Can you put Crocs in the dishwasher? [We tested it out]

Black crocs placed on the upper dishwasher shelf

Crocs have been ruling over the footwear market for nearly a decade because of their extraordinarily comfortable design and durability. But like any sandal, loafer, and dress shoes, Crocs need timely cleaning to keep them pristine and spotless.

With many convenient cleaning methods available, putting Crocs in the dishwasher has received mixed reviews, with certain doubts around exposing Crocs to higher temperatures and washing detergents.

To address these doubts, we decided to test this method out ourselves. Here are our findings:

After testing this method we can conclude that washing the regular Croslite Crocs in a dishwasher is not safe because they will shrink. After being washed in a 130°F (55°C) setting for 30 minutes, Crocs became spotless clean and undamaged, however slightly tighter from the top.

In the article below, we’ll introduce the safe methods you can use to clean your Crocs as well as the step by step instructions if you seek to safely shrink your Crocs.

Is It Safe To Wash Crocs in the Dishwasher?

Crocs’ makers themselves recommend to avoid washing Crocs in dishwashers due to the risk of Crocs shrinking.

To test that we tried out washing Crocs under the following two settings:

  • Pre Rinse – 15 minute rinse in cold water
  • Quick 45° – 30 minute quick clean setting which includes cleaning under 115°F (45°C), intermediate rinse finished by final rinse under 130°F (55°C)

The pre rinse setting uses cold water, therefore Crocs were not under the risk of shrinking. However, since the function is for rinsing it did not do a good job cleaning. The end result – wet, dirty Crocs.

“Quick 45°” on the other hand did a fantastic job cleaning the Crocs, however it indeed ended up slightly shrinking them from the top. Keep in mind that the shrinkage can be hard to notice. It took me a couple of trips to the supermarket before I was sure that the one which went through the “quick 45°” cycle fits tighter.

Crocs measured before being washed in dishwasher
Crocs measured after being washed in dishwasher
Visually Crocs appear unchanged. However a clog that was exposed to heat ended up slightly shrinking from the top

What are the safe ways to clean dirty Crocs?

Crocs are built to be sturdy and long-lasting. But without a proper care, they won’t look nice and tear up quicker. So if you want your Crocs to be spick-and-span, ensure a timely cleaning. These methods below are effective and can be very convenient for different circumstances. Most importantly, they are safe since it won’t expose your Crocs to heat.

Washing machine

By far the easiest and most effective method to keep your Crocs spotless is by washing them in a washing machine. Set the delicate cycle on your machine and wash them in cold water. Use a mild laundry detergent instead of caustic chemicals or bleach.

Magic eraser

This incredible sponge does a tremendous job against the sturdy stains. If other methods don’t work that well, your best bet will be a magic eraser. Simply soak it under the water and rub it over those stains.

Baking soda

Do your Crocs still stink after cleaning them? Worry not because baking soda is there to help you out! Put your Crocs in a plastic bag and fill it with a decent quantity of baking soda. Place it in the freezer for a night or two. And voila, there you have a pair of nice smelling Crocs.

Hand washing

Hand washing Crocs with soapy water is hands down the safest cleaning method. Even the manufacturers recommend gently cleaning Crocs to increase their durability. Continue reading to discover a step-by-step procedure for cleaning Crocs with soap and water.

How to hand wash Crocs with soap and water

The simplest and most affordable way to clean dirty Crocs is hand washing with soap and water. You may use any liquid dish wash, laundry detergent, or even a bar of ordinary soap.

Follow the instructions to transform your soapy water adventure into a trouble-free cleaning chore.

Step 1:

Pour warm water into a bucket, tub, or sizeable basin. Make sure the water is not too hot. If the temperature is mildly pleasant to your dipped hands – the temperature will be appropriate.

Step 2:

Stir in your preferred soap or detergent with the water to dissolve it.

Step 3:

While holding one clog underwater, carefully clean it with a gentle scrub brush or a rag cloth. When cleaning the interior of the Crocs, particularly the toe section, you might use a tube brush.

Step 4:

Carefully clean your Crocs, especially the inner and outer soles, as it is where most of the dirt and dust tends to collect.

Step 5:

Rinse your Crocs in fresh water, and then let them air dry. Additionally, you can use an electric fan but never place them in the dryer or under the sun.

How to shrink Crocs in a dishwasher?

