Can Tennis Shoes Be Washed In The Washing Machine? Learn The Right Way In 2023/ Featured Image

Can Tennis Shoes Be Washed In The Washing Machine? Learn The Right Way In 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • Machine Washing: Tennis shoes can be washed in machines, excluding leather and suede. Use mesh bags and air-dry afterward.
  • Leather & Suede Care: Clean leather with specialized cleaners and condition afterward. Suede requires special brushes and erasers.
  • Handwashing: Use lukewarm water with mild detergent. Air-dry away from direct sunlight.
  • Drying: Shoes typically need 12-24 hours of drying time post-washing.
  • Dishwashers: Avoid using dishwashers for cleaning tennis shoes.
  • Washing Frequency: Clean tennis shoes every 2-3 weeks based on usage.
  • Stains & Scuffs: Use mild detergents or baking soda pastes for treatment.
  • Maintenance: Rotate usage, store properly, and use material-specific cleaners.
  • Proper Usage: Ensure shoes are used for their intended activities and check for wear regularly.

Tennis shoes are essential gear for tennis players beginners and professionals alike. But like all clothing and footwear, they get dirty over time even if you take special care with them!

So how do you go about cleaning your tennis shoes to keep them looking fresh?

You may be tempted to give them a quick wipe down with an old rag and call it good, but one simple step can make all the difference which is washing them in the washing machine!

That’s right, depending on their material, some kinds of tennis shoes can actually survive a spin cycle.

In this post, I’ll explore exactly which tennis shoe materials should or shouldn’t go into the washer as well as what specific steps you need to take before putting your prized kicks at risk.

Related Post: How To Clean Your Volleyball Shoes

Can Tennis Shoes Be Washed In The Washing Machine? (Simply Answered)

Washing tennis shoes in the washing machine depends on the material of the shoe and how much dirt or grime needs to be removed.

Generally speaking, a tennis shoe made from canvas, nylon, cotton, and polyester that are used in tennis shoes can survive a gentle cycle in the washing machine with a mild detergent.

However, leather and suede should generally not be washed this way as most washers do not have a delicate enough setting to clean them.

How To Wash Tennis Shoes In The Washing Machine (Step-By-Step Guide)

Follow these steps if your tennis shoes are made of mesh, canvas, or other materials used in tennis shoes.

Step 1

Remove the laces and any other accessories from the shoes.

Step 2

Place your tennis shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to help protect them during the cycle.

Step 3

Use cold water and mild detergent to create a gentle washing solution for your tennis shoes.

Step 4

Set your washing machine on its lowest possible setting and combine it with a delicate or gentle cycle option.

Step 5

Once the cycle is complete, carefully remove your shoes from the washer and air-dry them in an open space. Do not tumble dry or put them directly into a clothes dryer as this could cause damage to the fabric of the shoe.

Step 6

Once your shoes are dry, you may find it helpful to use a soft brush or cloth to brush away any remaining dirt and debris from the shoe.
Additionally, if you’ve removed laces or other accessories during washing, you can now replace them in order for your tennis shoes to look their best.

Read more about how to wash your casual shoes in the washer

Can Tennis Shoes Be Washed in the Washing Machine

How To Wash Leather And Suede Tennis Shoes (Step-by-Step)

Here’s a guide on how to clean both leather and suede tennis shoes:

Leather Tennis Shoes:

1. Remove the laces and insoles

This allows you to clean all parts of the shoe more thoroughly. The laces can be washed separately, while the insoles should be aired out and, if necessary, treated with a baking soda sprinkle to deal with odors.

2. Brush off loose dirt

Use a soft cloth or a shoe brush to remove any surface dirt.

3. Prepare a cleaning solution

Mix a mild soap or a specialized leather cleaner with warm water.

4. Apply the cleaning solution

Dampen a cloth or a soft brush in the cleaning solution and gently clean the leather parts of the shoe. Avoid soaking the material, as this can damage the leather.

5. Wipe off the cleaning solution

Use a damp cloth to remove soap residues.

6. Dry the shoes

Allow your shoes to dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat sources, which can damage the leather.

7. Condition the leather

Once your shoes are completely dry, apply a leather conditioner to keep the material soft and prevent cracking. Use a soft cloth to apply the conditioner in circular motions.

