The safest way to clean your sneakers is by handwashing them. It's generally a quick 15-minute process that can be done with things you already have at home. That said, most of us are pretty busy with our lives and sometimes we just don't have the time to clean sneakers by hand.
If you find yourself washing sneakers in washing machines then there are a few things you should take into account.
Can You Wash Sneakers in the Washing Machine?
Cleaning shoes is not everyone's cup of tea. So, if you find it challenging or boring to hand-wash sneakers, you can machine wash them. All you need is to check the shoe care instructions and ensure they are machine washable.
What your sneakers are made of will determine whether or not you can wash them in the washing machine. So as we mentioned, checking the care label on them to see what the manufacturer recommends is the best place to start.
A good rule of thumb is to base the choice on what material the shoes are made of. For example, canvas shoes are great for machine washing since they're pretty sturdy. Other types of footwear like leather or dress shoes, suede shoes, and rubber boots should never be machine washed. For those, you should take them to be professionally cleaned or hand wash them instead.
If you find you can indeed clear your shoes in the washing machine, it will not only save you time and energy but you'll also get results that no other approach can match!
So, How Do You Machine Wash Sneakers Without Ruining Them?
The first step is the easiest and also the fastest. Start by removing both the laces and insoles from the shoes. Removing the laces and insoles and washing them separately will ensure they're being cleaned as thoroughly as possible. Laces can also get caught inside the washing machine so you want to prevent that.
Your shoelaces can be put inside a mesh laundry bag (or a pillowcase tied at the top) and then added to the same load your shoes are in. Your laces won't get stuck in the washer or wrap around moving parts if you do this. You can also clean your laces by hand with a mild brush and laundry detergent if they are particularly dirty.
Wash your insoles separately unless otherwise noted in the care instructions. Insoles washed in the machine may become soggy and take days to dry. If your insoles aren't machine washable, you can clean and deodorize them by hand.
Using a soft brush wipe off your insoles gently with soapy water. Then use a sponge to soak up as much extra moisture as possible. After that, sprinkle baking soda on them and leave them to deodorize overnight while absorbing extra moisture. You can then brush off the baking soda in the morning.
With a soft brush, remove as much dirt or debris from the bottoms of your shoes as possible. You can also use an old toothbrush or toothpicks to remove smaller pieces from tight spaces. Apply a shoe cleaner to the scuff marks with a rag or soft brush after removing the dirt. Scuffs should be worked out gently with the cleanser and then wiped away with a damp rag.
After cleaning the soles, put your shoes in a mesh garment bag to keep them from banging around in the washing machine. Then add the wash bag and a couple of old towels to the washing machine to balance the load. Make sure the towels are old since fresh ones may leak dye into your shoes and stain them.
Choose a slow or no-spin option on your washing machine's delicate cycle. Make sure to use cold water! Powder detergent might get caught in shoes if it doesn't dissolve properly, so use liquid detergent instead.
Once the machine stops, remove the shoes and laces from the mesh garment bag. To absorb any excess moisture and so your shoes hold their shape while they dry, fill them with clean rags or paper towels. Next, let them airdry for as long as possible. Place them in a cool spot where they'll get plenty of sunshine since this will speed up the drying process.
It may take a few days for your shoes to dry, but skipping the drying machine is ideal. Otherwise, you run the risk of warping your shoes. You can, however, use a drying rack if you want. From there you can replace the insoles and re-thread the laces once everything is dry.
Alternative Methods to Machine Washing Sneakers
You can absolutely wash shoes without using a washing machine if you don't have access to one, or if it's not recommended for your shoes. The solution is handwashing! Here are some tips on handwashing depending on the material of your shoes.
a) Fabric Shoes
Fabric shoes can be hand washed using a solution made from one teaspoon dishwashing liquid and two cups of warm water. First, scrub the shoes with a toothbrush using the solution, then dry them with a paper towel. You can also use the same method to clean your insoles.
b) Leather Shoes
To properly wash leather shoes using cool water and distilled white vinegar is the way to go. You can add the mix into a spray bottle and used that. Then, wipe your shoes down with a cloth dipped in the solution. After that, you just have to let them air dry in the shade and avoid direct sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Washing Sneakers
a) What Causes Shoe Odours?
Shoes tend to absorb sweat from your feet, and if they aren't allowed to completely dry you run the risk of odours developing. This is why it's important to give your favourite gym or tennis shoes the chance to air out properly.
Other causes of shoe odour include not wearing socks (which are great for absorbing sweat), athlete's foot, or not enough shoe ventilation. Added to that certain materials like leather can prevent your feet from breathing. S