Cleaning Black Crocs: Tips to Keep Them Looking New

Clean and well maintained black Crocs worn outside

We all love our black Crocs for their comfort, versatility, and style, but keeping them looking new can sometimes be a challenge. Stains, dirt, and odors can quickly build up, taking away from their fresh and clean appearance. If you’re struggling to keep your black Crocs in tip-top shape, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll share our top tips for cleaning black Crocs, including our recommended method for the best results. We’ll cover odor removal, essential shoe cleaning tools, maintaining the quality and color of your black Crocs, and common mistakes to avoid during the cleaning process. By following these guidelines, you’ll not only keep your black Crocs looking like new but also ensure their longevity. So let’s dive in and get those Crocs back to their original glory!

Why do Black Crocs Fade So Easily?

Dirty black Crocs shoe with faded color

You might wonder why black Crocs, renowned for their durability and resistance, tend to fade rather quickly. The answer lies primarily in the Croslite material that makes up these popular shoes. This lightweight material is flexible, water-resistant, and incredibly comfortable, all qualities that have contributed to Crocs’ global popularity.

While Croslite is tough and resilient, it’s not impervious to the everyday elements we encounter. Extended exposure to direct sunlight, for instance, can lead to color fading. Just like with other shoes, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can break down the color molecules in the Croslite material, causing it to lighten over time. This is especially noticeable in black Crocs because of how stark the color difference can be when they begin to fade.

Repeated wear can also contribute to the fading process. The friction created between the Crocs and the ground as you walk can wear down the outer layer of the Croslite, leading to a faded appearance. Similarly, the continuous flexing of the material, as it molds to your feet, can stretch the color molecules, contributing to their breakdown and, ultimately, color fading.

Chances are, as a responsible Crocs owner you tend to occasionally give your pair a cleaning session. The cleaning methods you chose might impact the color too. A common mistake that can accelerate color fading is the use of harsh cleaning agents.

How to Restore Black Color on Your Crocs?

Now that you understand why your black Crocs fade, let’s look at ways you can restore their original color and keep them looking fresh and new.

Make sure to properly clean your Crocs before you follow any of these methods, perhaps your Crocs just caught some dirt and a good wash is all that you need. Have a look further down this article if you need some cleaning tips.

Dirty black Crocs being washed under running tap water

Using Fabric Dye

When your Crocs show significant signs of fading, you might consider more drastic measures, such as using a black fabric dye. This process can be a bit tricky, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to prevent uneven coloring or staining.

Using a Permanent Marker

For minor fading or surface scratches, a black permanent marker can also serve as a quick fix. While not a long-term solution, it can temporarily restore the color of your Crocs. Just make sure to allow the ink to dry fully before wearing them to prevent any unwanted smudging or transfer.

Applying Shoe Polish

The final touch in color restoration could be the application of a shoe polish specifically designed for synthetic materials. A layer of this polish can not only restore the color, but also add a protective layer to your shoes. Use these products sparingly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In my experience, the ‘Crocs Shine’ sponge is an excellent product for restoring the fresh look of your black Crocs. It adds a nice shine and rejuvenates the color, making them appear as good as new. This product is particularly great because it is specifically formulated for Croslite, helping you maintain the integrity and color of your beloved Crocs.

For more information on the ‘Crocs shine’ sponge, check out our Crocs shine cleaner review article, where you’ll also find an embedded YouTube short video demonstrating how I used it on my own black Crocs.

Another option to consider is “Armor All Protectant wipes” that was recommended by one of my YouTube viewers. The person claims that the shine is better and longer lasting, which I don’t doubt, but to be clear, I haven’t tested it out myself.

How to Effectively Remove Stains from Black Crocs

Stains on your black Crocs can be frustrating, but fortunately, most stains can be removed with the right cleaning solutions and techniques.

Our recommended method for cleaning black Crocs is using a washing machine. This method is especially effective for removing stubborn stains and dirt from your Crocs.

You can follow our YouTube guide if you prefer video instructions:

Stains can be caused by various factors, such as mud, food spills, or even scuff marks. Here are some other effective ways to tackle these different types of stains:

  1. Mud and dirt: For mud and dirt stains, first let the mud dry and then gently brush off the excess with a soft-bristle brush. Next, use a damp microfiber cloth or sponge with a mild cleaning solution to remove any remaining dirt.
  2. Food spills: If you’ve spilled food on your black Crocs, quickly wipe off as much of the spill as possible with a damp cloth. Use a soft-bristle brush and a gentle cleaning solution to remove any residual stains.
  3. Scuff marks: Scuff marks can often be removed by gently rubbing a pencil eraser on the affected area. Alternatively, you can try using a small amount of toothpaste on a cloth to gently scrub the scuff mark away.