8. Polish (optional)

If your leather tennis shoes have a polished finish, use a suitable color shoe polish and buff it to a shine with a clean, soft cloth.

9. Replace the laces and insoles

After everything has completely dried, you can put your laces and insoles back in.

Suede Tennis Shoes:

1. Remove the laces and insoles

Same as with leather shoes, this helps you to clean the shoes more thoroughly. The laces can be cleaned separately, and the insoles aired out and deodorized if necessary.

2. Brush off loose dirt

Use a special suede brush for this, which can help to lift dirt without damaging the material. Always brush in the direction of the fibers, not against them.

3. Use a suede eraser

For stubborn stains, a suede eraser can be very effective. Rub the eraser over the stain until it lifts.

4. Clean with a specialized suede cleaner

If there are still dirt spots, you can use a cleaner specifically designed for suede. Follow the instructions on the bottle for the best results.

5. Allow to dry

Dry your suede shoes naturally, away from sunlight and heat sources. Once they’re dry, use the suede brush again to restore the nap (the raised fibers typical to suede).

6. Protect the suede

After your shoes are clean and dry, consider applying a water and stain protector specifically designed for suede. This will help to keep them looking good for longer.

7. Replace the laces and insoles

Once everything is completely dry, replace the laces and insoles.

Remember that each pair of shoes may come with care instructions specific to the materials used in that shoe, so it’s always a good idea to check these if they’re available.

Learn about the best way to clean your suede shoes in the video below:

How To Clean Tennis Shoes By Handwashing? (Step-by-Step)

Here are the simple steps you can follow when washing tennis shoes by hand:

Step 1:

Begin by removing any visible dirt and debris from the shoe. This can be done with a soft brush or cloth and is best done prior to washing, as it will help prevent mud and other particles from being spread further throughout the shoe’s material during the cleaning process.

Can Tennis Shoes Be Washed in the Washing Machine

Step 2:

Fill a basin or bucket with warm water – use lukewarm temperature water. To this, add a tablespoon of mild detergent (such as a dishwashing liquid).

Step 3:

Dip the shoes into soapy water and gently scrub them with a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt or stains. Be sure to pay extra attention to areas where dirt tends to accumulate, such as seams and around the sole.

Step 4:

Rinse with clean water, making sure to remove all of the soap residue. Wipe away excess moisture and let the shoes air-dry, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

And that’s it! With just a few simple steps you can keep your tennis shoes looking and feeling as good as new.

Watch the video below to know how to clean tennis shoes using baking soda

How Long Do Tennis Shoes Take To Dry After Washing?

Drying tennis shoes after washing them takes time.

If you handwash the shoes, use a clean cloth to dab the water away and then let them air dry naturally for at least 12 hours.

If you use a top-load washer, remove them from the machine and let them air dry for at least 24 hours before wearing them again.

This will give your shoes plenty of time to dry thoroughly without any risk of mildew or mold.

It’s also important to note that leather and suede shoes require special care, and should not be washed in the washing machine.

After following the steps mentioned above on how to clean them. After that, Let them air dry for 24 hours before wearing them again.

It’s also beneficial to put some newspaper inside the shoes while drying. This will help them keep their shape and prevent any creasing.

With the right care, your tennis shoes will stay looking and feel like new!

Can I Wash Tennis Shoes In The Dishwasher?

Putting tennis shoes in the dishwasher to clean them is not recommended.

The harsh detergents and hot water used in dishwashers can damage the fabric of your shoes, as well as the adhesives and glues that hold them together.

In addition, the spinning water of the dishwasher can tear your shoes apart or cause them to unravel. It is best to wash them in a top-load washer or handwashing.

You may be interested in learning How To Clean Climbing Shoes

How Often Should Tennis Shoes Be Washed?

Tennis shoes should be washed every 2-3 weeks to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.

The washing frequency also depends on the type of tennis shoes you have and how much they are used.

Shoes that are frequently exposed to dirt, sweat, and other elements may need to be washed more often than those that are only worn occasionally.

Washing your shoes regularly helps them last longer and keeps them looking and feeling fresh.

So make sure to give your shoes a good clean every few weeks!

