Over time, dirty signs of wear become noticeable on every pair of shoes - can the sneakers then also be cleaned in the washing machine?
Whether over the asphalt, through the rain or muddy terrain - sneakers are almost our daily companion. However, the constant wearing also ensures that the kicks are only half as attractive after weeks or months. Dirt hangs between the seams and the laces slowly turn brown. So that the favorite pair does not have to wither away in the shoe cabinet or even be disposed of, it should be cleaned extensively. But even wiping with a wet rag does not always bring the desired result. So can it help to simply put the shoes in the washing machine?
Which shoes can be cleaned in the washing machine?
It is not possible to say in general terms whether a pair of shoes can be washed. First and foremost, it is up to the material whether the footwear would survive a wash. For example, sneakers or sneakers made of synthetic material as well as cloth shoes – made of linen, for example – can always be washed. The situation is different with genuine leather, suede or shoes with leather inserts. Due to the water and the increased temperatures, the material can become brittle, so that the beautiful look is quickly over. You should also keep shoes with metal applications or rhinestones away from the washing machine if you want to prevent the decorations from coming off. In addition, these can lead to damage in the device.
Do sneakers really belong in the washing machine? It's all about the material. © Panthermedia/Imago
Caution: This is what you need to keep in mind when washing sneakers
Although some sneakers can be cleaned in the washing machine, you should not overdo it. Excessively high temperatures will cause the glue on the soles to come loose or damage the insoles. Therefore, stick to a maximum washing temperature of 30 degrees and a washing program for delicate or easy-care products. It is also better to set a low level when spinning so as not to put too much strain on your shoes – and your washing machine. It's best to place the pair in a wash bag so they don't get thrown around too much. Additional protection is provided by towels that you can add to the laundry.
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Also, don't wash your shoes too frequently: even with gentle cleaning, soles or glue can be damaged over time. In addition, deformations are possible, so that in the worst case the shoes are no longer wearable.
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After washing: how to bring your sneakers back to a high gloss
Proper drying is almost as important as washing: as soon as the shoes come out of the machine, you should stuff them with newspaper so that all the moisture inside can be absorbed. This has the nice side effect that the shoes also get into shape right away – and stay in shape. The process can be accelerated if you let the shoes dry in a sunny place, such as the balcony. However, you should avoid the heater for this purpose, as it can lead to unsightly water stains on the material. The tumble dryer is also not suitable due to its high temperatures.