Doc Martens are incredibly resilient boots. But wearing them everywhere means they need regular cleaning to look fresh.
To do so, can you put Doc Martens in the washing machine? We’ll answer this below and discuss the best ways to clean your boots.
Can You Put Doc Martens in the Washing Machine?
You shouldn’t put Doc Martens in the washing machine because the heat, spin cycle and prolonged exposure to water will damage the boots.
Leather shoes should never go near the washing machine, but you should also avoid washing the fabric ones in the washing machine too. If nothing else, it could damage the sole and potentially change the fabric’s colour.
Another major reason why you shouldn’t put your Doc Martens (or any shoes) in the washing machine is that it can damage the glue.
All the shoe’s components are held together with very strong glue, but the heat and moisture in the washing machine can cause it to come unstuck. Unsurprisingly, this’ll lead to your shoes falling apart.
How to Clean Doc Martens
You can clean leather Doc Martens in the same way as any other leather shoes. For the fabric ones, you can follow most of the steps below and replace the soap with something like Kaps Shoe Cleaning Foam.
To clean your Doc Martens, you’ll need:
- Mild washing up liquid
- A cloth
- An old toothbrush
- A hard-bristled brush
- Shoe polish
- Shoe protector spray
The steps are as follows:
- Remove the laces and leave them to soak in a bowl of warm water with some washing up liquid.
- Bang your boots together outside to remove any loose dirt on the soles. Use the hard-bristled brush to remove any remaining dirt on the soles and boots.
- Wet a cloth in clean water and wring out. Rub it over the boots in a circular motion to start removing dirt.
- Get a bowl of warm water with enough washing up liquid to create bubbles.
- Dip a clean cloth in the water, wring out, and start washing your boots. Again, do so in a circular motion.
- Use a toothbrush to get into the small gaps, such as around stitching, in the tongue grooves, and around the soles. Wash the soles last.
- Leave the boots to air dry for an hour or so and then apply polish. Follow the instructions on the product, but it usually involves rubbing it on, leaving it for a while, and then polishing it up.
- If you don’t want to polish them, you’ll need to use a leather cream to moisturise the boots after washing them.
- Finish by spraying with shoe protector spray.
Cleaning Doc Martens does take a bit of effort, but it’s worth it to keep your boots looking fresh. What’s more, the better you care for them, the longer they’ll last.
Proper leather boots like Doc Martens are a long-term investment, so make sure you treat them well to keep them looking fresh.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.