How do I wash sneakers in a top loading washer?
June 27, 2011 9:58 PM   Subscribe

How do I wash sneakers in a top-loading washer?


I have a really dirty pair of sneakers and wanted to find out how people usually wash sneakers in a top loading washer. I've found a bunch of stuff with regards to front loading washers but no luck with top loading washers.

posted by touareg to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Washers can mess sneakers up. Why can't you just clean them in the sink with a tooth brush, hard bristle brush, soap, water and some 409?

If you have a dishwasher you could probably try using that too.
For stinky stuff I usually put it in the microwave a few times at 5-10 seconds.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:08 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I wash mine on the low water setting and throw in a couple of rugs or old towels to help keep the shoes underwater.
posted by amyms at 10:09 PM on June 27, 2011

I toss mine in with a load of towels. I don't know how this affects the life span of the shoes, that's just what I do.

Don't put them in the dryer though. That will mess them up. Just let them air dry.
posted by TooFewShoes at 10:11 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

I remove the insert before I throw them in, as they can get mangled. Wash them on gentle with other items and put someplace sunny to dry.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:27 PM on June 27, 2011

I had a pair that was half-ruined by somehow getting the laces wrapped around the middle agitator part. I take mine to the laundromat now; it takes 20 minutes and less than a dollar, and I don't have to worry about ruining my washer. I take them home in a bag and lay them out to dry (I put them right under an air vent, not in the sun, because I've found that it tends to discolor the shoes- I'm in Florida, though, so YMMV on sunlight.
posted by kro at 11:30 PM on June 27, 2011

Most sneakers are pretty hardy; if they can take the wear and tear of usual sneaker life on the pavement, they can surely take the washer. Take the laces off them first, and either wash the laces separately (say, in the pocket of another piece of clothing), or just put a new pair of laces on afterward. I have not ruined sneakers (yet) by putting them in the dryer, but YMMV.

I have done this with a variety of types of sneakers. I'd be careful about trying this with suede or leather sneakers, but, again, I've done it before, and they looked much better clean than schmutzy.
posted by not_on_display at 11:55 PM on June 27, 2011

Seconding the advice above to just toss them in with a load of towels or something. If they're really grimy, I will also soak them for a few hours before running the washer. Adding OxiClean works really well on all the sneakers I've washed. You can scrub stains or especially dirty areas with a bit of undissolved OxiClean too (but only if you don't care about possibly scrubbing the color out.)
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:59 AM on June 28, 2011

SuperSquirrel: "You can scrub stains or especially dirty areas with a bit of undissolved OxiClean too "

I should amend this to read: a paste of OxiClean and water. (Dry OxiClean on dry shoes probably won't do much.)
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:01 AM on June 28, 2011

I throw each one in a tied-off pillow case to avoid lace-wrapping. Wash with towels or whatever. Air dry.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:30 AM on June 28, 2011

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