How to Wash Tennis Shoes

Many people fear that tennis shoes are not washable. They either throw it away after it gets extremely dirty, or just cry over their favourite shoes. If you’re one of them, we have an exciting news for you! Yes, you can wash your favourite tennis shoes and that too in multiple ways. You can wash them in a washing machine or you can hand wash them if you want.

Which method is the best one? Well, it’s actually up to you. We’ll discuss all of the washing methods here in this article so that you can choose one that is convenient to you. As a bonus, we’ll also tell you how you can dry off and polish those pairs after washing them. So, we’ll blabber no more. Let’s get straight into washing your precious shoes!

How to Wash Tennis Shoes in a Washing Machine – Step-by-Step Guideline 

Before throwing the shoes in a washer, you have to vacuum all the loose dirt above. You can also brush off the excess dirt by using your hands.

It’ll take approximately 30 minutes for the washing machine to wash your tennis shoes completely. The total cleaning and drying method for a beginner will require maximum 24 hours.

Tools to Use for Tennis Shoes Washing

Collect all the ingredients below for the preparation of your shoe washing.

  • Detergent (Heavy)
  • Baking Soda
  • Mesh garment bags
  • White Tissue Paper
  • Old Towels

Tennis Shoes Washing Method

1. Clean the Laces Separately

At first, you have to remove the shoe laces from the shoes. Place them with a handful of laundry and wash them separately from the shoe. However, if your shoe laces are old and worn out, you better throw them away and buy a new one. Old shoe laces tend to have weak fabric material that may tear into pieces while washing in a washer. 

2. Handwash the Insoles

You’ll need to make a solution for this step. Take a cup of warm water and one table spoon of baking soda. Stir and mix them well. Now take off the insoles out from the shoe and rub the solutions bit by bit on the sole. Now as you’re pouring down the solution, dry out it using a clean white tissue paper. Set the insoles in sun or a place where it will dry naturally.

3. Wash in the Washing Machine

Now, it’s time to clean your shoes. Place them in a mesh garment bag so that the shoes don’t bang heavily in your machine. It can cause serious damage to the washer at times. So, better be careful about that! You can load in some old towels too that will bring balance in the washing.

Make sure the towels are of similar color and old. New towels may dye some of the color and ruin your shoe. Then, after the detergent is placed, set your machine to cold water cycle or no-spin option. It’s wise to use liquid detergent or solution of powdered detergent to avoid any crumbs on the shoes. Now, let the machine clean by itself.

4. Dry Out the Shoes

Once the shoes are washed in the machine, it’s time to dry them. Stuff some old cloths or tissue paper inside the shoes to absorb all the excess water. Leave the shoes dry on a rack or under the sun. Let the shoes air-dry. However, note that if the weather isn’t good, it may take a few days to dry your shoes completely. 

Pro Tip: Don’t dry your shoes with a dryer. The heat may cause serious damage to the fabric of your tennis shoes.

How to Hand Wash Tennis Shoes 

In some cases, washing machine can ruin your shoes with excessive water force and accidental spins. So, it’s wise to hand wash the expensive and favorite pairs. The process is pretty simple and similar to some steps from the washing machine method. There are three ways to clean your shoes depending on the type of the fabric and tackling odor.

Handwashing Fabric Shoes

Make a solution consisting of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and two cups of warm water. Pour down the solution gradually and scrub off the dirt from the shoe fabric. You can use an old toothbrush in this case. When the shoe is entirely dirt-free, rinse of the foam and excess dirt properly.

Then, wipe out the water with a tissue paper or towel and let them air-dry. You can wash the shoe laces separately taking a little bit detergent on hand. For the insoles, you can follow the washing machine method from above. 

Handwashing Leather Shoes

If your shoes are made of leather instead of fabric, then you’ll need white vinegar in the solution. Simply add equal parts of cold water and distilled white vinegar and form a solution. Take a piece of cloth, dip it in the solution, and wipe of the dirt from your leather shoes. After all the cleaning is done, place the shoes in a cool place to dry.

Remove Odor from Shoes

This is the easiest method. Take some baking soda in your hand and sprinkle them on top of the insoles. Leave them overnight to absorb and dry. In the morning, you’ll find a deodorized shoe. Rinse it properly and dry like before. If your shoes tend to get smelly all the time, you can repeat the process once a week. You’ll just need to clean the insoles and nothing else. It’ll also dry quickly than the upper. 

Final Verdict

No matter which method you use, thorough cleaning is the ultimate goal for your favorite pairs. However, sometimes washing isn’t enough to get your shoes back in its original version. You can polish and protect your shoes as they completely dry. This is mostly valuable in cleaning leather shoes.

After you’re done washing and drying them, you can use white, black or any color that suits your shoes and polish them. Make the polish smooth and shiny. You can also use conditioner to prevent cracks on the shoes. At the end, you’ll feel like you’ve got a new pair of shows to wear now! 

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