Do you wash your shoes in the washing machine?

New Zealand
April 21, 2012 9:48pm CST
I've heard of a few people using the washing machine to wash their dirty shoes; it's something I have not tried myself personally, but I'm thinking of trying it out - apparently it works quite well! Have you ever used the washing machine to wash your shoes before? Did it clean them well? Did the washing machine work fine afterwards ?
2 people like this
37 responses
@tashh23 (115)
22 Apr 12
I also have heard of a few people washing their shoes in the washer and drying them as well. What I do know for sure, is that it's extremly loud, especially in the dryer, they clunk around and are very annoying. My mom has washed both my brothers shoes, although I don't remember how well the results turned out. I do not think that it ruined them, but I also don't think they cleaned them as well as she thought they would, or even as well as regular clothes. I have heard of a couple people ruining their sneakers in the washing machine. I myself, have only washed and dried a pair of winter boots (Ugs) and they were fine after words (except when I wore them, they would make my feet get wetter faster than they did before I had washed them - which really sucked because having wet feet at school all day is cold and made me cranky lol)! Although, it did clean them .. After the first time washing and drying them, I never washed them again, but I did throw them in the dryer a few times because sometimes they would stay soaking wet all night and wouldn't be dry the next morning in time before I would wear them to school, so the dryer was the only thing that got them dry. I figured since I had already washed and dried them once, I did not think it would hurt to keep putting them in the dryer, since the first time it made them get wetter faster, (I didn't think it would get any worse lol). Don't make a final decision on my comment and experience. It was probably just the type of boots I had and as I mentioned above, I don't remember how my brothers turned out, I don't think it ruined theirs but I do know of other people's it has. I'd say making this discussion was the best way to find out if you should give it a try yourself or not. See how many positive and negative reactions you get, and just always check the type of shoes you're gunna wash because they're all different. There may very well be a tag on the inside of the shoe with a little picture that shows whether or not it can be used in a washer/dryer !! I hope this was a bit of help, and I hope you get a lot of other responses, hopefully positive ones! Wish you the best of luck and hope to chat again soon. Thank you :)
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
23 Apr 12
Oh do people put them in the dryer as well! I was thinking more along the lines of leaving them outside to dry in the sun (though I suppose that might not be so effective in a place that's snowing, or raining). That seems a bit odd... did the round in the washing machine damage your shoes by leaving (micro)tears in them? Interesting to know the dryer didn't make your shoes any more noticeably worse, at least . It's definitely been interesting reading the responses! I think for these canvas shoes of mine I'll just put them in a bucket of water and scrub them myself a bit and see how that goes - they aren't the greatest shoes so I suspect they wouldn't survive the spin cycles of a washing machine.
• New Zealand
26 Apr 12
Ended up just soaking them in a bucket overnight and washing them with a tap the next day before hanging them out to dry... didn't exactly bring them to 'as new' condition but I think it's good enough , thanks!
@tashh23 (115)
24 Apr 12
Haha yes! Some people do in fact put their shoes in the dryer after washing them! I'm sure there's a lot of people who don't as well though. I think putting them outside would be a good idea, if the weather is suitable to do so, like you said. Probably be best because depending on the shoe, putting them in the dryer may 'shrink' them. When I put my winter boots in they did get a little tighter/smaller, but they fit better like that on my feet lol. And yes, I'm sure there were a lot of different responses with different ideas/solutions as to washing and/or drying shoes!! Hopefully you found a few to help you make a decision on what to do though :) I do agree on your idea of hand washing them. It would probably keep the shoe in better condition. It may take a little more time and effort, but at least you won't have to hear them clunking in the machines!! Lol, good luck hunn. I hope they turn out for the best for you :)
@fannitia (2167)
• Bulgaria
22 Apr 12
Hi, Cellophane! I've tried this more than one time. It works perfectly, no problem for the washing machine. But you can wash only sport shoes made from textile material, not leather.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (158055)
• United States
22 Apr 12
This is pretty much my experience as well. I also do not put them in the dryer, but stuff the toes with paper and dry them in the sun.
• New Zealand
26 Apr 12
Hi Fannitia and GardenGerty, glad to hear you've had good experiences with this method as well! Does stuffing the shoes with paper make them dry faster/more effectively? I haven't heard of that!
@Kojigirl (188)
22 Apr 12
From my experience, only do this if you have quality shoes. I don't, I can't afford the pricey ones and I did once use the washing machine on my trainers and they fell apart. Not only did it leave me virtually shoeless, I was picking bits of shoe out of the washer for about a week afterwards. What survived was clean, but it was one heck of a mess. The washer was just fine.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
24 Apr 12
Thanks for the tip there Kojigirl , another Mylotter pointed out the same thing earlier - handy thing to note, don't machine wash cheaper shoes!
