Tips on How to Clean and Wash Your Shoes
I used to hand wash my clothes, socks, and underwear, and would only use the washing machine for bedding, curtains, and towels. Now, I put everything into my washing machine. I even throw in my sport shoes. If you want to do the same, the following tips will help your shoes last longer and keep their shape!
How to Clean Your Shoes in the Washing Machine
If your shoes are not too expensive, if you don't really care about the shape, and if they are very dirty and foul-smelling, then you can throw them into your washing machine.
- Before you toss them in the machine, check the material. Only wash them if they are made of cotton, nylon, or polyester. Do not wash them if they are made of satin, silk, leather, or suede.
- Take the laces and insoles out. Insoles can be ruined in water. You may wash the laces with your regular laundry, but put them in a small mesh bag to prevent tangling.
- Pull out the tongue. (Not yours—the tongue of the shoes!)
- Place the shoes in a mesh bag or in a pillowcase. This will make it easier on the drum of your machine.
- Set your machine to a gentle cycle and use cold water. Use your regular detergent.
- After taking them out of the washer, wipe them with paper towels.
- Stuff the shoes with paper towels to preserve the shape. Replace the paper towels when they are soaked.
- Dry the shoes in a well-ventilated room or in complete shade. Never put them in the sun.
- Reinsert the insoles and put the laces back on when they are completely dry.
- Sprinkle a bit of baking soda inside the shoes to keep them smelling fresh.
Additional Tips to Keep Your Shoes Clean
- If your shoes have nylon or mesh tops, you can periodically spray them with a silicone spray. This protects them from accumulating dirt and also makes them water-resistant.
- If the upper is made of smooth leather, try using shoe creams or polishes. Before polishing, remove dust and dirt with a damp cloth. Wait for the shoes to dry before polishing.
- If the upper is made of suede leather, regularly brush it with a soft brush or a dry rubber sponge to wipe away dust. If there are stubborn stains, remove them with a commercial stain remover for suede. Do not immerse suede shoes in water.
- All other types of shoes (or ones that are very dirty) may be hand washed in cold water with a mild detergent.
How to Hand Wash Your Shoes
- In a large bowl, mix cold water with fabric detergent (approximately 4 cups of water and 1tsp of detergent). Use mild detergent.
- Clean the bottom of the shoes, including the sides. You may use a toothbrush to clean the grooves. If the water gets too dirty, replace it.
- Remove the laces and the inserts.
- Pull out the tongue.
- Wash the laces. Squeeze them to remove excess water and hang them to dry.
- Wet a soft brush or a small soft rag in the detergent water. Tap the brush or wring the rag to remove excess water. Gently clean the upper. Then you can clean the tongue. Repeat until the upper is clean. Spot clean any areas that require additional attention.
- Clean the inserts the same way.
- Wipe the shoes with paper towels.
- Stuff the shoes with paper towels to preserve their shape.
- Put the shoes on a waterproof surface to dry and replace the paper towels when they get soaked.
- Never put shoes to dry under direct sunlight.
- Put the inserts and laces back on when everything is completely dry.
- Sprinkle some baking soda inside the shoes. It will keep them smelling fresh.
Never Put Your Shoes in a Drying Machine
Never use a drying machine to dry your shoes. It might melt the soles.
The best way to extend the life of your shoes is to clean them on a regular basis to prevent dirt build-up. Regularly wipe your shoes with a wet cloth and brush dry dirt off of them. This way, you won't have to heavy wash them.
How to Take Care of Your Skechers Shape-ups
In an online forum I found a while back, two people wrote that they washed their Shape-ups in a washer, and their shoes did not shrink and or lose their shape. However, one lady said that she also used the washer, and her Sketchers were completely bent out of shape. Sketchers generally uses plastic materials on the front and bottom of their shoes. If you put them into a washing machine, the structure and form may change. So if you decide to wash your dirty Shape-ups in a machine, do it at your own risk and follow the care tips I've provided above.