How to Wash Shoes in your Washing Machine

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Are you one of those people who believes that a washing machine is only for washing clothes, while you have to scrub all your canvas shoes yourself? Well, many do not know that canvas shoes can be washed very easily in a washing machine. You not only get striking results, but also save a lot of effort and time. But, there are some tricks to wash shoes in a washing machine properly. Here are some tips and tricks discussed.

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Sneakers or canvas shoes in a lighter color get dirty quite often. Luckily, these are quite easy to clean. There are certain tricks to remove the dirty smell coming off from old sneakers as well.

What you will Need:

  • Liquid detergent
  • Dirty sneakers
  • Washing machine
  • Wash bag or an old pillow cover
  • Sneaker brush cleaner
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Towels


  • You need to sprinkle your sneakers with 3 tablespoons of baking soda and leave them overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the laces and put the shoes in a pillow cover to prevent them from getting entangled. Place the shoes in the washer. Also place the laces in a separate wash bag and place them in the washing machine. Sometimes, if only your laces are dirty, you can remove them and put them in a wash bag and inside a washer to clean them.
  • If your shoes have removable insoles, it is advisable to remove them and clean them separately outside the washer and place only your shoes inside. If you put them along with the insoles, water or detergent may get clogged inside them. To clean the insoles separately, use some baking soda and let them soak in the soda for some time. Next, you can use a soft brush and gently clean the insoles with a liquid detergent and them let them air dry.
  • Wipe off excess mud or debris with a brush cleaner or an old toothbrush.
  • Add the shoes in your washing machine, along with some towels, approximately 4 to 6. Towels will prevent your shoes from slamming loudly against the inside of the washer.
  • Use liquid detergent and run your washer on a cold delicate cycle. The wash time varies from  35 to 40 minutes, depending upon the washer. You can even put your washer on a low or no-spin cycle if you do not want them to bang against the sides of your washer machine.
  • Remove the sneakers and let them air dry. Never put your sneakers in a dryer as they may warp or the glue that sticks the sole may melt.

Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • Baking soda acts as a deodorizer that removes all dirty smell from your shoes. Adding it a night before will allow the baking soda to work its way throughout the night.
  • Place your shoes in a wash bag. Also, remove the laces and place them separately in a wash bag. Doing so will prevent them from getting entangled with each other or other clothes.
  • Use liquid detergent instead of powder. Powder detergent may get stuck inside your sneakers.
  • Use a brush cleaner before placing your shoes inside the washer. This will remove all the big chunks of debris that may have got stuck to your shoes.
  • Never put leather or dress shoes inside a machine.
  • Do not put your suede shoes as well.
  • You cannot clean rubber or wellies inside a washer.

Which Shoes are Machine Washable?

How to Wash Shoes in your Washing Machine -10minutesformom

Before you get set to dump all your dirty shoes into your washing machine, you must know that not all shoes are machine washable. You can check your shoe’s care and cleaning instructions to know more. Mostly, canvas and athletic shoes made from nylon, cotton, and mesh are safe to wash in a washing machine. These materials do not get damaged by laundry detergent or by the vigorous cleaning cycle inside a machine. You cannot wash shoes made from suede, rubber, vinyl or leather in a washing machine. Some shoes made from delicate material like silk, embroidery, feature beading or even sequins cannot be washed in a washing machine. You should take them to a repair shop and get them cleaned by professionals only.

So, follow the above instructions to clean your shoes properly in a washing machine. Canvas or sports shoes can be very costly. It is necessary that you take proper care to clean them and keep them absolutely clean and stain-free.