In today’s post I’ll be sharing with you my tips for how to clean running shoes. Definitely a very helpful thing to know how to do!
I’m going to have to file this one under my list of old-fashioned skills that are super handy, but that have gone out of style for one reason or another. And by “old-fashioned”, in this case, I mean from the ’80s. Ha! It’s pretty funny, but it’s also so true that it seems like it was common practice for people to wash their running shoes in the washing machine back when I was growing up, but it just doesn’t happen as much anymore. I guess somewhere along the way, we got the idea that washing running shoes would ruin them, so we just decided that it was better to try to keep them clean and dry, and just replace them if they started to look dingy and worn-in. I’ve decided that it’s time to bring this practice back though! In this family, we like to do a lot of hiking, running, and exploring that that often makes perfectly-good new shoes look old before their time. So here’s how to wash running shoes!
Step One: Take Them Apart
It’s a good idea to remove the laces and the insoles before you begin the washing process to make sure that you get into all the nooks and crannies as much as possible, so that they really get clean, inside and out.
Before you pull the laces out, take a quick photo of how you had the laces so you can put them back just how they were when you reassemble things later on.
Step Two: Prepare to Wash
Place everything inside an old pillow case and tie it loosely at the top. You can also use a large mesh bag that you would use to wash delicate tablecloths, but a pillow case is something more people probably have handy.
Step Three: Wash
Pop the laundry bag into your washing machine. Run the machine on a delicate cycle with cold water, and use a gentle detergent. That’s really all there is to know! Washing machines are a very wonderful invention. 🙂
By the way, there’s a whole chapter on things that can be cleaned in the washing machine that you may not have considered in my book The Cleaning Ninja from a few years ago, and there’s also a great article coming out soon in the November issues of Real Simple magazine about the same thing that I was interviewed for earlier this summer. 🙂 Once you start cleaning things this way, the wheels just start turning and you find all kinds of things you can use the washing machine for!
Step Four: Dry
The final step is to air dry your shoes. It’s best not to put them in the dryer but a little fresh and air and sunshine will do the trick quite nicely! Dry all shoe parts separately, then reassemble your shoes when everything is completely dry to avoid the development of any unpleasant odours. If sunshine isn’t available because it’s a cooler time of year, find a warm, dry spot like next to a furnace vent or a fireplace.
And that’s it! Fresh, clean, like-new-ish shoes! Why did we ever stop doing this? 🙂
Do you clean your running shoes in the washing machine or has it been a forgotten skill in your world too?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.