How to Wash Shoes in the Washing Machine

Updated February 21, 2017

Shoes, specifically athletic sneakers, quickly collect perspiration, dirt and other soil that leaves the shoes in need of a heavy cleaning. To keep the sneakers in a usable, wearable condition, it is important to wash the shoes regularly. This will restore the original colour of the shoes by removing built-up residue and will remove odour associated with perspiration. Before washing the shoes in the washing machine, read the care instructions tag on the tongue of the shoe to make sure the items are machine-washable.

Remove the laces from the shoes, as well as removable insoles.

Fill the washing machine with cold water, 1 capful of your regular detergent, and 1/4 cup of oxygenated bleach. This type of bleach will be safe for both white and coloured materials, plus will not turn rubber soles yellow as chlorinated bleach will do.

Place the sneakers in the washing machine, along with the laces and insoles. If you do not remove the laces and insoles, you will often notice laces will not be cleaned in the areas where they loop through the shoes, and insoles will not be as thoroughly cleaned as they will by removing them from the inside of the shoes. Allow the washing machine to complete its wash cycle.

Remove the shoes, laces and insoles from the washing machine. Place a piece of newspaper inside the shoe so the form of the shoe holds in place while drying. Lay the insoles flat to air-dry, and lay the shoelaces flat to dry as well.

Place the insoles and laces back into the shoes after everything has dried fully.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing powder
  • Oxygenated bleach
  • Water
  • Washing machine
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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.