How To Wash Trainers: 3 Simple Tips To Make Them Look Like New

by Welcome to Outsons

Ever thrown away a perfectly good pair of trainers just because they looked a bit grubby? 

Our three simple tips on how to wash shoes will help restore your favourite trainers to their former glory. Let’s break it down:

Image Credit: @pharrell via Instagram

1. Scrub Off Excess Dirt First

Before washing trainers in the machine, try and scrub off as much dirt as you can with a brush or soft cloth and warm water. Use an old toothbrush on the soles of your shoes to make sure you’re not putting excess mud in the washing machine. If there is a particularly muddy patch on your shoes try not to move the dirt around too much.

Scrub Off Excess Dirt First
Image Credit: C. Teacher

2. Don’t Machine Wash Them Alone

If your trainers aren’t made from leather or suede they should clean well in the washing machine. Don’t put your trainers in alone though, as they will bang around in your washing machine and damage the drum. Put an old towel in with your trainers and make sure to remove the laces and put them in a pillowcase or laundry bag so they don’t get caught in the drum holes.

Don’t Machine Wash Them Alone
Image Credit: Steve Buissinne

3. Wash Them On A Cold Setting

It might seem tempting to put your trainers on a really hot wash to blast the dirt off, but this will only melt the glue in your shoes and end up ruining them. Put your shoes on as cold a wash as possible, either at the cold setting or at 20℃ if possible. Use a liquid laundry detergent when washing your trainers, as a powder detergent might just get caught in the cracks of your trainers and not clean them properly.

Image Credit: Wokandapix

How To Clean Your Trainers Without A Washing Machine

Want to know how to clean white shoes without machine washing them? While washing machines are the answer when you want to know how to wash tennis shoes, they’re not always the best option when cleaning sneakers made of leather or suede. For dark or coloured shoes use a small amount of washing up liquid and warm water on a cloth to wipe your trainers. If you have white shoes, add baking soda to some water to make a paste. Gently scrub the paste over with a soft brush (a toothbrush works well) then wipe off with some kitchen roll. Use a warm, damp cloth to clean off any leftover paste. This also works if you are wondering how to clean white on shoes that have other colours, like white rubber soles or white leather accents – only don’t let the paste get on other parts of your sneakers or you may damage dark colours. Machine wash your laces separately (if they are white, bleach them first or add some Vanish to the wash to get them bright again). 

Image Credit: Marika Godwin

How To Dry Your Trainers

If you have machine washed your trainers they will be pretty wet once cleaned. Fight the urge to put them in the tumble dryer as this will melt the glue and make the rubber brittle and cracked. Instead of putting shoes in the dryer you should leave them to air dry, ideally by putting them on a rack out in the sun along with your laces. Don’t put them on a radiator or it could also make them too hot. If you are washing fabric trainers like Converse, fold out the tongues so air can get to the soles and stop them from smelling of damp.  

How To Dry Your Trainers
Image Credit: Andrew Itaga

Simple Step-By-Step Guide On How To Wash Trainers:

  1. Brush off excess mud 
  2. Remove laces and put them in a separate cloth bag in the washer
  3. Put sneakers in with a towel to protect the washing machine drum
  4. Use a liquid detergent 
  5. Wash trainers on a cold setting
  6. Air dry, don’t tumble dry

Feature image: Julian Alexander

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