Putting your dirty shoes in the washing machine and putting them through a wash cycle is a quick and easy way to get your shoes to look sparkling clean. In this article, we are going to give you step-by-step instructions for how to clean your shoes in the washing machine safely.
Simply follow these steps and your dirty pair of shoes will be sparkling clean!
Is it safe to wash shoes in the washing machine?
It depends on what type of shoes you have and what they are made of. Most shoes that are made of fabric like cotton or canvas (such as sneakers), can be washed in a washing machine. However, it is important to check the care label on the shoes for any specific washing instructions, as some shoes may need to be washed in a specific way or by hand.
If you fail to follow the advice on the care label you may damage your shoes if you wash them in the washing machine.
It is important to note that washing certain types of shoes in a washing machine, such as leather or suede shoes, is not recommended because it can damage the material and cause discoloration. It is best to use a specialized cleaner or take them to a professional cleaner for the best results.
Shoes made of delicate materials, such as satin or silk, or those that are embellished, should also be cleaned by a professional.
Steps to wash your shoes in the washing machine
To get your dirty shoes sparkling clean, simply follow these steps.
Step 1. Check the label
First things first check the care label on your shoes. Usually, it will say on the label whether or not it’s safe to wash them in a washing machine. If they cannot be washed in a machine it should state the manufacturer’s recommended way to clean them.
If you have an old pair of shoes you may choose to ignore the advice and wash them in the washing machine anyway. Just be mindful that they might come out slightly damaged. Sometimes the label may tell you to remove certain parts of the shoe before washing them in the machine such as the laces or inner soles.
Step 2. Prepare your shoes
Once you know whether or not you can wash your shoes in a washing machine, the next step is to prepare your shoes for washing. Here are some tips for preparing your shoes:
- Remove the laces. The laces can then be washed separately by hand or put into the washing machine with your shoes. If you have white laces it’s a good idea to soak them in bleach and then rinse them by hand when clean. You can then let them air dry.
- Remove the inner soles. If you wish you can remove the soles and wash them separately or leave them in the shoes during the wash cycle.
- Remove all loose debris from your shoes. This can be done by using a small brush. Make sure you get into all of the hard-to-reach parts of your shoes.
- Run your shoes under hot water. This will remove any dirt and grime from your shoes which will help them wash in the machine better.
Step 3. Place your shoes in a mesh bag
To help protect your shoes during the wash cycle, it’s a good idea to put your shoes and laces into a mesh laundry bag. If you don’t have one, you can put your shoes and laces into an old pillowcase. To help lower the noise level while your shoes are washing you can also pop a few large towels into the washing machine with your shoes to help stop them from hitting up against the drum.
Step 4. Start the wash cycle
Once your shoes are in the drum, the next step is to start the wash cycle. For best results, you should use the cold water setting as hot water can make the colors in your shoes run.
Make sure the temperature isn’t higher than 30 degrees. To avoid damaging the shoes, use a gentle cycle and mild detergent when washing them in the washing machine. If your shoes are particularly dirty you can pre-treat them with a stain remover or spot cleaner before putting them in the washing machine. Once you have chosen the correct setting, turn the wash cycle on.
Step 5. Dry your shoes
Once the wash cycle ends, take your shoes out of the washing machine and let them air dry. It’s not recommended to use a dryer as the high heat can damage your shoes.
The best way to air-dry shoes is to place scrunched-up newspaper inside the shoes and then place them in a warm spot for 24 hours. Once dry, you can put the laces back on your shoes and start wearing them again!
Tips for cleaning shoes in a washing machine
For best results, follow these simple tips when cleaning your shoes in the washing machine.
- Remove any loose debris from your shoes with a brush. You can also remove any stains with a spot cleaner and cloth.
- Remove the laces from your shoes before cleaning them in the washing machine. You can also remove the inner soles if you wish to.
- When washing shoes in a washing machine, place them in a mesh bag to help protect them during the cleaning process. If you don’t have a mesh bag use a pillowcase.
- Place towels in the washing machine with your shoes to stop them from banging into the drum during the wash cycle.
- Use mild detergent to wash your shoes. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener as these can damage your shoes.
- Wash your shoes on a cold cycle.
- Always air-dry your shoes.