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Can You Put Shoes in the Washer at Home?

shoes in the washer

The idea of putting your shoes in the washer at home hasn’t always been a good one. Older models were less advanced than today’s washing machines, and as a result, were too harsh on items like shoes. Thankfully, today’s laundry appliances offer far more options and features that allow you to safely clean your shoes in the washing machine.

How to Wash Shoes in the Washer

While it is possible to clean your shoes in the washer, you can’t just take them off your feet and throw them into a normal load. There’s a step-by-step process that you’ll need to follow in order for your shoes to come out clean and in good shape.

shoes in the washer
Image from Nicer Shoes

What You’ll Need

Before you begin washing, you’ll need to gather these things:

  • Washing machine with temperature & cycle options
  • Baking soda
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Liquid detergent
  • Towels
  • Wash bag or pillowcase

Washing Steps

Step #1 – Prepare Your Shoes

Your washer can clean stains and normal levels of dirt, but heavily soiled shoes with caked-on mud can be a problem. Use a soft-bristled brush like an old toothbrush to remove excess debris to make your washer’s job easier.

Next, remove the insoles and laces from your shoes. Put your laces into a pillowcase or wash bag to avoid tangling, and do not include your insoles in the wash load. They’ll have to be cleaned manually.

Place about three tablespoons of baking soda in each shoe the night before you plan on running the load to improve cleaning and odor removal. Remove before washing.

shoes in the washing machine
Image from Katie Runs This

Step #2 – Add Shoes to the Washer

One of the problems with putting shoes in the washer is the damage that the wash drum can do. That’s why you should always put your shoes into a wash bag to protect them from getting caught on the drum. If you don’t have a wash bag, you can use a pillowcase instead.

The noise also becomes an issue while running a load with shoes in it. Use a few old towels that are similar in color to your shoes and wrap them around to reduce the noise.

For top-loading washers though, be sure to place your shoes in the very bottom first and then cover with towels.


can you put shoes in the dryer
Image from WikiHow

Step #3 – Select Settings & Wash

Choosing the proper wash settings is crucial for your shoes to come out clean and in good shape. Make sure to use liquid detergent instead of powdered, and try using a more heavy-duty brand like Tide or Persil.

These are the wash cycle settings you should use:

  • Gentle cycle to prevent damage
  • Cold water to avoid warping
  • Extra rinse to remove excess soap trapped inside



wash shoes in washing machine
Image from robofes

Drying Options

Can you put shoes in the dryer? The answer is yes, sort of.

A dryer can cause the soles to warp, so use a towel to wrap up the shoes. This reduces their exposure to the more intense heat, but you should also use a delicate, low-heat cycle.

The safer but more time-consuming method is to air-dry your shoes. Stuff them with newspapers or washcloths to help them keep their shape, and keep them under a chair or table to avoid cracking or fading from direct sunlight.


shoes in the dryer
Image from VIP Shop

Knowing that you can safely clean your shoes in the washer is a huge help. And if you’re in need of washer or dryer repair service in Galt or the surrounding area, call the experts at Lake Appliance Repair right away!


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