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Laundry 101: Can Shoes Be Washed in a Washing Machine?
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can shoes be washed in a washing machine

Shoes bear the brunt of sweat, dirt, and stains, making proper care essential to preserving your favorite pair. Can shoes be washed in a washing machine to remove stains and odor? Certain shoes can be safely machine-washed with precautions that protect them and prevent a washer and dryer repair. Learn how to wash shoes in a washing machine using the proper methods and supplies.

Can Shoes Be Washed in a Washing Machine? Yes, With These Tips & Tricks.

Can shoes be washed in a washing machine if they’re made of leather or suede? Unfortunately, only shoes made of certain materials are suitable for machine washing. We recommend only cleaning shoes in the washer if they’re made of canvas, nylon, cotton, or polyester. Here’s how to clean these types of footwear safely and effectively.

Pre-Washing Prep

The first step in how to clean shoes involves a little pre-wash preparation for effective stain and odor removal. 

Follow these steps to prepare your shoes for machine-washing:

  1. Remove the laces: You can wash them separately in the washer or clean them by hand with a soapy brush.
  2. Clean the insoles: If possible, remove the insoles and scrub them with a clean rag dipped in liquid detergent and warm water. Allow them to air dry overnight. If smells linger, place the insoles in a bag with baking soda and shake the bag before letting it sit overnight. Alternatively, soak them in a 2:1 mixture of vinegar and water.
  3. Remove excess debris: With a dry toothbrush, remove any loose dirt or dried mud. Using a soft, damp brush or paper towel, gently scrub any marks from the rubber trim and base. Use a shoe cleaner to remove stubborn scuffs and stains. Can shoes be washed in a washing machine without this extra step? While it’s possible, a little extra elbow grease before washing will mean cleaner results.
can you clean shoes in the washer
Image from WikiHow

How to Load Shoes Properly

Can shoes go in washing machine by themselves? It’s recommended that you place them in a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag, along with your laces. If using a pillowcase, pin the opening half shut so water can easily flow in and out. To avoid damaging your washer, add 1-2 bath towels along with the shoes.

While tips for softer towels come in handy for new or frequently used towels, we recommend using older ones when washing shoes. Newer towels may have lint or dye that can stain shoes.

can shoes go in washing machine
Image from WikiHow

Choose Correct Washer Settings

The correct detergent, wash setting, and water temperature are key to both cleaning and preserving your shoes. 

Here’s how to choose the correct washer settings to properly clean your shoes:

  • Add the right detergent: Can you clean shoes in the washer with powdered detergent? Liquid detergent is suggested, as powder can get stuck in the corners of shoes. 
  • Select a delicate setting: This gentle cycle has either a slow spin speed or no spinning at all, preventing harm to both your shoes and the washer.
  • Use cold water only: Warm or hot water can warp your shoes, altering their shape and fit.

Can you put shoes in the dryer? The following steps detail how to do it safely.

How to Dry Shoes the Right Way

Will putting shoes in the dryer damage the dryer or your shoes? If you want to use the dryer, precautions must be taken to avoid damage. Wrap the shoes and laces in an old towel and use a low heat or delicate cycle. Check the shoes regularly to make sure there is no warping or other damage.

While it is slower, it’s recommended that your air dry shoes instead of risking harm in the dryer. Hang them out of direct sunlight or heat along with the laces. How long does it take for shoes to dry this way? It can take several hours or even a few days for them to dry completely. Stuffing the shoes with newspaper or old rags can hasten drying and help them keep their shape. 

Can shoes be washed in a washing machine? How do you keep pet hair out of laundry? The professionals at Moore Appliance Service have the answers. Contact us for all your laundry appliance needs!

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