Can You Wash On Shoes In Washer?



Can You Wash On Shoes In Washer

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Yes, you can wash shoes in a washing machine, but it depends on the type of shoes. Shoes made of canvas, nylon, cotton, and polyester can safely be washed in a washing machine. However, shoes made with leather, suede, rubber, or vinyl should not be placed in the washer. If your shoes are made of delicate material (like silk) or feature beading, embroidery, sequins, or other embellishments, take them to a shoe repair and cleaning specialist to avoid damaging them.

Have you ever found yourself staring at your dirty, grimy shoes and wondering how on earth you’re going to clean them? If you’re like most people, you might be hesitant to throw them in the washer, fearing that it could damage them beyond repair.

But fear not, because today we’re going to answer the age-old question: can you wash your shoes in the washer? If you’re tired of scrubbing your shoes by hand or spending money on professional cleaning services, washing your shoes in the washer can be a game-changer.

But before you throw them in and press start, there are a few things you need to know to ensure that your shoes come out clean and undamaged. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of washing your shoes in the washer, including how to prepare them, what cycle and detergent to use, and how to dry them properly.

So, let’s dive in and get your shoes looking as good as new!

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Shoes In Washer


  • Check the care label: Always begin by checking the care label inside your shoes. Manufacturers often provide specific instructions on how to clean and care for their footwear. This is your first step in determining whether machine washing is safe.
  • Remove laces and insoles: Before tossing your shoes in the washer, remove the laces and insoles. These can be washed separately by hand or in the machine, depending on the material and care instructions.
  • Use a laundry bag: To protect your shoes during the washing cycle, place them in a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase. This prevents them from getting tangled with other items and reduces the risk of damage.
  • Choose the right cycle and temperature: Opt for a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water. High heat can cause some materials to warp or shrink, so it’s best to play it safe with cold water.
  • Add a gentle detergent: Use a mild detergent, preferably one specifically designed for delicates. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the shoe material.
  • Balance the load: When washing your shoes, make sure to balance the load by adding a few towels or other soft items. This prevents your shoes from thumping around too much inside the machine.
  • Air dry: After the wash cycle is complete, resist the urge to use a dryer. Instead, allow your shoes to air dry naturally. Stuff them with newspaper to help them retain their shape as they dry.


  • Don’t wash leather, suede, rubber, or vinyl shoes: Shoes made of these materials are not suitable for machine washing. Leather and suede can be damaged by water and lose their shape, while rubber and vinyl may deteriorate in the washer.
  • Don’t use hot water: Hot water can cause many shoe materials to shrink or become misshapen. Stick with cold water to be safe.
  • Don’t overload the washer: Avoid washing too many pairs of shoes at once. Overloading the washer can lead to uneven cleaning and potentially damage your shoes.
  • Don’t forget to remove loose dirt: Before machine washing, take a moment to brush off loose dirt and debris from your shoes. This prevents the washer from becoming excessively dirty and helps maintain the cleanliness of your shoes.
  • Don’t use too much detergent: Using an excessive amount of detergent can leave a soapy residue on your shoes that is difficult to rinse off.

Checking the Care Label on Your Shoes

Before tossing your kicks in the machine, make sure to check the label on your footwear for any specific care instructions. This is important because different materials require different cleaning methods, and throwing them all in together could result in damage or discoloration.

Take a few minutes to examine the label and look for any symbols or words that indicate whether machine washing is safe or not. If the label says ‘hand wash only’ or ‘dry clean only,’ it’s best to avoid the washing machine altogether. However, if the label is silent on the matter or says ‘machine washable,’ you can proceed with caution.

Just remember to remove any laces or inserts, use a gentle cycle, and air dry afterwards. By taking the time to check your care label, you can ensure that your shoes stay in great condition and continue to look and feel their best.

Preparing Your Shoes for the Washer

Preparing your kicks for the washing machine can help extend their lifespan by up to 50%. Before you throw them in, make sure to remove any excess dirt or debris using a soft-bristled brush or cloth.

Take out the laces and any removable insoles as well. If your shoes are made of delicate materials like leather or suede, consider using a specialized cleaner for those fabrics.

Finally, double-check the care label to make sure your shoes are safe to wash in the machine, and choose a gentle cycle with cold water. By taking these steps, you can ensure your shoes come out clean and in good condition, ready for your next adventure.

Selecting the Right Cycle and Detergent

To ensure your kicks come out clean and fresh, it’s important to choose the right cycle and detergent for the task at hand.

First, check the care label on your shoes to see if there are any specific instructions or recommendations. If not, choose a gentle cycle and cold water to avoid any potential damage to the material or colors.

In terms of detergent, opt for a mild and fragrance-free option to prevent any potential irritation or discoloration. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as they can be harsh on the shoes and affect their overall appearance.

With the right cycle and detergent, your shoes will be ready to hit the streets once again, feeling and smelling as good as new.

Drying Your Shoes after Washing

Now that your kicks have been cleaned, it’s time to give them the finishing touch that will make them feel brand new. Pop them in the dryer on a low heat setting with a few dry towels to absorb moisture and fluff them up.

Make sure to remove any excess water from the shoes before placing them in the dryer, as this will help speed up the drying process. Avoid using high heat or leaving them in the dryer for too long, as this can damage the shoes.

Once they’re dry, give them a quick inspection to make sure they’re in good condition and ready to wear. With these simple steps, you can keep your shoes looking and feeling fresh, giving you the freedom to step out with confidence.

Alternatives to Washing Your Shoes in the Washer

Looking for ways to keep your kicks clean without resorting to the washing machine? Check out these alternatives!

First, try spot cleaning with a damp cloth and gentle soap. This can be especially effective for removing small stains and dirt marks.

If your shoes have an odor, sprinkle baking soda inside and let it sit overnight before shaking it out.

Another option is to use a shoe cleaning kit, which often includes a specialized cleaning solution and brush.

And don’t forget about preventative measures, such as using a protective spray or avoiding wearing your shoes in muddy or dirty environments.

By utilizing these alternatives, you can keep your shoes looking fresh without having to risk potential damage in the washing machine.


Is It Safe To Wash Shoes In a Washing Machine?

Answer: Yes, it is generally safe to wash shoes in a washing machine. However, it is important to check the care label on your shoes and use a gentle cycle with cold water. Remove any laces or inserts and place them in a mesh laundry bag to prevent damage. Allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Can You Wash Tennis Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Yes, you can wash tennis shoes in the washing machine, but there are precautions you should take to avoid damaging them.


So, can you wash your shoes in the washer? The answer is yes, but with proper care and caution.

It’s important to check the care label on your shoes to determine if they’re washable and to avoid damaging them. Once you’ve confirmed that your shoes are safe to wash, you can prepare them for the washer by removing laces and any excess dirt or debris.

When selecting the right cycle and detergent, be sure to choose a gentle option to avoid any damage to your shoes. Additionally, it’s important to dry your shoes properly to avoid any misshaping or shrinking.

One interesting statistic to note is that according to a survey conducted by Clorox, 72% of Americans don’t wash their shoes regularly, which can lead to the buildup of bacteria and unpleasant odors.

By following these guidelines and taking the time to properly care for your shoes, you can ensure they stay clean and fresh for longer. Remember, washing your shoes in the washer is just one option – there are also alternatives such as spot cleaning or using a shoe cleaner.

With a little bit of effort and attention, you can keep your shoes looking and smelling great for years to come.

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