What type of shoes can be put into the washing machine?

United States
August 9, 2007 6:04pm CST
For years I've heard that you should put a canvas tennis shoe into the dryer with a load of towels to help them dry faster. But lately, I've been wondering if it's possible to put tennis shoes or other type of natural material shoes into the washing machine to clean them. I haven't worked up the nerve to try this yet, cause I'm afraid that it might mess up my washing machine. During the rainy season, our little kid gets lots of dirt and mud on her shoes and it's almost impossible to clean off with a cloth. Has anyone ever tried putting tennis shoes into the washing machine? Or, do you think this could mess up the machine and make it stop working? Are there specific types of shoes, i.e. canvas or boat shoes that could be safely cleaned in a washing machine? Would appreciate some suggestions on cleaning tennis shoes if putting them into the washing machine is not a good idea. Thanks for the suggestions.
2 people like this
8 responses
@roniroxas (10577)
• Philippines
9 Aug 07
i put all our rubber shoes and sneakers in the washing machine, i soak it for an hour then wash it.
2 people like this
• Australia
9 Aug 07
apart from leather shoes, i put all the kids tennis shoes and slippers etc on a gentle cycle in the washing machine, i don't put them in the dryer i just put them outside to dry. i never use to do it until i had kids but i find i can be washing shoes as often as clothes sometimes.
2 people like this
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
20 Aug 07
I always wash our sneakers in the washing machine- I add towels to the load so that you don’t hear the bump- bump noise. Make sure you double knot the laces or take them out all together- you don’t want them to get caught in the machine- I haven’t ever had any problems with my machine and I throw ours in often- I also hand wash them first- if they are real muddy- in the sink with super hot water and soap!
@theprogamer (10543)
• United States
18 Aug 07
Tennis shoes and sneakers can be done in the washer on a gentle cycle. Be sure to soak them so they are softer and they'll do less damage to the drum. Take the laces out and just soak them in a light detergent and water mix. Alternatively, you can also put the shoes in two layers of sheets and bundle them, or into a thick cloth. Tie the bundle together tight enough so it doesn't unravel, or at least make sure your bundle is thick enough that the washer cycle won't do too much unraveling to it. This will help protect your shoes and your washer drum. You'll have to hang those and the shoes out to dry. On the other hand, you can try putting them in the dryer, but use something like a towel, comforter or old but clean quilt to act as a buffer. Worked fine when i needed to wash lawn-stained sneakers.
1 person likes this
@Nardz13 (5060)
• New Zealand
17 Aug 07
Hi. I know that Ive washed my sneakers and running shoes in the our old washing machine in past times and they came out acceptable... I wouldnt dear try to wash them in our new washing machine... I would rather wash them by hand...
@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
14 Aug 07
I put all my canvas tennis shoes into the washer. I've been doing it for over 30 years and I've never ever ruined a washing machine yet! It's important to soak them for a good while before turning it onto a gentle cycle, and also important to take the laces out (those will get caught, and can go down the drain through the water holes!) I put them in with a load of older towels, and space them evenly. The towels help rub the canvas, and keep them from 'knocking around' while the washer spins. You have to place them evenly so they're not all on one side. (In other words, if you think of the drum as like a clock, and you're washing two pairs of tennis shoes, put one at noon, one at 3, one at 6, and one at 9...that way the weight is evenly distributed.) I do NOT put them in the dryer though, the dryer heat will make the sole separate from the canvas part somewhat, and they'll never be the same again. My canvas shoes get washed this way at least 3 or 4 times alone just during the summer, and it keeps them white fresh & newer looking...plus, feet sweat more in the summer, and it takes that away too.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
10 Aug 07
I think tennis shoes can put in a washing machine too but the question is can the machine last longer? My mother told me never to put shoes into a washing machine because it may damage the machine in the long term. I think it is better to soak your shoes in a basin full of soap water. Let them soak over a night and you wash it the next day. This way it is easier to remove the dirt from the shoes. Your shoes can last longer and so does your washing machine.
@zandi458 (27880)
• Malaysia
10 Aug 07
It is possible to wash canvas shoes in the washing machine as my daughter has done it several times but I never encourage her to do it again cos washing machine is design to wash clothings. I normally soak dirty shoes for an hour before I brush it.