How to Wash Your Shoes in a Washing Machine: A Comprehensive Guide

I. Introduction

Washing shoes is a challenging task that requires time and effort. However, the use of a washing machine to clean shoes can be a game-changer. With a washing machine, shoes can be easily and efficiently cleaned with minimal effort. This article will offer step-by-step instructions on how to wash shoes in a washing machine while emphasizing the benefits of doing so and highlighting important safety measures.

II. Benefits of Washing Shoes in a Washing Machine

While some may believe that washing shoes in a washing machine is risky, it has several benefits. Washing shoes in a washing machine offers convenience and saves time compared to manual washing. It is ideal for busy individuals who want clean shoes with less effort. Additionally, washing shoes in a washing machine reduces the likelihood of wear and tear compared to hand washing, as the machine operates in a more gentle manner.

Before washing shoes in the washing machine, it is important to remove any dirt or debris that may be present on the shoes. This will prevent the washing machine from getting damaged or clogged, allowing you to save time and money.

III. Step-by-Step Instructions for Washing Shoes in the Washing Machine

Before beginning the wash, ensure that you have the following supplies:

  • A washing machine with a front-loading drum
  • Detergent or cleaning solution
  • Pillowcase or mesh laundry bag

When washing shoes in the washing machine, different types of shoes require different settings. For example, shoes made of canvas, nylon, or cotton require a weaker spin cycle compared to shoes made of leather or synthetic fabric. Additionally, to avoid color bleeding, it is important to separate colored and white shoes. To properly wash your shoes in the washing machine, follows these steps:

  1. Remove any dirt or debris from your shoes.
  2. Remove the laces and place them in the washing machine separately.
  3. Put the shoes into a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag to prevent them from getting damaged during the wash.
  4. Pour the detergent or cleaning solution into the machine while filling it with water.
  5. Place the pillowcase or laundry bag with the shoes into the machine.
  6. Select the appropriate settings based on the type of shoes and let the machine run.
  7. Remove the shoes from the pillowcase or laundry bag and let them air dry fully.

The key in washing your shoes is to use the appropriate settings, as this will ensure the cleaning process is efficient and effective. Incorrect settings may cause damage to the shoe, or worse, the washing machine itself.

IV. Examples of Different Shoe Types and How to Wash Them in the Washing Machine

Several types of shoes can be washed using a washing machine, including sneakers, running shoes, cloth sandals, and even work boots. Here is a detailed guide on how to wash different types of shoes in the washing machine:


To clean sneakers in a washing machine, remove the laces and put them in a separate washbag. Put towels in the machine to prevent the shoes from clunking and damaging the machine. Select a cold, gentle cycle and add water to half the usual level. Don’t use bleach and fabric softener; use only a small amount of detergent. Air-dry the shoes.

Running Shoes

Before putting running shoes in the washing machine, clean them by removing any dirt and debris. Then, place them in the machine along with a few old towels. Use cold water, a gentle cycle, and a small amount of detergent. Air-dry the shoes.

Cloth Sandals

Cloth sandals can be easily cleaned by machine washing them using the gentle cycle. Add towels to balance the drum and use a small amount of detergent. Air-dry.

Work Boots

To clean work boots using a washing machine, remove any loose dirt and debris, then use a stiff brush to scrub the boots and remove any remaining dirt. Place the boots in a laundry bag and wash with cold water, using a gentle cycle and a small amount of detergent. After washing, air-dry the boots.

V. Safety Precautions when Washing Shoes in the Washing Machine

While a washing machine can be an excellent tool for cleaning shoes, it’s important to take some safety precautions before and during the wash. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Empty the pockets and remove any detachable items, such as insoles from shoes, before putting the shoes in the washing machine.
  • Place the shoes in a laundry bag or pillowcase to prevent the drum or paddles from damaging the shoes.
  • Use a delicate or hand wash cycle to prevent damage to the shoes.
  • Do not use high heat to dry the shoes, as this can cause the shoe to lose shape and damage the materials.
  • Clean the washing machine after using it to wash shoes, as some dirt or debris may have remained inside the drum, causing damage or clogging.

VI. Visuals to Demonstrate How to Wash Shoes in the Washing Machine

Visuals are an excellent way to help demonstrate how to wash shoes in a washing machine. Below are a few images that show what to do and what not to do when washing shoes in a washing machine:

washing shoes

Image source: Oxford shop

washing boots

Image source: TZR

VII. Conclusion

Washing shoes in a washing machine can be an efficient and easy way to keep your shoes clean. With the correct process, you’ll save time and labor when cleaning shoes while being gentle on the materials. By following these simple tips and precautions, you can have your shoes sparkling clean with minimal manual effort or expertise.

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