Can You Wash Running Shoes in the Washing Machine? (Tips for Cleaning)

Can I Wash My Running Shoes In The Washing Machine

Many people have thought about washing running shoes in the washing machine. It sounds so easy to let the washing machine do its magic. But is it ok?

Since running shoes are mostly made from cotton inside, it is basically okay to put them in the washing machine. But it might not be the best idea in the world.

So, there is a big but to this answer, as there are some instances where putting running shoes in the wash will ruin the shoes and could even ruin your machine as well.

In this article, we are going to look at what running shoes you should put in the wash, tips for cleaning running shoes, the settings you should use your washing machine on, and what type of washing machine you should use.

Washing Running Shoes In A Washing Machine

You can put running shoes in a washing machine, yet there are many things to consider. Not least what will happen if you put the wrong shoes in the washing machine.

In this scenario, the washing machine will destroy your shoes and it may destroy your washing machine. 

As such, you should always check the label and see if you can put running shoes in the washing machine or not.

You should do this before you begin wearing them, in case the label wears away or rubs off through the course of their use. Any special material shoes tend to not wash well, but general cloth materials do.

  • If the shoe’s top and interior material is cotton, canvas, nylon, or polyester, you could probably wash them fine.
  • However, if the top and interior material is leather, satin, or suede, you will need to clean them another way.

Also, never, never, NEVER put any shoes in the wash with big heavy objects or spikes on, like football cleats or big boots with buckles and spikes on them.

These will destroy your washing machine, and you may find yourself buying a brand-new one for very little gain.

You can probably guess from what we have just said that there are very few shoes that you can put in the wash. And even fewer that you can be sure will be fine by the end of the cycle.

However, luckily running shoes are one of the very few, as they are softer and generally made of the right material.

Tips For Cleaning Your Running Shoes

Can I Wash My Running Shoes In The Washing Machine?

Even if your shoes are perfectly fine to put in the wash, there are still some things that you should do beforehand in order to make sure that they are perfectly washed:

  • Read the wash instructions on the shoes, before throwing them in the machine.
  • Clean the outside of the shoe with a cloth or a toothbrush. If you don’t, the excess dirt will just spread throughout the wash and make other parts of the shoe dirty.
  • Never put your shoes in the drier or through a dryer cycle. Seriously, it’s a terrible idea, and it will ruin your shoes in the long term as it will warp the rubber and do damage to the cushioning.
  • Plan for your shoes to be out of commission for a while. Shoes take ages to dry because they are cushioned with lots of material. As such, expect that you will not be able to run with those shoes for a couple of days at least.
  • Always take out the insole before you wash your shoes. If you don’t the insole may be warped, and it will not fit in the shoe anymore.

As you can see, you need to take some things into consideration before you even think about putting any shoes in the wash.

Always follow these tips before you begin the process, and everything should be okay.

Settings For The Washing Machine

Can I Wash My Running Shoes In The Washing Machine?

When you put your shoes in the machine, you are going to want to use the gentlest settings no matter how dirty or mucky your shoes are. Any higher and you could destroy your shoes, which no one wants.

  • Put it on the delicates or hand wash setting before starting it. It will mean higher water usage, but it is worth it.
  • The hand wash and delicate settings also have lower spin speeds, which is perfect for your shoes. This is because you don’t want these fairly heavy objects bouncing around in the washing machine for a long time.
  • Another thing to do is to put a towel in the machine with them, so it softens up the tumbling action on the shoes themselves.

Finally, ensure the washing machine is in a cold water setting.

If you put them in a hot water setting, you are asking for disaster, as the heat will warp your shoes or at the very least damage them. Therefore, use the lowest heat setting possible.

Will The Type Of Washing Machine Make A Difference When Washing My Shoes?

Yes, the best washing machines to wash shoes in are front-loading machines. This is due to the fact that they tend to be gentler on the objects inside.

A top-loading washing machine is by far the worst because they are rough and rigorous in its wash cycle. This is great for getting clean clothes, but terrible for keeping shoes in good condition.

Both of them will technically work, but you may want to think twice before using a top-loader washing machine.

The Bottom Line

You can wash running shoes in a washing machine, but it depends on the shoe and what material it is made of.

Always make sure to check the labels before putting running shoes in the wash. If you do, you could end up with squeaky clean shoes.

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