Can You Put Sneakers In Washing Machine

Can You Put Sneakers In Washing Machine? Process And Precautions

Sneakers tend to get dirty rapidly, and it is a hassle to hand wash them every time. Many people want to throw their sneakers into a washing machine but are concerned about the damage.

So, can you put sneakers in the washing machine? Yes, sneakers made of canvas, fabric, nylon, or polyester can be put in a washing machine. But you shouldn’t use a washing machine to clean leather or suede sneakers. Machine washing sneakers requires attention to a range of important factors.

I will tell you what type of shoes you can put in a washing machine and show you the washing process in detail.

Can You Put Sneakers in Washing Machine? Are All Sneakers Machine Washable?

Can You Put Sneakers in Washing Machine

Not exactly. Washing suede or leather sneakers in a washing machine isn’t a good idea. These materials absorb water, and the integrity of the sneakers can get hurt. So, you should hand wash these sneakers.

But if the sneakers are made of fabric or synthetic material like polyester, canvas, etc., you can put them in a washing machine. In that case, you should carefully prepare the sneakers for washing and use a delicate cycle to prevent damage.

How to Wash Sneakers in Washing Machine: Step-by-Step Guide

You need to assemble some tools and prepare the sneakers before washing them. Let me show the process in simple steps.

How to Wash Sneakers in Washing Machine

Required Tools and Supplies

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • A few old white towels
  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Mesh bag
  • Toothbrush.

Step 1: Preparing for the Wash.

  1. In this part, you need to check the sneakers’ tags first. See if the material is suitable for a machine wash. Also, check if there are specific care instructions on the tags.
  2. Then, take the laces off. They can be tangled inside if you put them with the sneakers. Remove the insoles as well. You need to hand wash them first for better cleaning.
  3. Scrub the sneakers using an old toothbrush to remove dirt or debris on the sneakers. Do that for both insoles and laces. 
  4. Mix one part baking soda with one part of water. You can also use the same amount of vinegar and water to make a cleaning solution. Dip an old toothbrush into the solution and scrub the insoles with the brush. 
  5. Also, clean the laces with the same solution. Outsoles should be scrubbed to remove large patches of dirt.

Step 2: Loading the Washing Machine

  1. Once the laces and insoles are cleaned, you need to take a mesh mag. Put the sneakers, laces, and insoles inside the bag. Zipped bags are better, but you can also tie the bag if zipped bags aren’t available.
  2. Put the bag with the sneakers into the washing machine. Then, put a few old white towels inside the machine as well. These will prevent your sneakers from getting damaged during the wash cycle. Don’t use new colorful towels, as they can leech dyes. This will ruin your sneakers.

Step 3: Select the Washing Cycle

  1. After loading a mild laundry detergent, you are now ready to start the washing cycle.
  2. You should be cautious about the washing cycle. Always select the lowest wash cycle on your machine. This will prevent your sneakers from getting banged inside the machine.
  3. Always use cold water to wash your sneakers. Depending on the washing machine, you might or might not have a water temperature control. In that case, use a gentle or delicate wash cycle to select cold water.
  4. The machine might take 45-60 minutes to clean the shoes. After the wash cycle is done, remove the sneakers from the washer.

Step 4: Let the Sneakers Dry

  1. You should always air-dry your sneakers after washing them. If you dry the sneakers in the machine, the hot air can loosen the bonds between layers. As a result, the sneakers will disintegrate. Some materials can warp under heat. So, don’t use the drying cycle.
  2. Hang the sneakers, insoles, and laces outside. It might take over 24 hours for them to dry completely, depending on weather conditions.

You can check this video for help:

Can I Use Powder Detergent to Wash Sneakers in Washing Machine?

Can I Use Powder Detergent to Wash Sneakers in Washing Machine

Though you can, you shouldn’t use powder detergent to wash sneakers in a washing machine. Powder detergents may not always dissolve in water properly. In that case, they might get stuck into the fabric of your sneaker. Sometimes, they get stuck into insoles and laces.

Moreover, powder detergents are often stronger than liquid detergents. So, they can damage the color of your favorite sneakers. Using liquid detergents to wash sneakers in a washing machine is best.

How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine Without Mesh Bag?

If mesh bags aren’t available, I have a quick hack to wash your sneakers safely. Follow the steps below.

How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine Without Mesh Bag
  • Step 1: Take an old pillowcase that you don’t use anymore. It is better to use a white pillowcase so that the leeches from the pillowcase don’t ruin your sneakers.
  • Step 2: Make small holes all over the pillowcase with a knife or a pair of scissors. The whole surface should have holes so that the sneakers inside the pillowcase are cleaned properly.
  • Step 3: After preparing the sneakers, insoles, and laces for washing, put them inside the pillowcase. Then, tie the opening with a cord.
  • Step 4: Put the pillowcase inside the washing machine. Use the right detergent and select the correct wash cycle. Then, turn the wash cycle on.
  • Step 5: After washing, air dry the sneakers, laces, and insoles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about putting sneakers in the washing machine. Check them out.

Q: What spin setting should you choose for washing sneakers?

To prevent damage to your sneakers or the washing machine, you should choose the no-spin setting. If your washing machine doesn’t have this option, you should choose the lowest spin setting.

Q: Can I put my Nikes in washing machine?

You can, but Nike doesn’t recommend it. According to the official instructions, you should hand wash your Nike sneakers. And special care, if required, for some materials like suede.

Q: Can I put stinky sneakers in washing machine?

If the sneakers are smelly, you should sprinkle some baking soda inside the sneakers. Make sure the whole area is covered. Let the sneakers sit overnight. The baking soda will eliminate odors from your sneakers. Then you can put them in the washing machine.

Final Words

Sneakers are easy to show off but arduous to wash. While machine washing sneakers is an easier solution, it can damage your sneakers and the washing machine. So, can you put sneakers in the washing machine?

You can only put sneakers made of certain materials in washing machine. These include nylon, polyester, canvas, fabric, etc. Even if the sneakers are machine washable, you should carefully prepare them for the wash cycle. Remove excess dirt or mud, separate the laces and insoles, and put them in a mesh bag. Finally, air dry the sneakers completely to get a pair of clean sneakers with the least hassle.

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