleaning efforts much more effective.

Step 3: Brush with Soap and Water

Now that we’ve removed the laces and inserts and brushed off all that loose dirt, it’s time to dive into the heart of the cleaning process. This step involves giving your Crocs a good scrub with soap and water to get rid of any stubborn stains and grime. 

Grab a bucket or a basin and fill it with warm, soapy water. A mild dish soap or a gentle laundry detergent will do the trick. Dip a soft brush or a sponge into the soapy water and start scrubbing your Crocs, focusing on those areas that need extra attention. 

Pay close heed to any scuffs or spots that seem resistant. A bit of elbow grease can go a long way in restoring your Crocs to their former glory. Rinse them off thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Step 4: Dealing with Tough Crocs Stains

For those pesky stains that just won’t budge, create a simple yet effective cleaning paste by mixing baking soda and water to form a thick consistency. Apply this paste to the stained areas on your Crocs and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Then, take that trusty brush we used earlier and gently scrub those stains. 

The baking soda’s abrasive nature should help lift the stains. Rinse your Crocs thoroughly afterward to remove any residue; they should look noticeably cleaner.

If your Crocs have developed an unpleasant odor, vinegar can come to the rescue. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a bowl. Remove the insoles if you haven’t already, and soak them in this vinegar solution for about 15-20 minutes. This will help eliminate any lingering odors. Afterward, rinse the insoles with clean water and allow them to air dry. 

As for the Crocs themselves, wipe down the interiors with a cloth dampened in the vinegar solution and let them air out. The vinegar will neutralize odors, leaving your Crocs smelling fresh.

With these stain-fighting and odor-busting techniques, your Crocs will look clean and feel and smell as good as new.

Step 5:  Drying Your Crocs

Now that we’ve gone through the cleaning process, ensuring your Crocs are properly dried to maintain their shape and prevent any damage is essential. Here’s how to do it right:

Air drying is the way to go when it comes to drying your Crocs. Simply place your freshly cleaned Crocs in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. Allow them to dry naturally at room temperature.

Avoid the temptation of using a heater, radiator, or any direct heat source, as excessive heat can cause your Crocs to warp or crack. It might take a few hours to a day for them to completely dry, depending on how wet they were during cleaning.

If you want to speed up the process, you can stuff your Crocs with dry newspaper or paper towels to help absorb moisture. However, always opt for gentle air drying to preserve the integrity of your Crocs.

Avoiding Direct Heat Sources

As a friendly reminder, avoid placing your Crocs near radiators, open flames, or using a hairdryer on them.

Excessive heat can cause the material to become brittle and lead to irreversible damage. So, patience is key in this step. Let nature do its job, and your Crocs will thank you for staying in great shape.

Tips for Maintaining Your Crocs in Good Condition

Now that your Crocs are all clean and refreshed, keeping them in tip-top shape for the long haul is essential. Here are a couple of helpful tips to ensure your Crocs stay in good condition:

Establish a regular cleaning routine to keep your Crocs looking and smelling their best. How often you clean them depends on how frequently you wear them and the environments they’re exposed to. 

A monthly cleaning should suffice for daily wear, while less frequent use may only require a cleaning every few months. Staying consistent with cleaning will prevent dirt and grime from building up, making cleaning more manageable each time.

Proper storage is also a key to warding off unwanted odors. After each wear, make sure your Crocs are completely dry before putting them away. Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid environment, as this can encourage odors and mold growth. 

To help maintain freshness, you can place a sachet of baking soda or activated charcoal inside your Crocs when storing them. These natural odor absorbers will keep your footwear smelling clean and pleasant.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions

While our previous steps covered a DIY cleaning approach, you can also consider using commercial Croc cleaning products specially designed for the task. These products are convenient and often formulated to provide optimal cleaning and protection for your Crocs.

During my research, I also found this cool Crocs cleaning and polishing product that will help you Crocs shine a little!

Using a commercial Croc cleaning product can be a convenient and effective way to maintain your footwear, especially if you prefer a hassle-free solution. Just be sure to choose a reputable product and follow the provided instructions for the best results. 

How Long Does it Take to Clean Crocs?

Cleaning your Crocs typically doesn’t take much time, and it largely depends on the level of dirt and stains you’re dealing with. On average, the cleaning process should take about 15 to 30 minutes. This includes preparing a basin of warm, soapy water, scrubbing the Crocs with a soft-bristle brush or sponge, rinsing them thoroughly, and then drying them. 

If your Crocs are relatively clean and just need a quick refresh, it might take even less time. However, if you’re dealing with stubborn stains or odors that require extra attention, it might take a bit longer as you may need to let them sit with a baking soda paste or repeat some cleaning steps. In any case, the effort is worth keeping your Crocs looking and smelling their best.

