Can You Wash Shoes With Your Clothes?

Can you wash shoes with clothes at the same time?

can you wash shoes with clothes at the same time

Generally, washing dirty shoes and clothes together in the washing machine is a bad idea.

During the wash cycle, all the items in the machine will collide and tangle together. Shoes, even lightweight tennis shoes, are much heavier and more substantial than fabrics. Your clothes will likely end up stretched, torn, or otherwise damaged.

Plus, the opposite situation can occur, where your clothes end up damaging your shoes. Pigment from the fabric can transfer to your shoes, resulting in discoloration.

Even something as seemingly harmless as lint can cause significant staining.

Finally, clothes and shoes require different temperatures and wash cycles. By mixing the two items together, you’ll end up washing them in a way that won’t get either of them particularly clean.

How to wash shoes in a washing machine properly

how to wash shoes in a washing machine properly

Can you wash your shoes with your clothes? It’s not a good idea. But you can wash certain types of shoes in the washing machine.

Most shoes made from cotton, nylon, and polyester are machine washable, but check the washing label of your shoes specifically. Typically, you’ll want to avoid machine washing any shoes made from leather, suede, silk, satin, or other delicate material, including shoes with excessive illustrations or decorations.

Getting your shoes ready to wash

Before washing your shoes, remove the laces. You can either wash them by hand or put them in a pillowcase and wash them in the machine. Next, remove the insole, which you’ll need to wash by hand with laundry detergent and warm water.

Knock any large clumps of dirt off your shoes. Then, place them inside a pillowcase or mesh bag (special types exist for machine washing shoes). Place the wash bag in the washing machine along with about five towels. Wash the shoes on the machine’s delicate cycle, with no spin, and in cold water.

Use liquid detergent instead of powder.

Can you wash boots in a washing machine?

can you wash boots in a washing machine

Yes, but only in certain situations. First, you’ll need to follow all the same restrictions with boots as with shoes. Don’t wash any boots made from delicate or animal-based materials, such as leather, satin, or any type of skin (snakeskin, etc.)

Also, don’t wash any boots with embroidery or other designs. As with shoes, always follow the directions on the label.

If you decide to wash your boots in the machine, you’ll essentially follow the same procedure as with shoes. Remove the laces and insole. Brush away as much loose dirt as possible. With boots, you need to pay special attention to the treads.

They should be clear from mud and debris before you put the boots in the washer.

Can you put shoes in the clothes dryer or on a heater?

can you put shoes in the clothes dryer or on a heater

Can you wash shoes with clothes? No, it’s not worth the potential problems. But can you dry shoes in the dryer? In some cases, yes.

As with washing, you don’t want to put shoes in the dryer with clothes.

Generally, the types of materials that can withstand the washing machine can also handle the dryer. Tennis shoes usually do fine in the dryer, but the heat and tumbling action will likely damage leather, canvas, suede, and similarly delicate materials.

As always, check the label for specifics.

Getting your shoes ready to dry

Before drying, tie the shoelaces from each pair together. Then hang the laces outside of the dryer and close the door. The laces will help hold the shoes in place so they don’t tumble around when drying.

Dry for about 15 to 20 minutes on either the air-dry or lowest heat setting. When in doubt, dry for short periods.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »