If your shoes have become extra dirty or smelly, you may be able to refresh them in the washing machine. Canvas or pleather shoes can easily be washed on the gentle cycle and then air-dried. Don’t wash leather shoes, formal shoes (like heels), or boots in the machine. Instead, wash these by hand.
A) Pre-Cleaning the Shoes
1 – Remove any surface debris with a damp rag. If your shoes have a lot of dirt, grass, or mud on them, brush off as much of it as possible with an old rag. There is no need to scrub. Simply wipe them down to get the worst of the dirt off.
- You can also bang the shoes together over a trash can to dislodge a bit more of the dirt.
2 – Clean the soles of the shoes with a toothbrush and warm soapy water. Start by getting a small cup and filling it with water. Add 1 spoonful of dish soap. Dip the toothbrush into the solution. Scrub the soles of the shoes with the toothbrush.
- Make sure to apply a lot of force. The harder you scrub, the more dirt you’ll be able to get off.
3 – Rinse the shoes. You need to get rid of any soap residue. To do this, hold your shoes over a bathtub or sink and rinse the soles of the shoes with water.
4 – Remove the insoles and laces, if necessary. If your shoes have laces, you should put them in the washing machine separately. There can be a lot of dirt collected in the shoelaces and around the eyelets, so removing them will help the washing machine get in there and clean them.
B) Washing and Drying
Place the shoes in a mesh bag or pillow case. The bag will help protect the shoes. Be sure it is securely sealed before you put it in the washing machine.
- If you are using a pillow case, place the shoes into the pillowcase, tie the top closed, and use rubber bands to secure it.
Add extra padding in the washing machine to cushion the shoes. Wash your shoes along with at least 2 large bath towels. Remember that you are washing them with dirty shoes, so don’t choose white or delicate towels.
Wash the shoes, insoles, and laces using the gentle cycle. Put your shoes, insoles, and laces in the washing machine, along with any towels you want to add to the load. Use cold or warm water and little to no spin. Use the extra rinse cycle option to help remove any soapy residue at the end of the wash.
- Using hot water in the washing machine may cause the glue bonds in your shoes to weaken, crack, or melt.
- Don’t use fabric softener on your shoes. It may leave a residue that can attract more dirt.
Air dry the shoes. Take the shoes, laces, and insoles out of the washing machine. Place the shoes in an open-air area to dry for 24 hours before wearing.
- To speed up the drying process and help the shoes keep their shape, ball up a few sheets of newspaper and stuff the shoes with it.
- Do not put your shoes in the dryer because it will damage them.wikihow.com