Can Tennis Shoes Be Washed in the Washing Machine

Tips On Treating Stains And Scuff Marks On Tennis shoes

If your tennis shoes have stains or scuff marks, there are a few things you can do to help.

Stains can be removed with a gentle detergent and water solution applied with a soft brush.

Scuff marks may need more intensive scrubbing, but nothing too harsh. If the dirt or scuffs are still present after cleaning, they can be treated with leather conditioner.

For stubborn stains, you can try a baking soda paste applied to a damp cloth or sponge.

Leaving the mixture on for an hour or so before rinsing with warm water may help remove tough dirt and scuffs.

To maintain your tennis shoes between washes, wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth after each use.

Find out more tips on treating scuffs and stains marks on tennis shoes

Tips For Caring And Maintaining Your Tennis Shoes

Here are some tips to extend the life of your tennis shoes and keep them looking their best:

Rotate Your ShoesDon’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This gives them a day to air out and helps them last longer.
Use a Shoe Tree or Stuff with PaperAfter wearing, use a shoe tree to maintain the shape of the shoes. If unavailable, stuff the shoes with newspaper to absorb moisture.
Clean RegularlyClean shoes regularly to prevent dirt and grime from breaking down the material. Frequency depends on usage and conditions.
Dry ProperlyAvoid drying shoes by exposing them to high heat. Allow them to dry at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
Store ProperlyStore shoes in a cool, dry place where they can breathe. Don’t leave them in hot or damp conditions.
Use Appropriate CleanersUse cleaners that are appropriate for the material of your shoes. Incorrect cleaners can cause damage.
Waterproof Your ShoesConsider using a waterproofing spray to protect shoes that are frequently worn in wet conditions.
Avoid Wearing Indoor Shoes OutsideAvoid wearing shoes designed for indoor use on rough outdoor surfaces, as this can wear down the soles.
Treat Stains ImmediatelyIf shoes get stained, clean the stain as soon as possible. Stains are harder to remove the longer they set.
Regularly Check for Wear and TearCheck shoes for signs of wear and tear, like holes or worn soles, and address these issues promptly.
Use the Right Shoes for the Right ActivityWear shoes for the activities they were designed for. This helps them last longer.
Unlace Shoes Before Taking Them OffThis reduces wear on the laces and the backs of the shoes.

By following these steps, you can extend the life of your tennis shoes and get the most out of your investment.


To sum up, washing your tennis shoes in the washing machine is a OK, however, when you do, it is best to use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent.

Make sure to remove any laces or shoelaces first and be careful when using a brush on the upper material.

If stains remain after cleaning, try treating them with a mixture of water and mild detergent, followed by wiping them down with a damp cloth or sponge.

Following all these steps will help keep your tennis shoes looking and feeling their best for a long time!


Can Tennis Shoes be Washed in a Front Load Washer?

Absolutely, tennis shoes can be cleaned in a front-load washer.
Ensure to remove the laces and insoles, put the shoes in a mesh laundry bag for protection, and then use a gentle cycle with cold water.

How do you Clean Smelly Tennis Shoes?

Dealing with smelly tennis shoes involves a mix of cleaning and deodorizing.
First, manually clean the shoes with a brush and soapy water, then sprinkle baking soda inside and leave them overnight to absorb the odor.

What is the Quickest Way to Remove Smell from Shoes?

The fastest way to eliminate shoe odor is by using a shoe spray specifically designed to combat smells.
You can also use household items like baking soda, dryer sheets, or citrus peels for quick relief.
If the shoes are machine washable, launder them in warm water with a small amount of detergent and a cup of white vinegar, says Katie Berry, author of 30 Days to a Clean and Organized House.

How do you get scuff marks off tennis shoes?

According to an article in HuffPost, “Toothpaste: For canvas-covered footwear, apply a little toothpaste on a cloth, and gently polish off the marks.”

How do you Dry Wash Tennis Shoes?

For dry-washing tennis shoes, use a soft brush to remove loose dirt. Then, make a paste of baking soda and a small amount of water.
Apply the paste on stubborn stains, let it dry, and then brush it off.

Can You Wash Tennis Shoes with Regular Clothes?

Washing tennis shoes with regular clothes is not recommended. The shoes may cause damage to your clothes due to their hard and rough texture. Also, it’s best to wash shoes separately to maintain their shape and durability

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