Can you put shoes in the washer
Can you put shoes in the washer

Do you ever find yourself in a pinch with your shoes?

Have they become soiled beyond what a quick wipe-down can clean up? If this is the case, you may wonder if putting them in the washing machine is possible.

You’re not alone! Many of us have faced this dilemma and are looking for answers. This article will explore whether throwing your shoes into the washer is safe.

Read on to learn more about how cleaning your shoes in the washing machine could potentially cause damage – as well as tips on alternative solutions that will keep your footwear looking great!

Review contents

What Kinds Of Shoes Are Safe To Wash?

Can you put shoes in the washer? It depends. Generally, canvas and running shoes are better suited for washing machine cleaning than leather or dress shoes.

Canvas sneakers can be easily tossed into a cold-water cycle with a mild detergent. Running shoes also fare well as long as they’re washed on a gentle cycle.

Leather and dress shoes require more special care when cleaning them at home. Handwashing is usually your best bet; swish around soapy water in a basin and then use a cloth to scrub away dirt and debris from the shoe surface.

Remember that if your shoes have removable components like laces or insoles, remove them before placing them inside the washer! Sandals can go right into the washer but should always be placed in an old pillowcase or laundry bag before starting the cycle.

How To Prepare Shoes For Washing

Before throwing shoes into a washing machine, there are several steps to prepare them for cleaning.

Doing so will ensure that the shoes come out of the wash looking and feeling like new. To begin with, it is essential to protect any laces or straps on your shoes by tying them securely in place.

This prevents them from getting tangled during the cycle of agitation and spinning.

Next, it is beneficial to pre-wash the shoes with a damp cloth before placing them in the washer. This helps remove stubborn dirt and grime without damaging delicate fabric materials.

Finally, sanitizing your shoes further before washing can be done using an air freshener or shoe cleaner spray specifically designed for this purpose. These specialized products help eliminate odors and reduce bacteria buildup inside the lining of your footwear.

When preparing your shoes for washing, these extra steps will improve hygiene levels and extend their lifespan.

Appropriate Washing Machine Settings

Now that you have prepped your shoes for washing let’s look at the appropriate settings on the washing machine.

Make sure to read through the instructions and settings of your particular washer before proceeding with shoe-washing.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when setting up the wash:

  • Check all the shoes’ pockets, laces, and tongues to ensure they’re empty.
  • Set the temperature according to what is recommended by your manufacturer’s instructions; usually, cold water will suffice.
  • Select a gentle cycle or handwash cycle if available.
  • Use an appropriate detergent explicitly designed for use on clothes; avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Opt for air drying instead of a dryer, as it could damage materials such as leather or suede.

To get optimal results from machine-washing your shoes, be sure to follow these washing instructions carefully!

Wash one pair at a time and adjust the load size accordingly so that there is enough space between each item to give them adequate room during cleaning.

When done correctly, washing temperature can help remove dirt and grime without damaging delicate fabrics like mesh or canvas material found on many athletic sneakers.

Your freshly washed shoes should look brand new – remember to practice safe washing techniques!

Cleaning Solutions For Shoes

When it comes to cleaning shoes, the type of material matters, and different solutions are available for various shoe types. Sneakers typically require a sneaker cleaner, often made of natural ingredients and can be applied using a brush or cloth.

Canvas cleaners are tailored explicitly to canvas shoes, while a leather cleaner should be used on boots and other leather footwear.

Use a rubber cleaner that won’t damage the shoe’s fabric for rubber soles. Oxford cleaners work best on dress shoes, as they help maintain their shine without damaging them.

No matter what type of shoe you’re cleaning, it’s essential to read the instructions carefully before using any solution. If certain chemicals aren’t compatible with your shoes, opt for something more natural, like soap and water.

Make sure to rinse off all detergents after washing, too – this will prevent dirt from accumulating later on down the line. As long as you follow these steps correctly, you should have no problem keeping your shoes looking good as new!