In this section I’ll take you through my process of how I slightly shrunk my Crocs by using the dishwasher. Here’s what you will need:

  • A dishwashing machine
  • Your pair of Crocs
  • Clean water
  • A toothbrush for cleaning
  • A dishwashing pod (optional)
  • A dry absorbent cleaning cloth (microfiber)
  • A cup of white vinegar
  • Dishwasher user’s manual

Step 1 – Rinse and scrub any residue
Black regular croslite clog being rinsed under tap water

Begin by rinsing your Crocs under running tap water. We don’t want to fill the dishwasher with chunks of dirt and beach sand, therefore take a cleaning toothbrush and spend a couple of minutes brushing any of the remaining residue off.

Step 2 – Place the Crocs on the upper rack

A black croc being placed on the upper rack of the dishwasher

Proceed by placing your Crocs on the upper rack. We specifically recommend keeping Crocs higher up as this will distance them from the heating elements that are normally placed at the bottom of the dishwasher. Having Crocs close to the heat source could damage the material as well as shrink more than expected.

Position them securely upside down and wash them alone, separately from your dishes. This will ensure that the spraying nozzles won’t be blocked by dishes and steam won’t have problems reaching the Crocs.

Step 3 – Add your favorite dishwasher pod (optional)

Cleanerd member holds a dishwasher pod in a palm

Why not use the opportunity and give your Crocs a better look as well as a nicer aroma? Feel free to add a regular, mild dishwasher pod. Avoid anything that’s potentially too abrasive.

We went with Fairy Platinum Plus all in one dishwasher tablets that also have a lemon scent.

A mild dishwasher liquid or powder will work just as fine.

Step 4 – Choose the right dishwasher setting

dishwasher display panel

Remember, that I ran my dishwashing cycle for 30 minutes with the max temperature of 130°F. For minimal shrinkage, make sure you choose a similar setting.

How to find a suitable dishwasher setting?

Model number of a dishwasher on a door frame

Out of all the options, finding the right one might not be that straightforward. You may understand about the temperature and duration directly from the display, however I’d advise to spend a few extra minutes to look into the dishwasher’s user manual and get a good sense of what’s involved in every cycle.

A quick way to access the user manual is to simply insert the dishwasher’s model number (E-nr) into the Google search and find a digital copy directly from the manufacturer’s website. You can find the E-nr on the rating plate which is normally around the door area.

A description of every dishwasher programme in a dishwasher user manual
A description of every dishwasher programme in a dishwasher user manual

In our case “Quick 45°” seems the most convenient as it has the lowest duration, moderate temperature and does not include drying in the cycle.

Step 5 – Run the cycle

Blue light below dishwasher that indicates dishwasher cycle being started

Select your chosen setting. Double check that the Crocs are put upside down stable on the upper rack. Do one final check to make sure that a dishwasher pod is securely locked if you used one. Once everything is ticked, run the dishwasher cycle.

Feel free to interrupt the cycle once or twice if you want to make sure that your Crocs are doing okay. However, you won’t be able to understand the amount of shrinkage before they cooled off.

Step 6 – Dry the Crocs

Black croc being dried with an absorbent cloth

Now that the process is over, simply grab any absorbent cloth and dry your wet Crocs.

Make sure you don’t wear them too soon. Croslite is malleable when hot, therefore putting Crocs on would stretch them out instead.

Instead, take your time to wipe the wet areas inside and out. Once the water is soaked up, make sure to leave them to cool off for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Now that they are noticeably cooled off, go ahead and put them on. Walk around and evaluate the shrinkage. If it’s not enough, you can repeat the cycle – but make sure you give yourself enough time to evaluate the result.

Step 7 – Clean and sanitise your dishwasher

White vinegar is being poured into a dishwasher friendly cup

As a final step, consider disinfecting your dishwasher. After all, it has been exposed to the outside dirt and giving a nice machine hygiene clean will make you feel much before you load the next round of kitchen utensils.

To do that, pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher friendly container. Put the container on the top of the rack and run a normal high temperature cycle. Once it’s over, grab a new clean microfiber cloth and wipe the inside of your dishwasher clean.


If you aim to clean your Crocs, putting them in the dishwasher is not recommended since it will almost surely shrink them. But if shrinking is what you’re after, then dishwasher and our instructions above will be a perfect choice for you.

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