Can shoes be washed in the washing machine?

Are you tired of your shoes looking messy each time when you need them? Like you want to go out with your friends and the pair you want to wear is so dirty that a wet cloth won’t be enough to clean them. On top of that, it smells bad because let’s be real, these expensive comfy shoes get odor early.

Do you often get frustrated and just want to shove them in the washing machine and wash them like a cloth, without worrying about them getting ruined? Let us be honest my friend because we’ve all been there, at least one point in our lives.

can shoes be washed

The struggles are real when you get a pricy pair of shoes that goes well with your outfit but the moment they get dirty, you have big trouble cleaning them. And as some say, “shoes show the bottom of one’s personality”, you don’t want your personality to be all mud-spattered and smelly in the bottom.

But no problem when you have a washing machine. With your clothes, you can also clean your shoes (not all but some), definitely in less time and with more convenience.

Here’s what you need to know before you want to get rid of the dirt on your shoes by putting them into a washing machine.

What Type Of Shoes Can Be Washed ?

Following are the factors that matter the most when we talk about the hostility that shoes offer to heavy chemicals of detergents and the fast spinning motor of the machine:


Athletic and canvas shoes that are made out of materials like nylon, polyester, and cotton are pretty much resistant to the ruining effects of detergent chemicals. That is why they prove to be in the category of shoes which can be washed in a washing machine.

can shoes be washed

But shoes made of certain fancy materials like leather, Rubber, or the ones which have delicate embroidery on them or silk embedded on them, should not be put in the washing machines as ultimately the high spinning of the motor would harm the intricate design.


Before putting in the shoe, you must be aware of the materials that make it because sometimes the shoe’s overall appearance doesn’t make it look too weak for the machine, but the materials that make it are sensitive enough to the soap flakes.

Canvas shoes made out of nylon are way more convenient due to easy washing methods. Compounds like nylon and polyester have the following properties which make them resistant to chemicals present in detergents:

  • Nylon has a quick-drying ability which allows it to absorb water for less time, ultimately resulting in the retained shape
  • It is also resistant to oils that are a typical constituent of detergents
  • Polyester is also moisture resistant
  • It is non-biodegradable and retains its shape


Checking the type of shoes before washing through a machine is a must-do because machines have motors that spin at a very fast speed and if your shoe has some raveled designing material in it, it might harm that. Casual shoes in sneakers or joggers style can easily be washed in the machine.

If your shoe is fancy and not resistant to the washing machine’s motor and detergent’s chemicals, you should clean them by hand using a brush. This might be time-consuming but that’s the only option.

How Shall A Shoe Be Washed In The Washing Machine?

Since shoes are not like an ordinary piece of clothing, they require extra protection before being washed. To provide security before washing, the following steps shall be considered:

  • Laces shall be removed first because otherwise, they could get tangled.
  • After doing so, laces shall be put in a mesh garment bag so that they do not mess with the motor of the machine.
  • Insoles shall be washed separately or they’ll be waterlogged.

Small tools for cleaning could also be used which include:

  • Mesh bags
  • Brushes
  • Old towels
  • Detergents
  • Toothpicks

Other than these preventive measures, you should also put towels around the shoes to prevent them from banging while the motor runs. Disinfectants that contain 80% pine oil or simple Lukewarm water can be used.

Can Shoes Be Put In a Drier?

So here’s the answer to this question, No!

You can NOT put your shoes in a dryer. The reasons are following:

  • The temperature of the dryer affects the glue that binds the shoe together.
  • Also, it affects the material and causes them to shrink.

The only way is to put a fan in front of them and stuff the pair of shoes with towels so the shape doesn’t get affected. It’s better to wash them before time so that you get enough time to let them dry naturally in the sun or wind.


So the answer to the question of whether shoes can be washed in a machine or not is basically yes. Depending on the type of material and nature of the shoe, you can put them in the washing machine.

It will save you time and be obvious, is way more opportune than actually taking a brush and cleaning them which is time-consuming. With some protective measures, you can turn your newly bought but befouled shoe pair into a new one again.

The methodology available in the above piece of writing gives the most right way to wash a pair of shoes in a washing machine which is extremely safe if the above-mentioned steps are considered. It will save you from the embarrassment of wearing dirty and smelly shoes just because they’re your favorite pair.

You’ll be able to go out freely without the tension of the way you look because look counts from head to toes, and the toe part can sometimes get a little muddy and embarrass you.

I hope this article will help you to resolve all your problems related to dirty shoes and you’ll be able to manage them better, using a washing machine. By following the guidelines provided, your expensive and favorite shoes will look clean and tidy, all again.

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