Can You Wash Shoes with Clothes

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If you are looking to make your white sneakers appear whiter or the dull colors to pop out, you have to wash them properly. Sometimes you have a few clothes that also need laundry and you are therefore tempted to wash both the clothes and shoes together. This is so especially when using a machine washer.

Can you wash shoes with clothes? No, it is not recommended. To start, washing clothes and shoes together could make the clothes to wear and tear due to the collision happening during the washing. So unless you are looking to replace your clothes soon, we suggest you sort your laundry so that you can wash clothes and shoes separately.

This article will look further into why you should not wash clothes and shoes together. Keep reading to learn more on, why you should not wash shoes with clothes, is it okay to machine wash shoes, how to machine wash your shoes and other related issues.

Why You Shouldn’t Wash Shoes with Clothes

As mentioned above, washing shoes with clothes could make your clothes wear out faster. The thing is, there is a lot of bombardment that happens during the wash cycle. Shoes are thrown from one side to another rotating throughout.

If the machine is also loaded with clothes, it means that the clothes and shoes will be entangled. Since shoes are made of a tougher fabric than clothes, they may end up causing the clothes to stretch, tear or wear.

Other than that, washing shoes with clothes may cause your sneakers to be stained depending on the material they are made of. For instance, lint from clothes could stain your white sneakers. That only means that you have double work to do. Therefore, to avoid this, wash your shoes and clothes separately.

Still on reasons why you shouldn’t wash shoes with clothes, is that they both require different wash cycles, temperatures and conditions for the best cleaning output. It is recommended you use a cycle with a low spin speed and cold water when washing shoes. On the other hand, for clothes, different fabrics require different wash cycles and conditions. For instance, cold water is recommended for dark colors while warm water is best for synthetic and permanent press fabric.

Therefore, when you toss clothes and shoes together, you will subject them to the same conditions of cleaning which means one of them will not get clean, as it should have. It also means that you risk damaging either the shoes or clothes depending on the wash cycle you settle for.

So then, what is the solution? To avoid all these situations, make a habit of sorting your clothes. This does not only mean separating clothes from shoes but also separating clothes according to the fabric. For instance, it is a bad idea to wash clothes with towels. This is because lint from the clothes tends to adhere to the towels. Therefore, seek your clothes before laundry and wash them as per the sorted laundry.

Should I Machine Wash Shoes?

You may have already noticed that washing shoes with clothes typically means placing them in the washer. The big question is, can you machine wash shoes? Yes, you can. Otherwise, we would not be talking about washing shoes with clothes.

However, is it the best way to clean your shoes? No, it is not. The safest way to wash your shoes is by hand washing them. That said, note that while most shoes are better of hand-washed, some shoes are endorsed as machine washable. Therefore the question of if you should machine wash your clothes or not all comes down to the type of shoes.

The easiest way to determine if your shoe is machine friendly is by checking the care cleaning instructions for the shoes. If the instructions state washer or dryer safe, then you can toss your shoes in the machine.

If you are missing the care instructions, you can contact the manufacturers of the shoes. Alternatively, can follow the following general rules:

  • Do not machine wash shoes made of animal-based fabric. They include leather shoes or suede. This is because water tends to damage the animal-based fabric
  • Shoes made majorly for aesthetic purpose or have a lot of decorations should not be machine washed
  • Shoes made of delicate material like silk and satin should not be machine washed
  • Shoes made of cotton, nylon or polyester are mostly machine washable.

How to Machine Wash Shoes

Step 1: Check the care label on your shoes to determine if they can be washed in the machine. If they can, proceed to the next step. If not, consider hand washing your shoes.

Step 2:  Remove the laces of the shoes and place them in a mesh garment bag or a pillowcase. This helps to prevent the laces from being tangled while in the washer. Alternatively, you can decide to hand wash your laces using a soft brush and detergent. Remove the insoles as well. Unlike laces, insoles should specifically be hand washed.

Step 3: Hand wash your insoles using some warm water and detergent. It helps to get rid of any odor from the shoes. Once you are done cleaning the inner soles, air-dry them.

Step 4:  Dislodge any excess dirt or debris on your shoes. Use a brush to get rid of the excess dirt. For areas that are smaller and hard to reach like eyelets, it is recommended you use a toothbrush to dislodge the debris. Alternatively, you can bang the shoes together to get rid of mud, grass or any other dirt for that matter.

Step 5:  In case your shoes are already stained, it is recommended you pretreat them to get rid of the stains before tossing the shoes in the washer. Use some soapy water and a toothbrush to scrub off the stain. Make sure you use as much force as possible to attain the best results.

Step 6: When you are done washing off the stain, run the shoes under tap water to rinse off the soap residue

Step 7: Place the shoes in a mesh bag like this or any other protective bag. Make sure you seal the bag so that the shoes remain secured. If you do not have a bag, you can use a pillowcase where you will tie it at the top using rubber bands. Placing your shoes in the bag protects the shoes from the frequent bombardment during the wash cycle.

Step 8: In the washing machine add 4- 6 old towels to enhance the cushioning. This also reduces the impact of collision of the shoes in the machine. The two, therefore protect your shoes from being damaged.

Step 9: Use liquid detergent instead of powder detergent. The latter can be stuck in shoes if it does not completely dissolve

Step 10: Set your machine on a delicate cycle like the low spin speed. A low-speed spin ensures that the washer stays balanced during the whole washing process. Other than the low spin speed, you could use a no-spin option. Remember to use cold water for your shoes. Run the washer

Step11: When washing your shoes you could choose to disinfect them. That is highly recommended. Shoes are known to harbor a lot of fungi such as athlete foot and bacteria. Therefore, washing them may not be enough. To disinfect your shoes, add an 80% pine oil disinfectant before running your washer. It is recommended that the disinfectant should at least be 80% of oil. Moreover, if you are disinfecting your washer make sure you use warm water for the disinfectant to be effective.

Step 12: Once the wash cycle is complete, remove the shoes from the mesh bag. If you had placed the lace in a different mesh bag, remember to remove them as well. Place your shoes in an open space to air dry them, if you are looking to dry them faster, stuff them with paper towels to absorb the excess moisture

Related Questions

How frequently should I wash my shoes?

It is recommended you clean your shoes at least every two weeks. However, this varies on how regular you put on your shoes, how dirty they are, the make of the shoe as well as the color. If you tend to put the same shoes regularly then it goes without saying that you should wash it regularly at least once a week. However, note that for sneakers, washing them frequently could lead to their color fading. So the best option is to have a range of shoes to put on. Note that not washing your shoes could lead to a bad odor forming as well as stains discoloring the original color.

Can I place my shoes in a dryer?

No, you should not. When it comes to drying your shoes, it is recommended you air dry them. This is because, the high heat from the dryer can damage the shoes, for starters by melting the glue that holds the soles together. Also, the dryer tends to wrap the rubber part of the shoes and shrink the fabric part. That is why you are advised to air dry your shoes.

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