How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine: A Comprehensive Guide

Washing shoes is a task that can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you want to do it right. It’s not just about getting rid of the dirt and grime on the surface. You also need to make sure that your shoes are cleaned thoroughly without damaging them. Fortunately, there is an easy and convenient way to do this – by washing them in a washing machine. However, this raises a question: Can you really wash shoes in a washing machine? The answer is yes, but you need to know the right way to do it. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to wash your shoes in a washing machine, step-by-step. By following these simple instructions, you’ll be able to clean your shoes properly without damaging them and keep them looking great for longer.

Why Should You Consider Washing Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Washing shoes in the washing machine might seem like an unconventional way to clean your footwear, but it can actually provide numerous benefits. First and foremost, it is a convenient and time-saving method that requires minimal effort on your part. Instead of spending hours scrubbing away at stubborn stains or dirt marks, you can simply toss your shoes into the washing machine and let the appliance do the work for you.

In addition, using a washing machine to clean your shoes can be more effective than other methods, particularly if your shoes are made from materials that are difficult to clean by hand. The agitation and water pressure provided by the washing machine can help to loosen dirt and grime from even the most hard-to-reach crevices, leaving your shoes looking fresh and new once again.

Moreover, washing your shoes in the washing machine can also extend their lifespan and improve their overall quality. Regular cleaning and maintenance are key components of proper shoe care, and using a washing machine can help prevent the buildup of dirt and debris that can cause damage over time. By keeping your shoes clean and well-maintained, you can ensure they last for years to come.

However, it’s important to note that not all shoes are suitable for machine washing. Before tossing your favorite pair into the machine, make sure to double-check the materials and care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some materials, such as leather or suede, may require specialized care or treatment that cannot be achieved through machine washing alone.

Overall, washing shoes in the washing machine can be a convenient and effective way to keep your footwear looking great and lasting longer. Whether you’re an athlete looking to clean your sneakers after a tough workout or a busy parent trying to keep your kids’ shoes in pristine condition, this method can save you time and effort while providing excellent results.

Steps to Follow to Clean Your Shoes in the Washing Machine


Before you toss your shoes into the washing machine, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure they come out looking their best. Proper preparation will help prevent damage and ensure that your shoes get as clean as possible. Here’s what you need to do:

Remove Laces

The first step is to remove the laces from your shoes. This will help prevent them from getting tangled or damaged in the washing machine. You can either wash them separately by hand or add them to the washing machine in a delicates bag.

Remove Insoles

Next, remove the insoles from your shoes. Not only will this help them dry faster, but it will also give you a chance to clean them separately if needed. Insoles can often get smelly and dirty over time, so it’s a good idea to give them a quick scrub before putting them back in your shoes.

Brush off Debris

Before you put your shoes in the washing machine, take a few minutes to brush off any dirt, mud, or debris that may be stuck to them. This will prevent the debris from getting trapped in the washing machine and damaging your shoes or the machine. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any loose dirt or debris.

By following these simple preparation steps, you can ensure that your shoes come out of the washing machine looking clean and fresh. Plus, taking care of your shoes in this way can help prolong their lifespan and keep them looking their best for longer.

Choose the Right Settings for your Washing Machine

When it comes to washing your shoes in a washing machine, it’s crucial to choose the right settings to avoid any damage to your footwear. Here are some tips on how to select the appropriate washing machine settings for cleaning your shoes:

1. Gentle Cycle
Most modern washing machines have a gentle cycle that is specifically designed for delicate fabrics and sensitive items such as shoes. This cycle uses slower spin speeds and less agitation, which can help prevent damage to your shoes while still effectively removing dirt and stains.

2. Cold Water
Using cold water instead of hot water is another key factor when washing your shoes in a washing machine. Hot water can cause the glue that holds your shoes together to weaken or melt, causing irreparable damage. On the other hand, cold water is much gentler and will not shrink or damage the fabric of your shoes.

3. Delicates Bag
A delicates bag is a small mesh bag that you can place your shoes in before putting them in the washing machine. The bag protects your shoes from rubbing against other items in the wash, which can cause scuffs or scratches. It also prevents any small parts of your shoes, such as laces or buckles, from getting tangled around the agitator or caught in the drain pump.

In summary, when washing your shoes in a washing machine, it’s essential to use gentle cycle settings, cold water, and a delicates bag to prevent any damage. By following these guidelines, you can effectively clean your shoes without compromising their quality or longevity.

