Although shoes need to be cleaned by hand, it’s fair to ask whether the same is true for shoelaces. After all, they’re usually made from fabric, so cleaning them should be easier.
So, can you put shoelaces in the washing machine? And if you can, is it the easiest way to wash them?
Can You Put Shoelaces in the Washing Machine?
You can put shoelaces in the washing machine, provided they’re not wax-coated or made from leather.
Most shoelaces are made from nylon or other synthetic materials, but some can be made from cotton or leather. Everything except leather is fine to be put in the washing machine.
As mentioned, you should watch out for wax-coated shoelaces. It should be obvious if you have waxed laces because they’re slightly shiny and feel waxy.
Putting these in the washing machine can melt the wax, which would ruin the shoelaces and could damage your washing machine.
Leather shoelaces, like leather shoes, shouldn’t go in the washing machine. The hot water and agitating motion can dry out and damage the material, causing the laces to snap.
You should avoid using water altogether on leather shoelaces, and instead clean them in the same way as you clean your leather shoes.
How to Wash Shoelaces in the Washing Machine
Shoelaces that are washing machine safe can be washed on any normal cycle (30 or 40 degrees Celsius).
Remove loose dirt first with an old toothbrush and then put them in a mesh washing bag. While the bag isn’t completely necessary, it stops you from losing them. Throw them in with an appropriately-coloured wash and then air dry.
Don’t put your shoelaces in the tumble dryer, as the heat can melt the plastic tips. That said, their size means they should air dry in a few hours anyway.
Can You Wash Laces with Washing Up Liquid?
If you’re putting a load of washing on, throwing your laces in with everything else shouldn’t be an issue.
However, it’s not worth running a washing cycle just for a pair of laces. In that case, you can wash them with some warm water and a few drops of washing up liquid. Scrub the laces using a toothbrush and then rinse in clean water.
This is the best method to use for waxed laces. However, make sure you use cool water (about body temperature) to avoid damage.
What’s the Fastest Way to Clean White Laces?
White laces can be washed in the washing machine as normal, but it can help to pre-treat them to help lift stains.
Use a normal oxygen-bleach stain remover, such as Vanish Oxi Action, made up into a solution with warm water.
Leave the laces to soak for up to an hour before washing in the machine or rinsing by hand.
Oxygen bleach should be fine for natural and synthetic fibres, but check the product’s instructions before soaking your white laces.
Shoelaces are usually quite resilient, meaning you have plenty of ways to clean them. Make sure you have an idea of what material you’re dealing with before you start, as this’ll determine the best cleaning method.
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.