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How To Wash White Shoes In A Washing Machine

Crisp white sneakers improve an appearance and make a statement, enhance overall style, and boost confidence when wearing them. And who knows, they could answer your challenges in attracting a better half. 

It looks like the advantages of proper shoe care are clear to many. For instance, the market research company Grand View Research reports that the size of the global shoe care industry is estimated at USD 4.6 billion, and it is expected to increase further over the coming years.

If you have been walking around in dirty white shoes, you no longer have an excuse because you know you can throw them into a washing machine and let it do its magic. After reading this article, you will better grasp this dependable cleaning method and its many benefits.

Read right to the last word because I will also answer some of the most common questions about washing white shoes.  

How To Wash White Shoes In A Washing Machine

Techniques For Cleaning White Shoes

There are three basic techniques for washing white shoes at home: 

  • Spot cleaning: This entails washing individual stains with a soft cleaning agent and a cloth or sponge. 
  • Hand washing: Warm water, soap, and a soft brush or toothbrush are the tools for hand washing.
  • Machine-washing: In the machine-washing technique, shoes are put in a mesh laundry bag and washed in an automatic machine on a moderate cycle with cold water and mild detergent.


Cleaning your whites in a washing machine starts with the basic preparation stage you don’t want to miss out on:

1 – Remove laces and insoles

Laces should be detached from the shoes and wrapped inside a mesh garment bag that is tightly zipped to prevent them from being tangled or wrapped around any drum components.

Unless otherwise instructed in the care instructions, wash your insoles by hand. Your insoles can become waterlogged after being machine washed so drying could take several days.

2 – Brush off excess dirt

Use a soft brush to remove as much of the extra mud or debris from the bottoms of your shoes as you can. You can also use a toothbrush or toothpicks to remove trash from confined spaces carefully.

Once the filth has been eliminated, you can use a soft brush or rag to apply shoe cleaning to erase scuff marks. Apply the cleanser sparingly to the scratches, then wipe them away with a moist cloth.

After cleaning the soles, put your shoes in a mesh garment bag to prevent them from jarring in the washer.

3 – Check the care label for washing instructions

It’s crucial to check the care label on your shoes to see if your white sneakers can be machine-washed. Depending on the type of cloth used to make the shoes, the label will advise how to wash them. Laces and insoles could both be washable in some cases.

Washing process

There’s good news for all of us lazies – washing your white shoes in a washing machine is as easy as having cake.

1 – Use a gentle cycle and cold water

The main factor used to differentiate washing machine cycles is speed. This implies that using the gentle cycle will make your trainers go through the wash and spin cycles slower, lessening the friction they suffer.

This is advantageous since the tension exerted on the trainers will be reduced the less they are jostled. If your machine has a distinct setting for water temperature, select cold; if cycle speed determines water temperature, choose gently.

3 – Add detergent and bleach alternative

Because powder detergent can become caught in the shoes if it doesn’t dissolve correctly, use liquid detergent. Laundry detergent and a soft brush are effective for hand scrubbing the laces if the stains are tough.

3 – Add white towels or sheets to balance the load

Filling the remainder of the load with items like white towels, blankets, or hoodies will help keep trainers from becoming too banged up in the washer.

Remember that while choosing the items to put in the machine with your white shoes, they will be washed in the same machine as really nasty shoes. So perhaps avoid washing your brand-new white towels with your grubby Stan Smiths.

Drying process

It’s time to dry your machine-washed white shoes now. Don’t take it lightly, or you might end up damaging your white shoes:

1 – Air dry or use a low heat setting

Remove your shoes and laces from the mesh garment bags after the wash cycle, and let them air dry, or use clean rags or paper towels to absorb the moisture.

It could take a few days for your shoes to air dry, and using a dryer is not advised because the heat could damage the shoes.

2 – Avoid exposing shoes to direct sunlight or high heat

Direct sunlight or high heat from the dryer could expose and strip your shoes of their natural color.

3 – Reinsert insoles and laces once dry

You can reinstall the insoles and laces only once the machine-washed shoes have completely dried up. Take special care to check if your insoles have dried up in case you’ve hand-washed them since any little moisture would mean smelly shoes.

Maintenance and care

Post-wash care is what keeps your shoes as new as a day. Here is how you should go about it:

Avoid wearing white shoes in muddy or dirty conditions

The key is prevention: Use a stain and water-repellent spray every few weeks to prevent stains from forming. Even though you’ll still need to clean them regularly, dirt and filth will be more difficult to get into the shoe if you use the spray.

Spot clean as needed

Machine washing every time might not be requisite. You could spot clean in case of minute stains or dust. 

Store in a cool, dry place to prevent discoloration and yellowing 

You don’t want your spic and span shoes to look old and discolored. Always stick your shoes on a rack that is not sunlight-exposed rack or keep them in a cool, dry box. So, now you have an excuse to keep that beautiful box in which your shoes come without looking like a hoarder.   

Final Word

Washing your sneakers in a washing machine at colder temperatures is a reliable, easy, and quick solution for maintaining your pristine white sneakers and keeping them brand new.


  1. Can I put shoes in the washing machine?

Yes, you can put your shoes in a washing machine. However, detach the insoles and laces while doing so.

  1. Can I wash my white shoes in the washer with bleach?

You could use baking soda to clean up your shoes but avoid using bleach in the washing machine.

  1. What setting do you wash white shoes on?

Use a delicate setting and a cold water wash to avoid shoe damage.

  1.  How can I make my shoes white again?

Spot cleaning, hand-washing, and machine-washing techniques can make your shoes white again.

  1. Does baking soda make white shoes white again?

Yes. Baking soda helps make shoes white again but using more can cause discoloration of shoes.

  1. How do you clean white sneakers?

Spot cleaning, hand-washing, and machine-washing techniques can clean white sneakers.


  • Raoul Hayes

    Raoul Lobo is a seasoned expert in the realm of home appliances and environmental comfort. As a prominent author at, Raoul's passion and expertise shine through in his insightful articles and guides. With years of hands-on experience, he has become a trusted source for readers seeking advice on pools, washers, dryers, and a wide range of other appliances.

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