How to Clean Running Shoes

Washing shoes by machine   |   Washing shoes by hand

Since I destroyed my 4 running shoes in less than 2 hours by putting them in the washing machine. I understand that it is important to learn more about how to clean running shoes.

I don’t know about you, but I once destroyed 4 pairs of shoes in less than 2 hours. I was too lazy to wash my shoes by hand, so I turned to the washing machine.

The automatic invention did a little damage. The ice on the cake was the dryer. Yes, I did put them in the dryer. Worst idea ever.😬😬😬

You’ll think I will be smarter than that, but I was impatient, which cost me 4 pairs of shoes. Since then, I became an expert in knowing how to gently wash my shoes.

Washing Running Shoes in the Machine?

Nowadays, most newer machines are equipped with a specific cycle for washing shoes, but it still needs some preparation.

Before thinking to use the washing machine, it is better to check the shoe’s care instructions. Usually, running shoes are safe to wash in the washing machine, but it is better to check first.

  1. Remove the excess dirt, mud, or grass. If your shoes accumulated heavy dirt or mud, let the dirt dry for a little bit then hit the shoes together to make the dirt fall out. Additionally, use a brush or an old toothbrush to remove the remaining dirt, mud, or grass from your shoes. The washing machines are programmed to clean the laundries from strains and a thin layer of dirt. Cleaning your shoes without removing any of the excess dirt will be waste of time. It will not properly clean your shoes.
  2. Remove the insoles and laces. We do this to prevent the laces from getting tangled and the insoles from getting damaged.
  3.  Wash the inserts by hand. Place the inserts in warm water, add detergent on top of it and use a brush to clean them. For removing bad odors and excess water, sprinkle baking soda on top of each insert. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, you can gently brush off the baking soda. Let the inserts air dry completely before placing them back into the shoes.
  4. Place the shoes in a mesh bag or a pillowcase. This step will prevent your shoes from hitting the washing machine while reducing the loud noises. Make sure to tie up the pillowcase or secure the mesh bag before introducing it into the washing machine.
  5. Place the laces in another mesh bag or pillowcase or hand wash them at the same time with the inserts.
  6. Add a few towels with your shoes. By adding extra material to the washing machine, you’ll give the shoes some extra cushioning so as not to bang around the machine and keep the load balanced.
  7. Set the cycle on cold water, delicate, and low spin speed. If you accidentally added too much soap, I would recommend also selecting the extra rinse cycle.
  8. Use liquid detergent. The powdered detergent gets stuck inside the shoes, which makes it harder to rinse them off.
  9. Air dry your shoes. The dryer will greatly damage the shoes. Do Not put them in the dryer. It takes up to a few days for the shoes to dry out. You can speed up the process by putting them in a well-ventilated space or adding newspapers inside the shoes.
  10. Put everything back together. Once everything is dried out, put the inserts and shoelaces back together and they are good to go. 😊

How to Clean Running Shoes by Hand?

how to wash running shoes by hand-min

The safest way to clean your shoes is by handwashing them. It might take a little bit more time, but it is worth it. Your shoes will be damage free 100%. For this procedure you’ll need:

  • A bucket or a sink that holds water;
  • A brush or old toothbrush;
  • Dish soap/ laundry detergent;
  • A tbs of Baking soda.

Once you have all the supplies, you are ready to wash your shoes. (It might take 2 to 4 days for the shoes to dry, plan in advance for another pair of shoes that will replace these pair while drying out).

  1. Remove all the excess dirt or mud from the shoes by hitting them together. (It is incredible how much dirt is hidden in the bottom of the shoe).
  2. Fill up a bucket or the sink with warm water. Add dish soap or laundry detergent.
  3. Remove the inserts and laces. The shoes, the inserts, and the laces will be handwash separately.
  4. Add the shoes to the mixed solution. Using the brush, clean the shoe on the inside and the outside. For white shoes, mix baking soda and some water, enough to create a paste. Dip the brush into the paste and scrub the fabric.
  5. Let the shoes soak for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Wash the shoelaces and inserts in the same solution.
  7. Rinse the soap with clean water. Depending on how much soap you added, you should rinse the shoes very well.
  8. Let it air dry. It might take up to a few days for the shoes to dry. To speed up the process, place the shoes in a well-ventilated space or insert a few newspapers inside the shoes.

Cleaning Running shoes can enhance their lifecycle. See how long do running shoes last.

How to Clean Running Shoes/Key points

  • You can wash your shoes in the washing machine but on a cold, delicate, low-spin cycle.
  • NEVER use the dryer.
  • Always remove the inserts and laces.
  • Use baking soda to remove odors.
  • Allow the shoes to completely air dry before wearing them.

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