• India
22 Apr 12
not all shoes can be washed in the washing machine. i wash sports shoes in washing machine. but i clean them a little bit before putting them for a wash in the washing machine. clear dirt should be avoid being put in the washing machine
• New Zealand
23 Apr 12
Yeah one would definitely want to remove what they could before placing them in the washing machine! That's a very good point Tashh! I generally only pay attention to the sizing when looking at those shoe tags, and didn't know that they (or some, at least) had information about being machine wash-friendly too .
• India
22 Apr 12
yeah, i agree. you are already empowered about the discussion...:) thanks for sharing this. i am sure many would get this info...
@tashh23 (115)
22 Apr 12
Agreed with @shwetat195, not all are washable, you should check the inside of the shoe. Sometimes they have a little tag that says if they're washer/dryer safe & I also agree that you should remove any different and maybe even the laces before you put them in. You shouldn't wash flip-flops, or flats, and obviously not high heels! lol. I'm sure there are a lot of sneakers that you can wash, and you can also wash water shoes!! Hope this helped :)
1 person likes this
@BigMoney25 (1286)
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
Me I do not wash my shoes in the washing machine I just kind of hand wash it. But sometimes I just use an old toothbrush and put some shoe cleaner and soap in it and brush the dirty part of my shoes and also my shoe laces. After that I just rinse it with cold water and hang it and let it dry under the sun.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
23 Apr 12
That sounds like a good strategy too, I actually have a tooth brush that needs to be replaced... maybe I can use that one .
@bubblez9 (14)
• United States
22 Apr 12
I've only washed two types of shoes in the washing machine- tennis shoes and boots. They came out like new, which is a lot better than spending time scrubbing them and having them still be dirty. The washing machine works fine, it didn't harm it what so ever.
• New Zealand
25 Apr 12
Sounds like you've had an awesome experience with this then! Happy to hear it all worked out, thanks!
• New Zealand
26 Apr 12
I ended up washing them manually since they aren't very good shoes, thought I would stick with the safer method .
• United States
25 Apr 12
Your welcome! (: Have you tried it yet?
@stanley777 (9402)
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
I think it is not advisable to wash canvass or tennis shoes in the washing machine. Aside from doing damaged to your machine because of the bumping of the shoes while it's being wash, the adhesive used in the shoes could get loose too due to long soaking of the shoes in the machine. I do mine manually.
• New Zealand
24 Apr 12
Yeah that would be one of my concerns - that the washing machine would be damaged after being hit by the shoes. Manual's definitely safer .
• Philippines
24 Apr 12
Besides, a pair of tennis shoes will not consume a lot of your time unless they are too many pairs of coarse. You just use a small brush for the jog or a used toothbrush. Also your washing machine will be safe from damage.
@momof3kids (1894)
• Singapore
22 Apr 12
I learn this type of washing shoes from my sister who works so she needs to have things done fast. I tried it and it works for good quality shoes. I taught it to my less than hardworking son and he put in a pair of cheap shoes and they got torn up. BTW my machine is a top loader. I havent had a front loader for a washing machine. Dunno if that makes a difference.
• New Zealand
22 Apr 12
Oh I see! I think I would have had the opposite thought process, and washed more expensive shoes myself! Thanks for the advice .
• Singapore
22 Apr 12
Oya it does not damage my machine.
• Singapore
22 Apr 12
o dear I have not been specific. I mean good quality sport shoes. We bought those for my son to wear for school. For some reason he prefers the cheaper ones and they didnt survive their first wash in the machine....lol
@Cherish14 (2693)
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
well for me that's just crazy LOL i will be breaking my shoes if i put them in the washer i haven't even seen someone do that.
• New Zealand
24 Apr 12
Maybe your shoes are stronger than you think! Although it's probably better to play it safe with these things .
@Cherish14 (2693)
• Philippines
24 Apr 12
still, i can't imagine myself doing that hahaha yeah i know, or else i will be regretting
@Mashnn (4501)
22 Apr 12
No. I have not tried and I will not try it in the near future. I think washing machine are meant for clothes but not other stuffs like shoes. I better clean them manually.
• New Zealand
23 Apr 12
Maybe it'd be worth a try (one day) with some old shoes you wouldn't mind throwing out - just to try .
@ryanong (9665)
• Vietnam
22 Apr 12
oh, trust me, we can wash sport shoes by using the washing machine. Nothing harms with it. I washed many times and my shoes are still good, my washing machine is still good, no problem...^^
@Mashnn (4501)
22 Apr 12
I have never thought of washing my shoes with the machine, maybe I will think about using it someday. I jog along the road sometiems and my shoes tend to be a bit messy and dirty.
@MissPiggy (1748)
• Indonesia
22 Apr 12
Omg, no. I never try to use the washing machine to wash my shoes! Even if we clean it after we use it for our shoes, I just feel it doesn't right. And do the shoes really well-cleaned? I won't try it anyway.
• New Zealand
24 Apr 12
Yes I suppose you wouldn't want to risk contaminating your washing machine with whatever you have stepped on with your shoes
@MissPiggy (1748)
• Indonesia
25 Apr 12
Hahahahah!! That's exactly what I meant!!
