What Happens If You Put Shoes In The Washer?

Smelly shoes can happen to the best of us, whether we are avid runners constantly using the same shoes or fashionistas, but did you know that the smell arises from microorganisms? "What some people don't know is that actual smell is bacteria, and it's living inside your socks, shoes, and on your feet," says Luke Lombardo, an RRCA-certified running coach to Runner's World. "Not only is it important to get rid of that nasty smell that's on your running shoes, but it's also imperative that you kill the pesky bacteria living in your shoes."

While this little piece of knowledge is so good to know, now you might be wondering what the best method for cleaning your shoes is. We bet your first choice would be to throw them in the washing machine. However, you might be curious to know what happens when you put your shoes in the washer. Keep reading to find out.

What the washing machine does to shoes

First off, not every shoe is suitable for the washing machine. According to Whirlpool, shoes that would be okay for the washing machine are generally made of nylon, cotton, and polyester. In contrast, shoes made of materials such as suede, leather, or rubber should never make it into the washing machine. It's always a good idea to check the label to see your best options.

However, there's another reason why you may not want to throw your shoes in the washer. According to Gulf Coast Appliance Repair, your washer's wash drum could be damaged by shoes, so it is recommended that you put the shoes in a durable wash bag so that doesn't happen.

Suppose you want to avoid the dilemma of washing your shoes in the washing machine altogether. In that case, American Home Shield says there are alternative ways to clean your shoes, such as handwashing, using vinegar, and dusting the insides with baking soda.