How to Wash Running Shoes in Washing Machine: The Complete Guide to Keep Them Fresh and Durable

How to Wash Running Shoes in Washing Machine?

To wash running shoes in a washing machine, it is not recommended as it can damage both the shoes and the machine itself.

It is safer to hand-wash them using a soap specifically designed for running shoes.

To thoroughly clean them, remove the innersoles and laces and use an applicator to remove stubborn stains.

Rinse with soap and water and dry in fresh air or sunlight, or in a warm room.

Avoid using artificial drying devices like radiators, hairdryers, or tumble dryers.

Key Points:

  • Washing running shoes in a washing machine is not recommended as it can cause damage to the shoes and the machine.
  • Instead, it is safer to hand-wash them using a running shoe-specific soap.
  • To thoroughly clean the shoes, remove the innersoles and laces and use an applicator for stubborn stains.
  • Rinse the shoes with soap and water and dry them in fresh air, sunlight, or a warm room.
  • Avoid using artificial drying devices such as radiators, hairdryers, or tumble dryers.


Did You Know?

1. Washing your running shoes in a washing machine can actually help prolong their lifespan, as it helps remove dirt and sweat build-up that can lead to deterioration and odors.

2. To protect the shape and materials of your running shoes, it is recommended to remove the laces and insoles before washing them in the machine. This will also ensure a more thorough clean.

3. Placing your running shoes inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase can prevent them from getting tangled with other clothes in the machine, reducing the risk of damage.

4. Adding a small amount of white vinegar during the wash cycle can help eliminate stubborn odors from your running shoes, leaving them smelling fresh and clean.

5. Instead of using the dryer to speed up the drying process, it is advisable to air dry your running shoes to prevent any potential shrinkage or damage. Placing them in a well-ventilated area and allowing them to dry naturally is the safest and most effective method.

The Safest Method: Hand-Washing With Running Shoe Soap

Keeping your running shoes clean is vital not only for maintaining their appearance but also for ensuring their optimal function. While many people may be tempted to throw their dirty running shoes in the washing machine, hand-washing is the safest and most effective method.

To begin, gather a soap specifically designed for running shoes. These specialized soaps are formulated to remove stains and odors without damaging the materials of the shoes.

When hand-washing your running shoes, it’s important to remove the laces and innersoles first. This will allow for a more thorough cleaning, ensuring that no dirt or grime is left behind. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of the running shoe soap. Use your hands or a soft brush to work the soap into a lather and gently scrub the entire shoe, paying particular attention to any heavily soiled areas. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

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Thorough Cleaning: Removing Innersoles and Laces

To achieve a deep and thorough clean, it is essential to remove the innersoles and laces from your running shoes before washing. These components can trap dirt, sweat, and bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant odors and potential damage to the shoes. By removing the innersoles and laces, you allow the soap and water to penetrate every nook and cranny of the shoe, ensuring a comprehensive cleaning process.

After removing the innersoles, soak them separately in warm, soapy water to eliminate any built-up odor or sweat. Use a gentle brush or sponge to gently scrub them, then rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry.

As for the laces, soak them in a separate bowl of soapy water and use your hands to agitate them to remove any dirt or grime. Rinse the laces thoroughly and leave them to dry before reattaching them to the shoes.

Tackling Stubborn Stains: Applicator and Soap Rinse

Stubborn stains on your running shoes can be a real eyesore and may seem challenging to remove. However, with the right technique, you can successfully eliminate these unsightly marks.

To effectively remove tough stains, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right cleaning applicator: Use a soft brush or a sponge to apply a small amount of running shoe soap directly to the affected area. This will help break down the stain without causing damage to the shoe’s material.

  2. Scrub gently and with care: Using circular motions, gently scrub the stain, ensuring not to apply excessive pressure. This will prevent any potential damage to the shoe’s material.

  3. Thoroughly rinse: After working the soap into the stain, rinse the shoe under running water or in a basin of clean water. Make sure to remove any soap residue for optimal results.

  4. Repeat if necessary: If the stubborn stain persists, repeat the process until it is completely gone. Patience is key when dealing with tough stains, so allow the soap to penetrate the stain for a few minutes before scrubbing for better results.

Remember, with the right technique and a little patience, you can restore your running shoes to their former glory.

