Can You Wash Shoe Laces In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Shoe Laces In The Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash shoe laces in the washing machine.

Shoelaces may seem like a small and insignificant part of your wardrobe, but they can accumulate dirt, grime, and odors over time. So, can you wash shoe laces in the washing machine? The answer is a definitive yes. Washing shoelaces in the washing machine is a simple and effective way to refresh them and keep your shoes looking their best.

In this article, we will guide you through the process, provide dos and don’ts, and explore alternative methods for cleaning your shoelaces.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Shoe Laces In The Washing Machine


  • Remove Shoelaces: Start by removing the shoelaces from your shoes. This ensures that the laces get a thorough cleaning and prevents any potential damage to your footwear during the washing process.
  • Brush Off Debris: Before tossing your shoelaces into the washing machine, use a spare toothbrush to gently brush off any stuck-on debris or dirt. This step helps in achieving a cleaner result and prevents particles from clogging your machine.
  • Use a Mesh Laundry Bag: Place the shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to keep them contained during the wash cycle. This prevents tangling and potential damage to the laces.
  • Regular Laundry Detergent: Use your regular laundry detergent to wash the shoelaces. There’s no need for any special cleaners.
  • Cold Water Wash: Opt for a cold water wash cycle to prevent shrinkage and color fading. Cold water is gentle on most fabrics and materials.
  • Air Dry: After washing, avoid using a dryer. Instead, hang the shoelaces to air dry. This ensures that the plastic tips on the laces, known as aglets, remain intact and that the laces maintain their shape.


  • Skip Removing Shoelaces: Never wash shoelaces while they are still attached to your shoes. This can damage both the laces and your footwear.
  • Don’t Use Hot Water: Hot water can cause the colors on your shoelaces to fade and may lead to shrinkage. Stick to cold water for the best results.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: There’s no need to use harsh chemicals or bleach when washing shoelaces. Stick to regular laundry detergent to prevent damage to the laces.
  • Don’t Use Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can leave residues on the shoelaces, affecting their texture and appearance. Avoid using them.
  • Avoid Dryer Use: Using a dryer can cause shrinkage and damage to the plastic aglets on your shoelaces. Always opt for air drying.

Steps to Wash Shoe Laces in the Washing Machine:

Now, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of washing your shoe laces in the washing machine:

Step 1

Lace Removal: Begin by removing the shoelaces from your shoes. This can typically be done by sliding the aglets (plastic tips) through the eyelets.

Step 2

Debris Removal: Use a spare toothbrush or a small brush to gently remove any dirt or debris stuck to the shoelaces. This step ensures a more effective cleaning process.

Step 3

Mesh Laundry Bag: Place the cleaned shoelaces inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This will keep them contained and prevent tangling during the wash cycle.

Step 4

Detergent: Add your regular laundry detergent to the washing machine as you would for a typical laundry load. There’s no need for any special cleaners.

Step 5

Cold Water Wash: Set your washing machine to a cold water wash cycle. Avoid using hot water to prevent shrinkage and color fading.

Step 6

Gentle Cycle: If your washing machine allows for cycle selection, opt for a gentle or delicate cycle. This minimizes the impact of the agitating motion on the shoelaces.

Step 7

Air Dry: Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the shoelaces from the mesh bag or pillowcase and hang them to air dry. Avoid using a dryer to prevent damage.

Alternative Washing Methods for Shoe Laces:

If you prefer not to use a washing machine, or if you need a quick cleaning solution, here are some alternative methods for cleaning your shoelaces:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a small amount of regular laundry detergent. Gently agitate the water to create suds, then submerge the shoelaces and use your hands to scrub them clean. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and air dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or isolated dirt spots on your shoelaces, you can use a cloth or sponge dampened with a mixture of water and mild detergent to spot clean the affected areas. Rinse with clean water and air dry.
  • Pre-Treat Stains: If your shoelaces have stubborn stains, pre-treat them by applying a small amount of laundry detergent directly to the stained area. Gently rub the fabric together to work in the detergent, then wash as usual.


Can I wash different colored shoelaces together?

Answer: It’s generally safe to wash shoelaces of different colors together, especially if you use cold water and follow proper washing techniques. However, if you’re concerned about color bleeding, you can wash them separately.

How often should I wash my shoelaces?

Answer: The frequency of washing depends on how frequently you wear your shoes and how dirty the shoelaces become. As a general guideline, consider washing them every few months or as needed.

Can I use a washing machine with an agitator?

Answer: While a front-loading washing machine is gentler on your shoelaces, you can use a top-loading machine with an agitator as long as you use a mesh laundry bag to protect the laces.

Are there any special detergents for shoelaces?

Answer: There’s no need for special detergents. Regular laundry detergent works perfectly for cleaning shoelaces.

Can I iron shoelaces to remove wrinkles?

Answer: It’s not recommended to iron shoelaces, as excessive heat can damage the material and plastic aglets. Instead, reshape them by gently pulling them straight and allowing them to air dry.

Final Words:

Washing your shoelaces in the washing machine is a simple and effective way to keep them clean, fresh, and ready to complement your favorite shoes. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your shoelaces maintain their integrity and appearance. Whether you choose the washing machine method or one of the alternative cleaning techniques, proper care of your shoelaces contributes to a well-groomed and stylish overall look. So, go ahead, give your shoelaces the attention they deserve, and step out with confidence in your clean and refreshed footwear.

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