How to Wash Shoes

How to Wash Shoes? 3 Simple Steps! Just Do It!

A big question is: "how to wash shoes?." Shoes are an integral part of our lives. These convenient apparels are not only meant to add more flare to our outfits, but they also make our lives easier and less painful in some cases.

But just like clothes, wearing shoes can dirty them quite quickly. Sending them to a professional cleaner for maintenance can be one route; however, that is not only costly, but it can also prove to be time-consuming. Why spend cash on something you can probably do at home?

A few years ago, people used to opt for professional cleaners for their shoes. However, that is no longer the case. People are now choosing more and more for DIY routes. Cleaning shoes are included in their DIY endeavors.

Of course, that is the same reason that made you want to read this article; hence you are here with us now! And we are here to help you out with that.

Let us get started right away!

How to Wash Shoes? 3 Simple Steps!

1. Dust Them Off

The first thing you should do before you start cleaning your shoes with water.

It would help if you always tried to dust off your shoes with a brush at first and then clean it with water, or else the dirt on the shoes may start to clump up and complicate things more.

Brush the outsoles and the gaps on the shoes with a hard or soft brush (whichever you want). Make sure only to brush off dried mud or sand from the shoes. If the sand or the dirt sticking on the shoes is still wet, let it sit around in the sun and dry out first. You can proceed with the brush afterward.

wash shoes with brush and water

2. Use a Soft Cloth and Non-abrasive Detergent

If you are dealing with white shoes, you will want to use a soft towel that DOES NOT deposit any color or dye. If it deposits dye, you will find your shoes covered with a new color!

Please consider another thing that is the type or kind of dye you are or will be using. You must use non-abrasive detergents as soft and gentle on the shoes.

A lot of people also opt for washing shoes with vinegar. The key here is to only pour a cup of white vinegar with the detergent of your choice. Do not just use vinegar alone.

Vinegar has odor-eliminating properties, which will help minimize the smell of the fabric detergent (that is, if you do not like its smell in the first place). However, you can easily use fabric detergent and forego vinegar.

wash shoe with washing machine

3. Physically Clean the Shoes or Use a Machine

If you have leather shoes, you might want to consider washing or wiping them physically, as in using a washcloth and then cleaning it yourself.

For this, try to be as gentle as possible since it is effortless to damage materials such as leather and suede.

On the other hand, if the shoes you want to clean are made of mesh or synthetic material, you can easily throw them into the washer.

How to Wash Shoes in Washer?

Make sure to cover them adequately with an old towel or any other cloth beforehand so that they do not damage themselves when banging around inside the washing machine.

Unless you do not have old towels just lying around at your home, you can also store the shoes in a soft bag or pillowcase and then let the washing machine do its job for you.

What Not to Do When Washing Shoes

We discussed the Do's of washing shoes so far, but let us also take a quick look at the Don'ts associated with washing shoes.

Do not soak your shoes into a bucket full of cold water, for starters. It would help if you always opt for lukewarm water when washing shoes as the material can be pretty sensitive.

Please do not use harsh detergents when washing shoes as they may damage the outer material of the pair.

Do not soak shoes made of leather or suede into water. These two materials are the most sensitive when it comes down to maintenance. Instead, slightly wet a soft cloth and gently wipe the shoes.

Also, you can even try to brush the shoes off at first and then determine if they will require any wet wiping or not. Most of the time, they will not. However, that could be different if you happened to have walked on or through muddy areas with those leather/suede shoes on.

Do not put the device at high speed when using a washing machine. Keep it on low to medium spin, and you will be good to go. The machine's high spin speed might damage your shoes by tearing them.

Please do not throw your shoes into the washer without covering them with something else at first. It would help if you made sure that the shoes you want to throw in the washing machine are first inside a soft mesh bag or covered with an old soft towel.

Without covering the shoes with something else, the shoes will be at risk of banging around the washing machine consistently until the entire process is over.

Do not leave the shoes out for drying if the sun is too harsh. Since the shoes will be quite sensitive due to detergent usage and washing, the sun could burn out the shoes if left unnoticed.

Keep them out for drying for a while (if you do not have a dryer), and then take them back once you notice all the water has evaporated. Leaving wet shoes out in the sun for too long will make them more brittle, increasing their chances of premature wear and tear.


We hope the steps we mentioned were helpful to you! Now you know how to wash shoes properly. Try to take good care of your shoes, and they will reward you by lasting for years on end!

Thanks for sticking around!

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How to Get Grass Stains Out of Shoes?

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Wayes. I'm passionate about reviewing shoes and writing!
I know to pick the right pair of shoes, not easy. Different people have different physical requirements, so it can be quite tricky for them to choose the best shoes. I help readers choose the most suitable shoes for them!

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