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How to clean white crocs (even stinky ones)

When I started getting lower back pain from wearing my flip flops all summer, a friend recommended I get some comfy crocs instead. Whether you love them or hate them, crocs are popular with people who are on their feet all day and are known for their comfort and durability. 

While crocs come in more than 30 colors, white (and black) crocs are particularly popular because they are neutral and can be worn with almost any outfit. The problem is that white crocs can easily get dirty and stained when you wear them frequently. The good news is that they are also easy to clean! Learn how to clean white crocs, remove tough stains, and keep your crocs looking like new using the cleaning methods outlined below.

RELATED POST: How to clean flip flops (even when they stink)

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How to Clean White Crocs

There are several ways to wash crocs shoes, depending on how dirty they are and what materials you have on hand. Here are some of the best ways I found to clean your crocs good as new:

How to Wash Crocs in the Washing Machine

White crocs can be washed in a washing machine. Remove any loose dirt or debris from the crocs with a cleaning brush, then place the crocs in the washing machine. I like to wash my crocs with a load of towels on a gentle cycle in cold water. The towels help agitate and clean the shoes. Don’t put them in the dryer – the heat will damage the material. Instead, let them air dry.

Can you put crocs in the dryer?

Don’t put them in the dryer – the heat will damage the material. Crocs are made from a proprietary closed-cell resin, Croslite™, which can be sensitive to heat. Instead, let them air dry. From the CROCS website:

AIR DRY – After cleaning, all styles should be air dried only. Exposure to extreme heat, sun, dishwashers, washing machines, or hot cars can cause the shoes to shrink or warp.

Screenshot of Crocs website FAQs stating that all styles of Crocs, including white crocs should be air dried only.

Soap and Water

The first step to wash dirty crocs is to rinse them off with cool or warm water to remove sand and other dirty debris. Don’t use hot water as it may cause the material to break down.

Next, use a drop of Dawn or other mild soap on a wet toothbrush or deep cleaning brush and scrub all surfaces of the sandal including the top, inner top, insole, strap, sides and bottom of the sole. Wet the toothbrush and add another drop of dish soap as necessary to continue scrubbing the entire shoe. Rinse off the soapy water with clean, cool water and let them air dry.

Many times, this is all you have to do to clean your white crocs. If this simple process doesn’t remove all the dirt and stains (it didn’t with mine because I let them get too dirty), move on to one of the following methods for how to clean crocs, depending on what kind of stain you are dealing with and what you have on hand.

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How to Clean Stained Crocs

If you have washed your white crocs, but some stains remain, there are a few things you can try to remove stubborn stains from crocs:

Use a Magic Eraser

Magic Erasers are a great tool for cleaning white crocs, especially if you have scuff marks that won’t come off easily with soap and water. Simply wet the eraser and spot clean the crocs. The magic eraser will remove dirt and stains without damaging the material. Rinse your crocs with water to remove any residue and let them air dry.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that can be used to clean white crocs. To clean white crocs with baking soda, all you need is an old toothbrush to get in the crevices or a deep cleaning brush, some baking soda, cool water and, of course, your dirty crocs.

Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the insole of the croc. Dip the toothbrush into the water and start brushing the baking soda with it, making a paste. Continue dipping and brushing until the entire flip flop is covered in the baking soda paste.

Let the white crocs sit in the paste for a few minutes. Then dip the toothbrush in fresh cool water and start scrubbing. Scrub the top, inside and entire insole of the shoe. Don’t forget to scrub the strap as well. Then use the paste to scrub the outer edges of the shoe. 

Repeat the process on the sole of the shoe to remove any dirt or bacteria and get the sole completely clean.

Once all the stains on the croc have been scrubbed away, rinse the crocs with cool water to remove all traces of baking soda. You can dry it with a towel, or leave it to air dry.

I liked this method but found it a little messy as the baking soda tended to get all over the place while scrubbing and my hands were covered with it. I was pleased with how clean the crocs were when I was done.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another natural cleaning agent that can be used to remove stains from white crocs, especially protein and plant-based stains stains like food, blood and grass stains. To clean crocs with hydrogen peroxide, gather together an old toothbrush or deep cleaning brush, an empty spray bottle and some hydrogen peroxide. 

