How to wash sneakers at Home? With Hand, Washing Machine & Dish washer

How to wash sneakers

How to wash sneakers?

Sneakers are more than just shoes; they’re a reflection of our style, a companion on our journeys, and a trusty partner for those daily adventures. But as we take step after step, our beloved sneakers can accumulate dirt, grime, and stains that can dull their once-pristine appearance. Fear not, for in this easy-to-understand guide, we’ll show you how to wash sneakers and bring back their fresh, clean look.

Whether you’re a seasoned sneakerhead or just someone who wants to keep their favorite kicks looking sharp, we’ve got you covered with straightforward instructions and readily available supplies. You don’t need to be a laundry guru or invest in expensive cleaning products; all you need is a bit of time and some basic cleaning materials to restore your sneakers to their former glory.

So, grab your sneakers, roll up your sleeves, and let’s dive into the simple yet effective steps to clean your sneakers without breaking a sweat. Say goodbye to those stubborn stains and hello to a fresh pair of kicks!

How to wash sneakers at Home?

You can use different methods to clean sneakers at home. You will know how you can clean sneakers easily at home with the help of hands or washing machine. Along with this, I will also tell you which detergent you should use and which not. What precautions should and what not be followed while washing sneakers. And yes, I will also tell you how to wash sneakers in the dishwasher.

How to wash sneakers by hand?

Washing sneakers by hand is very simple.

Start by getting a special brush made for cleaning delicate materials. You can find one at a store.

Take out the laces and the insoles from your sneakers. These are the things inside your shoes and the strings that tie them.

Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any dirt on the bottom of your sneakers (the soles).

Now, for cleaning your sneakers:

  1. You’ll need some laundry soap, detergent, and carpet cleaner for this part.
  2. Fill a bucket or basin with water that’s not too hot or too cold, but somewhere between 30-40 degrees Celsius (about room temperature).
  3. Put your sneakers into the water, and add the cleaning products you picked earlier. Make sure the water covers your sneakers completely.
  4. Let your sneakers soak in the soapy water for about 20-30 minutes. This gives the cleaning products time to work and loosen up the dirt.
  5. After the soaking time, use the special brush you got earlier to gently scrub your sneakers. This will help get rid of the dirt and stains.
  6. Once you’ve scrubbed them well, take a damp sponge (a sponge that’s a bit wet, but not dripping) and wipe off any leftover cleaning product from your sneakers.

That’s it! Your sneakers should be looking much cleaner now. Just let them air dry, and don’t forget to put the laces and insoles back in when they’re dry.

Washing machine setting for sneakers

Before putting sneakers in the washing machine, we need to know some settings.

Protection: To protect your washing machine, place the sneakers inside a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag. This will help prevent them from banging around in the machine and causing damage.

Detergent: Use a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals as they can damage the shoes.

Settings: Use a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water. This will reduce the risk of damaging the sneakers or causing excess wear and tear.

Set the washing machine to a slow spin cycle or no spin if possible. A high-speed spin cycle can be hard on the shoes.

Load Balance: If you’re washing only the sneakers, you might want to add some towels or other soft items to balance the load and reduce noise during the wash cycle.

Time: A shorter wash cycle is generally sufficient for cleaning sneakers. You don’t need a long wash cycle.

How to wash sneakers in washing machine?

Sneakers in the machine? Canvas, yes, leather no!

Washing your sneakers in the washing machine can be a bit tricky, and it’s important to be cautious. Canvas sneakers are generally okay to clean this way, and it can give them a fresh look. However, it’s a big no-no for leather sneakers because they could end up damaged.

But here’s the thing: tossing sneakers in the washing machine can also harm the machine itself. When the shoes spin around in there, they can hit the inside of the machine and cause damage over time.

