Are you confused about “how to wash shoes in a washing machine”? Well, you’re not alone. A lot of people get worried when their shoes get a little funky, especially when it’s their favorite pair of shoes.
That’s because washing shoes can be a herculean task using the traditional method. However, the great news is that there’s an easy way to wash your shoes which involves putting the shoes into a washing machine.
Yes, a washing machine can lift the burden and make washing your shoes easy and fun.
Note that it is completely OK to put your shoes in the washing machine and let the machine do the dirty work for you. It’s a very convenient method to use in washing your shoes.
However, not many people know that several shoe types can be washed in the machine—helping to save time and money.
Apart from stain removal, regular upkeep of your shoes can also help increase the shoe’s lifespan. Cleaning your shoes regularly will also help eliminate the odor of regular usage.
But, using a washing machine to wash your shoes is more complex than throwing them into the machine and letting the appliance do its thing. Though it may seem like the laundry you do regularly, you must take steps to protect your shoes from damage.
That’s what we will look into in the rest of this article. Below are things you need to know before throwing your runners in the wash machine and making your kicks look cool in no time!
- 1 Should I wash my shoes in a washing machine?
- 2 Ingredients and Tools Needed to Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine
- 3 Which detergent is best for washing shoes in a washing machine?
- 4 Best Liquid Detergents for washing shoes in a Washing Machine
- 5 Tips on how to Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Conclusion
Should I wash my shoes in a washing machine?
Yes, you can, but you must first be able to determine if the particular shoe can withstand the pressure of washing in a machine or not. Some shoes can survive sudsy spin, while others can only take a gentle cycle.
Heels, suedes, leather sandals, boots, dress shoes, or footwear adorned with beads or buckles aren’t washer-friendly. It is known that water can easily damage these shoes, so it’s best you take such shoes to a professional shoe cleaner or, better still, clean them with a rag dipped in a gentle soap. Athletic shoes made from fabric (usually nylon or polyester) are generally OK to machine wash.
Plastic shoes such as flip-flops and Crocs can also be washed in a machine but should be put on a gentle cycle.
It’s easy to wash trainers and kids’ shoes in the washing machine because they’re often made from nylon, cotton, and polyester. These materials can considerably hold a machine wash.
After all, why stress hard over hand washing when you could plop the shoes in the washing machine?
Ingredients and Tools Needed to Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine
Washing shoes in the machine is relatively easy, but it requires adequate knowledge and preparation. You will, without fail, need to check the cleaning and care instructions on the shoes before you get started to ensure they are washer or dryer safe.
Next, make sure you have all the following tools and ingredients ready before starting any washing:
- A sponge
- Old towels
- Soft old toothbrush.
- A rag
- Liquid laundry detergent
- Baking Soda
- Dishwashing liquid
- Mesh laundry bags
Which detergent is best for washing shoes in a washing machine?
Using a good laundry detergent is important to ensure thorough cleaning and safety of your shoes. A liquid laundry detergent is best recommended because it does not leave residue behind like powders.
Powder detergent is a NO because it’s most likely going to get stuck inside your shoes since they do not dissolve properly unless you dissolve it beforehand in water and add it to the wash, which might be stressful or time-consuming.
Most people prefer laundry pods because they come pre-measured, but they need to be adjusted for small loads (a pair of shoes) or hand-washing single items like shoe laces. Aside from that limitation, they are convenient and simple to use.
This is the best and most preferred laundry detergent to use. They are easy to use, distribute well in wash water, and come in various scents. Most people prefer this, and it’s the best option at any given time.
Best Liquid Detergents for washing shoes in a Washing Machine
ARM & HAMMER Clean Burst Liquid Laundry Detergent
Arm & Hammer Clean Burst Liquid Laundry Detergent will leave your shoes powerfully clean and naturally fresh. When you use this detergent to wash, it traps soil in the wash water and doesn’t redeposit on your shoes, so it rinses off easily. It is designed to power out dirt and odors.
- Works in high efficiency and all machine types
- Clean rinse with low-suds formula
- It has a crisp, just-washed fragrance
- Handles your toughest loads in all water temperatures
- Has excellent cleaning and freshening power
- Some customers complained that the scent was too
Tide Laundry Detergent Liquid Soap
Tide liquid laundry detergent keeps your colors colorful and whites white with a refreshing scent for every wash. The quick-collapsing suds and their bubbles clean and rinse out quicker, even in cold cycles. Its formula attacks dirt with full force and dissolves it with a trace.
- It gives a deep and fresh smell to your shoes
- It cleans, freshens, whitens, and brightens your shoes
- It is formulated to attack tough body soils
- Infused with the Original Scent, you will love
- Some customers complain of leakage from the cap after the first opening
Persil Proclean Liquid Laundry Detergent
Persil ProClean Active Scent Boost is great for everyday laundry, even delicate or heavy-duty wash loads, and it’s a deep clean formula that not only fights tough stains but also fights touch odors and provides fiber care and long-lasting freshness for your shoes.
