Nicole Gibson is the Laundry Queen at Soka Australia. She says you can wash your shoes in the washing machine - but advises against it if you can help.
“Once you wash new shoes, they’re never the same,” says Nicole.
Depending on why you want to wash your shoes, there might be a better cleaning solution.
For example, dirty sports shoes could be “left to dry out. Then, see if you can vacuum them or get a dust brush and brush off the dirt,” she says.
If that doesn't work, Nicole recommends using her combination spray of dishwashing liquid and vinegar to spot clean your shoes as best you can (recipe below).
Keep in mind that shoes made from leather and suede should not be washed in the washing machine.
How to clean shoes in the washing machine
For ratty old shoes, like your trusty canvas converse, you can wash them in the washing machine.
That said, Nicole advises against soaking canvas shoes, which means using a top loader washing machine should be avoided if you can.
“In a top loader, the shoes are sitting in more water than a front loader,” she says.
Here are Nicole’s step-by-step instructions for the best way to wash shoes in the washing machine.
- Spray shoes with her combination spray of dishwashing liquid and vinegar. Recipe below.
- Allow it to soak in.
- Scrub with an old toothbrush or spot clean with a microfibre cloth.
- Sprinkle bicarb soda.
- Place your shoes in a tight mesh bag and into your washing machine (preferably a front loader).
- Add a towel or bath mat to the cycle to cushion to shoes from banging against the drum.
- Pop your washing on a regular wash.
- Dry in a warm breezy spot.
Soka stain removal spray
What you'll need
- 1 cup white vinegar (Nicole uses 8% white vinegar available in the condiment aisle).
- 3/4 cup clear dishwashing liquid (Nicole uses clear Palmolive eco).
- Heat in microwave for 1 minute (once only - no need to reheat before use)
- Stir gently
- Pour into a spray bottle
- Swirl before use
If you have a stubborn stain that you need help removing, Nicole is happy to help. Contact her via the @sokaaustalia Instagram page.
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