Key Takeaways:

  • Proper Preparation And Care: Preparing sneakers by removing laces and insoles, and choosing the right wash cycle, are key steps to ensuring a successful clean without damaging the sneakers or the machine.
  • Regular Maintenance: Between washes, simple spot cleaning and proper storage can extend sneakers' cleanliness and longevity, reducing the need for frequent machine washing.
  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning: Using detergent strips for washing sneakers in a machine is an effective, environmentally friendly method that minimizes waste and chemical use.


Sneakers are a versatile and essential part of a wardrobe, but keeping them clean can be a challenge. From mud and dirt to spills and stains, they can quickly lose their freshness and appeal. With the right techniques, precautions, and high-quality detergent, it can be simple to restore them.

Understanding The Basics Of Sneaker Care

Regular Cleaning

Regularly cleaning your sneakers after each wear can prevent dirt and grime from building up over time. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove surface dirt before it settles in. This simple step can go a long way in preserving the appearance of your sneakers.

Spot Treatment

For tougher stains or marks, spot treatment can be your best friend. Mix a gentle cleaning solution of water and mild detergent. Use a soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush to gently scrub the stained area. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the material of your sneakers.

Drying Properly

After cleaning your sneakers, it's crucial to allow them to dry properly. Stuff them with paper towels or a shoe tree to help retain their shape and absorb excess moisture. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can cause the material to warp or crack.

Avoiding The Washer And Dryer

While some sneakers, like canvas or athletic shoes, may be suitable for machine washing, others are not. Leather or suede sneakers should typically be hand-cleaned to prevent damage. Always check the manufacturer's instructions for the best cleaning method for your specific type of sneakers.

By following these basic care tips, you can keep your sneakers looking great and performing well for longer. Remember, a little maintenance goes a long way in preserving the quality and appearance of your favorite footwear.

Preparing Your Sneakers For The Washing Machine

Before tossing your sneakers into the washing machine, it’s essential to properly prepare them. This can help them maintain their shape and ensure a thorough clean. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get your sneakers ready for the wash cycle:

Remove Laces And Insoles

Start by removing the shoelaces and insoles from your sneakers. If possible, wash these separately by hand or in a mesh laundry bag. This will prevent tangling.

Protect Sensitive Areas

To prevent damage during the wash cycle, stuff your sneakers with old towels or crumpled paper. This will help maintain their shape. It will also protect sensitive areas like toe boxes.

Choose The Right Cycle

Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. This will prevent excessive agitation. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause colors to fade or fabrics to shrink.

Wash With Like Items

To prevent damage to your sneakers, wash them with other soft items like towels or bedding. This will cushion the sneakers during the wash cycle and minimize friction.

By following these steps to prepare your sneakers for the washing machine, you’ll ensure a successful cleaning process while preserving the quality and appearance of your favorite footwear.

Preparing Your Sneakers For The Washing Machine

The Best Washing Machine Settings For Sneakers

When it comes to washing your sneakers in a washing machine, using the right settings is key. It can help ensure they come out clean without being damaged. Use cold water instead of hot water to prevent any colors on your sneakers from bleeding or fading. Steer clear of high-speed spin cycles as they can cause your sneakers to lose their shape or even damage them. Consider placing your sneakers in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle. Air-dry them in a well-ventilated area.

By following these washing machine settings and tips, you can effectively clean your sneakers without compromising their quality or longevity. Remember to always check the care label on your sneakers for any specific instructions on washing and drying to keep them looking fresh for longer.

Post-Wash Care For Your Sneakers

Once your sneakers have been successfully washed in the washing machine, it's essential to properly care for them. This will help maintain their cleanliness and extend their lifespan. Here are some tips for post-wash sneaker care:

Cleaning The Insoles

While the outer parts of your sneakers may look fresh and clean after a wash, don't forget to clean the insoles too. Remove them from the shoes and give them a gentle scrub with a mild detergent and water solution. Allow them to air dry completely before placing them back in the sneakers.

Retouching Details

After washing, you may notice some areas of your sneakers that still look dirty or stained. Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush with a bit of soapy water to gently scrub away any stubborn spots. Avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing too vigorously, as this can damage the shoe materials.

Post-Wash Care For Your Sneakers

Maximizing The Lifespan Of Your Sneakers

To ensure that your beloved sneakers stay in good condition for as long as possible, there are some additional steps you can take beyond just washing them in the machine.

Rotate Your Sneakers

Avoid wearing the same pair of sneakers every day. Rotating between different pairs allows each pair to dry out completely. It can reduce moisture build-up and odor.