- It works in all types of washing; high efficiency (HE) and standard machines
- It has powerful stain removal and provides great fiber care
- No matter how deep a stain is, it cleanses it
- It is safe for all colors
- It’s not recommended for people with sensitive skin
All Liquid Laundry Detergent
This unscented laundry detergent liquid is safe from dyes & perfumes. It is also safe for all washing machines, including high-efficiency (HE) washers. It’s safe and perfect for everyday laundry and heavy-duty and delicate wash loads.
- It is mild enough for people with sensitive skin
- It works in all washing machines
- Delivers exceptional deep clean and great for daily laundry activities
- Fight both stains and odors to provide long-lasting freshness
- Works fine in all water temperatures
- Some customers find the packaging fragile
Tips on how to Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine
Here are Step-by-step instructions to follow on how to wash shoes in the machine easily:
Check Wash Care Label
You must always remember to check the wash care label for washing instructions before putting your shoes in the washing machine. If the wash care instructions are missing on the care label, you can still wash your shoes by taking preventive steps.
Remove Shoe Laces
Before you drop your shoes into the wash cycle, remove the detachable parts, such as shoe laces. It is important to wash them separately, as they collect a maximum amount of dirt. The dirt may not get washed completely if put together. You can remove the lace and put them in a bowl of soapy solution.
Brush Your Shoes
Use an old toothbrush for dusting your shoes thoroughly to remove loose dirt and muck. Move gently up and down and across the shoes to loosen the dirt. You can also use a toothpick to remove dirt and dust particles stuck in the sole of your shoes. Then pat them together to dust out the particles.
Clean the Stains
It will be good to clean the stains before putting your shoes washed. You can soak a cotton swab with white vinegar and wipe it on the stain. Then, use a nylon brush to scrub it gently. It will help remove most of the stain. Soak a cloth in plain water, squeeze the excess water, and use your semi-dry clothes to wipe down the shoe. It will remove excess suds.
Remove and Clean the Insoles
Take out the insoles and wipe them clean using a damp sponge. You can’t 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 water bowl. Use this soapy water to wipe the insoles and then spread them out.
Place the Shoes in a Mesh Bag
Tie your shoes in a mesh bag to prevent them from hitting the machine drum. If you don’t have a mesh bag, an old pillowcase is good to go, too, preferably one with a zipper. You can add a few old towels to balance the machine’s load. Make sure that the towels are of the same colors as the shoes.
Set the Wash Cycle
Set the machine on the shortest possible setting, the Gentle Wash Cycle using cold water. Select a slow or no spin setting, as you wouldn’t want your shoe coming out damaged.
Air Dry Your Shoes
Once the wash cycle has completed, remove the mesh bag or that old pillowcase. Bring the shoes out. Place some old newspaper balls inside your shoes. The paper will absorb the excess moisture from your shoes. It’s best to keep them in a well-ventilated room with ample sunlight.
Please note that your shoes can take several days to dry. However, when it takes longer, the shoes will smell damp and gross, and you definitely won’t want that.
How do you then avoid a dumpy smell?
You can speed up the shoe’s drying process by stuffing them with newspaper, socks, or clothes. This will absorb excess moisture and odors from the shoe. Once the shoes are dry, put in the back the soles and laces in.
Do Shoes Shrink when Washed in a Washing Machine?
If you wash your shoes in a hot water cycle, they will most likely shrink. When washing your shoes, always follow the wash care instructions. Generally, shoes should be washed using cold water and in a gentle cycle to prevent shrinking and damage. Using a heat dryer also causes shrinking and damage to your shoes.
Can I Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine Together with Clothes?
Since clothes don’t get as dirty as shoes, there are better choices than cleaning them with shoes in the cycle. Your clothes could get new stains or dirt if you combine them that way. In addition, the heavy weight of the shoes can damage some clothes, especially delicate ones. But we recommend putting shoes in the washing machine with some old towels to add extra padding.
What setting is the best to Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine?
The best setting is to wash your shoes in a gentle machine mode, a cold water cycle with a no-spin or slow setting. Never set it to the highest spin speed to avoid damaging your shoe.
Can Cleaning Shoes in a Washing Machine Break the Machine?
Yes, it can if you don’t use a pillowcase or a mesh garment bag on a cold, gentle cycle. This helps to prevent damage and forcefully tumbling through the process.
Alternatives to Washing Shoes in a Washing Machine
Use a solution made of two cups of warm water and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to hand-wash fabric shoes. Scrub the shoes using the toothbrush dipped into the solution. You can wash your shoe’s insoles using this mixture. You can also use a toothpick to dig out dirt and particles in the soles. Then wipe them off using a paper towel to dry them.
Now that you know how to wash your shoes in a washing machine, will you try it? It’s easy, will save you a lot of hassle, and as long as you take caution — it won’t damage your shoes. Follow this guide as we have shown you what and what not to do when washing your shoes in a machine. We hope our tips will help not only to keep your shoes looking great but also to extend their lifespan.