How to wash shoes in the washing machine? Here’s what to keep in mind!

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How to wash shoes in the washing machine? Here’s what to keep in mind!

Washing shoes in a washing machine carries the risk of damage, both to the shoes and the machine. If we follow a few rules, we can do it safely and effectively!

Not every type of footwear is suitable for machine washing. Mesh sports shoes, sneakers or rag ballerinas can be put into the drum without any fear. You can’t wash shoes like patent leather, suede, stilettos or trekking shoes in a washing machine.

How to wash shoes in a washing machine?

The first step is to consider whether it is worth the risk of washing your shoes in a washing machine. It is possible that the sole will crack, the shoes will deform or the color will fade. Before the first washing, we can never be sure about the final effect. Especially that almost all shoe producers precautionarily indicate that shoes should not be washed in a washing machine.

Before putting shoes in the washing machine drum, they should be pre-cleaned. First of all, remove large dirt – dried mud, twigs and stones. It is also worth taking out the insoles and pulling out the laces. The next step is to place each shoe separately in a special bag for washing. Such bags are made of thin mesh. You can buy them at any drugstore.

In the drum of the washing machine, we can place only the shoes or add a large fabric. An old towel or a blanket/quilt, which we want to wash by the way, will work well. The fabric will protect the washing machine drum against the bouncing shoes.

Put the shoes in the washing machine on a program with the maximum temperature of 40°C. We should also choose a program with low rotations – not more than 500/min. You may also choose the program for delicate clothes. Do not add softener to shoe wash.

How to wash white shoes?

By washing white shoes in a washing machine we can restore their full whiteness. To get the effect of new shoes, it is necessary to add a magic ingredient to washing – baking soda. By adding 3 tablespoons of baking soda to the washing powder, you will intensify the whitening effect

It is imperative to wash white shoes with white powder/liquid. The use of bleach is not recommended. Remember that white sneakers, for example, apart from the material part, have quite a large rubber sole. In contact with bleach, the rubber will unsightly yellow.

To restore the rubber sole to its original white, you can use acetone, a magic sponge, toothpaste or grey soap. However, remember to take care of white shoes on a regular basis. Dirty, old stains are much more difficult to remove.

How to wash sports shoes in a washing machine?

Washing sports shoes in a washing machine looks similar. The most important thing is to take out the laces and insoles and wash them at the lowest possible temperature. It is not recommended to wash shoes with Velcro or zippers. After washing, this type of closure may refuse to work

Drying shoes is an important step. To prevent deformation of sports shoes, it is advisable to straighten them by hand after washing and lay them out for drying in an airy place. Drying shoes directly in the sun may lead to their destruction – unglued, faded and deformed. If your shoes have bent badly during washing, you can stuff them with crumpled newspapers for a few hours. After a night’s sleep, pull the newspapers back in and let the shoes fully dry.

How to wash shoes – summary

The safest option is to wash shoes by hand – in a bowl, using a soft brush. Then we have full control over the cleaning process and we minimize the risk of damage. However, if we want to wash shoes in a washing machine, we should follow several rules: put shoes in separate nets, wash at low temperature and avoid strong spinning.

Main photo: Mitchel Lensink/

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