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6 Steps to Cleaning Your Dirty Shoes in the Washing Machine the Right Way

Approximately 1.7 million tons of clothing and footwear were recycled just for one year. But this amount could be reduced with proper shoe care. It’s not a crime to wash your shoes in a washing machine. It’s easy to do and less costly than taking them to get dry cleaned. Nevertheless, to get the right result (and not a peeled outsole), you need to follow some helpful recommendations.

We at Bright Side became curious about the right way to wash shoes. Below, we’ve compiled some nice recommendations that can prolong the life of your shoes.

1. Check if you can wash your shoes in the washing machine.

  1. Persil company says that it’s possible to wash your shoes in the washing machine, but this doesn’t apply to every pair. Check the label first! It can be made of a material that’s not meant to get wet like leather shoes, for example. But sneakers made of fabric are fine to go into your washing machine.
  2. Also, check the condition of your shoes. If the soles are coming off, it’s better to fix that issue first.

2. Prepare and pre-clean your shoes.

  1. If your shoes have a lot of dirt or mud on them, brush off as much of it as possible with a rag. No need to scrub them, but it protects your washing machine from clogging.
  2. Clean the sole with a brush.
  3. Rinse the shoes to get rid of any soap residue.
  4. Remove the insoles and laces. The laces should be washed separately.

3. Get the right cleaning products.

  1. It’s recommended to use a gel for washing instead of washing powder since it’s difficult to rinse.
  2. Shoes should be washed using a special mode at a temperature of no more than 86ºF.

4. Use baking soda to get rid of a bad smell.

If these shoes are your favorite pair and you wear them every day, sooner or later, an odor may make itself known. In this case, put baking soda into each shoe and leave it overnight. After that, set the sneakers to be washed in the washing machine in a special mode.

5. Protect your shoes while washing them.

  1. Place the shoes in a laundry bag or in a pillowcase.
  2. Add extra padding in the washing machine. For example, wash your shoes along with towels. These towels should be white as not to spoil the color of your shoes. Moreover, it’s better to have special towels reserved for washing with your shoes because you won’t be able to use them on your face and body anymore.

6. Air-dry your shoes.

  1. It’s recommended that you air dry your shoes rather than use dryers or heaters. This is simply because some of the glue could melt.
  2. To speed up the process and keep their shape, stuff the shoes with toilet paper or newspaper.

Bonus: if you have doubts about washing several pairs of shoes together

You can wash 2-3 pairs of shoes at a time. It depends on the size of your washing machine. The main thing is to have a separate laundry bag for each pair of shoes.

How often do you wash your shoes? What helps you keep your white sneakers looking good as new? Please share your tips below so it can be useful for someone else!