Drying And Protecting Shoes After Washing

It is essential to dry and protect shoes after washing them. Various techniques can be used for drying, protecting, and waterproofing your shoes.

To help you decide which technique is best for your needs, the table below outlines a comparison of different approaches:

The air-drying process is the slowest method, giving the most natural look while preserving the shoe’s shape. The wiping-down technique is faster than air drying, but dirt or salt will remain on the surface; this should be addressed using good shoe polish. Spot cleaning using solvents might do the trick if stubborn stains are on your shoes.

Stuffing paper inside the shoe helps absorb moisture relatively quickly. However, protection from future spills or wetness still needs to be considered by adding some water-repellent solution.

Finally, heating your shoes in a clothes dryer can result in quicker drying time than other methods; however, care must be taken because certain materials may shrink due to high temperatures. Leather conditioners should always be applied afterward to ensure longevity and better material performance.

No matter which method you choose for drying and protecting your shoes, you must consider all factors, such as type of fabric, amount of dirt present, exposure to temperature changes, etc., before starting.

These steps will go a long way toward maintaining proper footwear care over time!

Alternatives To Washing In A Machine

Handwashing is an option for those who want to clean their shoes without using a machine. This involves filling a bucket or sink with warm water and adding dish soap for extra cleaning power.

Then, use a scrubbing brush to remove dirt from the outside of the shoe gently. Once done, rinse the suds with clean water and dry the air.

Another alternative is spot-cleaning by using baking soda as an effective cleaner. Mix it with some water until it forms a pasty substance, and then spread this paste onto any stains on your shoes.

Let sit for 10 minutes before taking a damp cloth and rubbing away the residue. Finally, wipe down the whole shoe with a damp cloth to remove the remaining dirt particles.

If you don’t have access to either of these methods, wiping your shoes down with a damp cloth can help remove surface dirt and grime while keeping them fresh between washes.

Signs Of Damage From Washing

The answer to whether shoes can be put in the washer is a definite no. Attempting to wash your shoes in a machine could cause extensive damage from water exposure or agitation from the washing cycle.

Washing machines are designed for specific fabrics and materials, and most shoes do not fit into this category.

When inspecting your shoe after attempting a wash in the machine, look for signs of wear that indicate an irreversible change caused by the machine’s heat and movement. Water spots on leather surfaces, such as uppers and soles, may be one sign of water damage caused by washing.

Additionally, cracks in the material due to drying tension and swelling might also occur if too much heat has been used during drying cycles.

Lastly, discoloration or fading colors on different parts of your shoe can signify that detergent residue has had adverse effects when agitated at high speeds within the machine’s drum.

Knowing what type of damage may arise from putting shoes through the washing machine is vital. It’s essential to take care when cleaning items like footwear with special caretaking needs.

Always check labels before diving headfirst into any new cleaning method so you don’t get damaged goods later!

Long-Term Care Of Shoes

Taking proper care of shoes is essential for keeping them looking great and lasting longer. Sneaker care requires regular cleaning and maintenance, while shoe-protection techniques such as waterproofing can help extend footwear’s life.

It’s important to understand that certain materials require different kinds of treatment, so always check the labels on your shoes before beginning any shoe maintenance routine.

Leather care is a critical component when it comes to caring for shoes. Leather should be treated with special polish or conditioners to keep it from drying out or cracking over time.

Regularly wiping down leather shoes with a damp cloth after use helps to remove dirt and debris, and using a leather protector spray will help protect against water damage in wet weather conditions.

Overall, taking good care of your footwear involves more than just giving them an occasional wipe down.

Investing in some quality sneaker accessories like shoe trees and polishes ensures you get the most out of each pair of shoes without sacrificing longevity. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite pairs for many seasons to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Wash Shoes In A Washing Machine?

When washing shoes, many people want to know how long the process will take when using a washing machine.