Turn off the spin to prevent the sneakers from damaging the drum

If you do decide to machine wash your sneakers, take these precautions:

  1. Take off the shoelaces and clean them separately using lemon or sodium percarbonate (for white laces). Then, put them in a laundry bag or net before adding them to the washing machine.
  2. If your canvas sneakers are caked in mud, it’s a good idea to hand-clean them first to get rid of as much dirt as possible. This way, the water in the machine won’t get too dirty too quickly.
  3. To protect your washing machine, wrap your sneakers in a thick terry towel before putting them in the drum. It’s even better if you mix them with some bulky laundry items.
  4. Start a gentle wash cycle at 30 degrees Celsius and disable the spin function. This helps prevent the drum from becoming unbalanced during the wash.

When it comes to drying your sneakers:

  • Don’t even think about using a tumble dryer, unless you have one with a special program for this purpose.
  • Instead, let your sneakers air dry at room temperature in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight to keep them from getting too stiff. Be patient because it might take several days for them to fully dry.

How to clean leather sneakers?

Cleaning leather, nubuck, or suede sneakers in a washing machine is a big no-no, unless you’re doing it for an art project that involves ruining them. Instead, follow these steps to clean them by hand:

  1. Take out the laces and clean them separately. Also, remove the insoles and gently rub them with a slightly damp cloth soaked in liquid laundry detergent or Marseille soap. Then, rinse them and let them dry.
  2. Brush your sneakers to get rid of most of the dried mud, stones, and other dirt. You can use a toothbrush or cotton swab for stubborn spots or tough dirt.
  3. Make a mixture of hot water and liquid detergent (or Marseille soap). Apply this mixture to the shoes without soaking them. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then brush to remove the grime.
  4. Rinse the sneakers with warm water, and then rinse them again with clean water.
  5. Let your sneakers air dry, preferably outdoors (if the weather is nice). Just be sure not to place them in direct sunlight to avoid color changes. And definitely, don’t use a dryer, as it could cause the soles to melt.

How to wash sneakers in dishwasher

Using a dishwasher to clean sneakers may seem like an idea worth trying, but it’s not a good choice. This method can be risky and harm both your shoes and the dishwasher. Instead, there are better and safer ways to clean your sneakers correctly.

Risks and Dangers of Washing Shoes in the Dishwasher

Washing your sneakers in the dishwasher can be risky and harmful for both your shoes and the dishwasher itself. Here are some potential problems you might encounter:

  1. Sneaker Shape Change: The heat and water pressure in the dishwasher can make your sneakers lose their normal shape. This might make them uncomfortable to wear or not fit properly anymore.
  2. Color Problems: The dishwasher’s strong cleaning process and detergents can make the colors on your sneakers fade or mix together, making your shoes look less nice.
  3. Damage to Shoe Parts: The tough conditions in the dishwasher can weaken the glue and other things holding your sneakers together. This could make your shoes fall apart or not as strong as they used to be.
  4. Harm to Dishwasher: Sneakers might have small parts like eyelets or hidden metal bits. These can scratch or block the inside of your dishwasher, which can make it work less effectively.

So, it’s best to be careful and avoid washing your sneakers in the dishwasher to keep both your shoes and your dishwasher in good shape.

Why Dishwashers are Not the Ideal Choice

Dishwashers are great for cleaning dishes, but they’re not a good choice for cleaning shoes. There are a few reasons why dishwashers can harm different types of shoes, especially leather ones:

  1. Strong Soapy Stuff: The detergents used in dishwashers are really strong and can be too tough on delicate materials like leather. These detergents can take away the natural oils from the leather and make it look faded, cracked, or stiff over time.
  2. Hot and Dry: Dishwashers use high heat when they dry dishes, and this heat isn’t good for shoes made of leather or synthetic stuff. Being exposed to this hot air for too long can make these materials shrink, crack, or even melt.
  3. Too Much Water Pressure: Dishwashers spray water with a lot of force, and this can mess up the shape of your shoes. It might make them uncomfortable to wear and not fit right. Plus, this powerful spray can be too much for gentle materials like leather or suede, and it could damage them so bad that they can’t be fixed.

