How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine Without Mesh Bag

Taking care of your shoes is essential to keep them looking clean and fresh. While hand-washing may seem like the safest option, it can be time-consuming and require extra effort. Luckily, you can safely wash many types of shoes in a washing machine without a mesh bag, saving you time and energy. In this article, we will guide you through the process of washing shoes in a washing machine without a mesh bag while ensuring their safety and cleanliness.

How to Wash Shoes in Washing Machine Without Mesh Bag

Washing shoes in a washing machine can be a convenient and effective way to clean them. However, it’s crucial to understand which types of shoes are safe for machine washing and how to prepare them to prevent any damage.

Shoes Suitable for Machine Washing

Not all shoes are suitable for machine washing. Shoes made of canvas, nylon, cotton, and polyester are generally safe to wash in a washing machine. On the other hand, shoes made of leather, suede, rubber, and vinyl should not be placed in the washer, as they can sustain damage.

Preparing the Shoes for Washing

Before washing your shoes, it’s essential to remove the laces and insoles. This step allows for a thorough cleaning and prevents tangling or damage during the washing process. Additionally, use a dry toothbrush or soft brush to remove any excess dirt or debris from the shoes.

Protecting the Shoes

To protect your shoes from getting damaged or tangled inside the washing machine drum, it’s recommended to place them in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This precautionary measure prevents the shoes from becoming snagged or damaged by other items in the washer.

Choosing the Right Washing Settings

When washing shoes in a machine, use a gentle cycle with cold water. Select a slow or no-spin setting to minimize the stress on the shoes and avoid any potential damage. High-speed spinning can cause distortion or misshape certain shoe materials.

Selecting the Appropriate Detergent

Using the right detergent is crucial to ensure a proper and safe cleaning process. Opt for liquid detergent or laundry pods instead of powder detergent. Powder detergent can get trapped in shoe soles and shoelace holes, causing residue buildup and potential damage.

Washing the Shoes

Place the prepared shoes, along with the mesh laundry bag or pillowcase, in the washing machine. Avoid washing shoes with other clothing items to prevent any color bleeding or damage. Start the washing cycle and let the machine do the work.

Alternatives to a Mesh Bag

If you don’t have a mesh laundry bag, there are alternative methods to wash your shoes without one. One method is to create a paste using one part baking soda and two parts water. Apply the paste onto your shoes using a clean cloth before putting them in the washing machine. This paste helps to break down stains and odors, leaving your shoes fresh and clean.

Hand-Washing Shoes

For shoes that are not suitable for machine washing or if you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can opt for hand-washing. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap. Gently scrub the shoes using a soft brush or toothbrush, paying extra attention to any stained or soiled areas. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water and allow them to air-dry completely before wearing them again.

Caring for Delicate Shoes

It’s important to note that not all shoes can withstand the rigors of machine washing. Shoes made of delicate materials or those with embellishments like stitching or gems should be hand-washed or cleaned using specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Always check the care label on your shoes before attempting to wash them in a machine.


Washing shoes in a washing machine without a mesh bag can be a practical and efficient method to maintain their cleanliness. By following the outlined steps and considering the materials of your shoes, you can ensure a safe and effective cleaning process. Remember to remove laces and insoles, protect the shoes with a mesh laundry bag or alternative methods, choose appropriate washing settings, use the right detergent, and air-dry the shoes completely before wearing them again. For delicate shoes, it’s best to opt for hand-washing or follow specific care instructions.


Can I wash leather shoes in a washing machine?

No, it’s not recommended to wash leather shoes in a washing machine. The machine’s agitation and water can damage the leather material. Instead, you should clean leather shoes using specialized products or follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Can I wash running shoes in a washing machine?

Most running shoes made of synthetic materials like nylon and mesh are safe to wash in a washing machine. However, it’s essential to remove any electronic components or insoles before washing. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance.

Should I use hot or cold water to wash my shoes?

It’s generally recommended to use cold water when washing shoes in a machine. Hot water can cause certain materials to shrink or warp. Cold water is gentler on the shoes and helps preserve their shape and integrity.

Can I speed up the drying process by using a dryer?

It’s best to avoid using a dryer to dry shoes, especially if they contain any rubber or adhesives. The heat from the dryer can cause damage and alter the shoe’s structure. Instead, allow your shoes to air-dry naturally at room temperature.

How often should I wash my shoes in a washing machine?

The frequency of washing shoes depends on factors such as usage, exposure to dirt or sweat, and personal preference. As a general guideline, consider washing them every few weeks or when they appear visibly dirty or have an unpleasant odor. Regular cleaning helps maintain their cleanliness and prolongs their lifespan.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.

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