The Dos and Don’ts of Using a Washing Machine to Clean Shoes

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Washing shoes in the washing machine is a convenient and effective way to keep your footwear clean and fresh. However, not all shoes can be safely washed in a machine, and certain techniques and products must be used to avoid damage. In this article, TritonBranders will go over the dos and don’ts of using a washing machine to clean your shoes, so you can get the best results without damaging your footwear.

Do Check the Care Label

Before washing any shoes in the machine, it’s important to check the care label for specific cleaning instructions. Some shoes, such as leather or suede, may not be suitable for machine washing, or may require special cleaning products or techniques. The care label should indicate whether the shoes can be safely machine washed, and if so, at what temperature and cycle.

Don’t Use Hot Water or Harsh Detergents

Hot water and harsh detergents can damage certain materials, such as rubber, glue, and certain types of fabric. It’s best to use cool or lukewarm water and a gentle, non-abrasive detergent when washing shoes in the machine. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as these can also cause damage to the shoes.

Do Use a Mesh Laundry Bag or Shoe Wash Bag

Using a mesh laundry bag or shoe wash bag can help protect the shoes during the washing cycle and prevent damage to the machine. Place the shoes in the bag, and then place the bag in the washing machine. This will help to keep the shoes separate from other items in the machine and reduce the risk of them getting snagged or tangled.

Don’t Use the Spin Cycle

The spin cycle of the washing machine can be too harsh for some shoes, especially those with delicate materials or construction. Instead, choose a gentle or delicate cycle, and avoid using the spin cycle altogether. After the washing cycle is complete, remove the shoes from the machine and air dry them.

Do Clean the Machine Afterwards

After washing shoes in the machine, it’s a good idea to clean the machine thoroughly to prevent any remaining dirt or debris from getting onto other items. Run the machine on an empty cycle with hot water and a cleaning solution, such as vinegar or baking soda, to help remove any remaining detergent or debris.


Washing shoes in the washing machine can be a convenient and effective way to keep your footwear clean and fresh. By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that your shoes are safely and effectively cleaned without causing any damage. If you’re looking for a shoe wash bag or other shoe cleaning products, be sure to check out our online store at We offer a wide range of high-quality shoe care products to help you keep your footwear looking its best.

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