When staring at your feet in a pair of worn and dirty sneakers, the question "Can you put shoes in the washer?" may have crossed your mind. Shoes take a beating from the wear and tear of an active lifestyle, so they can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and unpleasant odors.  

It's fine to let a washing machine handle the scrubbing when your favorite pair of shoes starts to smell. One cannot simply toss their shoes into the washing machine and let the machine do its cleaning magic. To ensure that your shoes come out as clean as possible, you can take the same precautions you would when doing regular laundry.  

Here at American Home Shield®, we'll show you the ins and outs of washing shoes in the washer so you don't ruin your shoes or your washing machine.  


First, ensure all tags are accurate.  

Check the tags (typically located under the tongue of the shoe) or the manufacturer's website to see if washing your shoes in the washer is okay before you do so. Some shoes aren't meant to be washed in the machine, even if you might think they are. Similarly, there are proper ways to wash your hands with various materials. Check to see if the material and style of shoes are suitable for your machine's cycle.

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The second step is to take out the laces and the inner soles.  

Pull out your laces and remove the insoles from your shoes. It's best to take out the insoles and laces before washing because they can get tangled up and the insoles are often quite fragile.

Laces and insoles can be cleaned by hand with dish soap or liquid detergent and a soft brush or rag. Let them dry completely in the air before putting them back where they belong. You can also place the shoelaces in a mesh garment bag with your sneakers.


Third, prepare the bottoms by applying a pretreatment.  

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


Fourth, put stuff in the machine.  

Throw the footwear into the washer. Shoes won't be damaged by the dye used to color new towels if you wash them with some old ones first, and the load will be more evenly distributed if you wash several old towels alongside the shoes.


5th Step: Get the Washing Machine Going  

If you want to learn how to wash shoes in the washing machine, the best option is the delicate, cold-water cycle. Don't use powder detergent because it can clog shoe holes and soles. Use liquid detergent or premeasured laundry pods instead.


Sixth, let your footwear air dry.  

Putting your shoes on the dryer after they've been washed is the next logical step.  

However, a word of caution: do not put shoes in the dryer. The glue used to assemble shoes can dry out in warmer, drier weather. Some materials can be permanently warped by heat, and your shoes' fit and performance will suffer as a result, so keep them out of the oven.  

Your shoes need to dry in a place that is cool, sunny, and has good air circulation. To prevent your shoes from losing their form while drying, stuff some small towels inside of them. In most cases, you shouldn't clean your footwear until you've got a few days to let them air dry. If you don't, you'll be doing nothing more than providing a damp habitat for smelly bacteria to proliferate. A fan or blow-dryer can be directed at the shoes to speed up the process.  


Seventh Step: Reconstruct  

The final step is to replace the soles and laces after you've cleaned and dried your shoes. Then flaunt those fresh kicks

A Few Don'ts for Washing Shoes in the Machine

There are a few pitfalls to watch out for when washing your shoes in the washing machine, despite the fact that it may seem like a simple task. Some of the most important things to stay away from are as follows:

  • Leather and suede should never be washed in a conventional washing machine.

  • Avoid hot and warm water cycles. Shoes can become deformed, fabric can be damaged, and dyes can run if you wash them in hot water.

  • Do not use powder detergent because it is more likely to not dissolve correctly and become lodged in your footwear.  

  • Take out the laces and insoles before washing your shoes. You should always wash your insoles by hand, and your laces in a pillowcase or other laundry bag.

  • Avoid drying your shoes in the dryer. Shoes can lose their form and glue can dry out in a clothes dryer.  

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The Disadvantages of Washing Shoes in the Washing Machine

When you first consider washing your shoes in the machine, it's natural to feel some trepidation. Whether your shoes aren't machine-washable or you just don't want to risk damaging them, you can clean them by hand using one of the following methods.

  • Washing fabric shoes by hand To clean fabric shoes by hand, mix one teaspoon of dish detergent with two cups of warm water. Use the toothbrush and cleaning solution to thoroughly scrub the shoes, and then dry them off with a paper towel. Use this solution to clean your insoles.

  • Vinegar works great for restoring leather footwear. To clean leather shoes, mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and cold water. Apply the solution to a cloth and wipe down your shoes. The next step is to simply hang them up to dry in the air.

  • Deodorize If you want to get rid of the smell in your shoes, but don't want to wash them, deodorizing may be the answer. Anti-odor sprays for shoes, such as the There is the Poo-Pourri Shoe Odor Eliminating Spray, the Woodlore Cedar Shoe Fresh Inserts, and the Odor-Eaters Odor-Destroying Insoles. excellent choices for purchasing in a store Just sprinkle some baking soda in your shoes and leave them out overnight to absorb any lingering odors. At the very least, by morning, any offensive odors will be greatly diminished.

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As a Closing Remark

Washing your shoes in the washing machine is a quick and simple option, but it is not without its dangers. Take into account the shoe's material, the washing machine's wash cycle, and the best drying techniques when learning how to wash shoes in a washing machine. Hand washing them is your safest bet if you're ever unsure.

Maintaining a high level of performance is also crucial. Appliance Repair: Washing Machines and Dryers in order to keep your machines running smoothly for all of your laundry needs. A home warranty plan is something to think about if you plan on Protected by a Warrant for the laundry machines A Machine guarantee for laundry helps keep costs down and stress at bay When home systems and appliances break down due to normal use and maintenance, American Home Shield can help cover the cost of fixing them or buying new ones. And so, if you're in a bind, don't hesitate to washing machine draining the water If you need help because something isn't working properly or if an appliance broke, all you have to do is fill out a service request and pay the Trade Service Call Fee, and we'll send a repairman to your house.

Learn about American Home ShieldAcquaint yourself with American Home Shield. , a wide range of pricing and payment options, in addition to our comprehensive coverage See the negotiation agreement for specifics on coverage, such as fees, restrictions, and limitations Some expenses may not be included.    

Questions & Answers

Is there a list of shoes I can wash in the machine?

Washable materials for footwear include canvas, nylon, cotton, and polyester. The majority of today's sneakers and tennis shoes are constructed from 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. If you want to avoid damaging your washing machine, you should hand wash or spot clean these items.

Should I run my loads through with some sort of disinfectant?  

It's all up to individual taste. If your shoes smell particularly bad and you're prone to fungal infections like athlete's foot, you may want to consider adding a disinfectant to the wash cycle. Pine oil disinfectant can be added to the wash cycle at the start to protect against the growth of bacteria and mold. In order for the disinfectant to be effective, the washer must be run with warm water, and the disinfectant must contain at least 80% pine oil.

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

As for washing machines, you can choose between front-load and top-load models. In terms of footwear, which one is the best? Front-loading washers are more user-friendly and have more precise spin and temperature settings.

In most cases, agitation is used to clean clothes in top-load washing machines. Those models without a central column (the agitator) are known as impeller models. Although impellers are uncommon, they are easier on your footwear and attire. This isn't to say you can't wash your shoes in a top loader; in fact, if you use common sense and wash them on the gentle cycle with cold water, you should be fine.  

Your use of any information provided herein is at your own risk, and AHS expressly disclaims any liability that may arise as a result of such use.