If you’ve had your Nike shoes for a while and they’re starting to look a little grubby and not smelling as fresh as you would like, you might be wondering whether you can put them in the washing machine.
While Nike themselves don’t recommend washing their sneakers in the machine, if yours are made from fabric, you should be able to wash them in your washing machine without damaging them. However, if your Nike shoes are made from leather, you will need to clean them by hand.
The most important things to remember is to wash your Nikes in cold water using a mild detergent and never, ever put them into the dryer. Here are the steps to washing your Nike shoes in the washing machine.
1. Remove Any Excess Dirt First
The first thing that you want to do is remove as much excess dirt and mud as you can. To begin with, you can bang the sneakers together to get rid of excess dirt, especially on the soles. You can also use a brush to get rid of any other visible clumps of dirt.
2. Get The Soles As Clean As Possible
You might find that there is still quite a bit of dirt on the soles, especially between the treads. You can use a dry shoe brush to scrape away this dirt. If you don’t have a shoe brush, you can use an old toothbrush instead. Make sure you brush the dirt off the midsole as well.
If some of the dirt is hard to remove, you can make up a weak solution of dish soap and water and dip the brush into this before cleaning the sneakers.
Once you’re done, rinse the soles under cold water to get rid of any soap residue.
3. Remove Insoles And Laces
Before you put your sneakers in the washing machine, you want to remove both the insoles and the laces. These will be washed separately.
4. Use Mesh Laundry Bags
Mesh laundry bags will protect your sneakers and their components from being damaged while they’re in the machine.
So, you want to place your sneakers in one mesh laundry bag and your insoles and laces into a second one and put both of these into the washing machine.
5. Add Some Old Towels Into The Machine
To help balance the machine’s load and to give your sneakers some additional protection, throw some old towels into the machine with your Nike shoes.
6. Wash Your Nike Shoes
Put some liquid detergent into the dispenser in your washing machine and select a delicate cycle with a slow spin. Make sure you also select cold water only.
Turn on the machine and let it complete its cycle.
Gomestic Tip: If your Nike shoes are particularly smelly, add a cup of white vinegar to the wash as this will get rid of most of the offensive odor.
7. Place Your Washed Nike Shoes Out To Air Dry
Once the wash cycle is complete, take out your sneakers, laces and innersoles and put them outside to dry. If you can’t place them outside just use an airer indoors.
It’s really important to stress that you should never place your Nike shoes into a dryer as this will definitely damage them.
Sometimes All You Need To Do Is Wash The Insoles
After you’ve completed steps 1 and 2 above, you might find that your Nike sneakers don’t look that bad after all and you’ve been able to get all the dirt off. However, your insoles may still contain some unpleasant odors that you’d rather remove.
If this happens, you can just remove the insoles and wash them by hand. To do this, fill your sink with cold water and add a little liquid detergent.
Put your insoles into the soapy water and let them soak for a while. You can add the laces too if you find that they’re a bit grubby still.
After your insoles have been soaking for a while, rinse them with cold water and place them on an airer to dry. Don’t put them in the clothes dryer because the heat will damage them.
Ensure that the insoles are completely dry before putting them back into your sneakers. Any leftover moisture will encourage the growth of bacteria and your sneakers will become smelly again fairly quickly.
While you’re working on your insoles, it’s worth keeping in mind that for added comfort, a wide range of companies offer custom insoles to help support your unique feet shape!
How To Deodorize Your Nike Shoes Without Having To Wash Them
If your sneakers have become really smelly after a long period of wearing them, you can actually deodorize them without washing. Here are some top tips to try:
- Sprinkle the inside of your sneakers with baking soda. Baking soda is one of those magic household products that can be used for a variety of different purposes. It’s anti-bacterial so it can easily destroy the bacteria that is responsible for the offensive odor. Leave the baking soda in the sneakers overnight and wipe it out with a clean cloth in the morning.
- Use tea bags to remove the odor. Place a couple of tea bags into boiling water for around 3 to 5 minutes. Take them out of the water and let them cool down for around 10 minutes. Place one teabag into each sneaker and leave overnight. In the morning, your shoes should once again be odorless.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put sneakers into the washing machine?
As a general rule, if your sneakers are made from fabric, they can be washed in the washing machine. However, leather sneakers need to be cleaned by hand because being in the machine will cause damage to the leather.
Will the washing machine ruin my sneakers?
As long as your sneakers are made from a fabric such as cotton, canvas, polyester or nylon, the washing machine should not ruin them. Sneakers made from suede or leather should never be washed in the machine.
Will washing sneakers in the machine cause damage to the machine?
By placing your sneakers in a mesh laundry bag or even a pillow case, you can protect your washing machine from any damage.
It is possible to give your Nike shoes a new lease on life by washing them in the washing machine if you follow the steps above. Just remember to only do this with fabric sneakers and not leather ones. And, never ever throw your sneakers into the dryer.