You may have asked yourself, "Can you put shoes in the washer?" if you've ever stared at your feet while wearing a particularly well-loved (read: dirty) pair of sneakers. Shoes take a beating from the wear and tear of an active lifestyle, so they often become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and unpleasant smells.  

It's fine to let a washing machine handle the scrubbing when your favorite pair of shoes starts to smell. You can't just toss your shoes in the washing machine and expect them to come out spotless. The same precautions you take when doing regular laundry can help ensure that your shoes come out clean.  

In order to protect your shoes and washing machine, American Home Shield® will show you the proper way to clean shoes in the washer.  


1. Verify the Labels  

Check the tags (typically located under the tongue of the shoe) or the manufacturer's website for the recommended cleaning steps before throwing your shoes in the washing machine. Some shoes aren't meant to be washed in the machine, even if you think they are washable. Similarly, there are proper ways to wash your hands with various materials. Check to see that the shoes' construction and material are compatible with your washer.

A picture containing person, indoor, appliance, white goods Description automatically generated

Secondly, take out the shoelaces and the insoles.  

To remove the insoles and shoelaces, remove the shoes from your feet. Due to the fact that shoelaces often get tangled in the washing machine and many insoles are quite fragile, it is recommended that they be removed before washing.

Use dish soap or liquid detergent and a soft brush or rag to clean the shoelaces and insoles by hand. Let them dry completely in the air before putting them back where they belong. You can also put your sneakers and laces in a mesh garment bag.


Sole pretreatment: the third step  

To clean the bottoms of your shoes, use a gentle brush.


Fourth, put stuff in the machine.  

Throw the footwear into the washer. Washing shoes with several old towels helps distribute the weight, keeps the shoes from banging around, and protects them from the dye in the new towels.


Phase 5: Get the wash going  

A delicate, cold-water cycle is best for washing shoes in the washing machine and will help keep your shoes in good condition while you learn how to wash shoes in the washing machine. You should not use powder detergent because it can get stuck in the rubber bottoms of your shoes or the holes where your laces go through. Try laundry pods or liquid detergent instead.


Sixth, let your shoes dry in the open air.  

Drying your shoes is the next step after washing them.  

However, a word of caution: don't dry your shoes in the dryer. As the air dries out, the glue that holds shoes together can dry out and fail. Some materials, when exposed to high temperatures, can shrink irreparably, warping your shoes and reducing their useful life.  

Find a spot that's cool, sunny, and has good airflow to leave your shoes there to dry. To keep your shoes from deforming while they dry, stuff some small towels inside of them. You should only clean your shoes if you will have ample time to let them dry completely afterward. If you don't, you'll just be providing a breeding ground for mold and other unpleasant bacteria. Use a fan or blow dryer directed at the shoes if you're in a hurry.  


Reconstructing the System, Step 7  

Return the soles and laces after cleaning and drying your shoes. Then flaunt your brand new clean sneakers.

How NOT to Clean Shoes in the Washing Machine

It may seem like a no-brainer to clean your shoes in the washing machine, but there are actually a few things you should keep in mind. The most important things to avoid are briefly discussed below.

  • Leather and suede shouldn't ever be washed in a conventional washing machine.

  • Cold water cycles are preferred over hot ones. Shoes can become deformed, fabric can be damaged, and dyes can run if you wash them in hot water.

  • You shouldn't use powder detergent because it can't dissolve properly and gets stuck in your shoes.  

  • It is not recommended to wash shoes with the laces and insoles still in them. Shoe insoles should be washed by hand, while shoelaces can be washed in a pillowcase or other designated laundry bag.

  • The dryer is not a place to dry shoes. It's possible for dryers to melt the glue on shoes and distort their form.  

A picture containing person, footwear Description automatically generated

Possible Substitutes for Machine Washing Sneakers

We understand your hesitation to wash your shoes in the machine. For footwear that can't be washed in a machine or that you'd rather not risk damaging, consider using one of the following manual cleaning techniques:

  • Shoes made of fabric should be hand washed. To clean fabric shoes by hand, mix one teaspoon of dish soap into two cups of warm water. Use the solution and the toothbrush to scrub the shoes, and then dry them with a paper towel. Furthermore, you can use this solution to clean your insoles.

  • Vinegar can be used on leather footwear. To clean leather shoes, mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and cold water. Use a cloth dipped in the solution to clean your shoes. Finally, hang them up to dry in the air.

  • Deodorize As an alternative to washing your shoes to get rid of the smell, you can try deodorizing them. Deodorizers, which include the Products like Poo-Pourri Shoe Odor Eliminating Spray, Woodlore Cedar Shoe Fresh Inserts, and Odor-Eaters Odor-Destroying Insoles are available to help. great choices available in stores Deodorize your shoes with a little baking soda and some time in the air overnight. By morning, any unpleasant odors will be greatly reduced, if not completely gone.

A pair of red shoes in a dryer Description automatically generated with medium confidence

As a Closing Remark

Cleaning your shoes in the washing machine is a quick and simple option, but there are some potential hazards involved. Things to consider when learning how to wash shoes in a washing machine include shoe material, wash cycle type, and proper drying techniques. When in doubt, give them a hand wash.

Likewise, showing off your skills is crucial. Repairing a washing machine and dryer maintenance to keep your machines running smoothly for all your laundry needs You should think about getting a home warranty that covers Warranty Protection washing machine dryer A Assured performance of a washing machine promotes calm and financial security Everyday breakdowns in your home's systems and appliances can be expensive to fix, but American Home Shield can help cover those costs. Therefore, if you are in need of assistance, Emptying the washer of its water or the appliance is malfunctioning, all you have to do is submit a service request, pay your Trade Service Call Fee, and we'll send a technician to your house to take a look.

Research American Home Shield , due to our all-encompassing insurance, affordable rates, and customizable packages, See the preparation agreement the limitations, exclusions, and service fees associated with the policy can be found in the policy's terms and conditions. Some expenses may not be included.    

Normal Questions and Answers

Can I wash this pair of shoes in the washer?

Washable materials for footwear include canvas, nylon, cotton, and polyester. Most modern sneaker and tennis shoe designs use materials that can withstand the rigors of being washed in a machine.  

Shoes made of materials such as leather, suede, rubber, and vinyl should not be washed in the washing machine. Avoid using the washing machine and instead hand wash or spot clean.

Should I use a disinfectant detergent in my load?  

One's own tastes will dictate this. If your shoes smell bad and you're prone to fungal infections like athlete's foot, you should consider using a disinfectant in the washing machine. Pine oil disinfectant added at the start of the wash cycle can help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. In order for the disinfectant to be effective, the washer water temperature must be at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and the disinfectant must be at least 80% pine oil.

When it comes to cleaning shoes, what kind of washing machine is ideal?

Washing machines, front-load vs. top-load Which do you consider the best shoe available? There are more options for spin and temperature regulation on front-loading washing machines, making them more user-friendly.

The agitation used by most top-load washers can be rough on your clothes. Only models with a rotating impeller in place of a central column (the agitator) are excluded. Rare as they may be, impellers are easier on your footwear and attire. This doesn't mean you can't wash your shoes in the top loader; just be careful and use cold water on the delicate setting.  

For any and all uses of the information provided herein, AHS expressly disclaims any and all liability.