How To Wash Gym Shoes In The Washing Machine

Do you have smelly, dirty gym shoes that need a good cleaning? Well, you’re in luck because we have a solution for you! In this article, we will show you how to wash your gym shoes in the washing machine. It’s super easy and will leave your shoes looking and smelling fresh. Say goodbye to tough stains and unpleasant odors – let’s get started!

How To Wash Gym Shoes In The Washing Machine

Preparing the Washing Machine

Check the Shoe Labels

Before you start washing your gym shoes in the washing machine, it’s important to check the shoe labels first. The labels will usually provide instructions on how to properly care for your shoes, including whether or not they can be machine washed. Some shoes may not be suitable for machine washing, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid damaging your shoes.

Remove Laces and Insoles

Next, you’ll need to remove the laces and insoles from your gym shoes. Laces and insoles can easily get tangled in the washing machine or even damage the shoes, so it’s important to take them out before washing. You can wash the laces separately by hand, and we’ll cover how to clean them later in the article.

Place Shoes in a Laundry Bag

To protect your gym shoes during the washing process, it’s a good idea to place them in a laundry bag. The laundry bag will not only prevent your shoes from getting damaged by the agitator in the washing machine but also ensure that they don’t get caught on other items in the washer. Be sure to choose a laundry bag that is large enough to accommodate your shoes and has a secure closure to keep them in place.

Choosing the Right Settings

Select a Gentle Cycle

When it comes to washing gym shoes in the washing machine, it’s best to choose a gentle cycle. Gentle cycles are designed to be more delicate on fabrics and will help prevent your shoes from getting damaged. Look for a setting on your washing machine that specifically says “gentle” or “delicate.” This will ensure that your shoes are cleaned without causing any harm.

Choose a Cold or Warm Water Temperature

The water temperature you use while washing your gym shoes is also important. It’s generally recommended to use either cold or warm water, as hot water can sometimes cause the shoes to shrink or lose their shape. Cold water is usually the safest option, especially if you’re unsure about the material of your shoes. Warm water can be used for more durable materials, but be sure to check the shoe labels for any specific temperature recommendations.

Use the Appropriate Spin Speed

The spin speed of your washing machine can impact the outcome of washing your gym shoes. It’s best to choose a lower spin speed to minimize any potential damage to the shoes. High spin speeds can be harsh on fabrics and may cause the shoes to become misshapen or even tear. Look for a setting that allows you to adjust the spin speed, and choose a lower or medium setting to keep your shoes safe during the washing process.

How To Wash Gym Shoes In The Washing Machine

Selecting the Proper Detergent

Opt for Mild or Sport-Specific Detergent

When washing your gym shoes, it’s important to use a detergent that is gentle on fabrics. Opt for a mild detergent or even a sport-specific detergent, which is designed to effectively clean athletic gear. These detergents are usually formulated to remove sweat, odor, and stains without causing any damage to the materials. Avoid using regular laundry detergents that may contain harsh chemicals that could potentially harm your shoes.

Avoid Bleach or Harsh Chemicals

While you may use bleach or other harsh chemicals for certain laundry loads, it’s best to avoid using them when washing your gym shoes. Bleach and harsh chemicals can be too strong for the materials used in gym shoes and may cause discoloration or damage. Stick to mild detergents specifically meant for gym shoes or sportswear, as they are generally safer and more suitable for cleaning these types of items.

Consider Using Odor Eliminators

One common issue with gym shoes is the buildup of odor over time. To help combat this, consider using odor eliminators specifically designed for shoes. These odor eliminators can be added to your washing machine along with the detergent to help remove stubborn odors. They are often effective at neutralizing unpleasant smells and leaving your gym shoes fresh and clean.

Adding Extra Precautions

Include Old Towels or Washcloths

To help protect your gym shoes during the washing process, it’s a good idea to include old towels or washcloths in the load. These towels and washcloths will act as buffers and help prevent your shoes from banging around too much inside the machine. They will also absorb excess water and provide some added cushioning to keep your shoes safe and secure.

Avoid Overloading the Washing Machine

It’s important not to overload your washing machine when washing gym shoes. Overloading can put too much strain on the machine and may cause it to malfunction or not clean your shoes properly. Make sure there is enough space for the shoes to move around freely during the wash cycle. If you have a larger load of laundry, it’s best to wash your gym shoes separately or with just a few other items.

Place the Laundry Bag Strategically

When placing the laundry bag with your gym shoes in the washing machine, it’s a good idea to position it strategically. Placing it in the center of the machine can help distribute the weight evenly and minimize any unbalanced spinning. This can help prevent damage to both the shoes and the washing machine. If your washing machine has a top-loading design, be sure to place the laundry bag in a way that doesn’t obstruct the agitator.

How To Wash Gym Shoes In The Washing Machine

Starting the Washing Process

Begin with a Pre-Wash

Before starting the main wash cycle, it’s a good idea to begin with a pre-wash. The pre-wash setting will help remove any surface dirt or debris from your gym shoes before the actual washing begins. This step can help improve the overall cleanliness of your shoes and ensure that the main wash cycle is more effective. Follow the instructions on your washing machine to start the pre-wash cycle.

Avoid Using Fabric Softener

While fabric softener can make your clothes feel softer and smell nice, it’s generally not recommended for washing gym shoes. Fabric softener can leave behind residue that may affect the performance of your shoes, such as reducing their grip or breathability. It’s best to avoid using fabric softener when washing gym shoes to maintain their quality and functionality.

Choose a Suitable Wash Cycle Length

The length of the wash cycle you choose will depend on the level of dirtiness of your gym shoes and the type of materials they are made of. In general, a longer wash cycle may be more effective at removing stubborn stains or odors. However, be cautious not to choose an excessively long wash cycle, as it may cause unnecessary wear and tear on your shoes. Follow the recommendations on your washing machine for choosing the appropriate wash cycle length.

