Is it Okay to Wash Sneakers in the Washing Machine?


Are you a sneakerhead and wondering if washing your sneakers in the washing machine is okay? The answer is yes, but there are some steps you can take to ensure they come out looking fantastic.

First, remove the laces and place them inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to prevent them from getting tangled up in the machine. That way, they won’t get pushed around too hard, which could damage either them or the washer.


There are several elements to consider when washing sneakers in the washing machine. These include the type of shoes you have, their dirtiness level, and what detergent and water temperature you use during the cycle.

Before washing your shoes, remove the laces and scrub away any loose dirt with an old toothbrush. For smaller areas like eyelets, you may use a stiff-bristled brush on the surface of your shoes for this step.

Also, if your shoes have insoles or shoelaces made of fabric or leather, these should be taken out before washing. Doing this prevents them from deteriorating faster than expected without washing, which may make your shoes appear less fresh and clean.


Washing sneakers in the washing machine is an efficient and fast way to clean them squeaky. Plus, it eliminates any odors that have built up over time.

Detergent specifically designed for sneakers is recommended, as it’s gentle on leather, mesh, and suede materials. This detergent removes tough stains and dirt while leaving your sneakers looking and smelling clean.

To prevent your shoes from getting damaged in the washing machine, place them inside a laundry bag or pillowcase before loading them into the drum. You may also add some old towels to help balance the load and prevent your sneakers from hitting against the inside of the machine.

Water Temperature

Most sneakers, particularly those made of synthetic fabrics like canvas or pleather (fake leather), can be safely washed in the washing machine. However, some shoes, particularly suede or genuine leather, require manual cleaning – these may include sneakers made of genuine leather.

Shoes like these should have a care label on the shoe indicating if they can be washed in a machine. Most manufacturers recommend removing the laces and insoles first, then placing them inside a pillowcase or mesh wash bag before cleaning them through the machine.

Choose a delicate cycle with low spin speed and cold water temperature. Add disinfectant to the water to keep germs and athlete’s foot fungus at bay.

Spin Cycle

Shoes made of materials like canvas, nylon, cotton, and polyester can safely be washed in the machine due to their sturdy composition that withstands spinning motion without wearing down or damaging them.

Selecting a gentle cycle with a slow spin speed will further minimize damage. Choosing the ‘hand wash’ setting means the water is focused on moving through your shoes, so less energy is used to move it around, decreasing the force applied to your sneakers.

Using liquid detergent or laundry pods instead of powder products is best since powder can stick to shoes if it does not dissolve properly. Furthermore, avoid tumble drying your sneakers if possible; the heat from a spin cycle may warp the glue holding them together.


Drying sneakers can be a hassle, mainly if they’re made of leather or other natural materials that become damaged when exposed to heat. To prevent this, check your shoe’s care label for instructions.

It’s essential to ensure your shoes don’t contain any glue or other substances which melt when exposed to high temperatures in a dryer. Gel soles should also be avoided as their softened material could warp and crack over time.

To expedite drying and prevent your shoes from becoming misshapen, stuff them with rags or other dry material. Newspapers work great for this, but you could also try rice or a plastic bag tied around the pair.


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