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How To Clean Sneakers

Can you wash sneakers in a washing machine? And how do you go about washing sneakers if not? Relax, we’ll show you how it’s done!


how to clean sneakers

Regardless of whether they’re your go-to running shoes or your most comfortable pair of everyday shoes, your sneakers deserve a bit of TLC. And, as long as you have the right tools at home and make a habit of it, washing sneakers is easy!

Show your shoelaces some love, too. You can easily wash them in lukewarm water and a small amount of liquid detergent. Then just dry naturally.

How to clean sneakers

Ever looked at dirty sneakers and thought: “can you wash sneakers in a washing machine?” Well, you may be pleased to know that in a lot of cases the answer is “yes”. In fact, it is sometimes the best way to clean sneakers. You’ll need to consult the care label first, but if it says washing sneakers in this way is safe then you can follow these steps:

  1. Brush off any dirt stuck on the sneakers with a soft toothbrush

  2. Wipe the sneakers with a clean cloth slightly dampened with cool water

  3. If you find scuff marks on leather parts of your sneakers, you can treat them with either a coloured leather conditioning cream (if the leather is dyed) or some non-gel toothpaste (if the leather is white). Gently rub the cream or toothpaste into the marks using a cloth or a soft toothbrush and wipe off with a damp cloth afterwards

  4. If you’re washing sneakers in the washing machine (having checked the care label) then wash them on their own at a low temperature. You can add a small amount of OMO Ultimate Liquid in the detergent compartment if your sneakers are really dirty

  5. Once washed, dry them naturally. Fill them with crumpled up newspaper to help them retain their shape and avoid drying them in direct sunlight or trying to speed up the drying process by putting them on the radiator as this can cause damage.

If your sneakers are not suitable for washing the machine, simply skip step 4 in the above method.

Now you know whether washing sneakers in the washing machine is a good idea, and how to go about it, you’ll never have to worry about dirty shoes again. And if you’re looking to clean football boots and rugby boots rather than standard sneakers, don’t worry – we’ve got that covered too!

  • Brush off dried dirt from sneakers

  • Wipe the outside surface with a damp cloth

  • Wash the sneakers at a low temperature

  • Fill the sneakers with newspaper and let them dry away from direct sunlight

Originally published