Put some undiluted hydrogen peroxide in the spray bottle and generously spray the peroxide all over the inside of the shoe until it is saturated. Then spray the outside. Finally, spray the peroxide on the straps (top, bottom and sides).

Let it sit for 2-3 minutes and then scrub the entire surface with the toothbrush.

Repeat the process on the sole and sides of your white croc.

Once the croc has been thoroughly cleaned, rinse it with cool water and air or towel dry.

I found this method a little easier than the baking soda method and was very pleased with my clean crocs. I found it the best way to clean crocs as it required less scrubbing and had better results in hard to reach areas.

RELATED POST: 54 Hydrogen peroxide hacks you need to know

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a solvent, which means it’s highly effective for removing grease, paint and ink based stains. It also dissolves sticky residue like sap or tar. If you have any of these types of stains on your white crocs, rubbing alcohol is your answer. You will need an old toothbrush or deep cleaning brush, an empty spray bottle and some rubbing alcohol. 

Do not use rubbing alcohol near open flames as it is flammable.

Pour some undiluted rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it onto the stains. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Once the stains have been removed, rinse with cool water and let the croc air dry.

My nephew wrote on my white crocs with a black sharpie and this method removed it easily.

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Pin text reads "how to clean white crocs - (how to clean stained crocs even if they look hopeless)." Image is a pair of dirty white crocs on a black and white speckled carpet before using these home hacks for how to clean dirty white crocs

How to Clean Smelly Crocs and Remove Odor

Crocs smell is caused when bacteria on your feet and shoes mix with your sweat. The bacteria breeds, and the bad smell is the result. To deodorize smelly crocs, you need to remove the cause of the odor by disinfecting your crocs to kill the bacteria.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a disinfectant that can kill odor causing bacteria within 10 seconds. Simply pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and generously spray all surfaces of your white croc. Once it has been sprayed, simply let it air dry. Be cautious when using rubbing alcohol as it is very flammable.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is also an antiseptic, or disinfectant, that kills viruses and various forms of bacteria. But it needs more time than rubbing alcohol does to kill germs. It needs up to 5 minutes to do its job. Use undiluted hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray it inside the crocs. Let them air dry.

RELATED POST: DIY shoe deodorizer: 16 ways to refresh stinky shoes

Can You Bleach White Crocs?

Yes, you can bleach white crocs, but use caution. Bleach can damage the material and cause yellowing on white crocs if not diluted properly. Mix a 1:6 ratio of bleach to water and apply the solution to the dirty areas of the crocs. Scrub with a soft-bristled brush and rinse with cool water. Be sure to dilute the bleach properly and avoid getting it on your skin or clothing.

How to wash crocs with fur inside

If your dirty white crocs have fur inside of them, I found the best way to clean them is in the washing machine as the lining isn’t made to be removable. Use a cold water wash with your regular detergent and include your crocs in a load of towels – the extra agitation will help with the cleaning process. Let them sit for at least 24 hours to air dry completely, or use a fan to speed up the process.

If you have any stains remaining on your white crocs after washing them, use one of the methods above to remove the stains on your crocs. However, skip the bleach as it may remove whatever color is in your crocs fur.

If you find the fur in your crocs is a little matted after washing (although cold water shouldn’t cause matting), you can use a boar bristle brush to gently brush out the fibers to make them fluffy again.

How To Keep White Crocs Clean

To help keep your white crocs clean and looking new, avoid wearing them in dirty or muddy areas, store them in a dry, cool place, and clean them regularly. With these tips, you can enjoy your white crocs for years to come.

White crocs are a great choice for comfortable and durable footwear, but they can easily get dirty and stained. However, with the right methods to wash white crocs and maintenance tips, you can keep your white crocs looking clean and new for a long time. By using soap and water, Magic Erasers, baking soda and water, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or bleach, you can remove dirt, stains, and odors from your crocs. If your crocs are particularly dirty, you can wash them in the washing machine, but don’t put them in the dryer.

Cleaning white crocs (or cleaning any crocs) can be a simple and easy process if you have the right tools and techniques. By following the methods outlined in this blog post and implementing the maintenance tips, you can keep your white crocs looking clean, fresh, and new. Whether you wear them for gardening, running errands, or lounging around the house, your white crocs will always look their best.

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