Can You Wash Shoes In The Washer?

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Can You Wash Shoes In The Washer

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The answer to whether you can wash shoes in the washer is not a simple yes or no. It depends on the specific shoes and their care instructions.

Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  1. Read the Care Instructions: Before washing your shoes in the washer, check the care label or the manufacturer’s instructions. Some shoes may explicitly state whether they can be machine washed.
  2. Consider the Shoe Material: Shoes made of sturdy materials like canvas or synthetic materials are often safe to machine wash. However, delicate materials like leather or suede require special care and are generally not suitable for machine washing.
  3. Prep Your Shoes: Before washing, remove any dirt or debris from your shoes. You can use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean the exterior. Remove laces or any removable parts that could get damaged in the washer.
  4. Use a Gentle Cycle: If your shoes are suitable for machine washing, select a gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the shoes.
  5. Air Dry Thoroughly: After washing, allow your shoes to air dry completely. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can cause damage. Stuff the shoes with newspaper or paper towels to help them retain their shape.

It’s important to note that machine washing may not be suitable for all shoes. If you have expensive or delicate shoes, it’s best to consult a professional or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

Types of Shoes That Can Be Washed In the Washer

Sneakers/Canvas Shoes

Sneakers or canvas shoes are typically safe to wash in the washer, as long as you take the proper precautions. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Remove the laces: Take out the laces from your shoes before washing to prevent them from tangling or getting damaged.
  2. Remove loose dirt: Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any loose dirt or debris from the shoes, especially from the soles.
  3. Place the shoes in a laundry bag: To protect your shoes and the washer drum, it’s recommended to put your sneakers or canvas shoes in a laundry bag or pillowcase before washing.
  4. Choose a gentle cycle: Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine, along with cold water. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the shoes’ material.
  5. Air dry the shoes: After washing, let your shoes air dry completely. Avoid using a dryer or placing them directly in the sunlight, as this can cause shrinkage or discoloration.

Athletic Shoes

Many athletic shoes can also be safely washed in the washer. However, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s instructions or recommendations. Some athletic shoes, particularly those with certain materials or construction, may require hand washing instead.

If your athletic shoes can be washed in the washer, follow the same steps as mentioned for sneakers or canvas shoes.

Fabric/Cloth Shoes

Fabric or cloth shoes, such as espadrilles or slip-on shoes, can often be washed in the washer as well. However, certain types of fabric may be more delicate and require hand washing instead. Always check the care label or manufacturer’s instructions before washing fabric or cloth shoes in the washer.

Remember, it’s essential to take proper care of your shoes to ensure their longevity. Washing them in the washer can be a convenient method, but always follow the recommended guidelines to avoid damaging your shoes.

Steps to Safely Wash Shoes in the Washer

When it comes to washing shoes in the washer, it is important to follow the right steps to ensure that your shoes are cleaned effectively without causing any damage. Here are the essential steps to safely wash your shoes in the washer:

Preparation and Pre-treatment

  1. Remove any loose dirt: Before washing your shoes, make sure to remove any loose dirt or debris by gently brushing them or using a cloth.
  2. Check shoe material: Be sure to check the shoe’s label or manufacturer’s instructions to determine if it is safe to wash in the machine.
  3. Pre-treat stains: If your shoes have any stubborn stains, apply a small amount of stain remover or laundry detergent directly to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Choosing the Right Washing Machine Settings

  1. Use a mesh laundry bag: To protect your shoes from getting tossed around or damaged in the washer, place them inside a mesh laundry bag.
  2. Use a gentle cycle: Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine to minimize the agitation and prevent any unnecessary damage.
  3. Temperature: For most shoes, it is recommended to wash them in cold water to prevent any color fading or shrinkage.
  4. Avoid using bleach: Unless specifically mentioned on the shoe’s label, avoid using bleach as it can cause discoloration or damage to the material.

Drying and Post-treatment

  1. Air-dry: After washing, remove the shoes from the washer and allow them to air-dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Stuffing them with newspaper or using a shoe tree can help maintain their shape.
  2. Spot clean if necessary: If there are any remaining stains or spots, you can use a mild cleaner or stain remover to spot clean them.

By following these steps, you can safely wash your shoes in the washer and keep them looking clean and fresh. However, it is always recommended to check the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult a professional if you are unsure about washing specific types of shoes.

Shoes That Should Not Be Washed in the Washer

While it is generally safe to wash most types of shoes in the washer, there are certain types of shoes that should not be washed using this method. Here are two examples of shoes that should be cleaned using alternative methods:

Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are not typically suitable for machine washing. The washing machine can alter the texture and color of the leather, causing it to become stiff, faded, or damaged. Instead, it is recommended to clean leather shoes using a soft cloth or brush and a mild detergent specifically designed for leather. After cleaning, it is important to let the shoes air dry naturally and avoid exposing them to direct heat sources, as heat can also damage the leather.

Suede/Nubuck Shoes

Suede and nubuck shoes are also not suitable for machine washing. These types of shoes require a more delicate cleaning process to avoid damaging the delicate fibers. Instead, it is recommended to use a suede brush or suede eraser to gently remove dirt and stains. In some cases, a specialized suede cleaner may be required for more stubborn stains. It is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer and to avoid exposing suede or nubuck shoes to water, as it can cause permanent damage.

Conclusion: Key Points to Remember💭

In conclusion, washing shoes in the washer can be a convenient and effective way to clean them, but it’s essential to follow the proper steps and guidelines. Here are the key points to remember:

  1. Check the care label: Always refer to the care label on your shoes to determine if they are safe to wash in the washer. Some materials, like leather or suede, may not be suitable for machine washing.
  2. Remove laces and insoles: Before washing your shoes, remove the laces and insoles to prevent tangling and ensure a thorough clean.
  3. Use a delicate cycle: When washing shoes in the washer, opt for a delicate or gentle cycle to minimize damage to the shoes.
  4. Use a laundry bag or pillowcase: Place your shoes in a laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash cycle and prevent them from banging against the washer drum.
  5. Air dry: After washing, avoid using a dryer to dry your shoes, as the high heat can warp the materials. Instead, allow them to air dry naturally, preferably in a well-ventilated area.

Remember, not all shoes can be washed in the washer, so it’s essential to check the care label and follow any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. If in doubt, consider hand washing or spot cleaning your shoes instead.

By following these guidelines, you can keep your shoes clean and fresh while prolonging their lifespan. Happy washing!

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2 responses to “Can You Wash Shoes In The Washer?”

  1. Hollis Denny Avatar
    Hollis Denny

    hello there and thank you for your information. I have certainly learn something new from your article here.

    1. Thomas Nashman Avatar
      Thomas Nashman

      You are welcome.

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