Can Crocs Be Cleaned in a Regular Washing Machine? 

Yes, many Crocs, including Classic Clogs and slides made from the signature Croslite™ foam material, can be cleaned in a regular washing machine

Using gentle laundry detergent, you can place them in the machine on a delicate cycle. This method is particularly effective for thoroughly cleaning your Crocs and can help remove dirt, grime, and odors.

However, following the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific Croc model is essential, as some styles or embellishments may not be suitable for machine washing. 

Can You Wash Crocs Daily?

Washing Crocs daily is generally unnecessary and not recommended. Crocs are designed to be low-maintenance and easy to clean, but subjecting them to daily washing may cause unnecessary wear and tear over time.

Unless your Crocs are subjected to exceptionally dirty or muddy conditions daily, cleaning them as needed is usually sufficient. This might mean cleaning them once a week, every few weeks, or when they visibly accumulate dirt or stains.

Frequent washing can affect the material’s longevity and may not be required for normal everyday use.

In most cases, simply giving your Crocs a quick rinse and wiping them down with a damp cloth can help keep them clean and fresh between more thorough cleanings.

If it’s time for a new pair, I usually find the best deals for Crocs on Amazon, or the Crocs on Zappos.

Crocs Frequently Ask Questions:

Tips for Long-Term Crocs Care

Taking care of your Crocs doesn’t stop at cleaning; here are some additional tips to ensure they last you a long time and stay comfortable:

  • Rotate Your Crocs: If you have multiple pairs of Crocs, rotate them regularly. This allows each pair to air out and reduces the wear and tear on any single pair.
  • Store Them Properly: When you’re not wearing your Crocs, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving them in a hot car, as excessive heat can damage the material.
  • Replace Worn Outsoles: If the outsoles of your Crocs start to wear thin, consider replacing them with new ones. Many Croc models allow you to swap outsoles, which can significantly extend the life of your shoes.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Be cautious when exposing your Crocs to harsh chemicals or solvents, as they can damage the material. This includes gasoline, paint thinner, and some household cleaning products.
  • Fix Small Issues Promptly: If you notice minor damage like loose straps or small cracks, address them promptly. Use a strong adhesive like epoxy to fix any detached parts, or contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement options.
  • Protect Against Fading: Crocs, like any footwear, can fade over time, especially when exposed to sunlight. Store them away from direct sunlight when not in use to minimize fading.
  • Respect Their Purpose: Crocs are versatile but may not be suitable for every activity. Avoid using them for activities requiring high support or protection, such as hiking or heavy-duty outdoor work.
  • Replace Insoles: If your Crocs have removable insoles, consider replacing them periodically for added comfort and support.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance, as they may provide specific guidance for your Croc model. You might also like learning what Crocs are made of

You can make sure your Crocs continue to serve you well for years by following to these long-term maintenance suggestions. 

When to Replace Your Crocs?

Knowing when to part ways with your beloved Crocs is important for your comfort and safety. Here are some signs it might be time for a replacement. 

First, check the outsoles – if the tread is severely worn down, it can compromise your traction and support, so it’s time for a new pair. 

Second, look for visible cracks, tears, or significant damage to the material that can’t be fixed. Such damage can affect the shoe’s structural integrity and comfort. 

Third, consider the odor – if you’ve tried everything to remove persistent odors, but they won’t go away, it might be time to bid farewell to your old Crocs. 

Finally, pay attention to how they feel on your feet; if they no longer provide the support and cushioning they once did, it’s a clear sign that it’s time for an upgrade. 

Your comfort and safety are important, so don’t hesitate to replace your Crocs when these signs appear.

I’d browse for new Crocs on Amazon, or the Crocs you can find on Zappos.

Bottom Line

Keeping your Crocs clean and fresh is a straightforward process that can significantly extend their lifespan. This step-by-step guide has equipped you with the knowledge and tools needed to restore your favorite footwear to its former glory.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your Crocs will ensure they remain comfortable, odor-free, and in good condition for years to come. Proper cleaning techniques, stain removal tips, and effective drying methods have been covered to help you maintain your Crocs’ integrity.

Additionally, I’ve provided advice on long-term care and when it might be time to bid farewell to your trusty Crocs. By following these suggestions and respecting the purpose of your Crocs, you can continue to enjoy their comfort and versatility.

So, don’t let your Crocs get grimy and worn down; take the time to clean and care for them. Your feet will thank you, and your beloved Crocs will continue to be your reliable companions.

If it’s time for that new, or second pair of Crocs, my preferred (and most affordable) places to shop would be Zappos, or Amazon. All the best!

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