@hagmic22 (49)
• Israel
22 Apr 12
I dont think it would work with leather shoes, but I washed my fabric sport shoes in a washing machine and it worked just fine! Although it took a while untill they were wearably dry, the shoes were completely clean. It didnt harm the machine.
• New Zealand
25 Apr 12
Great to hear! Did you use a towel when you washed yours? Yes I think that while the water would still go in, it probably wouldn't be as effective... but I guess if it helps keep your washing machine alive then it's worth it!
• Israel
22 Apr 12
I forgot to write that recently I have told that you may wash your showes in the washer but wrap them with a towel. I guess it abates the fears of ruining the showes or hurting the machine, but I do not know If the showes will still be cleaned this way.
@jinky2012 (438)
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
its been a good question. I never tried washing my shoes in the washing machine.may i try it for my shoes?lol..
• New Zealand
22 Apr 12
Only recommended for tennis shoes! If you do want to try .
• New Zealand
23 Apr 12
I think with tennis shoes it's due to the fact that they are built to be strong, since people run around in them for hours on end - they need to be strong and able to tolerate a lot of abuse. It has been mentioned my other MyLotters that it will also depend on the cushioning in the shoe - so it may be that not all tennis shoes can be washed in this way, but from what it sounds like based on the responses I have seen, most can be .
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
Hello! May I ask, what is special with tennis shoes that they can be able to be subjected in to the washing machine? I have been thinking about this lately because putting my shoes in the washing machine will make my shoe cleaning easier. But will it affect the shoe strength or the adhesives it has on the soles?
@snrm007 (224)
• United States
22 Apr 12
I feel like this would COMPLETELY ruin a lot of types of shoes. Some shoes it would work for yes, depending on what they are made out of but most shoes would be completely trashed from this. Just take a wet napkin and wipe them down manually.
• New Zealand
22 Apr 12
WHOOPS, I forgot to mention that I heard about this for sport-type shoes ! Certainly wouldn't recommend putting a pair of leather shoes in the wash!
@snrm007 (224)
• United States
22 Apr 12
Alright that makes a lot more sense but I still couldn't see myself putting in a pair of basketball shoes into the wash. I think cleaning them by hand is a lot better and faster.
@ryanong (9665)
• Vietnam
22 Apr 12
Leather shoes cant be put in washing, but we still can wash sport shoes by using the washing machine...^^
@rekhum (2420)
• India
22 Apr 12
I'd say, 'are you crazy', if you were asking me that I wash my leather shoes in W.M. or not. Moreover, even if i had sports shoes which I am not actually fond of, I'd wash them with my hand.
• New Zealand
24 Apr 12
Definitely not for leather shoes! I suppose that could be to the benefit of your washing machine as well-
• Philippines
23 Apr 12
It depends on the type of shoes. I don't wash it in washing machine especially because I don't know how to use a washing machine. I only hand-wash each pair of my shoes. I feel like I could them really well if by hands. Although it takes time longer to wash by hands than washing machine, I consider it as my workout.
@ifa225 (14364)
• Indonesia
28 Apr 12
some ballet shoes used to wash using washing machine
• India
22 Apr 12
Hello friend, No I am not wash my shoes in the washing machine. I am not like that. Have a nice day.
@ryanong (9665)
• Vietnam
22 Apr 12
Why not? your sport shoes wont be harmed of it. I am sure...:) However with your leather shoes, better you have to clean it by yourself.
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
But will the adhesives for the shoe's sole lose strength due to the wash? I mean, water is still a solvent and as far as I know, some sports shoes uses polyurethane blend adhesives on them. Water and soap may alter the surface characteristics of these adhesives and may cause them to lose strength. I don't know, but when you wash your shoes in the washing machine did your shoe last long enough?
• Philippines
22 Apr 12
i think washing your shoes in the washing machine could ruin it. it's best to wash shoes manually, like using a soft bristle brush. in that way you can avoid some shoe part that easy gets destroyed when wet. and also, i don't think shoes can destroy washing machine because shoes floats when in the water. the water will just spin and the shoe wouldn't touch the turbine.
• New Zealand
26 Apr 12
I think it would still hit the sides due to the centrifugal forces which push the objects in a washing machine out, but that's true it's safer to wash manually!
• United States
22 Apr 12
Shoes .. Washing machine ?!?! I wont bet on that one. I do wash canvas shoes in washing machine but your jordans no no no no !! Its not how you do it?! Lol
• New Zealand
25 Apr 12
Oh you have washed canvas shoes in the washing machine? The shoes I was thinking about putting in there are canvas shoes too, guessing it works out ok?
@hydra877 (14)
22 Apr 12
Nope, because it may ruin the shoes and/or damage the machine. I wash them with bar soap and a brush.
• New Zealand
25 Apr 12
Ah does soap work well on shoes as well? Interesting .