Can You Wash Shoes With Clothes?

Washing your trainers has never been so easy because a lot of shoes nowadays are made and designed to be machine-washable. That means that you can just simply throw them in the washing machine and find the appropriate settings that would clean your shoes. But, in terms of practicality, it might end up becoming expensive on your part to wash your shoes and your clothes separately because you have to consider the electricity and water expenses. In that regard, can you wash your shoes together with your clothes?

You can wash your shoes with your clothes but it is never recommended for you to do so. That’s because the constant collisions between your shoes and your clothes can add to the wear and tear of your clothes and may end up damaging them in the process. As such, it would be better to wash them separately.

Wash Shoes With Clothes
Wash Shoes With Clothes

Technically, there will be no one stopping you from washing your shoes together with your clothes because you can actually do it. But just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you should. You shouldn’t wash them together at the same time unless you don’t mind buying new clothes anytime soon as your current ones will surely wear down quite easily if you do try to wash them together.

Can you put shoes in the washer with clothes?

With all of the walking and running we do with our trainers or our sneakers, it is inevitable that they would end up getting dirty especially when we actively use them on a regular basis. But the good news here is that you don’t have to handwash your shoes whenever they get dirty because a lot of shoes are now designed to be washable in the washing machine. 

That means that you can just simply throw a pair of shoes or even a few pairs inside the washing machine and then choose the appropriate settings to clean them properly without you even spending time and effort to clean them. Or, even when you are using a manual washing machine, it still is easier for you to clean your shoes in the washer compared to if you were to use your hands.

But, because a lot of us really live a fast life, time would certainly become a big factor when it comes to washing not only your shoes but also your clothes. We know that the washing machine is mainly used for your clothes but it could be quite a hassle if we had to give time to washing our shoes and our clothes in different loads. Of course, let us not forget that washing more loads means spending more money on your electricity and water expenses, which might not seem much but can easily pile up later on when you are in financial hardships.

In that case, you might actually wonder if you can save time and money by doing both things at once. That is washing your shoes and your clothes in the washing machine together at the same time. So, can you wash your shoes with your clothes so that you don’t have to spend time on different loads?

Technically, you can put your shoes together with your clothes in the washing machine at the same time and they will still end up clean right after washing them. But just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you actually should. While you can actually put your shoes together with your clothes at the same time in the washer, it is never advisable for you to do that. Before we get to that point, let’s talk more about what happens in a washing machine.

You have to understand that there is a lot of constant tossing, grinding, and bombarding happening inside a washing machine because agitating your shoes or clothes is the best way for stubborn dirt to be removed. There is a good chance you probably don’t notice this a lot when you are washing your clothes because clothes are soft and light enough that you wouldn’t hear them getting tossed around a lot. But when you wash your shoes in the washer, you would quickly notice how they are often tossed around so much while being thrown from one place over to another in the washing machine.

So, if you imagine putting your shoes in the washing machine together with your clothes, you could easily picture out your shoes getting thrown around from one side to another while hitting and grinding against your clothes in the process. On top of that, your shoes will also get entangled with the clothes or even cause the clothes to be entangled with one another.

When any of those happen, your clothes will undergo a lot of wear and tear inside the washing machine as the shoes grind against them or as they stretch out due to how they get entangled with one another or with the shoes. As delicate as your clothes are, this can never be an ideal situation for them to be in especially when you consider that certain types of fabric may be too delicate that they can easily get torn apart or stretched.

But your clothes aren’t the only victims in this scenario. As dangerous as it is for your clothes to be in a washer together with your shoes, your shoes may also end up on the bad side as well. This happens when the lint on your colored clothes can get on the shoes and stain them. When you have white shoes inside the washer, expect them to come out with stains and for you to spend more time cleaning them to remove the stains caused by the clothes they were washed with inside the washing machine.

On top of all of those, your shoes and clothes require different settings on your washing machine. There are wash cycles that depend on the type of clothes you placed in the washer such as when those with delicate fabrics require a more delicate wash cycle. Meanwhile, shoes, on the other hand, require a different wash cycle as well considering how they are not as delicate as your clothes are. You should also consider the type of water as well such as when your darker clothes require cold water.

So, when you factor in all of those different conditions that your shoes and your clothes require when you wash them, you could end up damaging them depending on the wash cycles you use and on the temperature of the water. For example, throwing shoes together with clothes with delicate fabrics will force you to use a faster spin cycle to clean your shoes but would end up damaging your clothes. In the same way, using a lower spin speed won’t help clean your shoes well but are great for your delicate clothes.

With all those said and done, it becomes clear that there is no reason for you to be washing your shoes together with your clothes even though you actually can do it. If you do end up washing them together, you will only be damaging either or both your shoes and your clothes due to the different conditions that they are exposed to when they are tossed in the washer together. As such, you should never try to wash your shoes and clothes together in the same washer at the same time or else you’d have to sacrifice either or both of them just to save time and on electricity and water expenses.

