How to clean dirty sneakers in the washing machine

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I'm a runner, so my sneakers mean a lot to me. That's why I hate it when they get dirty. Luckily, sneakers are easy to clean—and you can even use the washing machine!

Whether you just finished a Tough Mudder or just want to freshen up your comfy kicks, it's still important to do some prep work to keep your sneakers from getting damaged. Here's how to get your sneakers looking bright and clean in under 40 minutes.

What You Need:

• Dirty sneakers!
• A washing machine
Liquid detergent
• 3 tablespoons of baking soda
• A pillowcase or wash bag
• A sneaker brush cleaner
• Several towels

Prep Time Needed: Overnight
Total Time Needed: Approximately 40 minutes, depending on the washer
Difficulty: Easy

Step-by-Step

  1. The night before, sprinkle sneakers with 3 tablespoons of baking soda in each shoe and leave in overnight. Remove in the morning.
  2. Remove the laces and put them inside a pillowcase or wash bag to prevent them from getting tangled. Place in the washer. Wipe off as much mud and debris off your sneaker as possible with a brush cleaner or an old toothbrush.
  3. Next, add your shoes to the washer along with some towels. We recommend about 4 to 6. The towels will help to balance the load and prevent your shoes from loudly slamming against the inside of the washer.
  4. Using liquid detergent, run the washer on a cold delicate cycle. Depending on your washer, the wash time varies from 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the sneakers from the washer and allow them to air dry. NEVER put shoes in the dryer, as the heat may warp them or damage the glue that keeps them together.

How to get the best clean

  1. Use Baking Soda - Make sure to Deodorize the shoe with Baking soda the night before. While this is a small detail, this will make all the difference.
  2. Use a wash bag – Place the laces inside a wash bag to ensure they don’t get tangled inside the washer.
  3. Use a brush cleaner – Remove dirt and grime from your sneakers prior to placing in the washer.
  4. Use liquid detergent – Do not use powdered detergent as it might get stuck inside of your sneakers.
  5. If your shoes are worse for the winter, check out our guide on how to remove salt stains.

The following shoes are not suitable to put into the washing machine and should be left to the professionals:

• Leather or dress Shoes
• Suede
• Rubber boots or wellies

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