Whether your shoes are simply a staple or a centerpiece of your wardrobe, they can get dirty and benefit from a cleaning. But can you clean shoes in the washer without ruining them or causing a washing machine repair? These straightforward steps and basic supplies demonstrate how to clean shoes in the washer so they look like new.

Can You Clean Shoes in the Washer? Yes, With These Simple Steps

Can you clean shoes in the washer safely? Can you put shoes in the dryer without risking damage? The answer to both questions is yes, as long as you take the proper precautions and avoid washing shoes made of certain materials like leather or suede. Here’s how to get the job done without jeopardizing your washer and dryer.

Prep Shoes for Washing

A little preparation goes a long way in protecting both your shoes and your laundry appliances. Before cleaning shoes in the washer, check their label for any manufacturer recommendations. If there are no specific washing instructions prep your shoes with these steps:

  • Remove the laces: they can be washed separately from your shoes in the washer.
  • If possible, remove the insoles: these require hand-washing. Scrub each insole with a soft brush and liquid detergent, soaking up excess liquid with a sponge. Leave them to air dry completely before replacing.
  • Clean away excess debris: using a toothbrush, toothpick or cotton swab, remove surface dirt as well as any hard-to-reach debris

Put Shoes in the Washing Machine

Can shoes go in the washing machine on their own? We don’t suggest it, as doing so can risk harm to both your shoes and the washer. Put your shoes and shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before washing to avoid damage. To keep shoes secure, close any openings with a few safety pins or a knot.

Your shoes will literally take a tumble in the washing machine. For some extra cushioning and damage prevention we recommend washing the bag or pillowcase with a few old towels.

Choose Wash Settings

If you’re wondering how to clean shoes in the washer, other important factors to consider are the detergent and settings.  We suggest using a heavy-duty liquid detergent, as powdered options can collect in your shoes. For the correct amount, follow the guidelines on your detergent bottle. Be sure to use a gentle cycle with an extra rinse, if possible.

After cleaning your sneakers it’s possible your washer needs cleaning too. Our tips can help make sure your washer stays clean and fresh.

How to Dry Shoes After Washing

Will putting shoes in the dryer damage the dryer? Not if you use these methods to prevent harm: 

  • Wrap shoes in a large bath towel to cushion them during drying.
  • Keep shoelaces in the pillowcase or laundry bag to prevent them from getting caught in the dryer. Alternatively, remove them and allow them to air dry.
  • Use a delicate, low-heat cycle to avoid warping the soles of your shoes or damaging their material.

can you clean shoes in the washer

If you prefer to skip the dryer and air dry your shoes, place them in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. Stuff them with paper towels or newspapers to aid in drying and help them keep their shape. How long does it take for shoes to dry? It could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days so make sure to allow as much time as needed.

Can you clean shoes in the washer? Now you know you can with the right preparation and techniques! Advance Appliance has all the answers when it comes to your laundry appliances. Call us for any question or concern.