Proper Drying Technique: Fresh Air, Sunlight, or Warm Room

After washing your running shoes, proper drying is crucial to maintain their shape and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Here are some tips to help you dry them effectively:

  • Avoid using artificial drying devices such as radiators, hairdryers, or tumble dryers, as the high heat can warp the shoes or damage the materials.
  • Instead, opt for natural drying methods such as air drying in a well-ventilated area, placing them in direct sunlight, or positioning them in a warm room.
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To dry your running shoes in the fresh air, follow these steps:

  1. Find a shaded and airy spot, such as a porch or balcony.
  2. Ensure that the shoes are not exposed to direct sunlight, as this can cause discoloration or damage.
  3. Alternatively, you can position the shoes near an open window in a warm room where air circulation is good.
  4. This will expedite the drying process while protecting the shoes from excessive heat.

Remember, proper drying of your running shoes is important to preserve their quality and ensure their longevity. By following these tips, you can keep your shoes in great shape and ready for your next run.

Avoid Using Washing Machine: Damage to Shoes and Machine

While it may be tempting to toss your dirty running shoes into the washing machine for a quick and effortless clean, this method can actually cause damage to both your shoes and the machine itself. The agitation and spinning of the washing machine can put immense stress on the materials of the shoes, leading to premature wear and tear. Additionally, the shoes may become misshapen or lose their cushioning and support when subjected to the rigorous movement of the machine.

It is best to reserve the washing machine for other laundry items and stick to hand-washing your running shoes. By hand-washing, you have full control and can ensure a gentle and thorough cleaning process without risking damage to your beloved shoes or your washing machine.

Benefits of hand-washing running shoes:

  • Allows for more control over the cleaning process
  • Gentle on the materials, reducing the risk of wear and tear
  • Preserves the shape, cushioning, and support of the shoes
  • Minimizes the potential damage to the washing machine

Remember, taking proper care of your running shoes is crucial in maintaining their performance and longevity.

Speeding Up the Process: Removing Laces and Insoles in Washer

If you are pressed for time and prefer to use a washing machine for cleaning your running shoes, there are ways to minimize the potential damage.

  • Remove the laces and innersoles before placing the shoes in the washer. This helps speed up the process and ensure a more efficient clean.

By removing the laces and innersoles, you allow the running shoe soap and water to directly and effectively clean the shoe’s exterior and interior.

  • Place the shoes in a small laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them from excessive agitation during the wash cycle.

Set the washing machine to a gentle cycle using cold water and add a small amount of running shoe soap.

Once the cycle is complete, remove the shoes from the bag and reattach the laces and innersoles.

By following these steps, you can successfully wash your running shoes while minimizing the risk of damage and maintaining their appearance and functionality.

  • Remember to hand-wash with a running shoe soap for the safest and most thorough clean.

  • Removing the laces and innersoles allows for a comprehensive cleaning process, while tackling stubborn stains can be achieved by using an applicator and thorough rinsing.

  • Finally, ensure proper drying in fresh air, sunlight, or a warm room to maintain the shoes’ shape and integrity.

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Do note:

  • Hand-washing with running shoe soap is recommended for the safest clean.
  • Remove laces and innersoles for comprehensive cleaning.
  • Tackle stubborn stains with an applicator and thorough rinsing.
  • Proper drying is essential to maintain the shoes’ shape and integrity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put running shoes in the washing machine?

Putting running shoes in the washing machine is generally not recommended. Although it may seem convenient to let the machine handle the cleaning, it can potentially cause more harm than good. The intense washing machine setting can be too harsh for most running shoes, compromising the fabric and adhesive. This method is likely to result in damaged or even ruined shoes, so it’s best to explore alternative cleaning options.

Can you machine wash Nike runners?

While it may be tempting to throw your Nike runners in the washing machine, it is not recommended by Nike. Instead, the best approach to clean your sneakers without causing any damage is to gently brush them with a mild cleaning solution and allow them to air-dry. It is particularly crucial to exercise caution when cleaning suede shoes, as they require special care to maintain their texture and appearance. So, when it comes to washing your Nike runners, a gentle hand-cleaning method is the way to go to ensure their longevity.

Is it OK to wash trainers in washing machine?

While washing trainers in a washing machine may seem like a convenient solution, it is essential to consider the materials they are made of. Shoes made from animal products, such as leather or suede, are susceptible to water damage and should be cleaned using specific methods to preserve their quality. However, trainers made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester tend to be more durable and can generally withstand the washing machine without significant issues. It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consider the specific material composition to make an informed decision about washing your trainers in a washing machine.

Can you put white running shoes in the washing machine?

Yes, you can confidently put your white running shoes in the washing machine to restore their glory. Thanks to innovative solutions, such as using bleach in the washing machine, cleaning your favorite footwear is now easier than ever before. Gone are the days of worrying about mud stains or ketchup mishaps ruining your cherished sneakers. Just toss them in the machine, add some bleach, and let the washing machine work its magic, bringing your white running shoes back to their pristine state.

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