Select the Right Detergent and Additives

When it comes to washing shoes in a washing machine, selecting the right detergent and additives is crucial. Using the wrong products can cause damage to your shoes or result in an incomplete cleaning job. Here are some tips on choosing the right detergent and additives for your shoe cleaning needs.


Selecting the right detergent is important if you want your shoes to come out clean and fresh. Regular laundry detergents can be too harsh for some materials, such as delicate or specialty fabrics. When washing shoes, it’s best to use a mild detergent that’s suitable for delicate fabrics. Look for detergents that are labeled “gentle” or “delicate.” These types of detergents are formulated to remove dirt and stains without damaging the fabric.


Adding some extras to your wash can help to enhance the cleaning power of your detergent. Here are two popular additives:

  • Vinegar: Adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle can help to remove odors and eliminate bacteria. Vinegar is also a natural fabric softener, so it can leave your shoes feeling softer and fresher.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda is a natural cleaner and deodorizer. It can help to remove tough stains and odors from your shoes. Add a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle along with your detergent for an extra cleaning boost.

Remember, it’s best to avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals when washing shoes. These products can damage the fabric and cause discoloration.

In conclusion, choosing the right detergent and additives is essential for proper shoe care. By using a gentle detergent and adding vinegar or baking soda to your wash, you can keep your shoes looking and smelling great.

Washing Your Shoes

Washing Your Shoes

When it comes to cleaning your shoes, the washing machine can be a lifesaver. However, you need to follow the right steps and use the appropriate products to ensure that your shoes come out looking great without any damage.

First of all, before putting your shoes in the washing machine, prepare them by removing laces and insoles. This will ensure that they get cleaned thoroughly. Brush off any debris or dirt from the exterior of the shoes before putting them in the machine.

Next, choose the right settings for your washing machine. Set it to the gentle cycle and use cold water. Consider using a delicates bag to protect your shoes during the wash cycle. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener as they can damage the shoes.

Select the right detergent and additives for your shoes. You can use regular laundry detergent or opt for shoe-specific cleaning products. If your shoes are heavily soiled, consider adding vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle for extra cleaning power.

Once you’ve added the shoes to the washing machine, start the cycle. Keep an eye on the cycle and stop it if your shoes start making loud noises. This could indicate that they are not getting cleaned properly or that they are being damaged.

After the washing cycle is complete, let your shoes air dry. Avoid using heat sources such as the dryer or direct sunlight as these can warp or shrink the materials. Stuff the shoes with newspaper or towels to help them keep their shape while drying.

In conclusion, washing your shoes in a washing machine can be a convenient way to keep them clean. However, be sure to follow the right steps and use the appropriate products to avoid damaging your shoes. With proper care, your shoes can look great and last for years.

How to Dry Your Shoes after Washing

After washing your shoes in the washing machine, it is important to dry them properly to prevent any damage or mold growth. Here are some tips on how to dry your shoes after washing:

Air Dry Your Shoes

The best way to dry your shoes is to let them air dry naturally. Start by removing any excess water with a towel or cloth. Then, stuff your shoes with paper towels or newspaper to help absorb the moisture and maintain their shape. Finally, place your shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry completely. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near a heat source, as this can cause them to warp or shrink.

Use a Fan to Speed Up Drying Time

If you’re in a hurry and need to dry your shoes quickly, you can use a fan to speed up the drying time. Position a fan near your shoes and turn it on low. Be sure to move your shoes around occasionally to ensure that all parts of the shoes are exposed to the airflow.

Avoid Using a Clothes Dryer

While it may be tempting to toss your shoes into the dryer to speed up the drying process, it’s not recommended. The heat from the dryer can cause damage to the shoes and even cause them to shrink or warp. Plus, the tumbling motion of the dryer can damage the shoes’ structure.

Don’t Forget About Wet Insoles

In addition to your shoes, it’s important to dry wet insoles as well. Remove the insoles from your shoes and dry them separately. You can air dry them or use a fan to speed up the process. Once they’re completely dry, reinsert them into your shoes.

By following these tips, you can safely and effectively dry your shoes after washing. Remember, proper shoe care is essential for prolonging the life of your shoes and keeping them looking great.

