Got some dirty shoes that need to be cleaned, but not sure what setting they can be washed on? You’ve come to the right place!
Keep on reading to find out what setting your shoes can be cleaned on.
Before you wash a pair of shoes, you need to read the care labels on the inside of the shoes to find out how they need to be washed.
Most cotton, polyester, and nylon shoes can be washed in a washing machine.
But shoes made from animal fibres, like leather and suede, cannot be washed in a machine.
This kind of footwear needs to be treated and maintained in a different way, most commonly with a specialised cleaner, with little to no water, or by a professional cleaner.
Washing Machine Settings and Temperatures for Washing Shoes
In general, shoes that can be cleaned in a washing machine need to be washed on a delicate cycle that has little to no spin.
In addition to a delicate setting, you need to choose a water temperature that is 30°C or less.
This will prevent any glue that’s holding the shoes together from melting. It should stop the shoes from warping, cracking and shrinking, and should limit any colour runs or fading.
It’s also worth pointing out that when washing shoes in a washing machine, you need to put the footwear either into a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag. This will stop the shoes from clunking around freely inside the drum during the wash.
Find out how to clean shoes in a washing machine below.
How To Wash Shoes in a Washing Machine
Cleaning shoes in a washing machine is very simple! Just make sure that this cleaning method is suitable for your footwear before you try it out.
Note: Shoes made from animal fibres, like silk, leather, and suede, should not be machine washed. Read the care label on these shoes and then purchase an appropriate cleaner, like a leather or suede cleaner, to clean these shoes.
Steps to follow:
- Read the care label on your shoes. This will advise you on how to wash and dry them.
- If the label says you can ‘machine wash’ the shoes, you can continue with this method. If not, you’ll have to find an alternative cleaning method.
- Remove any loose chunks of dirt before you pop the shoes inside the drum. Scrape dirt off the shoes with a soft bristled brush. Focus on the eyelets, soles, zips, and rims.
- Remove any laces. This stops the shoes from getting tangled in the wash.
- Take out any insoles from the shoes. Insoles will need to be washed separately and usually by hand (read the care label on the insoles and clean accordingly).
- Pop the shoes and the laces (you can wash the laces by hand, if you’d prefer) in a pillowcase and tie the end shut. Or buy a mesh laundry bag and pop them inside. A laundry bag or pillowcase will make sure that your shoes stay together and don’t rattle around freely once the wash starts.
- Add the bag to the washing machine.
- Stick a couple of towels in the machine’s drum to help balance the load. The towels will also help to dampen the bumping sound.
- Choose a delicate cycle.
- Choose a water temperature that is 30°C or less.
- Add a mild liquid laundry detergent.
- Make sure there’s no spin or at best select a very low spin speed.
- Do not use fabric softener!
- Start the washing cycle.
- Optional: Run an extra rinse cycle to remove excess detergent from your shoes.
- Move on to drying your shoes.
How to Dry Shoes
It’s always better to dry shoes naturally. So, if it’s possible, put your shoes outside on the line for a little while to dry. But make sure the shoes aren’t left in direct sunlight.
Alternatively, you can fill your shoes up with newspaper, and leave them near an open window to dry overnight.
You will need to swap the old, wet paper for dry paper every few hours throughout this time.
Or you could hang your shoes over a fan, so the breeze can dry the shoes out for you. In addition to this, you could buy a shoe dryer to dry your shoes.
If you’re in a hurry and you need to dry your shoes fast, you may be able to tumble dry your shoes.
Just remember to check the care label on your shoes to see if your shoes are ‘dryer safe’ before you try this out.
If you’re tumble drying shoes, always choose a low heat and a short cycle, and keep an eye on your shoes throughout the process.
However, in most cases it’s worth avoiding the tumble dryer method entirely. The heat inside the dryer is usually too intense for most shoes, and, in turn, it can damage and shrink the footwear.
Once your shoes, laces and insoles are completely dry, you can replace the laces and insoles you took out of your shoes at the start of the washing process.
Your shoes might feel a little snug when you first put them on, so you may need to wear them around the house for a little bit.
FAQs on Washing and Drying Shoes
Can you put shoes in the tumble dryer?
It is possible to dry shoes in a tumble dryer, but you must be extra careful when you do this. The heat inside the machine can warp and shrink some shoes beyond repair.
In addition to this, not all materials can be dried in a dryer. So, you’ve got to check the care label on your shoes before you try this drying technique out.
It’s usually better for your shoes if you dry them naturally.
How do you dry trainers quickly?
If you need to dry your trainers quickly, here are some methods you could try:
- Stuff your trainers with newspaper and swap the wet paper for newspaper on a regular basis.
- Hook your trainers over a fan.
- Invest in a shoe dryer that slots inside your trainers.
- Fill your trainers with rice.
- Tumble dry your trainers, if the care label says this drying method is permitted.
Can you put converse trainers in the washing machine?
You should not wash your Converse trainers in the washing machine. It’s actually advised by Converse that you should hand wash your shoes with lukewarm water and some mild soap.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!