Everything You Need To Know About Putting Shoes In The Washing Machine
Advice On Putting Shoes In The Washing Machine
We all know that no matter how hard we try, shoes can’t stay clean for long, and we tend to get them dirty pretty quickly. Let’s face it, it is difficult to not get them to get dirty when the outdoors is covered in dust and dirt. This can be a very annoying problem if your shoes are a lighter color. It seems as though we can’t keep them clean beyond taking a single step outside the door. The other issue we need to deal with is that shoes tend to get smelly after a couple of days of use and you want to refresh them. When you want to clean your shoes it’s easiest to put them in the washing machine. But before you do here are some things you need to know about putting your shoes in the washing machine.
1. Prepare Them First
Now, before you put your shoes in the washing machine you have to prepare the shoes. The night before you wash your shoes, put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to pick up the sweat and smell that’s built up inside them so that they are refreshed before going in the washer. If the shoes are covered in dirt and grass you should remove it all so it does not mix with the water your shoes are washing in. Use a cloth or a soft brush with some warm water and soap, and remove as much grime as you can. A lot of dirt builds up around the eyelets and on the shoelaces. You want to remove the shoelaces and separate them in a washer bag so they don’t get tangled with the shoes during the cycle. You should also remove your insoles because they absorb most of the sweat and smell while you wear them. Shoelaces, insoles, and the shoe must be separated in washer bags to make sure that everything gets washed properly.
2. Protect Your Shoes
Once you have prepared your shoes to be washed it’s time to pop them in the washer. But you can’t just put them in on their own. You need to protect your washing machine and shoes by putting something in with the shoes. If the shoes are on their own, they can damage the machine by banging around in the drum, especially if you are washing more than one pair. It is recommended to put the shoes in a big pillowcase to act as a buffer or you can put a couple of dirty towels in with your sneakers so they slam around less in the drum. Just remember not to throw in your best white or light-colored towels. Otherwise, you may ruin the towels.
3. Choose The Right Washing Program
Now that you are ready to turn on the washer you have to carefully select the water temperature you want to wash them in. Also, if you use a high spin wash, you can ruin your shoes leaving dents and squishing them and you do not want your washing machine do rattle too much. Put the setting to no spin or just a little spin to prevent this from happening. You should also be cautious about choosing the right water temperature. Washing your shoes in hot water can deteriorate the glue that keeps your shoes intact and this glue can and will loosen up, crack or melt, and then you have to repair shoes or throw them away which nobody wants to do. A high-water temperature is also bad because the heat can affect the color of the shoes and make them fade a lot faster. Wash the shoes in cold or warm water so your shoes stay intact and the color doesn’t fade. Do not use powdered detergent as it can build up in your shoes and then doesn’t get rinsed off. Use liquid detergent to prevent that from happening. Even though we like to use fabric softer to give the shoes that nice smell, it is not recommended as it can leave a residue that will attract more dirt.
4. Air Dry Your Shoes
After the wash cycle is done it is time to dry your shoes. It’s a big no-no to put your shoes in the dryer as you will have to deal with the same issues as you would with hot water. The hot air from the dryer can damage the glue that keeps everything intact and it can warp your shoes and ruin them completely. Depending on the material as well, hot air can cause some material to shrink. Plain and simple your shoes need to be air-dried so none of those things happen. Place them in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry completely. If you want to dry them faster put some newspaper or towels in your shoes to absorb the water and to keep their shape as they dry. If really want to speed things up, put a fan next to them to move air around them more quickly, or simply use specialized shoes dryers. Just know that shoes do not dry that fast, so if you need your shoes clean for some occasion be sure to do it a couple of days prior to ensure that they will be completely dry before you put them on again.
If you are still a little apprehensive about tossing your favorite shoes in the washing machine, just check out the cleaning instructions that are usually visible under the tongue. Honestly though, you should be doing this before you start anyway. If you can’t locate this tag or the ink has faded, search for the manufacturer’s website and look for the instructions. Be aware that not all shoes are meant to be washed in the washing machine and at the end of the day, if you’re really in doubt, just wash them by hand.
One more tip for washing your shoes if you have problems with smelly feet is to disinfect them. Use equal amounts of white vinegar with the liquid detergent to kill any fungus and bacteria that linger in your shoes and wash them in warm water. If you want your shoes to smell nice after you have washed them, buy a shoe deodorant and spray the inside after every use so that those room-clearing odors don’t send your family running.