How to Remove Odors from Black Crocs

Shoe odor is a common issue that plagues many footwear enthusiasts, and black Crocs are no exception. The primary cause of shoe odor is the accumulation of bacteria, which thrive in the warm and moist environment created by sweat and moisture. These bacteria break down sweat, producing unpleasant odors as a byproduct.

To remove odors from your black Crocs, consider the following methods and cleaning products:

  1. Baking soda: This household staple is an effective natural odor absorber. Sprinkle some baking soda inside your Crocs and let it sit overnight. The next day, shake out the excess powder and enjoy your fresh-smelling shoes.
  2. White vinegar: Create a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar, then use a cloth or sponge to wipe the inside of your Crocs. The vinegar helps neutralize odors and kill bacteria. If you wash Crocs in a washer, you can simply pour a cap of white vinegar into the soap dispenser’s compartment before you start the cycle.
  3. Odor-eliminating sprays: There are numerous commercial shoe sprays available that can help neutralize odors. Look for ones specifically designed for use on Crocs or similar materials, such as “Rocket Pure”.

To prevent odors from returning, consider these tips:

  • Always allow your Crocs to dry thoroughly after use or cleaning.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks, if possible, to reduce sweat.
  • Rotate between pairs of Crocs to give each pair time to dry and air out.

Top Shoe Cleaning Tools for Black Crocs

When it comes to cleaning black Crocs, having the right tools can make all the difference. Here’s a list of essential shoe cleaning tools and their benefits:

  1. Soft-bristle brush: A soft-bristle brush is perfect for gently scrubbing away dirt and grime without damaging the material of your Crocs. It can reach into small crevices and provide a thorough clean.
  2. Microfiber cloth: A microfiber cloth is excellent for wiping away dirt and moisture, and it’s gentle enough not to scratch or damage the surface of your Crocs.
  3. Sponge: A sponge can help you apply cleaning solutions evenly and effectively. Opt for a non-abrasive sponge to avoid causing any damage to your black Crocs.
  4. Cleaning solution: Use a gentle cleaning solution designed for Crocs or similar materials. Avoid harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can cause damage or fade to black color.
  5. Washing machine: If you have access to the washing machine, a 1-hour, cold water and low spin session will do the job with the most common stain types requiring minimal effort from your side.

These tools, especially used together, will ensure that your black Crocs are cleaned effectively and safely, maintaining their appearance and quality.

For more information on cleaning tools and chemicals suitable for Crocs, check out what cleans Crocs best. This guide will provide you with everything you need to keep your black Crocs looking clean and fresh.

Black Crocs in the washing machine

Maintaining the Quality and Color of Black Crocs

Preserving the quality and color of your black Crocs is essential for maintaining their appearance and prolonging their lifespan. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause your black Crocs to fade. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use.
  2. Clean regularly: Regular cleaning helps prevent dirt and stains from setting in, making it easier to maintain your Crocs’ quality and appearance.
  3. Use gentle cleaning methods: Avoid harsh chemicals, bleach, or abrasive cleaning tools that may damage the material or cause fading.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Black Crocs

When cleaning your black Crocs, it’s crucial to avoid certain mistakes that can harm your shoes. Here are some common cleaning mistakes, why they should be avoided, and how to prevent them:

  1. Using harsh chemicals: As mentioned earlier, harsh chemicals or bleach can damage the material of your Crocs and cause discoloration. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions designed for Crocs or similar materials.
  2. Scrubbing too hard: Aggressive scrubbing with a rough brush can damage the surface of your Crocs. Use a soft-bristle brush and apply gentle pressure when cleaning.
  3. Drying in direct sunlight or heat: Exposing your Crocs to direct sunlight or heat sources while drying can cause them to shrink or fade. For proper drying techniques, refer to our drying Crocs article.
  4. Using washing machine incorrectly: Don’t be surprised if your Crocs turn out not exactly the same after you tossed them in your casual laundry round. We recommend using our suggested washing machine settings linked above and not washing them together with other clothes.

By avoiding these mistakes and following the tips and techniques shared in this article, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your black Crocs looking new and preserving their quality.

Scroll to Top