How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine: A Step-By-Step Guide

You can’t rock a killer look if your shoes are looking miserable. But how can you rejuvenate them without causing permanent damage? 

In this article, I’ll share my foolproof method on how to wash shoes in washing machine. Let’s see!

Step 1: Scrub Your Shoes

If your shoes are extremely soiled, it’s better to quickly scrub them with an old toothbrush and soapy water before you put them in the washing machine. 

Pay special attention to the soles, and try to reach as deep as you can inside the small indents. You should also remove your laces to wipe the areas around the eyelets.

Step 2: Remove the Insoles

Generally speaking, insoles shouldn’t be placed in the washing machine. Since they’re often built from foam, they’ll soak up a high amount of water, which will need days to dry completely. Even worse, distending the foam with water might ruin its structure, affecting its ability to absorb your stride force. 

Personally, I like to wipe my insoles with a cloth dampened with soapy water. If any odor lingers, you can sprinkle some baking soda on the insoles and let them sit overnight. 

That said, if the care instructions approve of machine washing, don’t waste your time with the manual method. But you still have to remove the insoles from the shoes in order to guarantee a deep clean.

Step 3: Use a Mesh Garment Bag

Place your shoes, laces, and insoles (if applicable) in a large mesh laundry bag. This bag will prevent the laces from getting tangled in the internal parts of the washing machine, and it’ll also keep your shoes close together, so they wouldn’t bang around as the cycle runs. 

If you don’t have a mesh bag, you can use an old pillowcase. But try to pick one that has a light fabric, and make sure to tie the top before carrying on with the following steps. 

Step 4: Add Some Padding (Optional)

Throw 4–6 towels together with your shoes before starting the cycle. These towels will balance the load, preventing that ugly banging. If you have pets or young kids in the house, you might want to put even more towels because that sound can be terrifying. 

Step 5: Pick a Suitable Detergent and Run a Cold Cycle 

You can use any detergent you like. I prefer liquid products because the powder particles can get stuck in the tiniest bits of the shoes. Also, steer clear of fabric softeners and stain removers because they might damage the shoes’ fabric. 

Similarly, I don’t recommend washing your shoes with hot water because the heat might melt or crack the glue holding your shoes together. Use a cold cycle with an extra rinse and slow spin. 

Step 6: Let Them Air Dry 

Place your shoes in a well-ventilated area and let them sit until they completely dry up. You can also fill your shoes with clean rags or paper towels to suck the moisture from inside. Never use a tumble dryer because the heat might warp the shoes permanently. 

Final Thoughts

Before wearing your shoes again, consider coating them with a stain repellent, such as Reshoevn8r. This will form a protective layer at the surface, which should keep your shoes looking fresh for a longer time.

Later!