After all, shoe-washing time can vary depending on factors such as the size of the shoes and the type of fabric they are made from. Fortunately, one should expect an approximate time for their washing machine shoes.

The average time to wash shoes in a washing machine is 20 minutes. It’s important to note that this number can fluctuate based on variables like the power of your washer or if you’re doing a light load versus a heavy load.

Additionally, some machines may have specialized settings designed explicitly for washing shoes that could potentially reduce the total time it takes to clean them.

To make sure your machine-washing shoes come out looking fantastic, always be sure to use cold water and mild detergent with no bleach included.

Add a small towel to the mix if possible – this can help protect your cleaning shoes while keeping them nice and clean! Taking these extra steps during the process helps ensure that you don’t accidentally damage any delicate materials used in making them.

Ultimately, by taking the proper precautions with washing your clothes and being aware of what type of fabrics make up your footwear, you’ll complete each cycle successfully in about 20 minutes.

With a little effort invested upfront, you can rest assured knowing that every pair will look good enough to wear again soon after!

Are Leather Shoes Safe To Wash In A Washing Machine?

When it comes to washing leather shoes, the question of whether or not it’s safe to put them in a washing machine arises.

Fortunately, there are ways to wash your leather shoes safely in a washing machine without damaging them. This is especially true for those that own expensive designer leather shoes.

Taking the necessary precautions is the key to successfully and safely cleaning leather shoes in a washing machine. Firstly, you should use cold water when running the cycle; hot water may shrink or damage the material of the shoe.

Secondly, you must select an appropriate detergent; ensure it is designed to clean delicate items such as leather goods. Lastly, use a mesh laundry bag so your shoes don’t get too banged up during their spin cycle.

Anytime you deal with delicate fabrics like leather, caution must be taken. But by following these simple steps while using a washing machine to clean your precious leather shoes, you can rest assured that they’ll look almost brand new!

Are There Any Special Instructions For Washing Different Types Of Shoes?

When washing different types of shoes, a few considerations must be considered. Each type requires special cleaning instructions, from sneakers and running shoes to dress shoes, sandals, and boots. Let’s take a look at the various shoe-cleaning guidelines you should follow.

Washing sneakers and running shoes in a washing machine is generally safe if made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester. However, check the care label before putting them in the washer on a gentle cycle with cold water. Additionally, avoid adding fabric softener and opt for air drying instead of a dryer. If your shoes have removable insoles, then remove those before washing too!

Dress shoes can also be washed without getting them wet – use a damp cloth or an old toothbrush to get rid of any dirt and debris on the surface of the leather. Depending on how dirty your dress shoes are, you may also want to invest in specialized leather cleaners.

Sandal cleaning tips include removing any excess dirt with warm water and soap and brushing off any remaining residue with an old toothbrush. Lastly, when it comes to boot cleaning instructions, spot clean only with warm water and mild soap so as not to damage the material; never submerge boots in water or put them in the washing machine!

No matter what kind of shoes you’re dealing with, always read up on specific care instructions before attempting anything yourself – this will save your footwear from potential damage caused by incorrect cleaning methods!

Is It Possible To Use A Dryer To Dry Shoes After Washing Them?

Is it possible to use a dryer to dry the shoes after washing them? This question often comes up when considering how best to care for and maintain the life of your shoes. To answer this, it’s essential to understand the different methods available for drying shoes after washing them in a washing machine.

Shoe drying can be done through several methods: air-drying outside or inside; using a fan; putting newspapers in the shoe overnight; placing the footwear on top of radiators or heaters; or even using a tumble dryer.

Air-drying is considered one of the safest ways as there’s no risk of over-exposure to high temperatures that could damage materials like leather, suede, synthetic, and other fabrics commonly used in shoe construction. However, some prefer machine drying with a washer/dryer combo unit or an individual clothes dryer.

When choosing between these two options, it is essential to note that not all fabric types are suited for machine drying at high temperatures. Some materials may shrink or become overly stiff if subjected to direct heat from the dryer drum and hot air from vents within the machine.

