How to clean shoes in a washing machine without ruining them

Before we begin, I will like to just mention here that cleaning your shoes is an important task which you should do often. This method is however not ideal for washing shoes, i.e. shoes are not suitable for washing machines. With a little attention, however, you can do it, what is most important is that you follow a series of precautions. 

Use a bag

The first advice is to use a soft bag, such as a fabric bag, in which to put your shoes. You could also set aside a lining (like that of a pillow) for this purpose. The aim of this is to prevent direct contact between your shoes and the washing machine’s basket, so as not to damage either.

Laces and insoles? 

If you have always wondered if it is appropriate to remove your shoelaces, the answer is yes! The same goes for the insoles. Both can easily be damaged. Also, because, as already mentioned, shoes should not be cleaned in this way! You can also tie the laces of the two shoes together to keep them from separating in the washing machine. 


Remember to turn it off when washing your shoes in the washing machine. There is a risk of ruining your shoes forever if you use it. You therefore have to let them dry and drain on the terrace or you can dry them in the bathtub for example.

Stain remover 

Do you know that one detergent is better than the other? That is you can expect to get better results from a liquid detergent for this type of washing. I would advise against using powder detergents. 

Choose the right temperature

Surely you must have pondered which temperature is best when washing your shoes in a washing machine. Obviously, the lower the temperature, the better it will be for your shoes. The best option is cold washing. Set the temperature of your washing machine to 30 degrees. 

Use towels

They will make your life easier. That is, in addition to putting your shoes in the lining, also insert some old towels. These are for extra protection. The washing machine’s basket is delicate and so are your shoes. 

Give it a quick clean

You can use wipes to do an initial quick clean of your shoes, making it easier for the washing machine to do its job. That is, first use one or two wipes to remove dirt and surface dust and then follow the tips on this list. 


Another option for point 7 above is soaking. This will however require more time, even though the final result is better. All you have to do is use a large container with lukewarm water. Now put your shoes into it and leave them for about 90 minutes. All you have to do now is wash. 

Use a brush before the actual wash

Use hot water and a brush to remove stubborn stains. This ensures that the wash is done correctly.