How to clean sneaker shoes in the washing machine? I heard it was possible, but I don’t want to ruin any pairs.
Priscilla G., Orlando
Yes, you can put certain kinds of footwear in the washing machine, but you’ll need to be careful. If you want to see all the details on how to clean sneaker shoes, you’ll find them here. In the meantime, here is my quick overview.
If you have a bag for washing shoes, that’s a good start. To begin, take out the laces and any removable insoles. Then, after you’ve loaded the shoes in their bag inside the washer, add a few other items of a similar color. To illustrate, you could wash towels, too. And choose a slower spin cycle to avoid unbalancing the machine.
Now, when you choose a detergent, avoid bleach unless it’s color-safe. If there are stains on the sneakers, it’s better to scrub them first. Bleach could turn white shoes a dingy yellow shade, and it will fade colored shoes.
Finally, when the wash is done, place your shoes out to dry in the air. Avoid using the dryer unless you must, and only then at a low heat setting. In case your shoes are still a bit smelly, mix some cornstarch and baking soda to get the smell out of your sneakers.
If you need to wash your shoes but also need to stretch sneakers so they fit you more comfortably, it’s better to wash them by hand and air dry them or wear them around the house while wet to expand the fibers in the shoes.
The washing machine and dryer are more suited for shrinking so keep this in mind when tackling stains on your tennis shoes.
To avoid frequent washes in the future, treat your sneakers with a water-proofing spray. That will help keep dirt at bay. You can clean white Converse® shoes in a similar way. For Vans® shoes, make sure you read our article on how to clean Vans here and learn if you can put Toms® shoes in the dryer, too.