How to Wash Shoes in Your Washing Machine

Cleaning your shoes doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Here’s how you can achieve great results by washing your shoes in the washing machine.

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to Wash Shoes in Your Washing Machine 771889579
Comfort Delicates Fabric Conditioner

Reading time: 5 minutes

Do you ever wish your washing machine could clean your shoes? The answer is yes, it can! If you are wondering how to wash shoes in washing machine, you are not alone. We have got you covered.

Expensive or inexpensive, every pair of shoes needs the right attention from you when it comes to cleaning them. Often, due to dirt, dust, slips and spills, your shoes can get stained. We suggest you to keep tissue papers handy. Whenever you spot any stain, blot it immediately using tissue papers. This step will help absorb as much of the stain possible, and make the further cleaning easy. Don’t worry, cleaning the stains on your shoes can look like a daunting task, but we have got you covered. The trick lies in treating the stains as soon as possible. This keeps the stains from settling on the surface and getting stubborn. Apart from stain removal, regular upkeep of your shoes can also help increase their lifespan. Incorporating shoe cleaning right from the beginning helps prevent any damages in the long run. Not just that, cleaning your shoes on a timely basis also helps get rid of odour that comes with regular usage.

Whether you should or should not wash your shoes in the washing machine depends on the material of your shoes. Generally, canvas and athletic shoes made from synthetic fabrics like nylon, cotton or polyester can be washed safely in a washing machine. They are durable fabrics and react well to laundry detergent. Shoes made from materials like leather, suede or vinyl should never be put in the washing machine. They require hand cleaning and special care. Similarly, shoes with embellishments or sequin work should be hand cleaned.

Before you toss your shoes in the washing machine, ensure that you’ve read the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions on the shoes. See if they are safe to be washed in a washing machine. It is also important to check the right temperature recommended on care label. Given below is a step by step method to get your shoes as clean as the day you bought them.

Comfort Delicates

Ingredients to Keep Handy:

a)    Mesh bags

b)   Liquid laundry detergent

c)    An old toothbrush

d)   Baking soda

e)    Dishwashing liquid

f)    Toothpick

g)   Old towel

  1. Step 1: Check the Wash Care Label

    Remember to always check the wash care label for washing instructions before putting your shoes in your washing machine. If the wash care instructions are missing on the care label, you can still wash your shoes by taking preventive steps. Generally, it is safe to wash canvas shoes and athletic shoes made of nylon, cotton or polyester in your washing machine. You want to make sure you drop your shoes in a mesh bag before you drop them into the wash cycle. It is also important to use a good laundry detergent to ensure thorough cleaning of your shoes. You can try Surf Excel Matic Liquid for this, as it is specially formulated for washing machines. Being a liquid, it does not leave any residue behind like powders do.

    Step 1: label
  2. Step 2: Remove the Shoe Laces

    Before dropping your shoes into the wash cycle, remove the detachable parts such as shoe laces. It is important to wash them separately, as they collect maximum amount of dirt. The dirt or gunk may not get washed completely if put for wash together. Always remove the lace and soak them in a bowl of soapy solution. You can make your soapy solution by mixing 1 tsp. of liquid laundry detergent and 1 cup of warm water. Allow them to soak for 1 hour. Then wash them thoroughly. Attach them once your shoes are washed.

    Step 2:  Tips to Keep Your Sports Shoes Smelling Great! - Get Set Clean
  3. Step 3: Brush Your Shoes

    Grab an old toothbrush and dust your shoes thoroughly to remove loose dirt and muck. You can also use a toothpick to remove dirt and dust particles stuck in the sole of your shoes.

    Step 3: How to Clean Suede Shoes to Keep Them Looking Like New shutterstock 270855686
  4. Step 4: Clean the Stains

    We suggest you to clean the stains before putting your shoes to wash. Soak a cotton swab with white vinegar and wipe it on the stain. Then, use a nylon brush to gently scrub it. It will help remove most of the stain. If you are treating leather shoes, mix ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ cup of water. Dip a cotton cloth in the solution and clean with it. For white sneakers, you can clean the stains by treating them with baking soda. Mix 2 tsp. of baking soda, 2 tsp. of liquid laundry detergent and 4-5 tsp. of water. Apply it on the stain using a brush and allow it to sit for 3-4 hours. Scrub it with a nylon brush. Then wash it.

    Step 4: Add vinegar or baking soda to the wash
  5. Step 5: Remove and Clean the Insoles

    Take out the insoles and wipe them clean using a damp sponge. You must not put the insoles in the machine as it will take days to dry them. If they are especially dirty, mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bowl of water. Use this soapy water to wipe the insoles. Rinse with a damp cotton cloth. Sprinkle baking soda over the insoles and leave them overnight. Baking soda will helps to absorb moisture. Insert the insoles back in the shoes once they’ve dried completely.

    Step 5: How to Clean Your White Shoes Covered with Stains shutterstock 1084787480
  6. Step 6: Place the Shoes in Mesh Bag

    Tie your shoes in a mesh bag to prevent it from hitting against the machine drum. Add a few old towels to balance the machine’s load. Ensure that the towels are colourfast. Colour bleeding towels can stain and ruin your shoes. 

    Step 6: Best front load washing machine detergent
  7. Step 7: Set the Wash Cycle

    Set the machine on a Gentle Wash Cycle using cold water. Select a slow or no spin setting. Use a liquid laundry detergent as powdered laundry detergent can leave behind residue particles on your shoes.

    Step 7: Wondering What Is A Smart Washing Machine shutterstock 1544449238
  8. Step 8: Air Dry Your Shoes

    Once the wash cycle has completed, take out the mesh bags. Pull out the shoe strings and shoes from these bags. Place old newspaper balls inside your shoes. The paper will absorb the excess moisture from your shoes. Keep them in a well-ventilated room with ample sunlight. Please note that your shoes can take several days to dry. To fasten the process, you can wrap them in a towel and run the dryer. However, it is not recommended as the heat from the dryer can damage the shape of your shoes.

    Step 8: How to Wash Shoes in Your Washing Machine 771889579

The Poll

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And that is it! This systematic cleaning method should help you wash your shoes in the washing machine the right way. However, before washing your shoes, always check the wash care label to understand the right wash temperatures and methods to be used. Remember to run a gentle wash cycle, and always drop your shoes in a mesh bag before you put it to wash, to give them a layer of protection. They should come out clean and spotless.

Key Step

Use crumpled plastic bags. Putting crumpled white papers inside your shoes will help retain the shape of your shoes.

Originally published