Washing Tips

How to wash shoes in a washing machine – A complete guide

Everyone aspires to have flawless personal style from head to toe. Nowadays, individuals make shoe contact before making eye contact, much like how a man is appraised by his watch. Everyone needs shoes, and nice shoes will get you there. Shoes are a basic need.

man with brown shoes
Image by Vipkoala on Pinterest

You ought to know how to wash shoes properly in a washing machine. Shoes call for people to clean them daily since they cannot speak otherwise. However, there are many intriguing hidden stories about dirty shoes concealed by their state.


However, if individuals leave their muddy shoes at home, they are welcomed wherever. Because white sole shoes are more likely to get filthy quickly and have a shorter lifespan, I suspect that shoe manufacturers are pushing them. Shoes no longer have to be challenging to keep clean.

How can I figure out if I can wash my shoes in the washer?

Make sure your shoes can be machine washed before you put them in the washer. Most of it will rely on the materials they are composed of. For instance, shoes manufactured from delicate materials like satin or silk shouldn’t be washed in a washing machine because a washer cycle can damage their material.


The same goes for animal-based fabrics like leather and suede. Instead, these should be sent to a professional shoe cleaner or cleaned with products created especially for these materials.

Dirty white shoes
Image by Philip Justin Mamelic on Pexels

Check the care label on your shoes; if it suggests hand washing them, it implies you can’t put them in the washing machine. However, it might be okay for you to wash them gently using a hand washing procedure.


Most sneakers and shoes are generally manufactured from cotton, nylon, and polyester, which are machine-washable. Some PU or PVC shoes might also hold up to machine washing.

What should you understand and carry out before cleaning shoes?

It would be best if you first cleaned the washing machine using True Fresh Washing Machine Cleaner. An innovative, all-natural cleaning product is called True Fresh.

Washing Machine cleaner 15 Tablets

Steps to wash shoes in the washing machine:

There are a few easy steps to follow while cleaning your shoes. Follow them for a quick, painless cleaning method that won’t harm your shoes.

1. Take off shoelaces:

To avoid the laces becoming knotted inside the washing machine, first remove them before placing the shoes in the machine.


If you want to launder the shoelaces in the washing machine, place them in a mesh garment bag with a zipper or secure closure. You can substitute a pillowcase if there isn’t a mesh clothing bag. Thus, the laces won’t be able to encircle the machine’s operating parts.

2. Shoelace cleaning:

Instead of placing your laces in the washing machine, you should clean them by hand with an old toothbrush.

To achieve this,

  • Place one tablespoon of detergent and a half tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl.
  • Mix them with water, then soak your laces for half an hour.
  • Next, carefully scrub the shoelaces with a clean brush to restore their dazzling white appearance. However, if your shoelaces are made of leather, avoid using brushes.
  • Use a powerful cleaning solution if your shoelaces are dirty or yellow.
  • Rather than soaking your shoelaces for 30 minutes, add a bleach solution to warm water and soak them for 5 to 10 minutes.

If you want to keep your colorful shoelaces from fading or becoming discolored, avoid using a bleaching solution on them. Using bleaching powder while washing shoelaces in the sink with your hands will irritate your skin, so avoid doing this.

High quantities could even cause your hands to burn. Gloves are another alternative to avoid direct contact.

3. Insole cleaning:

To protect them from deterioration, you should also wash the insoles of your shoes separately since they will take 3 to 4 days to dry after being washed in a washing machine and become soggy.

Therefore, it is preferable to hand-wash your insoles with mild detergent. First, gently clean the insoles with soapy water and a soft toothbrush or nylon brush. To absorb the excess water, you might alternatively use a gentle sponge..

Then, to make the insoles odorless, put them in a 1/2 tablespoon “baking soda” solution and let them sit overnight. In the morning, dry them, and put your insoles back into the shoes once your shoes are dried. After your shoes have dried, dry them in the morning and replace the insoles.

The best course of action is to remove your insoles from your shoes each night and sprinkle them with warm water and vinegar.