For instance, leather shoes should never be placed into a clothes dryer because too much heat will cause irreversible damage, such as cracking and tearing apart at the seams. On the other hand, canvas sneakers typically fare better with low-temperature settings on both the washer and dryer machines – although many manufacturers still recommend air-drying instead just to be safe.

When looking into whether you can use a dryer for shoes after washing them, check which type of material your shoes are made of before attempting any machine drying method.

If uncertain, opt for alternative methods such as air-drying – especially since this has proven time and time again to extend the longevity of most popular shoe styles regardless of brand or price point!

What Type Of Detergent Is Best To Use When Washing Shoes In A Machine?

When washing shoes in a machine, choosing the suitable detergent is essential. Depending on the material of your shoes, different types of detergents are more suitable for cleaning them properly.

For example, a specialized sneaker detergent would be highly recommended for sneakers or running shoes made from synthetic materials like spandex and polyester. On the other hand, canvas-made shoes require a specific type of detergent that can help maintain their texture while still providing a thorough cleansing.

Furthermore, when it comes to suede or leather boots, one must be extra careful not to damage them with harsh chemicals during washing. In this case, opting for special boot detergents that contain softening agents should do wonders at maintaining the original condition and color of these materials after they’ve been washed.

Lastly, although most shoe manufacturers provide instructions on cleaning specific models with available laundry detergents, there could always be some risk involved in trying this approach instead of using specifically designed footwear products.

Therefore, considering all these factors when selecting which type of detergent is essential so you don’t damage your favorite pair of shoes.

Whether it’s sneakers, canvas-made ones, or even genuine leather boots – using appropriate cleaning solutions will ensure your beloved kicks look good as new once they come out from the washer!


In conclusion, washing shoes in a washing machine is possible if you take the appropriate steps.

Cleaning your shoes this way can save time and energy, but read any instructions with your pair of shoes before throwing them in the washer. Leather shoes require special care when being washed, so use a gentle detergent on those materials.

Lastly, don’t forget about drying your freshly-washed kicks! Depending on the type of shoe material, you may need to air dry them or put them into a tumble dryer at low heat for the best results.

Overall, keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance of your shoes will keep them looking and feeling like new for much longer.

With just a few minutes of careful effort each month (or even less!), you can ensure your favorite pairs last through many seasons without needing repairs or replacement parts. So go ahead and try it – you might be surprised by how well it works out!

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Nick Haden
Hi there! My name is Nick Haden, and I am thrilled to share my passion for shoe cleaning with you at As a renowned shoe cleaning expert, I have dedicated years to perfecting my craft and helping people maintain the longevity and beauty of their favorite footwear. With my expertise, I have received numerous accolades and rewards, including certifications as a certified aromatherapist. This unique background allows me to bring a holistic approach to shoe cleaning, combining my knowledge of essential oils and their beneficial properties with effective cleaning techniques. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with various shoe brands, professional athletes, and fashion enthusiasts, helping them restore and revitalize their shoes to their former glory. I have also been featured in several publications and online platforms, showcasing my expertise and sharing valuable shoe cleaning tips. Beyond my professional achievements, I am passionate about providing practical advice and step-by-step guides that can empower shoe owners to take care of their footwear properly. My writing philosophy is centered around simplifying complex shoe cleaning processes, making them accessible to everyone, regardless of their experience level. When you explore, expect to find a wealth of information, from general shoe cleaning tips to specific advice for different shoe materials. I believe that maintaining clean and well-cared-for shoes not only enhances their appearance but also prolongs their lifespan, saving you money in the long run. I am delighted to be your go-to resource for all things shoe cleaning. Explore the site, discover helpful tips and tricks, and let me guide you on your shoe cleaning journey. Remember, a little care goes a long way! Thank you for visiting, and I look forward to helping you keep your shoes in pristine condition. Best regards, Nick Haden certified aromatherapist and cleaning expert