It doesn’t take much for our favourite trainers to get dirty. As with other clothing, putting them in the washing machine can be the easiest solution. But does this work for all materials?
In this article, we’ll answer the question, can you put suede trainers in the washing machine?
Can You Put Suede Trainers in the Washing Machine?
You can’t put suede trainers in the washing machine because overexposure to water will damage the suede.
If it gets too wet and then dries out, it becomes hard and brittle. Not only does this make them uncomfortable, it also makes the trainers more prone to damage.
One disadvantage of suede over leather is that you can’t put the moisture back into it. Some suede shampoos will help moisturise it a little, but you should be conscious about getting your suede trainers wet.
Ensure you use a protector spray like Kaps Nano Protector, as it creates a hydrophobic coating over the suede, causing water to wick and run off the surface.
Why Shouldn’t You Get Suede Wet?
Suede, like leather, is made from animal skin. As with our skin, water dries it out by removing the oils that keep suede supple.
But there’s another issue with suede that doesn’t apply to leather.
It’s covered in tiny hairs, which give it that fuzzy finish. When these get wet, they become brittle and can snap off.
This will ruin the suede by stripping its fuzzy texture, leaving you with something that’s neither suede nor leather.
Finally, wetting and drying your suede trainers can cause stains to set more than they were previously.
So, if you want to clean your suede trainers to remove stains or marks, putting them in the washing machine is definitely not the answer!
How Do You Clean Suede Sneakers?
You clean suede sneakers in the same way as any other suede product (with as little water as possible). We’ve got a full article on how to clean suede, so check that out for a full guide.
The best product to use is something like Kiwi Suede & Nubuck Cleaner. It’s essentially shampoo for suede, but it dries quickly to ensure there’s no water damage. Of course, make sure you do a patch test inside the shoe to check it won’t affect the colour.
It’ll also be worth getting a suede cleaning kit, such as this one from Sneaky. It contains a brush and eraser, which help to lift stains and restore the suede’s nap (its fuzzy texture).
Final Thoughts on Washing Suede Trainers
Suede trainers are definitely harder to clean than synthetic trainers. Although throwing them in the washing machine is the easier option, you can fully restore suede trainers with a bit of patience and the right products.
Unsurprisingly, prevention is the best form of care. Make sure you regularly use protector spray on your suede trainers, and you should minimise the need for cleaning them at all. Accidents will still happen, but they’ll basically be wipe clean!
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.