How to Wash Your Shoes in the Washer Without Ruining Them

We all have a pair of shoes we wear over and over again until they're barely recognizable. For us, it's mostly sneakers. And if you're like us and you have a pair that's reached the point of no return, we have good news: Shoes are super easy to clean. Best part? Little to no manpower is needed since you can absolutely use your washing machine. While we don't recommend tossing them into your regular cycle and hoping for the best, there are some easy tips that will help you get started and approach this chore a bit more informed. Keep on reading for our step-by-step guide ahead.

Read the Label 

Just as you'd do with your clothing, read the care label on your shoes to see whether or not they can be washed in the machine. If your shoe doesn't have one, know that it's better not to throw leather or suede shoes into the washer. Stick with hand wash–only for those. Otherwise, onto the next step.

Prep Your Shoe Over-Night 

Before you place your shoes into the washing machine, it's highly recommended you prep them overnight or a few hours before. Simply wipe off as much gunk as possible with a brush, cloth, or an old toothbrush. If it has trickier, tougher stains, place the shoes under a running tap to see if the stains can be removed or lessened. This will yield better results from the washing machine.

Use a Wash Bag for Protection 

It's the day of the big wash. Instead of throwing your shoes as they are, place the soles and/or laces into a mesh laundry bag. That way nothing will get tangled up or ruined. Pro tip: Washing your shoes in the washing machine can get quite noisy. To tone the noise down, consider throwing in some towels in as well. Just make sure they're the same colors to avoid the hue from transferring. 

Prepare Your Machine

Cold water and a delicate cycle is the way to go when washing your shoes. Furthermore, use a liquid detergent—preferably a color-safe one to prevent your shoes from fading. Now that you're prepared, wash them 30 to 40 minutes. Once the cycle is done, remove and let air-dry.

Now learn how to clean your Birkenstocks.

Opening Image: @oursecondskin