You, like most tennis players, love to always keep your tennis shoes clean and sleek because it shows how professional you are on the tennis court.
The problem is, you don’t always have the luxury of time to sit down and clean them.
So you are wondering whether you can wash your tennis shoes in a washer without worrying.
Tennis shoes made of cotton, nylon, canvas, and polyester can be washed in a washing machine without any problems. However, tennis shoes made of materials such as leather should not be machine-washed.
Either way, you need to follow the proper procedures to machine wash your tennis shoes.
In this article, we will cover all you need to know about washing tennis shoes in a washing machine.
Table of Contents
Which Tennis shoes are machine washable?
As we mentioned earlier, most tennis shoes can be washed but not all of them should be put in a washing machine.
Below is a list of tennis shoes that you can put in a washing machine without destroying them.
- Canvas tennis shoes
- Nylon tennis shoes
- Cotton tennis shoes
- Polyester cotton shoes
Tennis shoes made of the materials above are durable and can stand the detergent and agitations in a washing machine without getting damaged.
Note: we recommend you always check your tennis shoes care guide for best practices to clean them.
Which tennis shoes are not machine washable?
Some tennis shoes are a “no-no” to put in a washing machine.
These shoes need to be hand washed or may even require specialized cleaning for best results.
The following are tennis shoes that should not be put in a washing machine:
- Leather tennis shoes
- Suede tennis shoes
- Rubber tennis shoes
- Vinyl tennis shoes
Again, we recommend that you always check the care guide of your tennis shoe for best practices to clean them.
How to wash tennis shoes in a washing machine
Washing tennis shoes in a washing machine isn’t a difficult task, especially if you already use a washer.
You only need to ensure that you’re following the right procedure including wash and dry settings.
- Mesh laundry bag or pillowcase
- Heavy-duty liquid detergent
- Baking soda
Duration of cleaning
Cleaning your tennis shoes in a washing machine will take 45 minutes to an hour using a delicate wash cycle.
That’s exclusive of drying time where you will need to leave your shoes to dry completely overnight.
Procedure (Step by step)
At this point, you should have confirmed from your care guide that your tennis shoes can be machine-washed.
Having done that, follow these steps to safely wash your tennis shoes in a washing machine.
1. Remove the insoles and laces
The first thing is to remove the laces and insoles of your tennis shoes
2. Handwash the insoles
Clean the insoles by hand because using a washing machine will often leave them heavily soaked and you may have to dry them for very long to dry completely.
If your insoles aren’t washing washable follow these steps to clean them:
- Mix soapy water and wipe or brush the insoles to remove any dirt.
- Use a towel to soak up and remove any excess water on the insoles.
- Sprinkle baking soda evenly on the insoles and leave overnight to remove bad odors and remaining moisture.
3. Wash the laces
You can choose to hand wash your laces in order to prevent them from getting tangled in the drum.
If you want to use the washing machine then you’ll need to secure them in a mesh bag.
4. Remove dirt from the soles
You need to remove any debris that may be stuck on the soles of your tennis shoe.
This debris can cause unnecessary damage to your washer so you need to remove them before dropping your shoes in the washer.
Use a brush to remove all debris and clean away any available scuff marks using a damp rag.
5. Place tennis shoes in a mesh bag
Put your shoes in a mesh bag so they don’t bang around in the drum. You may also choose to put your laces in the mesh bag to wash along.
If you don’t have a mesh bag, you can put them in a pillowcase instead.
6. Load the drum with some old fabrics and drop the mesh bag in
Before putting your tennis shoes into your front load or top load washer, load the drum with some old clothes in order to prevent the washer from going out of balance during the cycle.
Ensure the clothes aren’t ones that fade so you don’t end up messing with the color of your shoes.
7. Run your wash cycle
Put your liquid detergent in your dispenser and choose the delicate cycle wash option using cold water.
We don’t recommend using powder detergent since it may not dissolve completely and get stuck in your tennis shoes.
After washing, rinse them with water and laundry sanitizer if you find your shoes smelling.
Alternatively, you could sprinkle baking soda in the shoes the night before to deodorize them.
8. Air Dry your shoes
After the wash cycle is complete, drain your washer and take out the mesh bag.
Remove your shoes and use a clean towel to suck out any water in the shoes.
Let your shoes dry completely under natural air and sunlight.
One way to speed up the drying of your washed tennis shoes is to place them under a fan or use a blow dryer.
Some washing machines have an Air dry feature that does use heat but removes much of the moisture in items.
- Never put your tennis shoes in a tumble dryer as the heat generated may damage your shoes.
- Allow your shoes to completely dry before wearing them to prevent smells and bacteria from building up.
9. Get your shoes ready
After your shoes have completely dried, you can now put in the insoles and fix the laces.
Read also: Can you put a durag in a washing machine?
Safety tips when machine washing tennis shoes
It may seem simple and straightforward to wash your tennis shoes in a washing machine.
Although it is, you need to ensure that you observe some basic safety precautions that will protect your shoes and washing machine at the same time.
- Don’t ever put your leather or suede tennis shoes inside a washer or dryer.
- Always wash using cold water and not hot water.
- Remove shoe laces and insoles before putting shoes in the washer.
- Use only liquid detergents as powdered ones may leave stains on your shoes.
- Always make sure you place your shoes inside a mesh bag or pillowcase to prevent banging in the drum.
How often should to wash tennis shoes
It’s good to always have your tennis shoes blinking.
But how often should you be cleaning your tennis shoes?
There’s no one answer to how often you should wash your tennis shoes.
How often you clean your tennis shoes depends on how often you wear them. Generally, you can machine wash your tennis shoes every couple of months. However, you can hand wash the body of your tennis shoes as and when they get dirty.
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How to wash tennis shoes without a washing machine
While it’s possible to wash certain types of tennis shoes in a washing machine, you may need to use other means to wash others.
So here, we provide you with 3 ways you can clean your tennis shoes without using a washing machine.
Mix a solution of liquid detergent and two cups of potable water. Use a toothbrush and scrub the body of your shoes. Also, wash the insoles and laces with the solution.
Use a towel to suck out water from the shoes and leave them to air dry.
Mix a solution of portable water and white vinegar in equal parts.
Use a cloth to wipe over the shoes without soaking them in water.
Leave it to Air dry.
Sometimes your tennis shoes aren’t dirty but have some bad odors that you desire to remove.
Sprinkle baking soda inside your shoes and leave them overnight. The smells will be removed.
You can also use products such as the Poo-Pourri Shoe Odor Eliminating Spray, Woodlore Cedar Shoe Fresh Inserts, and Odor-Eaters Odor-Destroying Insoles for best results.