If you still want to take the risk and clean the sneakers with the help of a dishwasher, then it is okay. I will definitely help you

How to wash sneakers in dishwasher: Process

The dishwasher has options to clean without using heat and to dry without heat as well. Normally, dishwashers get very hot to make dishes germ-free, but this heat can often damage your sneakers by making them smaller, cracking their surfaces, and weakening the glue that holds them together.

Also, this dishwasher has a filter in the drain, which is easy to clean.

Many folks online have wrecked their shoes trying this, so be super cautious. Now, here’s how to do it:

  1. First off, get rid of as much dirt as you can from the shoes. Grab a sturdy brush and some dish soap to clean them.
  2. Take out the insoles (those cushiony parts) and clean them separately by hand.
  3. You can leave the laces in your shoes, but make sure they don’t get tangled up in the dishwasher’s spinning parts or block the drain.
  4. Here’s a biggie: turn off all the heat. No hot water and definitely no drying with heat. This is where most people mess up and ruin their shoes.
  5. Only wash your shoes on their own – not with last night’s dirty dishes, unless you fancy eating off plates that smell like shoes.
  6. Use a mild dishwasher soap. Be careful with strong stuff that might bleach your shoes or cause damage.
  7. When the wash cycle’s done, clean out the dishwasher’s filter and take out the shoes.
  8. To dry them, stuff them with newspaper to soak up the moisture and keep their shape. Put them somewhere warm with good airflow. Using a fan will speed up the drying. Swap out the newspaper every few hours until they’re dry.

How to wash sneakers in front load washer

Washing sneakers in a front-load washer is a convenient way to clean them without much hassle. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do it:

Materials you’ll need:

  1. Sneakers that need cleaning
  2. Laundry bag or pillowcase
  3. Mild detergent
  4. Soft brush or toothbrush
  5. Towels


  1. Preparation:
    • Remove the laces from your sneakers. You can wash the laces separately by placing them inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase.
  2. Cleaning the Sneakers:
    • Check the care label on your sneakers to ensure they are machine washable. Most sneakers made of fabric or synthetic materials are safe to wash in a front-load washer. Leather or suede sneakers should not be machine washed.
    • Remove any loose dirt or debris from the sneakers by tapping them together or using a soft brush.
    • Place your sneakers inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This helps protect the sneakers and prevents them from banging around inside the washer.
  3. Add Detergent:
    • Use a mild detergent, preferably one designed for delicate or gentle cycles. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the sneakers.
  4. Select the Right Cycle:
    • Choose a gentle or delicate cycle on your front-load washer. This cycle is typically designed for delicate fabrics and will be gentler on your sneakers. Use cold water to further protect the material.
  5. Start the Wash:
    • Start the washing machine and let it complete the cycle. Ensure that the sneakers and laundry bag or pillowcase do not become tangled with other items in the washer.
  6. Remove and Rinse:
    • Once the cycle is complete, remove the sneakers from the laundry bag or pillowcase.
    • Check for any remaining detergent on the sneakers, and if needed, rinse them under cold running water to remove detergent residues.
  7. Drying:
    • Stuff your sneakers with clean, dry towels or paper towels to help them maintain their shape during drying.
    • Place your sneakers in a well-ventilated area or outside to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight and high heat sources, as they can damage the materials and cause them to lose their shape. Allow them to dry thoroughly, which may take 24 hours or more.
  8. Reassemble:
    • Once your sneakers are completely dry, re-lace them and they’re ready to wear.

Remember that not all sneakers can be machine washed, and it’s essential to check the care instructions on the label or the manufacturer’s website to ensure you’re following the correct cleaning method for your specific sneakers. Leather and suede sneakers, in particular, usually require different care methods and should not be machine washed.

If you like this article you should also read How to clean white converse? Easy and effective methods

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