Spot Clean Regularly

Whenever you notice dirt or stains on your sneakers, spot clean them. Use a gentle brush, mild cleaner, and water. This will prevent dirt from settling in and becoming harder to remove later on.

Air Them Out

After each wear, remove the insoles and laces if possible. Let your sneakers air out in a well-ventilated area. This helps prevent bacterial growth and reduces odor.

Store Them Properly

Keep your sneakers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will prevent colors from fading and materials from deteriorating. You can also use shoe trees or crumpled paper to help maintain their shape.

Use Protective Sprays

Consider using a water and stain repellent spray on your sneakers. This will protect them from spills and the elements. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.

Saving Money By Proper Sneaker Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your sneakers helps you save money in the long run. By regularly cleaning and caring for your sneakers, you can extend their lifespan and avoid frequent replacements. One of the most cost-effective ways to maintain your sneakers is by washing them in a washing machine. 

Regularly washing your sneakers in the washing machine can prevent dirt and grime from building up, which can cause the materials to deteriorate faster. This means that you won't have to replace your sneakers as often, saving you money in the long term.

Additionally, washing your sneakers in the washing machine can help preserve the colors and fabrics, keeping them looking vibrant and fresh for longer. Take the time to clean your sneakers regularly and enjoy the benefits of both fresh-looking footwear and a healthier bank account.

Final Thoughts

Washing your sneakers in a washing machine can be a convenient and effective way to keep them clean and fresh. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your favorite pair of shoes stays in top condition for longer. Remember to always remove the laces and insoles, use a gentle detergent, and opt for a gentle cycle to prevent any damage to your sneakers.

Regularly washing your sneakers not only helps to maintain their appearance but also plays a significant role in personal hygiene. Sweat, dirt, and bacteria can build up inside your shoes over time, leading to unpleasant odors and potential skin issues. By incorporating regular washing machine cleaning with Blue Water Detergent Strips into your shoe care routine, you can prolong the lifespan of your sneakers and keep your feet feeling fresh and comfortable.

So, the next time your sneakers are in need of a good cleaning, don't hesitate to throw them in the washing machine. Just remember to take the necessary precautions, follow the right steps, and air dry them thoroughly before wearing them again. With a little bit of effort and the right technique, you can keep your sneakers looking and smelling like new for a long time to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wash all types of sneakers in a washing machine?

Not all sneakers are suitable for washing in a machine. Generally, canvas and fabric sneakers can withstand machine washing. However, sneakers made from delicate materials like leather or suede should not be washed in a machine as the process can damage them.

What settings should I use on my washing machine to clean sneakers?

It's best to use a gentle cycle with cold water when washing sneakers in the machine. This helps prevent damage to the glue and material of the sneakers. Avoid using hot water as it can warp the shape of your shoes and weaken adhesives.

Do I need to remove the laces before washing sneakers?

Yes, it's advisable to remove the laces before throwing your sneakers in the wash. This ensures a thorough clean as it allows water and detergent to reach tighter spaces. Wash the laces separately in a laundry bag or replace them if they're too worn.

Should I put sneakers in a mesh bag before washing?

Yes, placing your sneakers in a mesh laundry bag before washing can help protect them and your washing machine. The bag minimizes the sneakers' movement and prevents them from banging against the drum, reducing the risk of damage.

Can washing sneakers in the machine damage the washer?

Generally, washing sneakers in a washing machine does not damage the appliance, especially if precautions like using a mesh bag and choosing a gentle cycle are taken. However, washing too many pairs at once or not securing loose parts can lead to problems.

How do I dry sneakers after washing them in the machine?

The best way to dry your freshly washed sneakers is to air dry them. Remove the insoles and open the sneakers as much as possible for quicker drying. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources like dryers, as they can warp or shrink the sneakers.

Can I wash multiple pairs of sneakers at the same time?

It's possible to wash more than one pair of sneakers at a time, but avoid overloading your washing machine. Doing so can put strain on the appliance and not clean your sneakers effectively. It's best to wash two to three pairs max per load, depending on the machine's capacity.

How do I protect the shape of my sneakers during the wash?

To protect the shape of your sneakers, consider stuffing them with towels or specially designed sneaker laundry balls. This can help maintain their form during the wash cycle and prevent creasing.

Is it safe to wash leather or suede sneakers in the machine?

It's not recommended to wash leather or suede sneakers in a washing machine as water and agitation can damage these materials. It's best to clean these types of sneakers by hand using products designed for their care.

Can I add bleach when washing white sneakers?

When dealing with white fabric sneakers, adding a small amount of bleach can help restore their brightness. However, use it sparingly and ensure it's diluted to avoid damaging the sneakers. It's not advisable to use bleach on colored sneakers as it can fade or alter their color.

Chad McElligott