Crocs are a controversial shoe in the world of practical style. Some view them as irrevocable faux pas, and others love their cheugy, purposefully ugly energy. If you’ve read my ode to Crocs for SPY, you already know this, but I fall into the latter camp and have a pair of pale pink Crocs I cherish.
Crocs are special for many reasons, one being their highly durable construction. They’re made of a proprietary polymer material called Croslite that’s flexible, cushy, tough and waterproof. This makes it hard to stain Crocs like you can other shoes because a simple swipe with a wet paper towel will remove most gunk and goo. However, shoes built for rugged conditions also tend to get dirty, and it’s always good to know how to clean and care for Crocs to extend their lifespan as long as possible.
The good news? Cleaning Crocs is super easy, and the tools you need are primarily basic cleaning tools you have lying around the house. For this piece, I cleaned my (relatively new) Crocs and documented the process through photos and videos. I used cold water, dish soap, a toothbrush for the grooves and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Please note I didn’t try all the cleaning methods I outline below, as I don’t own fuzzy or leather Crocs.
Below I’ll outline the three main methods for cleaning Crocs I’ve read about, as well as some simple do’s and don’ts every Crocs owner should be aware of. These shoes are built rugged, but there are some easy ways to mess them up if you’re not careful.
Read More: The Best Crocs of 2022
How to Clean Crocs
What You’ll Need:
- Gentle dish or hand soap
- Cold water
- Sponge, toothbrush or scrub brush
- Shoe wax or cream (optional, for leather Crocs)
- Damp washcloth
Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Dish Soap
A few drops of liquid dish soap in cold or room temperature water are all that’s needed to clean most dirt and grime off Crocs. Feel free to use whatever you already have on hand in your home, and don’t worry too much about the exact chemical makeup of the formula you’re using.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads
A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a gentle yet dense sponge that worked well with the texture of my Crocs. If the bristles of a toothbrush feel too harsh for the mess at hand, a Mr. Clean is a great way to gently cleanse Crocs that don’t need an intense scrub.
This pack comes with six Durafoam erasers built to clean powerfully without soap. These are a great investment for general household cleaning, in addition to giving your Crocs their usual reset, as they can be used on nearly any surface in the home, from bathroom and kitchen counters to wooden tables and doorknobs.
OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set
OXO makes a small brush set specifically for cleaning, including a large brush and a smaller brush with a wiper blade. Either brush would work well removing grime from Crocs, as they’re made with durable scrubbing nylon bristles and comfortable silicone grips.
Crocs Shine Shoe Cleaner Polish
Crocs also makes its own in-house shoe cleaner polish formulated to remove dirt and grime, with a built-in sponge applicator that’s easy to use. This can help maintain the appearance of new Crocs and restore old ones to their former glory. Give them their original shine, and know you’re using a high-quality formula developed by the people who make and specialize in Crocs!
3 Foolproof Methods For Cleaning Crocs
Method 1: Soap and Water
A short soapy bath should remove most dirt, mud, sand and other grime from your Crocs. I like to fill a sink with water, add a little dish soap, dunk the Crocs a few times and scrub the grooves on the sole with a toothbrush and/or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
You can use almost any soap with regular Crocs because the polymer material is non-porous and shouldn’t be affected by the chemicals in harsher dish soaps.
If you’re cleaning leather or sheepskin-lined fuzzy Crocs, you’ll want to avoid soap and send them to a dry cleaner or clean with a slightly damp rag. For leather Crocs, applying some shoe wax, cream or polish afterward is also a good idea.
Method 2: Washing Machine
If your Crocs are super dirty, stained or you’ve owned them for years and they need a good refresh, the washing machine is a safe bet. Make sure the water is cold, as exposing your Crocs to heated temperatures of any kind can damage them (more on that later on). The standard wash cycle can do wonders for your classic clog Crocs if they’re caked in something, and you’d rather not clog up your sink with debris.
Do NOT put your Crocs in the dryer after putting them through the washing machine, as this can shrink them, warm them or damage them permanently.
Note: It is not recommended you put fuzzy Crocs or leather Crocs through the washing machine.
Method 3: Dry Cleaner
Sending your Crocs to the dry cleaners may seem silly, but if they’re made with a sheepskin fabric inside, it’s best to let a professional handle the cleaning. This can help avoid permanent changes to the texture of the material and extend their shelf life.
How to Remove Odors From Crocs
If you’ve owned your fuzzy Crocs for a few years, the soles may have developed a bit of an odor. No shade; it happens to the best of us. Because the sheepskin material inside Crocs is not waterproof, it absorbs sweat and can develop a stench. You can hand wash this part of the Croc with water and leave it out to dry, or you can use an absorbent powder to remove odors.
Cornmeal is a good option if your lining has a similar coloring; baking soda or salt also work.
How to Use an Absorbent Powder With Crocs:
- Sprinkle powder thoroughly over the lining
- Let sit for 2-3 hours
- Shake and then vacuum out excess particles
- Fluff the lining with a wool wire brush for that like-new texture
General Care Instructions for Crocs
Crocs are durable, tough, rugged shoes. They’re made for camping, hiking and creek stomping. They’re perfect boat shoes, excellent for fishing and their flexible shape and light weight make them easy to pack. There are, however, a few essential care rules that all owners should follow to extend the life and quality of their Crocs.
Don’t Expose to Excessive Heat of Any Kind
Crocs are sensitive to heat, so it’s best to avoid putting them in the dryer, placing them on a heater to dry or even leaving them in the sun for too long. Heat can cause Crocs to shrink, warp or change shape permanently. You can use a few DIY methods to restore them to their former glory if they shrink too much, but we recommend avoiding too much heat in the first place.
What To Do If Your Crocs Shrink
After combing some Reddit boards, boiling your Crocs for about 45 seconds and then wearing them once they’ve cooled off enough can help un-shrink your Crocs and restore them to the size of your feet. Boiling them softens the material enough to re-shape them, and can be done in a pinch if you’ve accidentally left them baking in the sun or too close to a household heater for too long.
Surprisingly, this is the only big piece of care advice we found for Crocs during our research. Otherwise, Crocs are built to withstand a lot of rugged adventure and keep up with you on a variety of terrain!