Tennis Shoes

Updated on June 22, 2010
T.Q. asks from Mount Pleasant, PA
10 answers

Is it okay to put tennis shoes in the washer machine? That is the debate at the house.......

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answers from State College on

I do, makes them nice and clean. I put them in with a couple of old towels so they don't bang around too much. To dry them I either use the dryer rack, so they don't spin, or put them outside in the sun.

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answers from State College on

I do, makes them nice and clean. I put them in with a couple of old towels so they don't bang around too much. To dry them I either use the dryer rack, so they don't spin, or put them outside in the sun.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I put athletic shoes in the washer but not the dryer. I do not put leather athletic shoes in the washer, only the mesh type.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I've done it and they've come out fine. Even leather ones! And never any problem with the washing machine either. I usually give them a hand scrub first, but if there's a lot of fabric on the shoe, I find that I can't ever get them clean enough without putting them in the washing machine, usually with some OxyClean and/or bleach. And while the washing machine is best for getting the fabric on the shoes clean, a hand scrub on the soles, around the edges, etc. is really necessary to get that part clean. The washing machine just won't do the job on that part.

One tip, if you choose not to wash them in the machine, or for scrubbing the soles, etc., the BEST, BEST, BEST thing for cleaning tennis shoes is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I have tried everything, and nothing compares to the Magic Eraser. It gets off scuffs, dirt, everything. But like I said, the only thing it doesn't do the best job on is the fabric on the shoes... but for any leather tennis shoes, or even the cheaper leather-imitation tennis shoes (like the character ones for kids), it is truly magical! They look like new! Try it!!!

And as someone else said, I also put my shoes in with some old towels or something for the same reason.

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answers from New York on

well first of I am so glad to hear someone else call them tennis shoes. I am from MI and now live in NJ where everone calls them sneakers (drives me crazy) But any way the first thing that I would do is she if they have a tag on them with cleaning instruction. If you are just trying to get the outside of them clean and they are white try using an old toothbrush and she whitening toothpaste (I know it sounds wierd but it works) if they are not white try using laundry detergent with the toothbrush. If you are looking to wash them because the stink them put them in the washing machine. That is going to be the only way to get the stink out. If the person that is wearing them has stinky feet have them put some foot powder in them before they put them on. hope this helps.

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answers from Harrisburg on

Canvas, yes. Mostly cloth, yes. Full leather, it would depend. You'll definately want to do it with a full load and mix them in with other things like old towel or jeans. You don't want the washer to be unlevel and then it starts shaking and stuff. I would suggest drying on it's own though, although you can dry it but your jeans may smell like rubber if they get too hot. My husband and older sons have always washed their running shoes in the washer and sat them out to dry overnight. Don't use fabric softener or bleach, or you'll need to do a second rinse.

K. B
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answers from Atlanta on

Hi T.,

It really depends on where they are made. The glues in China usually break down when they get wet so I wouldn't wash cheap ones. I've seen them fall apart during a wash cycle. Are you talking about adult shoes or baby shoes?
The best person to ask would be the manufacturer. Everything is not standard anymore.



answers from Indianapolis on

I used to, but it really depends on the manufacturer. So, we see what they recommend before doing it. If it's a pair of $12 canvas shoes from Kohl's, I won't think twice. But, if it's a pair of $40 Saucony's (both my kids were blessed with double wide feet), I always refer to the cleaning instructions in the shoe.

Chances are, they'll be fine, but I prefer to take their recommendations and possibly be able to take them back if there are issues vs. negating a return policy and possible replacement.



answers from Philadelphia on

I haven't read the other answers, but I put my tennis shoes in the washing machine every once in a while. Nice and bright! Just don't put them in the dryer!



answers from St. Cloud on

My kids have been playing in our mud puddles daily in their tennis shoes and each night I throw them in the washing machine and then leave them air dry overnight. They have been washed numerous times and I have had no problems with them. They are Stride Rite brand made of leather. Actually just this morning when we were getting shoes on my older son mentioned how clean his shoes were today.


answers from Pittsburgh on

I was told to put them in a pillow case with the opening tied, then toss them in the machine. Put newspaper in them to dry (might take a bit).

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