How To Wash Shoes In A Washing Machine

Everyone loves to step out in a nice and clean pair of shoes. It is often said that your shoes are the most attention-grabbing fashion pieces you can wear.

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So, making that all important first impression could be down to those sparkling clean shoes. 

If you’re like us, washing shoes, especially sneakers, could be a really draining chore and we certainly do not look forward to it. 

So it is a relief to know that you can wash your shoes with a washing machine – well, not all shoes. 

Leather, Suede shoes and rubber boots are a no-no for machine washing, except you don’t care for the lifespan of the shoes. 

Some folks attempt to wash leather sneakers in the washing machine, but generally, it’s not advisable.

You can however wash sneakers with a washing machine. We’ll show you just how to do that in this article. 

How To Wash Shoes In A Washing Machine — Steps To Take…

First, Deodorize

Few things are more disgusting than the foul smell that comes out of dirty shoes.

Sneakers soak in sweat from your feet which causes the foul odor. Wearing dirty socks is also a sure way to get your shoes dirty. 

So, before you wash your sneakers in a washing machine, deodorize them. One of the best ways to do this is to use baking soda. 

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Baking soda neutralizes the offensive odor and doesn’t just cover it like commercial air fresheners do. 

The active ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. This is a low pH chemical that neutralizes the foul odor that emanates from basically anything. 

Most shoe odors are acidic and baking soda is very effective at getting rid of the actual source of the odor. 

The day before you wash your sneakers, sprinkle baking soda all over your shoes, inside and outside. 

You could dissolve the baking soda in solution and smear it over your shoes. Allow the shoes to dry overnight or for at least six hours to completely neutralize any foul smell. 

Check The Manufacturers Recommendations

Before you toss your sneakers into the washing machine, be sure to check the manufacturers recommendation for the cleaning requirements on the label of the shoes. 

Some shoes are not designed to be cleaned in a washing machine. As a safety precaution don’t wash sneakers that have suede or leather portions on them. You risk destroying those areas if you do. 

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Remove Laces And Insoles

Before inserting your shoes into the washing machine, remove the shoelaces.

You can put the shoelaces in a small laundry pillow or bag to insert separately in the washing machine. 

Also, remove the insoles. The insoles usually absorb the most sweat and dirt. They should be washed separately by hand.

Use a solution of warm water and liquid detergent to scrub the insoles with a soft brush. 

Include Towels In The Washing Machine

To keep the load in the washing machine balanced, include about 6-7 towels during washing.

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This also prevents any banging noise that the shoes might cause when tossed around vigorously within the washing machine.

The towels also act as a buffer to protect the shoes. For extra protection of your shoes, put the pair of shoes in a laundry bag before putting them in the washing machine. 

Adjust Washing Machine Settings

Use liquid detergent and warm water to wash your shoes. Undissolved detergent powder could get stuck in the corners or in the fabric parts of your shoes. 

Also, ensure the cycle spin of the washing machine is set to low. This will ensure that the washing machine is balanced during washing. 

Consider Disinfecting The Shoes

To prevent fungal growth and athlete’s foot, consider disinfecting your shoes. This could be done by adding a solution of at least 80 percent Pine oil into the water. 

If you disinfect your shoes, it is best to do so with warm water for optimal effectiveness.

Now check out this video to see how this person washes their Yeezys:

Dry The Shoes

Generally speaking, do not tumble dry your sneakers after washing. The high temperature from the dryer can damage the glue that holds the shoes together. 

Excess heat also causes the shoes that have fabric to shrink. This could leave your shoes out of shape and permanently deformed. 

The best way to dry your shoes after washing them in the washing machine is to air dry them. 

Put the shoes on a shoe rack in a well-ventilated place to air dry. Do not expose the shoes to direct heat from the sun. 

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Remember, you want to air dry the shoes and not sun dry them. Allow enough time for the shoes to dry. 

If you want the shoes to dry faster, you could place a fan in front of the shoes to accelerate the rate of drying. 

Also, consider stuffing your shoes with nylon or a dry towel to maintain the shape of the shoes while they dry. 



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Can I Wash Multiple Pairs Of Shoes?

Two things will determine the number of shoes you can load into the washing machine. Firstly, the load capacity of the washing machine must be considered

Remember, shoes are to be loaded into the washing machine with towels to maintain a load balance in the washing machine and to reduce the banging noise the shoes will cause. 

Intuitively, the larger the load capacity, the higher the number of shoes you can wash at a given time. Nevertheless, always load the shoes with towels too. 

Secondly, you must be careful with the colors of the different shoes. It is generally advisable to wash white shoes separately. 

Wash lighter colored shoes together and darker colored shoes separately. You don’t want your white sneakers stained with color from another shoe!

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Using a washing machine to wash your shoes really does reduce the burden of scrubbing your shoes yourself. It’s faster and sometimes more efficient. 

Bear in mind, however, that using a washing machine may not be efficient in removing tough stains. 

Tough stains should be spot cleaned separately before loading the shoes into the washing machine for general cleaning. 

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