How To Wash Shoes in The Washing Machine

Ocean Appliance
November 3, 2022
Washer Repair

Washing your dirty shoes in the washing machine is a great way to give them a good clean without needing to scrub them yourself in hot soapy water. So you can get the best results, we put together an extensive step-by-step guide. If you follow our steps, you’ll have sparkling clean shoes that look like new.

Before washing your shoes in the washing machine, make sure you check the tag on them to find out if they can be machine-washed. Most shoes made out of materials like cotton, nylon, polyester, and canvas should be fine. Shoes made from more delicate materials like silk, rubber, and suede will not. It also isn’t advised to wash shoes in the washing machine if they have any delicate features on them that could break off while in the machine.

While the washing machine will do most of the work, you will need to hand wash some parts of your shoes. Make sure you have a soft brush, sponge, old towels, laundry detergent, and a mesh garment bag on hand before starting the cleaning process.

Step 1—Remove and wash the laces

The first step is to remove the laces from your shoes (if they have them) so you can clean them separately. When putting shoelaces into the washing machine, they need to go into a mesh garment back as they can get stuck on the center of the drum and become damaged. If your shoelaces are stained, you can soak and scrub them first before washing them in the machine. You can even soak white laces in bleach if you want to get them extra white.

Step 2—Remove and wash the insoles

Once the laces have been removed, the next step is to check the tag to find out if the insoles can be washed in the washing machine. If not, remove the insoles from your shoes so you can wash them by hand.

Here’s how to wash the insoles by hand:

1. Start by filling up your sink or a bucket with hot soapy water.

2. Submerge the insoles in the water and use a brush to give them a good clean.

3. Once clean, use a sponge and/or towel to dry them off.

4. To help them dry and remove odors, cover the insoles with a light coating of baking soda and leave them to dry overnight. Once dry, wipe off the baking soda.

Step 3—Give the soles a clean

If your shoes have any stubborn stains on them, you should give them a quick scrub before washing them in the machine. The main part of your shoes that usually needs some extra attention is the soles. Use a brush to remove all of the mud and other debris from your soles and then wipe with a damp cloth. Once the stains have been removed, place your shoes in a mesh garment bag.

Step 4—Wash your shoes in the washing machine

To wash your shoes in the washing machine, place the garment bags that contain your shoes and laces in the machine. It’s a good idea to throw in a couple of old towels with your shoes to stop them from bouncing around too much during the wash cycle. Make sure the towels are old so they don’t leak out dye, which could damage your shoes and/or laces.

For best results, set your washing machine to:

·       Delicate

·       Cold-water

·       No-Spin (or slow spin)

The best type of detergent to use is powder as the liquid detergent can get into your shoes and not wash off. Once your shoes and laces are in the washing machine with detergent and set to the right settings, turn it on.

Step 5—Dry your shoes

When the wash cycle ends, take your shoes and laces out of the machine. The best way to dry your shoes is to stuff their insides with old newspaper or paper towels and then place them in a warm spot for one or more days. Putting them out in the sun is a good way to dry them faster. Whatever you do, don’t dry them in a dryer as this can damage them!

Step 6—Reattach the laces and insoles

Once your shoes are nice and dry, the final step is to put the insoles back in them (if you washed them by hand) and the laces. Your shoes should now be sparkling clean and ready to wear again!


What types of shoes can I wash in the washing machine?

Shoes made from materials like cotton, nylon, polyester, and canvas should be fine to wash in the machine. If your shoes are made out of materials like silk, leather, suede, or rubber, they probably shouldn’t be washed in the machine. If in doubt, check the instructions on the tag. Shoes that have delicate features on them like straps shouldn’t be washed in the machine as they can get damaged.

Will washing my shoes in the washing machine damage them?

If your shoes have delicate features on them, don’t wash them in the washing machine. To avoid your shoes becoming damaged, wash them in a mesh garment bag.

Will my shoes shrink in the washing machine?

To prevent your shoes from shrinking in the washing machine, wash them in cold water. Hot water will heat your shoes which can cause them to shrink. Never dry your shoes in a dryer.

Can I wash my shoes in the washing machine with clothes?

You shouldn’t wash your shoes in the washing machine with clothes as the dyes in your clothes could stain your shoes. Instead, place a few old towels in with your shoes to prevent them from bouncing around during the wash cycle. Remember to wash your shoes in a mesh garment bag.

What are the best wash settings when washing shoes in a washing machine?

When washing shoes in the washing machine, use the delicate, cold water, and no-spin settings. Using delicate and no-spin settings will prevent your shoes from becoming damaged, and cold water will prevent them from shrinking.

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