Air Drying Gym Shoes

Remove Shoes from the Washing Machine

Once the wash cycle has completed, it’s time to remove your gym shoes from the washing machine. Be careful when handling your wet shoes, as they may be slippery. Take them out gently, making sure not to damage them or cause any unnecessary stretching or tearing.

Stuff Shoes with Paper Towels

To help your gym shoes maintain their shape and speed up the drying process, it’s best to stuff them with paper towels. The paper towels will absorb excess moisture and also help the shoes retain their original shape. Ensure that you stuff the shoes evenly, paying attention to any specific areas that may need extra support or padding.

Allow Shoes to Air Dry

After stuffing your gym shoes with paper towels, it’s time to let them air dry. Avoid using direct heat sources such as a hairdryer or placing them near a heater, as excessive heat can damage the materials. Instead, find a well-ventilated area and allow your gym shoes to dry naturally. This process may take a few hours or even overnight, depending on the level of moisture and the ambient temperature. Be patient, as rushing the drying process can potentially damage your shoes.

How To Wash Gym Shoes In The Washing Machine

Cleaning Laces and Insoles

Hand Wash Laces Separately

To clean your gym shoe laces, it’s best to hand wash them separately. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the laces in the soapy water, paying extra attention to any heavily stained areas. Once clean, rinse the laces thoroughly with fresh water. Squeeze out any excess water and lay them flat to air dry.

Soak Insoles in Warm Water and Mild Soap

To clean the insoles of your gym shoes, you can soak them in warm water and mild soap. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Place the insoles in the soapy water and gently scrub them with your hands or a soft brush. Pay close attention to any areas with visible stains or odor buildup. Once clean, rinse the insoles thoroughly with fresh water. Squeeze out any excess water and lay them flat to air dry.

Air Dry Laces and Insoles

After cleaning the laces and insoles of your gym shoes, it’s important to allow them to air dry. Similar to the drying process for the shoes themselves, avoid using direct heat sources or excessive heat to dry the laces and insoles. Lay them flat or hang them up in a well-ventilated area until fully dry. This may take a few hours or longer, depending on the thickness of the materials.

Preventing Damage and Shoe Misshaping

Avoid Using the Dryer

Using a dryer to speed up the drying process of your gym shoes is not recommended. The high heat from the dryer can cause damage to the materials and potentially shrink or misshape the shoes. Always opt for air drying, as it’s the safest and most effective method for drying gym shoes.

Keep Shoes Away from Direct Sunlight

While it may be tempting to place your gym shoes outside in the sun to dry, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause fading and discoloration of the shoes, especially if they are made of certain materials like synthetic fabrics or leather. Find a shaded area or indoors with good airflow for the drying process instead.

Store Shoes Properly

After your gym shoes have dried completely, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their shape and quality. Avoid tossing them in a pile or cramming them into a small space, as this can cause unnecessary creasing or deformation. Instead, store your gym shoes in a cool and well-ventilated area, preferably where they can maintain their natural shape. Consider using shoe trees or stuffing them with clean paper towels to help them retain their form while in storage.

How To Wash Gym Shoes In The Washing Machine

Tips and Tricks

Wash Shoes Less Frequently

While it’s important to keep your gym shoes clean, washing them too frequently can actually shorten their lifespan. The constant agitation and exposure to water and detergents can cause wear and tear on the materials. Only wash your gym shoes when necessary, such as when they are visibly dirty, have strong odors, or are not performing as well as they used to. Regularly cleaning the laces and insoles can also help maintain overall freshness without requiring frequent full washes.

Use Over-the-Counter Shoe Deodorizers

If your gym shoes tend to develop strong odors, using over-the-counter shoe deodorizers can be helpful. There are various types available, including sprays, powders, or odor-absorbing inserts. These deodorizers can help neutralize unpleasant smells and keep your gym shoes smelling fresh between washes. Follow the instructions on the product packaging for the best results.

Alternate Between Pairs of Shoes

To prolong the life of your gym shoes, it’s a good idea to alternate between different pairs if possible. By rotating your shoes, each pair has a chance to fully dry and air out between uses. This can help prevent moisture buildup and reduce the likelihood of odors developing. Additionally, alternating between pairs allows the materials to recover and maintain their original shape, ultimately increasing their durability.

When Not to Use the Washing Machine

Leather or Suede Shoes

Leather or suede gym shoes should not be washed in the washing machine. These materials are more delicate and susceptible to damage from the agitation and water exposure. Instead, refer to the specific cleaning instructions for these types of shoes, which are often provided by the manufacturer. Follow the recommended methods for cleaning and conditioning these materials to ensure they stay in good condition.

Shoes with Electronic Components

Gym shoes that contain electronic components, such as those with built-in fitness trackers or lights, should not be washed in the machine. The electronics can be damaged by water or agitation, rendering them non-functional. For these types of shoes, it’s best to spot clean with a damp cloth or follow any specific cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Delicate or High-Heeled Shoes

Lastly, any delicate or high-heeled gym shoes should not be machine washed. These shoes often have intricate designs, fragile materials, or special components that are not compatible with machine washing. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning these types of shoes, which may involve handwashing or using specific cleaning products. Taking extra care to clean delicate or high-heeled gym shoes will help maintain their appearance and functionality.

Remember, proper care and maintenance of your gym shoes will help them last longer and continue providing the support and comfort you need during your workouts. By following these guidelines, you can safely and effectively wash your gym shoes in the washing machine while protecting their quality and extending their lifespan.

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