Tips for Keeping Your Shoes Clean and Well Maintained

Clean Your Shoes Regularly

Regular cleaning is a crucial aspect of shoe care that is often overlooked. It not only keeps your shoes looking good but also extends their lifespan. With regular cleaning, you can prevent dirt and grime from accumulating on the surface, causing discoloration, and damaging the materials.

So how often should you clean your shoes? The answer depends on the type of shoes and how frequently you wear them. For example, if you wear your sneakers every day, you may need to clean them once or twice a week. On the other hand, if you wear dress shoes infrequently, you may only need to clean them once a month.

To clean your shoes, start by removing any loose dirt or debris using a soft-bristled brush. Then, depending on the type of shoes, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the surface. Be sure to avoid using too much water, which can damage certain materials like leather or suede.

For more stubborn stains, you may need to use specific cleaning products or techniques. Always read the labels carefully and test a small area first to ensure that the product does not cause discoloration or damage.

In addition to regular cleaning, there are some simple preventive measures you can take to keep your shoes looking great for longer. For example, using shoe trees can help maintain the shape of your shoes and prevent creasing, while waterproofing sprays can protect them from moisture and stains.

By following these tips for regular shoe cleaning and maintenance, you can keep your footwear looking its best and extend its lifespan. So make a habit of cleaning your shoes regularly, and you’ll be rewarded with shoes that look as good as new for years to come!

Store Your Shoes Properly

Proper shoe storage is an essential component of your footwear’s longevity and maintenance. With the right technique, you can keep your shoes looking new for a long time. Here are some tips on how to store your shoes properly.

First and foremost, make sure your shoes are clean and dry before storing them. Moisture can damage the material, causing discoloration and odor. Therefore, it is imperative to air dry your shoes thoroughly before putting them in storage.

Next, consider the storage location. A well-ventilated area is crucial for keeping your shoes in good condition. Avoid storing your shoes in damp or humid areas like basements or attics. Instead, keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You may also use shoe racks or shelves to maximize space utilization and maintain organization.

For those with limited space, consider investing in clear plastic containers with lids. They are an excellent option for storing shoes as they protect them from dust and vermin while allowing easy visibility. Additionally, they come in different sizes, making them ideal for varying shoe types. However, avoid using regular plastic bags as they trap moisture, resulting in a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

Lastly, remember to store your shoes in pairs and avoid stacking them on top of each other. Stacking can cause creases, damage the structure, and deform the shape of the shoe. If possible, stuff your shoes with tissue paper to help them maintain their original shape.

In conclusion, storing your shoes properly is critical to maintaining their lifespan and keeping them looking new. Follow these simple tips to ensure that your shoes remain in good condition for as long as possible.

Use Protective Products

Protecting your shoes from the elements can go a long way in preserving their appearance and extending their lifespan. One of the best ways to provide this protection is by using protective products such as waterproofing sprays and leather conditioners.

Waterproofing sprays are designed to create a barrier that prevents water from seeping into your shoes, which can cause damage and discoloration. These sprays are particularly useful for shoes made of materials that are prone to staining or water damage, such as suede or canvas. To use a waterproofing spray, simply apply it evenly to your shoes and allow it to dry completely before wearing them.

Leather conditioners, on the other hand, are specifically formulated to nourish and protect leather shoes. By moisturizing the leather, these conditioners help prevent cracking and drying out, which can lead to a dull and worn-out appearance. To use a leather conditioner, apply a small amount to a soft cloth and rub it gently onto your shoes. Allow it to absorb fully before buffing away any excess with a clean cloth.

When choosing protective products, make sure to read the instructions carefully and choose a product that is appropriate for your shoes’ material. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to test any product on a small, inconspicuous area of your shoes before applying it more broadly.

By using protective products, you can keep your shoes looking great and extend their lifespan. So whether you’re facing rainy weather or just want to keep your favorite pair of shoes in top condition, consider investing in some quality waterproofing sprays and leather conditioners.
In conclusion, washing your shoes in the washing machine can be a great way to keep them clean and looking their best. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your shoes are properly cleaned without causing any damage. Remember to always choose the right settings for your washing machine, select the appropriate detergent and additives, and dry your shoes properly after washing. By taking these simple steps, you can extend the life of your shoes and keep them looking like new for years to come. So don’t hesitate to try washing your shoes in the washing machine – it might just be the best decision you’ve ever made for your footwear!

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