cleaning shoes in the washer

Laundry 101: Can You Clean Shoes in the Washing Machine?

You might have wondered if cleaning shoes in the washer is a good idea. Luckily, the answer is yes! If you know how to clean shoes in the washing machine the right way, you can restore their appearance without fear of damage.

But can you put shoes in the dryer?  Will putting shoes in the dryer damage the dryer? These are good questions! The one thing you do not want to do is machine dry your shoes. It will lessen the lifespan of your shoes are could potentially damage your dryer. Washing shoes is another story though…

How to Clean Shoes in the Washing Machine

Follow these steps to wash your shoes safely without damaging the shoes or the washer.

Prepare Your Shoes

If your shoes have a care tag, read the label and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for washing. Otherwise, here’s what to do to clean shoes in the washing machine.

The night before washing, sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of baking soda into each shoe to help deodorize and jump-start the cleaning process.

Remove the shoelaces and put them into a small mesh laundry bag – you can find these on Amazon.

Remove the insoles (if removable) and set aside to hand wash – these should not go in the washing machine.

Use a dry toothbrush to scrub off debris. If necessary, use a small amount of detergent and wet the toothbrush to pre-treat any stains before adding to the washer.

clean shoes in the washing machine
Image from WikiHow


Put Shoes in the Washer

Shoes take a beating in the washer. To diminish the shoes banging around, add them into a load with similar colored towels to buffer and protect the shoes from the washer drum. If you have a top-load washer, put the shoes at the bottom and the towels on top.

Place the shoes into their own mesh laundry bag.

Throw the towels and bag-clad shoes and shoelaces into the washer.

how to clean shoes
Image from WikiHow


Choose Your Wash Settings

Use a heavy-duty, liquid detergent when washing shoes. Read the product label for the recommended amount to use with your machine.

Choose the gentle cycle, cold water, and opt for the extra rinse if your machine allows.

How to Dry Shoes Properly

How long does it take for shoes to dry? Although some shoes can survive in the dryer, it’s usually best to let them air dry. Find a warm place to hang set the shoes and let them dry covered by shade if possible. The drying process usually takes several hours.

If you discover that your washing machine isn’t performing well though, you may need to have it looked at by a professional. Greenville Appliance Repair provides washer repair Greenville SC and services all home appliances, so give us a call at the first sign of trouble.