After that, let them dry naturally for the next day. A hairdryer is an additional option. Some folks use baking soda or pet odor remover to eliminate odors from their insoles and destroy bacteria.

4. Pre-Cleaning the Shoes:

Remove as much visible and extra dirt and debris as possible using a toothbrush or brush cleaner before putting the shoes in the washing machine. Since it is difficult to remove dirt from confined spaces, you can use toothpicks to do it.

Shoes that have scuff marks can have them removed with the help of a soft brush or towel. First, rub the detergent on the scuff, and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.

Scrubbing the scuffs vigorously will ruin your shoes, so avoid doing it. Finally, grab your shoes from a bathtub and wet the soles.

5. Placing the Shoes in the Washer:

After that, place shoes in the washing machine for 40 to 45 minutes with one cap of a suitable detergent. Depending on the caliber of your washing machine, the washing time may change. Using liquid detergent is more effective than powdered detergent because it can stay in shoes if it doesn’t dissolve properly.

Placing the Shoes in the Washer
Image by Umaida Kamalova on Unsplash

Never use fabric softener since it leaves residues on your shoes, making them more prone to attracting dirt. If necessary, you can also use a disinfectant to prevent fungal infections, such as “athlete’s foot.” Add a disinfectant (pine oil disinfectant) at the beginning of the machine cycle. Create a disinfectant with warm water and 80% pine oil to make it effective.

Add a few old towels (approximately three to four) to the washing machine with the shoes to balance the load and prevent your shoes from noisily banging against the inner edges of the washer. Older towels are preferred since newer towels can absorb the excess dye, potentially staining your shoes.

6. Setting the Machine Cycle:

Set the “slow” or “no spin” option on your washing machine. Additionally, avoid using hot water on your shoes because it can harm their substance.

Warm water can also fade or harm the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU) coating of shoes (synthetic leather) since these materials have a short lifespan and are significantly less durable.

7. Shoes drying:

You can utilize the extra spin cycle option after the washing cycle is finished to help get rid of any soapy residue. Afterwards, take your shoes and laces out of the dryer and let them air dry or in the sun.

To preserve the shape of your shoes, you can also use a towel or piece of paper to absorb the extra water. Keep your shoes in a location with more sunlight so the drying process is quicker.


Additionally, choose to air dry your shoes rather than using a dryer. The heat from the dryer could harm your shoes and melt the glue holding them together. As a result, you run the risk of breaking your shoes. In addition, some textiles or materials may shrink due to the dryer’s high temperature.

8. Using a Dryer for Drying:

You can use a dryer to dry your shoes if you are in an area without sunlight. However, your shoes should wrap in a cloth or old towel to help protect them rather than being placed directly in the dryer.


Carefully adjust the “air fluff setting” on your dryer. Each time you stop the cycle, examine the state of your shoes to ensure they are safe from the warm, turbulent air.

Shoes drying
Photo by Taryan Elliot on Pexels

9. Putting the Shoes' accessories properly:

Take your shoelaces and insoles and put them in your shoes once everything has dried. The laces should be appropriately adjusted, so they are neither too tight nor too loose. Then, all left for you is to “enjoy your brand-new sneakers again.”


To sum up, washing your dirty shoes in the washing machine is straightforward. Follow the method mentioned above to clean your shoes after determining the sole material. The drying of shoes should be done by using sunlight. However, you can use a dryer to dry your shoes if sunlight is unavailable.

Frequenty Asked Questions

The following are some of the most typical queries concerning how to wash shoes in a washing machine:

Q: If my shoes are damp, can I wash them in the machine?​

A: Indeed, you can. Just be careful not to let the water get too hot because it can ruin your shoes.

Q: Which cycle would be best?​

A: Make sure to use cold water and the delicate cycle. It will assist in preventing damage to your shoes.

Q: What amount of detergent should I use?​

A: Use a modest amount of detergent, but not too much. Avoid letting the shoes get overly soapy.

Q: How long do my shoes need to air dry?​

A: You should give them at least 24 hours to air dry. Avoid drying them in the dryer because doing so might cause damage.