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You have spent a better part of your day hiking, tending your garden or just doing some nature walks in the neighborhood wearing your sneakers. As you prepare to do your laundry, you may ask yourself why not toss everything in the washer with the sneakers. After all, it is going to save you time and utilize energy bills well.
However, is it appropriate to wash your sneakers together with the clothes? Well, while you can wash your sneakers and other machine-washable footwear in the washer, it is not recommended to load it on the same cycle together with your clothes. This may accelerate the wear and tear on your clothes. Rather, wash on a separate cycle consisting of the sneakers and perhaps old towels just to balance the load and buffer the noise.
In this article, we will discuss the right way to machine wash your shoes, the kind of shoes to be washed in the machine, and other related questions. Keep reading for deeper insight.
Is It Hygienic To Wash Shoes Together With Clothes?
The question of whether it’s hygienic to wash shoes with clothes is quite relative. First, we have ruled out the washing of clothes with shoes because of the wear and tear your clothes will be receiving during the wash cycle.
That said, you might want to go ahead and toss the kids’ shoes, especially the light canvas ones. Your argument for justification is, these are tiny children’s shoes, which may not have a big impact on the clothes. Well, this can be justifiable on one end. However, on the other end, let us consider hygiene. If the kids have only been playing in the house or on the carpet, the shoes may not be too dirty.
On the other hand, if the shoes were used outdoors, then chances are they may have gathered certain kinds of dirt that should not be mixed with your clothes for hygienic purposes. So that leaves us with one option-wash in the machine but not together with the clothes.
Thus, apart from the wear and tear that can happen to clothes, we can say that it would not be hygienic to wash your shoes together with clothes.
Which Shoes Can You Wash In The Machine?
Yes, we have said that you could wash your sneakers and other types of footwear in the washer. However, not all types of shoes are machine-washable. The best thing to do is to check the care label instructions.
Usually, athletic and canvas shoes with material such as cotton, nylon, and polyester can be washed in the machine without the worry of being damaged by the laundry detergent.
On the other hand, shoes made of rubber, leather, vinyl, and suede should never be washed in the washing machine. For this, you may want to dedicate your time and hand-wash them if you want them to last longer.
Extra care is needed for shoes made of delicate material like silk, or any type of shoe with extra embellishments such as beading, sequins, and embroidery. In fact, for such shoes, even hand washing has to be done with extra caution; you may consider taking them to a shoe-cleaning specialist for better are.
A Step-By-Step Guide For Washing Shoes In The Washer
Below is a systematic approach for cleaning sneakers and other machine-washable footwear in the washer.
Preparation is very vital. You will not just take off muddy or oil/grease-stained shoes and throw them in the washer. No. You must get rid of any loose dirt first.
Take a piece of cloth and wipe of any mud, dust, grass or any other type of debris stuck on the shoe. To shake off any invisible dirt, you could take the shoes outside and bang them together.
Ensure the sole is free of soil particles and mud. All you have to do is wipe it off using a damp piece of cloth.
Still on this point, if there is a piece of gum, oil or grease stains on the shoe, ensure to remove them before proceeding to the next step.
- Removing Shoe Accessories
The next step is to remove items such as shoelaces, insoles, and any other removable buckles and straps. Removing these items aids in thorough cleaning of the inside of the shoe.
The shoelaces and inner soles can be washed separately in the washer.
- Use a Mesh Bag
Now you are ready to put the shoes in the washer. However, you are not going to put them in directly. You will need to place them in a mesh bag. This way, your shoes will be protected from any damage. The insoles and shoelaces can also go in but in a separate mesh bag.
Another thing, you may need some cushioning as you place them in the drum. For this, use some old towels. This will help in balancing the load, preventing the shoes from banging on the sides of the washer, and buffering the noise that is going to be produced during the cycle.
- Choosing the Right Cycle
It is essential to use the recommended cycle to get the best results without damaging your shoes. Always use cold water and liquid laundry detergent. Hot water is not recommended as it could crack or melt the glue binding on your shoes.
Use the cycle with a low spin speed or no spin at all if possible. This is the gentle cycle that is usually used on delicates. You are going to treat your shoes as delicates.
Once the cycle is complete, you are going to air dry the shoes. Do not attempt to put them in the drier. The heat in the drier might make the binding glue to come off, and some shoe fabrics may even shrink while others will expand.
Find a cool and properly ventilated room for the drying. Allow them enough time to dry properly. If you need them as soon as possible, you can speed up the drying process using a fan.
See more: Can You Put Converse Shoes In The Dryer?
Alternative Methods to Wash Your Shoes
Now, in case your shoes are not machine-washable, or you do not want to use the washer, you have other ways to clean your shoes as seen below.
Hand washing– you can easily wash your shoes by hand. Simply mix a spoonful of dishwashing liquid with two to three cups of lukewarm water. Use a toothbrush to scrub the shoes using this solution. Then, wipe them off using paper towels. The innersoles and shoelaces can also be washed using this solution.
Alternatively, you can also fill a tub with warm water, add a little laundry detergent, and soak in the shoes. Again, you could use a toothbrush to scrub gently before rinsing and letting them air-dry.
Using vinegar solution– to clean leather shoes, measure equal portions of cold water and distilled white vinegar to make a solution. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and gently wipe the shoes. Let them air-dry.
What makes shoes smell?
There are many causes of smelly shoes. First, if you wear them frequently without giving them space to breathe out the sweat or dry properly in the air, they will start to produce an unpleasant smell.
Also, failure to wear socks will lead to smelly shoes. Some shoe materials like leather do not allow the feet to breathe, thus trapping sweat and finally bad smell. Other causes of smelly shoes include poor ventilation and fungus such as athlete’s foot.
Can you dry shoes in the dryer?
No, you should never put your shoes in the dryer. the high temperatures in the dryer will tear off the glue that binds the shoes. Additionally, some materials will shrink.
See more: How To Clean Inside Of Shoes