You may be able to save time and money by washing them together but, face it, the trade-off and the risks are much too great for you to try to attempt tossing your shoes and your clothes at the same time in the washing machine. The most prudent thing to do is to wash them in different loads and at different times instead of trying to tempt fate by washing them together.

How do you properly wash shoes?

So, now that you know that you shouldn’t wash your shoes together with your clothes in a washing machine, you also have to know how to properly wash your shoes. Here are the things you need to do to wash your shoes in the washing machine:

  1. Read the label of the shoes to know if you can actually wash them. Some shoes may appear to be safe for washing but actually are not because this will end up damaging them. As such, brushing and wiping these shoes should be your only option. Meanwhile, for the shoes that can be washed, the label will help you tell how to properly wash them in your washing machine.
  2. If you have decided to use the washer to wash your shoes, prepare your shoes. This means that you have to make sure that they are safe for washing by removing their laces, which can easily tangle inside, and by washing away any loose dirt that may be on the shoes. You can use an old toothbrush to scrub the loose dirt away but the stubborn dirt should be left for the washer to handle.
  3. Of course, it is important for you to protect your shoes because of how there will be a lot of tossing and grinding happening inside the washing machine. Go and get a mesh laundry bag, which will keep your shoes safe. However, you can also use a pillowcase in case you don’t have a mesh laundry bag but make sure that you tie the pillowcase well enough so that your shoes are completely sealed inside. The mesh laundry bag and the pillowcase will serve as protection for your shoes so that they won’t end up getting the brunt of the tossing and grinding that are going to happen inside the washer.
  4. Now, after prepping your shoes, do the same with your washing machine. You can do so by opting to use water that is on the cooler side because warm water will end up damaging the different materials that are on your shoes such as plastic. Meanwhile, warm water can also damage the colors of your shoes and will make them fade instead of actually cleaning your shoes. After that, pop in the type of detergent that is good for colors but won’t end up leaving stains on white shoes.
  5. Let the machine do its thing by choosing the appropriate settings for heavy fabric such as towels. Leave it alone and just wait until the machine is done before you can now move on to the next step, which is to dry your shoes.

Can you dry shoes with clothes?

Normally, after you are done with a load of clothes that you had just placed in the washing machine, the next thing for you to do is to place them in the dryer so that they would dry out quickly as compared to when you just leave them to dry out under the sun or even in the open air. Dryers are quite handy and are capable of drying your clothes rather quickly due to the high temperatures that they expose your clothes to.

So, after you have completely washed your clothes in the washing machine and had piled them up, you may have also started washing your shoes in the washing machine as well. But after the machine has completely washed your shoes, can you now save time and money by drying your shoes and your clothes in the dryer at the same time?

Unlike how you can actually place your shoes in the washing machine together with your clothes under the risk of damaging either or both of them, you should not dry them together at the same time inside the dryer. Only your clothes should be placed in the dryer, and not your shoes.

And no, we are not only talking about how you should not place both your shoes and your clothes in the dryer at the same time but we are also talking about how you should only use the dryer for your clothes. 

This leads us to our next point…

Can you dry your shoes in the dryer?

At this point, you already know that you shouldn’t dry your shoes and your clothes in the dryer at the same time because only your clothes should go in the dryer. So, if that is the case, does it mean that you shouldn’t place your shoes inside the dryer for it to dry them quickly? Can you dry your shoes in the dryer?

Yes, you shouldn’t place your shoes inside the drier. And no, you can never use the dryer to dry your shoes. The reason is that the dryer will only end up damaging your shoes in the process of drying them unlike how the dryer is actually almost completely safe for your clothes except in some instances where darker clothes can end up burning a bit inside the dryer.

Your shoes should never be placed in the dryer precisely because of how the high-temperature levels can end up damaging some materials on your shoes. You should know that your shoes are not only made of fabric but are also made of plastic, rubber, and glue. If you end up exposing the other materials to high temperatures, they could possibly damage the shoes altogether such as when the plastic and the glue end up melting. Meanwhile, the dryer can also end up shrinking the fabric on your shoes as it wraps around the rubber.

In that case, you should never use your dryer to dry your shoes, or else you would end up throwing away money in the process. Instead, the only way you should be drying shoes that have just been washed is by leaving them out in the air to dry. You can do so by clipping your shoes on a clothesline outside your house to expose them to the sun and to the open air. Or simply leaving them somewhere that is quite warm in an open area can be enough to dry the shoes out.

But take note that air-drying your shoes will take a while especially if the season is particularly cold or if you live in a region that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. Still, waiting for a while for your shoes to dry up is better than damaging them inside the dryer.

How often should you wash your shoes?

Finally, you may be wondering how often you should be washing your shoes? Well, shoes aren’t the same as your clothes that need to be washed after you have spent an entire day wearing them or after they have been exposed to sweat and to outside conditions such as dust and dirt. Instead, shoes can be left unwashed for a while even though they are constantly exposed to dust and dirt from the outside.

However, make sure that you wash your shoes once every two weeks so that you can keep them squeaky clean. This is important for white shoes because of how they are much more likely to look dirty compared to shoes with darker colors.


Can You Wash Shoes With Clothes?
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