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Can shoes be washed in the washing machine?

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Footwear is a basic item of clothing. Therefore, from time to time, it needs refreshing both from the outside and inside. Many people wonder how to clean shoes quickly – can they be washed in a washing machine? Let’s find out!

Cleaning shoes – two solutions

When it comes to cleaning shoes, you can meet with many ways. A large group of people believe that washing in a washing machine can damage shoes, deform them and make them only suitable for throwing away after washing. Others, on the other hand, are keen on automatic shoe cleaning. Modern washing machine models have special programs designed for washing shoes. So what is the truth? Can shoes be washed in a washing machine?

Basic rules for cleaning shoes in a washing machine

Be aware that not every type of footwear is suitable for washing in a washing machine. The same applies to the material from which the shoes are made. You can check this on the shoe’s patch or in the leaflet that the manufacturer has included. By definition, there are materials, e.g. suede, leather, where machine washing will not be advisable. However, with delicate materials, such as those mentioned above, it is necessary to be careful even with ordinary care, without using a washing machine. In this case, special cleaning products should be purchased.

As for the type of footwear that can be washed mechanically, it will mainly be sports shoes. Elegant stilettos or comfortable moccasins are not suitable for washing in a machine. 

It is worth noting that some washing machines have a special program designed for washing shoes. In the event that our device does not have such a function, it is necessary to ensure that the revolutions during washing and spinning are as low as possible. The case is similar with the temperature, it is not recommended to set it above 40°C. Lower temperatures are less likely to harm our favorite pair of shoes.

Safety – greater durability

If we follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, we are more confident that the shoes will still look good after washing, and on top of that they will not lose their original shape. To protect the shoes from possible damage, you should use a special mesh bag (you can buy them online or look for them in stationary stores). They are designed for washing delicate items of clothing, such as shoes and bras. To refresh your shoes more thoroughly, you can remove the laces and, if possible, the insoles, and then place them in the pouch together with the shoes to be washed.

Preparing shoes for washing 

As with clothes, shoes can also be, and even should be, properly prepared for putting into the washing machine. This is important not only for the sake of the items to be washed, but also for the washing machine itself. Mud or small pebbles or leaves on the shoes can cause damage to the mechanism of the machine. This happens by leaving deposits on its various internal components. 

In order to prevent such a situation, it is worth using a brush to gently remove the dirt. To do this, you can also use a cloth and properly prepare the shoes for washing in the washing machine. This activity is especially important for white shoes, this will help to preserve the original color. It is also worth knowing that after taking the shoes out of the washing machine, you should dry them “flat”. You can also place rulers in them to prevent the shoes from deforming. 

main photo: pexels.com/Andrey Matveev

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