How to dye your Chuck Taylors

I’ve been wanting dark green Converse for quite some time now, but the only green they offer is a kelly green. At you can now order custom shoes from a selection of colors and prints. It is a pretty neat option, but costs $17 more plus shipping. I decided to go a cheaper route and bought white canvas shoes with plans to dye them green.

white Converse

I picked up a package of dark green RIT dye (powder) from Walmart for $1.65 and gathered supplies. You will need:

  • RIT dye (powder or liquid)
  • bucket or sink
  • old towel
  • mixing bowl or old plastic container
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon laundry detergent

First you want to fill a mixing bowl or plastic container with hot water. I used an old Harkins cup. Mix in your powder dye until completely dissolved. If you choose liquid dye, you can skip this step. Next, fill your bucket or sink with hot water and add the salt and laundry detergent. I used a small bucket and an entire package of RIT dye.

mixed dye in a cup tub of soapy water in the sink

Next, mix your dye into your water bath. Be careful with splattering and be sure to wipe up any spills immediately. Remove the laces and place your shoes in the bucket. The shoes will float to the surface, so to avoid this I used two bamboo skewers to hold them down. I left them in the dye for about 20 minutes. When your shoes look good and done, carefully empty your bucket. Rinse the shoes first with warm water and then cold. You will want the water to run clear.

holding the shoes in the dye with sticks rinsing the shoes

I let the shoes sit for 5 minutes, rinsed again, and then set them on a towel to dry for the night. The next morning I threw them into the dryer and ran it for 10 minutes. Then I added black laces and voila: dark green.

freshly dyed green Converse

EDIT: Frequently Asked Question

Will the rubber soles absorb the dye?
I’ve never had a problem with the rubber absorbing the dye, but I have heard of some people having issues. If your soles do stain, try scrubbing them with a magic eraser or with a paste made of equal parts hot water, baking soda, and white vinegar.