How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine Safely

Have you ever thrown your shoes in the washing machine, only to find them covered in lint and looking worse than before? If so, you’re not alone. Many people make the mistake of washing their shoes in the same cycle as their clothes, which can damage both items.

However, with a few simple tips, you can easily learn how to wash shoes in the washing machine without causing any damage. So, let us take a look at how to wash shoes in washing machine and all that is required to achieve the best results. For some people, shoes can be really prized items, and making sure you clean them well and properly can make all the difference.

Washing shoes in a washing machine is not as easy as it may seem. You might think that you can run the same spin cycle as you would for your clothes, but this will only work towards ruining your shoes completely. Make sure you understand the material your shoes are made of. If they are made of leather or something, do not machine wash them. Leather shoes are best washed and cleaned by hand.

If they are made of cloth or something similar, they can easily be washed in a washing machine, but remember, always under a gentle spin.

Also, something to note – front loading washing machines are less effective at washing shoes than a top loading washing machine. Front loaders also tend to damage shoes more than what a top loader would. So, do keep this in mind.

If your washing machine is not shoe-friendly, we suggest you take out the time to wash them by hand. That is the best way, but know that it will take time and effort.

Steps to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine

Most people don’t think twice about tossing their shoes in the washing machine along with the rest of their laundry. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re going to wash your shoes in a washing machine.

First, you’ll need to remove any dirt or debris from the shoes using a brush or cloth. This will help prevent the dirt from spreading to other items in the load.

Next, you’ll need to choose the right cycle for your shoes. If they’re made of delicate materials, you’ll want to use a gentle cycle. Otherwise, a regular cycle should be fine.

Finally, you’ll need to air dry your shoes after they’ve been washed. This will help prevent them from shrinking or becoming misshapen.

Things Needed Before Start Washing your Shoes

  1. Dry cloth to wipe the dust off.
  2. Wet cloth to clean it once you have removed all the dirt.
  3. Washing machine friendly laundry bag to protect your shoes.
  4. Light detergent powder.

This is what a laundry bag looks like. They prove extremely helpful if you are looking to wash your shoes in a washing machine.

wash shoes in washing machine

That is all you need to give your shoes a great wash.

Here is a step-by-step guide as to what exactly to do to clean your shoes.

  1. Pre-clean your shoes using a light cloth to remove any dust and dirt. Using little water or a damp cloth is perfect to clean your shoes before you start to wash them.
  2. Remove any surface debris using a damp cloth. The debris can be stuck dirt or stains.
  3. Use toothbrush and soapy water to clean the sole and sides of your shoe. Do not use the toothbrush for the rest of the shoe since it can easily damage them. If you have a leather shoe, using anything with hard bristles is not acceptable. However, you can use a toothbrush to clean the soles of any kind of shoe you wish to clean.
  4. Once this part is done, rinse your shoes once. Rinse with cold water if its a leather shoe, if its a canvas shoe, warm water can really help/
  5. Remove the insoles and laces from the shoes. Wash them separately. Use a little bit of detergent and a brush to clean out any dirt on them.
  6. Set your washing machine to gentle, fill with water and add detergent. Make sure you do not add a lot of detergent, only a few drops would do. Try some liquid and normal detergent mix for the best results.
  7. For some added protection and padding, either put your shoes in a washing-safe laundry bag, or simply throw in a towel with your shoes. This ensures the motion of the washing machine does not shred the shoes.
  8. Run the washing machine for a few cycles and check for any damages. If all is going well, keep the cycle running until you are satisfied with the state of your newly cleaned shoes.
  9. Air dry them, and keep your shoes away from the sun. The sun will fade your shoes, and air drying them also does not misshape the shoe. You can also stuff some paper into the shoes, a bundle of newspaper works best. This allows your shoes to conform to their natural shape and does not ruin them.

That is all! We are sure you will have some pretty clean shoes if you followed these steps to the word. If your shoes require general cleaning, you can easily skip the first 3 steps and jump right into step 4.


So, there you have it – everything you need to know about washing your shoes in the washing machine. Although it might seem like a bit of a hassle at first, once you get used to it, it’s actually quite straightforward. There are a few things to keep in mind, but as long as you follow the instructions carefully, you should be fine. And, of course, if you’re ever in doubt, just consult your trusty washing machine manual.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it safe to wash shoes in washing machine?

It depends on the type of shoes you’re washing. For example, sneakers made of cloth or canvas can usually be washed safely in the machine. However, shoes made of leather or suede should not be placed in the washing machine, as this can damage the materials. Also, it is important to use a gentle cycle when washing shoes in the machine, and to avoid using too much detergent. With a little care, you can safely keep your shoes clean by using your washing machine.

2. How do you wash sneakers in the washing machine?

First, remove the laces and insoles from your sneakers. Then, place them in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Set the machine to a delicate cycle and use cool water. Once the cycle is complete, remove your sneakers and allow them to air dry. With just a little effort, you can keep your sneakers looking clean and new – no matter how much mud you track in!

3. What is the best way to wash shoes?

Many people believe that the best way to wash shoes is to simply throw them in the washing machine. However, this can actually damage the shoes and shorten their lifespan. The best way to wash shoes is by hand, using a mild soap and warm water. First, remove any loose dirt or debris with a brush or cloth. Then, mix together some mild soap and warm water, and use a soft brush to scrub away any remaining dirt. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water, and let them air dry. This may take a bit more time than simply tossing them in the washing machine, but it will help to extend the life of your shoes.

4. Can you wash leather shoes in a washing machine?

No! You should not put your leather shoes through a washer. It will definitely loosen up the leather and might even rip and tear in places if you put them in a washing machine. To clean leather shoes, the best idea is to wipe them and use a very soft brush or sponge to lather in some soap and clean very gently.

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Written By Gautam Joshi

I am a passionate home appliance expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. As a former Quality Engineer, I have a deep understanding of appliance design, functionality, and performance. My knowledge and expertise in the field have equipped him to provide well-informed and reliable advice to homeowners looking to purchase or maintain home appliances.

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