How to Wash Your Shoes in the Washing Machine?

How to Wash Your Shoes in the Washing Machine?

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Olyvia Smith

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When it comes to cleaning shoes, washing machines save time and do a thorough cleaning job. One wash in the machine, and you can say goodbye to the bad odor of your dirty sneakers.

Not sure how to wash your shoes in the washing machine?

Don't worry, it's actually quite simple. However, if not done correctly, you might end up ruining a good pair of shoes.

In this post, we'll guide you step-by-step on how to wash your shoes in the washing machine.

In addition, we'll also be talking a little about what types of shoes are washing machine friendly. If you're looking for shoes that are easy to clean, you'll also find our best waterproof sneakers/shoes review useful.

Let's jump right into it.

What Types of Shoes Are Washing Machine Friendly?

Hold up a minute.

Before you throw your shoes in the washer, you need to know if your shoes are washing machine friendly.

You can see the instructions on your shoebox. Usually, shoes made of nylon, cotton, and polyester can be cleaned in the washing machine. Their material is durable and does not get ruined by washing detergent.

It's better to wash waterproof sneakers/shoes in the machine. For instance, Loom's Waterproof Sneakers come with an outer coating, which is not only easy to wash, but also stain resistant. Moreover, the material is durable and is safe to put in the washing machine.


On the other hand, certain types of shoes require special care and cannot be washed in a washing machine. Some examples include shoes made of leather, suede, rubber, and vinyl.

If your shoes have sequins, embroidery, beads, or are made of delicate material, we do not recommend washing them yourself. The best option is to take them to a shoe repair or cleaning expert.

Make sure you check your shoe care instructions before you start cleaning your shoes.

How to Wash Your Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Once you're sure that your shoes are washing machine friendly, it's now time to start cleaning.

First, make sure you have all of the following items:

  • Mesh bag or old pillowcase
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • A soft bristle brush (an old toothbrush works)
  • Old rag
  • Old Towels
  • Plastic/old cup

- Step 1: Pre-Cleaning

If you want your shoes to be absolutely spotless, you cannot miss this step.

Clean off any mud, dirt, or grass with an old piece of cloth. You don't have to scrub super hard, just try to wipe off any visible dirt lightly.

Tip: banging your shoes together over a dustbin can help you remove the dirt easily as well.

Next, you need to clean the sole of your shoes. Get a small plastic cup, fill it with water, and add a bit of the liquid detergent. Dunk the toothbrush into the alkaline mixture, then scrub the soles to remove any dirt that's on it.

If you had gum or dirt stuck underneath the outer sole, it's probably not going to wash off in the washing machine. Hence, this step is very important.

Once you're done, rinse off the soap and dirt residue. You can simply rinse the shoes with water over a bathtub or sink.

- Step 2: Remove Laces and Insoles

If your shoes have buckles or straps that can't be removed, you can just remove the insoles. Removing them helps thoroughly clean the inside. Additionally, you can separately wash the insoles in the machine.

If your shoes are laced, dirt tends to gather on the laces and around the eyelets. Removing the shoelaces makes it easier to clean these areas. You can pop in the shoelaces separately along with the insoles in the washer.

- Step 3: Place Your Shoes in a Mesh Bag

This is the most important step. You can't just throw your shoes in the washing machine just like that. You need to put your shoes in a mesh bag; this will protect your shoes from any potential damage.

Also, put in a few old towels in the machine along with your shoes. This will keep your load-balanced, and your shoes won't bang against the sides of your washing machine.

Warning: do not use new towels as their dye might leach and stain your shoes. Keep in mind that you're washing dirty does, so don't keep delicate or white towels.

Alternatively, if you don't have a mesh bag, you can use an old pillowcase. Just make sure you tie the top of the pillowcase securely.

- Step 4: Gentle Washing Cycle

Choosing the right settings for your wash cycle is another essential thing to consider. Use liquid laundry detergent and cold water when washing your shoes. Make sure to also put your insoles and laces.

Hot water can cause the glue binding on your shoes to melt or crack. So, it's better to avoid hot water when washing shoes in the machine.

We also recommend going for a slow, gentle spin speed. This ensures your washing machine stays balanced. It also prevents your shoes from banging hard against the sides.

To get rid of any soapy residue, you can go for an additional rinse cycle.

- Step 5: Time to Dry

Once your washing cycle is complete, pull out the shoes, laces, and insoles. You can set them out to dry in the open air for 24-hours.

Do not put your shoes in the dryer; you'll end up ruining a good pair of shoes as the dryer can damage them.


Buy Easy-to-Wash Shoes

Cleaning and maintenance can extend your shoes' lifespan. Getting waterproof sneakers/shoes that are durable makes it easier to wash them in the washer.

For instance, Loom Waterproof Sneakers, one of the best waterproof sneakers/shoes in the market, are super easy to clean and maintain. The material is super durable and antibacterial (removes the odor creating bacteria from your sweat), and they also have a stain repellent coating.

So now, you can say goodbye to stinky shoes. Shopping wisely is the best way to save yourself from future trouble. 


Certain types of shoes are safe to wash in the machine while others aren't. For instance, some of the best waterproof sneakers/shoes are washing machine friendly. In contrast, leather and vinyl shoes get damaged quite easily in the washer.

So, make sure to confirm beforehand if your shoes are machine washable.

Washing shoes in the washing machine is a simple task. You just need the proper know-how, which we hope you could get from this post.

Loom 100% waterproof shoes

Olyvia Smith


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