How to Determine if Sneakers Can Be Washed in a Washing Machine

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Determine if Sneakers Can Be Washed in a Washing Machine. Keeping that favorite pair of tennis shoes clean is a necessity, but t can also be a time-consuming problem. The washing machine can be a time saver and a miracle worker, but only if the tennis shoes in question are intended for it. Some tennis shoes can be ruined while others are fine. Here are some tips for determining the difference.

Step 1

Determine the material of the tennis shoes in question. Some materials are OK for the washer and some aren't.

Step 2

Throw nylon and canvas tennis shoes in the washer with no problems, but be sure to remove the laces beforehand.

Step 3

Be careful with leather and fake leather. They can go in the washing machine, but it comes with a small amount of risk. Try cleaning by hand first, if this isn't enough then putting them in the washer is a good last resort. Even though there is risk, chances are you won't wear them anyway if they're gross.

Step 4

Leave suede and suede-like materials for hand washing. Completely submerging this material in water will damage it and can cause the color to run.


  • Putting your shoes in the dryer isn't recommended. It can cause the tennis shoes to lose their shape and shrink up.


  • You always run a chance of damaging your tennis shoes by putting them in the washing machine. In most cases, it's not a problem, but if they are your favorite pair, you may not want to take a chance. Cleaning you shoes regularly before they get really dirty is a way to prevent the need for the washer. Never put air-type sneakers in the washing machine.