Washing tennis shoes is not as simple or straightforward as it may seem. The process involves considering the types of shoes, the precision for selecting the correct wash cycle, and the choice of laundry detergent. In this post, you will learn exactly how to wash tennis shoes in the washer effectively.
Prepping the Shoes: Removing the Laces
Before popping your tennis shoes into the washing machine, the first step is removing the laces. The laces, when left on the shoes during the wash, can get tangled or damaged, decreasing the longevity of your shoes. When removing the laces, make a note of any spots or stains that might require extra attention later in the cleaning process.
Instead of dumping the laces loosely into the washing machine, you can place your laces in a mesh laundry bag. The mesh laundry bag is not only useful for preventing your laces from tangling with other laundry items, but it also helps them to come out clean and undamaged.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Washing Cycle
Your chosen wash cycle can have either a beneficial or damaging impact on your tennis shoes. To avoid any damage, always opt for a gentle wash cycle. This cycle will clean your tennis shoes thoroughly without being too harsh or causing unnecessary strain on the material.
The temperature of the water also matters when washing tennis shoes in the washer. It’s generally advised to use cold water instead of hot or warm water. Cold water is gentle on the shoes’ fabric, helping to maintain the shoes’ shape, color, and overall integrity much better than warm water.
Choosing Your Laundry Detergent
The correct selection of laundry detergent is crucial for maintaining the brightness and cleanliness of your shoes. Regular detergents are generally fine, but some might struggle with more difficult stains. In this case, consider adding baking soda to bolster the stain removal process.
Liquid detergent is usually a more appealing choice. It is typically less likely to leave soapy residues, a potential problem with powder detergents. Using liquid detergent ensures your shoes clean more thoroughly without residual soap scum.
Addressing Particularly Tough Stains
While the washing machine does most of the work, you may come across stubborn stains that resist coming off during the wash. This is where stain removing techniques come in handy. Spot treating with a gentle, shoe-friendly cleaning solution can help to lift even the most stubborn stains before the wash.
Once the stain has been completely lifted, the shoes can go back into the washing machine for another round of cleaning. Even with a stubborn stain, it’s crucial to avoid harsh stain removers that could harm the shoe fabric. Carefully choosing suitable stain removers ensures a clean shoe without compromising on fabric integrity.
Drying Your Shoes: Air Dry Your Shoes
After washing, dry the shoes ideally by allowing them to air dry. Never put your shoes in a dryer as this can warp the shape of the shoes and damage the material. Instead, put them in a well-ventilated area and let the airflow do the drying.
Ensure that you stuff the shoes with newspaper or towel to help them retain their shape while drying. Replace the stuffing every few hours to speed up the drying process. Avoid placing the shoes in direct sunlight as it may cause the colors to fade.
Hand Wash Versus Machine Wash
While discussing how to wash tennis shoes, it’s worth comparing the results of hand washed versus machine washed shoes. Hand washed shoes, although more time consuming, often have less wear because there’s less physical stress placed on the shoe fabric.
On the other hand, washing your shoes in the washing machine is a time-saver and generally achieves good results. It can be challenging to remove some stubborn stains by hand, which the machine handles with ease. The choice between hand washing and machine washing depends on your available time and the amount of dirt on your shoes.
Re-lacing Your Shoes After Washing
Once your shoes and laces are entirely dry, it’s time to lace them up again. Make sure the laces are as clean as the shoes to ensure both parts match in cleanliness. The lacing contributes hugely to your shoes’ overall appearance, so doing it well is essential.
Relacing your shoes correctly also helps preserve the shoe fit and your comfort. You can consider lacing your shoe differently to give them a new look or better suit your unique foot shape and size.
What type of wash cycle should I use to wash tennis shoes?
A gentle wash cycle with cold water is ideal for washing tennis shoes.
Can I use warm water to wash tennis shoes?
No, use cold water instead of warm water as it is gentler on the shoe fabric.
Can I put my shoes in the dryer after washing?
No, it’s best to air dry your shoes to avoid damaging the material and warping the shape.
Why should I remove laces before washing shoes?
It helps to prevent the laces from getting tangled or damaged and also allows for more thorough cleaning.
What is the best detergent for washing tennis shoes?
Liquid detergent is usually the best choice, and baking soda can also be added for tougher stains.
Can tennis shoes be hand washed?
Yes, tennis shoes can be hand washed, which may be gentler on the shoe fabric.
Where should I put my laces when washing them?
Place your laces in a mesh laundry bag for the best results.
What type of stains requires special attention when washing tennis shoes?
Tough or older stains may need a little extra care and specific spot treatment before regular washing.
How long should I air dry my shoes after washing?
You should let them air dry until they are completely dry, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a day.
Can I wash all types of shoes in a washing machine?
No, not all types can be safely washed in a machine. Always check the care label on your shoe for cleaning instructions.