A brand new look: How to wash trainers quickly and easily

how to wash trainers

There’s no feeling quite like getting a new pair of trendy trainers and swaggering around town to show them off. Then the inevitable happens. Mud, dirty puddles, grass stains, and suddenly your new trainers have lost their shine. This doesn’t have to be the end of them though! Check out these trainer cleaning tips to find out how easy it can be to keep your favourite kicks looking brand new!

Know your trainers

It’s not only important to know how to wash trainers, but also what kind of washing techniques your kicks can handle. The first thing to check is the material. Generally, leather and suede, are not suitable for machine washing. We’d also advise that you don’t machine wash trainers that are made from delicate materials like satin or silk. Yes, we know how cool you look in these, but it’s best to keep them well away from a washing machine! For these delicate materials, there are specialised-cleaning products available—more on that later. Thankfully, there are trainers that are machine washable and, after all, that’s probably why you’re here right? More common materials and textiles like polyester, cotton and nylon, for example, are strong enough to put up with a washing machine. If you’re unsure, always check the label! 

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How to clean trainers: Machine washing

Let’s face it—we probably all consider machine washing to be our favourite and best way to wash trainers. There are things to watch out for though. We’ll take you through, step by step, to explain how to wash trainers in the washing machine:

  • Preparing your kicks: One of the best trainer cleaning tips we can give you is this: Before you wash trainers, always try to remember to remove the shoelaces before putting them in the machine (feel free to wash the shoelaces in the machine too, but it’s better to do this separately from the shoes). Washing trainers with the shoelaces still on could result in them coming out with a big build-up of dirt around the eyelets. Removing the shoelaces before washing is the best way to clean trainers, as it allows the water and detergent to clean throughout the eyelets. Another good trick is to scrub any dried, loose dirt off the trainers using a toothbrush.
  • Choosing the right cycle: Before you press the start button, double check that your machine is set on the right washing cycle. A slower cycle is the best way to wash trainers as it stops the shoes from being bashed around in the machine. Another tip for reducing this issue: Fill the rest of the machine with something like towels or blankets. These will act as a buffer and protect the trainers. If your machine has an independent setting for temperature, choose cold.
  • Going easy on the detergent: The amount of detergent that you use isn’t dependent on how dirty your trainers are. We know how tempting it is to pile in the detergent for a pair of really muddy kicks, thinking they’ll come out as ultra-clean trainers, but this can actually lead to staining and stiffening. A normal dose of detergent is always sufficient.
  • Air-drying: Once the washing cycle is done, there isn’t any need to put them in the dryer, as the spin cycles of the wash will get most of the moisture out of them anyway. The heat of the dryer can also badly damage the trainers, so it’s best to just let them air-dry.

How to wash trainers: Delicate materials

The best way to wash trainers that are made from delicate materials is by using specialised cleaners. Suede, for example, can’t be cleaned with water as it often damages the material. A suede eraser solution works perfectly, as does a leather cleaner for leather trainers. If you’re not sure how to best clean your trainers, visit a specialised shoe shop as they can often give you advice on the best products to use and can tell you how to wash trainers made from less common materials.