How to wash tennis shoes
Even though you have a “healthy” lifestyle, your shoes are bound to become dirty over a period. The point becomes strong in the case of tennis shoes. A single game will spoil the appearance of the shoes, making them dirty. Of course, it depends on the ground on which you are playing, but they do attract dirt, whether little or more. The best part is that you no longer have to walk in those dirty shoes again. The article discusses in detail about the process that you can choose to wash your tennis shoes carefully.
Part 1: Washing the tennis shoes in a washing machine
- Remove the laces and insoles
Before putting the shoes in the washer, remove the laces and insoles. The procedure will be helpful in reducing the drying time later on. You can still wash the shoes with the laces and insoles. However, note that in doing so will leave the shoes waterlogged for many days.
- Clean the laces
If the laces are scuzzy, you always have the option to buy a new pair. However, you can even try washing them by putting them along with the shoes in the washing machine. You can also use a soapy brush and scrub the laces to remove the dirt. After washing, allow the laces to air-dry before arranging them on the shoes again. You can tie the laces to a pillowcase or tie their ends before putting them in the washer. It will prevent them from clogging the drainage holes. If the shoes and laces are of different colors, make sure that you do not mix while you wash. Washing separately is suitable for such conditions to prevent absorption of colors.
- Cleaning the insoles
With the help of a stiff brush, a frothy mixture of detergent and warm water, scrub the insoles of the tennis shoes gently. Soak excessive soapy water with a sponge and allow the insoles to air-dry before placing them in the shoes. If the insoles smell, enclose them with baking soda overnight. If they still smell, soak them in a mixture of water and vinegar in 1:2 ratios. Soak the insole once again in a combination of warm water, baking soda, and essential oil such as pine oil or tea tree oil.
- Clean debris and stubborn marks
It is not possible for the machine to remove stubborn marks and debris. Use a delicate brush or an old toothbrush and remove the dirt and marks from the shoes. Clean the marks on the plastic areas using warm water, or by using cream cleaner using a paper towel. You can also use a toothpick or cotton swab in case the brush does not remove all the debris.
- Place the shoes in pillowcase
Put the shoes in the pillowcase and close the case using three safety pins. The allowance will allow the water to move in and out from the case. If you wish to wash the laces together with the shoes, you can tie their ends and place them in the pillowcase. If it is tough for you to place your dirty tennis shoes in a pillowcase, you can also use a small mesh laundry bag, which is handy and accommodating.
- Place the pillowcase/laundry bag in the machine with at least two towels
Do not put the laundry bag or the pillowcase with the shoes alone in the washing machine. Add at least two towels to ensure that there is no banging of the shoes to the drum during the washing cycle. Use old towels. New towels pose a problem as they have dye and lint, which can spoil the tennis shoes. Ensure that your tennis shoes are durable enough to wash in a machine. Check for manufacturer’s instructions, as several brands recommend hand-wash alone.
- Add liquid detergent
Powder detergent poses a problem to the washing. They stuck to the shoes. It is preferable to use liquid soap. You can even add vinegar and pine oil to remove odor and disinfect. If you are adding essential oils, ensure that they are at least 80% oil.
- Turn the washing cycle
Set the indicator on your washing machine to the available delicate setting. Use cold temperature, slow/no spin, and no tumble-drying options. Warm temperatures warp the tennis shoes. The fast spin of the tub damages the shoes as well as the tub itself.
- Air-dry the shoes
Let the washing machine finish the wash cycle. Once it stops automatically after the cycle, remove the shoes from the laundry bag/pillowcase and set them aside. Do not place the shoes in the dryer, as it can warp the insoles of the shoes. Allow the shoes to air-dry. Additionally, you can put paper towels or newspapers for faster drying. Stuffing them with old papers will also help in maintaining the shape and size of the shoes. Moreover, speaking about air-drying, do not place the shoes in direct sunlight or near to any hot regions such as a radiator. The excess heat generated by the sources spoil the material of the tennis shoes. It takes few hours or even few days for the shoes to dry thoroughly. Therefore, it is important that you plan before washing your shoes in the machine. If you are in a hurry, use a towel to wrap the shoes and place them in the dryer of the washing machine. Ensure that the setting of the dryer is delicate. Keep an eye open and make sure that the temperature is not climbing, which otherwise will spoil the shoes.
- Re-lace and wear the shoes
Once the tennis shoes are dry, you can place the insoles and re-lace the shoes. They will look new and fresh.
Part 2: Hand-washing the tennis shoes
- Remove the laces and clean
Un-lace the shoes and use a soft brush dipped in a liquid detergent to scrub the surface and free it from dirt. Place the laces on the washboard or draining board for a stronger surface reference.
- Remove the insoles
Remove the insoles from the shoes. The insoles will be different for flat feet. Make sure that they are washable. Use liquid detergent and warm water to scrub the insoles using a soft brush or stiff brush. Use of the brush depends on the presence of the dirt and stubborn marks. Remove the excess soap solution by using a sponge and allow the insoles to air-dry.
- Remove dirt
Scrub away excessive dirt using a brush with soft bristles. You can use a toothpick to reach those remote regions.
- Preparing cleaning solution
Use liquid detergent and warm water to make the cleaning solution. There are even conventional cleaning solutions available in the market to clean the outside of the shoes. You can further use Magic Eraser to scrub the surface and remove the stubborn marks.
- Gentle scrubbing
Use a sponge or soft cloth and apply the cleaning solution to the shoes. Scrub gently the outside of the shoes. You may have to input effort and repeat the process to remove the debris, dirt, and other marks from the shoes. The repetition and exerting pressure depend on the condition of the shoes. To remove tougher stains, keep the shoes aside with the cleaning solution.
- Remove excess cleaning solution
Use warm water, sponge or soft cloth to remove the excessive cleaning solution from the shoes. Repeat the process until you see no cleaning solution on the surface of the shoes.
- Air-dry the shoes
Place the shoes, insoles, and laces in moderately lit areas at room temperature to air-dry. Do not put them in direct sunlight, or near to hotter regions such as radiators. Excessive heat damages the outer material of the shoes. Do not place the shoes in the dryer as it warps the insoles of the shoes.
To understand better, you can watch this video on youtube.
If you have flat feet and use separate insoles for your walking shoes, ensure that it is safe to wash the insoles. Check with the manufacturer before washing your shoes. Cleaning the running shoes is no longer a tedious task. However, it is imperative to plan the cleaning process because air-drying the shoes consumes time. You can also use pine oil or tea tree oil to remove odor from the shoes.
The cleaning procedures mentioned above give an opportunity for everyone to maintain their shoes as brand new. It is also possible to wash tennis shoes for women. However, it is essential to study the instruction manual for a better approach in washing and caring for the shoes. The use of an appropriate approach will safeguard the shoes and prolong the life of the tennis shoes.
The next step towards caring for the shoes is deodorizing. Use baking soda, or coffee grounds to remove the odor emitted by your shoes. Use them when you are not wearing the shoes to keep the odor at bay.
The cleaning methods mentioned in this article give you the opportunity to untidy your tennis shoes and allow them to breathe naturally.