Nothing feels more comfortable than a worn-out pair of sneakers; however, that doesn't mean old and dirty shoes.
Broken-in shoes take comfort on another level, but at the same time, it's only a clean shoe that makes you look proper and presentable. Cleaning old shoes makes them look and feel brand new again.
Some would argue that cleaning shoes is just a waste of time and you can just buy a new pair. However, it never hurts to show some love to your favorite pair of sneakers. Why waste a good pair of shoes when you can just reuse them?
How to Wash Your Shoes in a Washing machine
Washing your shoes in a washing machine is so much easier than washing them with your hands. It takes less effort and is so much quicker than intricately washing your waterproof footwear.
God knows, what those poor shoes have gone through, so maybe tossing them in a washing machine is a good idea, after all.
But before you push start, with your favorite pair of sneakers in the washing machine, let us help you identify which shoes are waterproof and wash-friendly.
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What is Waterproof Footwear
Not all waterproof shoes can be washed in a machine. Some shoes can be water-resistant because of the material they are made from; however, sometimes, they are not designed for harsh detergents and those strong machine swirls.
Usually, waterproof footwear is made from synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester, and cotton, which is safe to wash. Like Loom Waterproof shoes are a great example of water-resistant shoes; they are extremely easy to wash. In addition, the four-layered lining consists of:
- H2-Go layer
- Merino Wool interior
- Merino Wool Lined cushion
- Excelcast sole
The soft mesh layer on the outermost layer of this eco-friendly shoe makes it extremely durable. These features make it the most lightweight and flexible waterproof footwear.
Footwear, made of suede, leather, rubber, and vinyl, is unsuitable for washing machines. In addition shoes with silk, embellishments, and other intricate materials are also not made for machine washing.
It is always better to read the care guide to understand if you can wash your shoes or not.
Easy Guide to Wash your Shoes in a Washer
Here are some steps on how you can wash your dirty footwear in a washer most cautiously and easily while still maintaining the integrity of your shoes.
The process is not difficult, but like everything else, it requires few materials and measures to execute. Here is what you will need
- Washing machine
- Cream/Liquid detergents
- Mesh washing bag
- Old toothbrush
- Baking soda
First, you have to remove the laces from your shoes. This is important because you do not want your laces to tangle in the washer.
If your laces can not be removed, untie them and put them in the zip-locked mesh bag.
We all know how much dirt and debris can build upon our sneakers, especially waterproof footwear. Use the old toothbrush to brush off any excess dirt; usually, little stones make their way into the shoe’s sole.
Make sure you brush all of them off; you don't want them in your washer.
If your footwear is not odor-free and anti-bacterial like Loom Waterproof Sneakers, sprinkle some baking soda inside to help with the odor. After that leave them to dry overnight.
Now, put the shoes and separated shoelaces in the mesh washer bag and zip it shut. If you do not have a wash bag, don't worry, you can use an old pillowcase or a bag that can be closed shut.
Then, put this wash bag in your washing machine and throw in some liquid or cream detergent. The reason for using a liquid detergent is that dry powder detergents can sometimes leave their residue on clothes.
If it does not dissolve properly and dries out, it can get stuck in your shoes and can lead you to slip when you run or do any other athletic routine in your shoes.
Set up your washer on no-spin or less spin if you have the option so your shoes will not face any harsh treatments. Then, after the cycle is complete, which is about 30 to 40 minutes, use cold water settings.
Coldwater does not morph the shape of your shoes and keeps them in the same shape as before. However, hot washes can distort the shape and sometimes make colors run and fabric shrink in your shoes.
After the cycle is complete, take your wash bag out and towel dry your shoes. We do not recommend using a machine dryer on your sneakers. This is because the dryer can be extremely harsh and can cause tears in your shoes.
The drying process can take some days, depending on your shoe type and the weather conditions. Therefore, we recommend you air dry them and keep your shoes in a cold place where they can get a lot of sunlight to dry out.
If you are in a hurry and can not wait for the process, use several towels to cover your shoes. After that, set your normal hair dryer at the lowest setting and dry your shoes. Make sure to keep checking in case the heat is damaging your shoes.
Lastly, when your shoes are completely dry, put the shoelaces back on and head out for a new exciting day!
Some Tips to Consider
Different footwear needs a different type of cleaning. For example, waterproof footwear can take a little friction and rough treatment. However, some of these shoes require some gentle washing and cleaning.
- Always read the wash care guide. It is usually located on the tongue of the shoe. Just bend it outwards, and you will see it sewn in your shoe.
- Mesh fabric is breathable and is usually washable, so you can safely wash it in a washing machine.
- Some shoes have removable insoles, and it is recommended you avoid putting them in the washer.
- Clean removable insoles separately using a gentle toothbrush.
- Do not wash your shoes alone in the washer. Throw in some towels and rugs to avoid excessive tumbling.
- Keep your washing machine setting at the most gentle wash cycle.
Pro Tip: If you do not want your shoes to lose their shape, fill them with plastic bags and then wash them to hold the shape.
How to Get Rid of Stains?
Sometimes, your shoes are not even dirty, but a big stubborn stain completely ruins your shoe. Of course, you do not want to walk around with stained shoes, especially if they are noticeable. Here is how you can get rid of stains.
First, assess the stain if it’s from drink spillage or food-related; only then can you decide if it can be cleaned easily or not.
Whenever you stain any shoe or fabric, try to clean it as soon as possible. This way, the stain will not be so permanent and will come off easily.
Use a cotton swab and dip it in white vinegar. Gently wipe the stain using the swab. Make sure you are only doing this in a small area to see if it can cause damage to your shoe or not.
Then, get a nylon brush and gently scrub the stain off. The mix of baking soda and liquid detergent works just as well. Just soak your shoes in it for at least four to five hours or overnight. Later on, scrub it gently and wash it.
Voila! Say goodbye to stubborn, nasty stains and feel confident walking around in your fresh pair of shoes.
How to Read the Care Label
Before you toss your favorite pair of shoes in the washer and hope for the best, let’s explore how the wash care label saves you from ruining your shoes and what the symbol means.
Some care labels have the temperature mentioned in them, like “machine wash cold.” This helps you determine what temperatures you can wash your shoes in from hot to cold.
Bleach can sometimes lift off the colors from fabrics, and this is because the chlorine content in it is quite high.
So, to see if you can wash your shoe in bleach or not, look for a triangle with a cross. If it's there, that means no bleach!
If you see a circle with a big cross sign, remember never to use dryers for these shoes. This sign means you can not dry your shoes.
Cleaning your shoes (trainers and sneakers) is not hard. However, these steps will make it easier for you to clean your footwear safely in a washing machine.
Shoes like trainers and sneakers are mostly used in rough conditions like trekking, mountain climbing, working out, and running. So by cleaning these shoes, you can show your sturdy footwear some love for being your support in difficult adventures.