How To Wash Running Shoes In Washing Machine

Washing running shoes in a washing machine can be a convenient and effective way to keep them clean and fresh. As a fellow runner, I understand the importance of having clean shoes that not only look good but also perform at their best. However, it’s essential to follow the right steps and precautions to ensure that your shoes come out of the washing machine unharmed. In this article, I will guide you through the process of washing your running shoes in a washing machine, sharing my personal tips and experiences along the way.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before you start the washing process, it’s important to gather all the supplies you will need:

  • Running shoes: Make sure to remove the laces and any removable insoles before washing.
  • Mild detergent: Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the materials of your shoes.
  • Mesh laundry bag or pillowcase: This will help protect your shoes from getting tossed around too much during the wash cycle.
  • Old towels: These will be used to stuff your shoes to maintain their shape and absorb excess water.

Prepping Your Shoes

Before placing your shoes in the washing machine, it’s important to give them a little pre-wash attention:

  1. Remove the laces and insoles: These can be washed separately or replaced if necessary.
  2. Brush off excess dirt and debris: Use an old toothbrush or a soft brush to gently scrub away any visible dirt or mud.
  3. Pre-treat stains: If your shoes have stubborn stains, you can apply a small amount of mild detergent directly to the affected areas and gently scrub them with the brush.

Washing Your Shoes

Now that your shoes are prepped, it’s time to put them in the washing machine:

  1. Place your shoes in a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase: This will prevent your shoes from getting tangled or damaged during the wash cycle.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent: Use about half of the recommended amount for a regular load of laundry. Too much detergent can leave a residue on your shoes.
  3. Select a gentle cycle: Choose a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid using hot water as it can damage the glue holding your shoes together.
  4. Start the washing machine: Let the machine do its work, but be sure to keep an eye on it to ensure that the wash cycle doesn’t last too long.
  5. Dry your shoes properly: Once the wash cycle is complete, remove your shoes from the washing machine and stuff them with old towels to help them maintain their shape. Air-dry them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Avoid using a dryer, as the high heat can cause shrinkage or damage.

Cleaning Your Shoes Manually

In some cases, you may prefer to clean your running shoes manually instead of using a washing machine. This approach is particularly useful for shoes with delicate materials or when you need to target specific areas:

  1. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Using a soft brush or sponge, gently scrub the surface of your shoes, paying extra attention to stained or dirty areas.
  3. Rinse your shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove any detergent residue.
  4. Stuff them with old towels and let them air dry in a well-ventilated area.


Washing your running shoes in a washing machine can be a convenient way to keep them clean and odor-free. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your shoes are gently and effectively cleaned without causing any damage. However, remember that not all shoes are machine-washable, so always check the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to wash them. Taking proper care of your running shoes will not only extend their lifespan but also enhance your running experience. So, lace up your shoes, hit the road, and keep them clean and fresh!