Can I wash my Nike shoes in the washing machine?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Can I wash my Nike shoes in the washing machine? This is a common question that many people have, especially when their shoes start to get dirty and they’re not sure how to clean them. While it may be tempting to throw your Nike shoes in the washing machine to get them clean, it’s generally not recommended.

Nike shoes, like most shoes, are made from a variety of delicate materials that can get damaged in the wash cycle. The agitation of the machine can cause the shoes to lose their shape or even tear, especially if they have any embellishments or delicate stitching. Additionally, the heat from the dryer can warp or shrink the shoes, making them unwearable.

So, how can you clean your Nike shoes without using the washing machine? Here are some alternative methods you can try:

1. Spot cleaning: If your shoes have small stains or dirt marks, you can use a mild detergent and a soft brush to gently scrub the affected area. Be sure to test the detergent on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the material. After scrubbing, use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away any excess detergent and allow the shoes to air dry.

2. Handwashing: For more thorough cleaning, you can handwash your Nike shoes using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and gently scrub the entire surface of the shoes. Again, be cautious with any delicate areas or embellishments. Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any soap residue and pat them dry with a clean towel. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again.

3. Insole cleaning: Over time, your insoles can become a source of shoe odor. To clean them, you can remove the insoles from your shoes and gently scrub them with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry completely before placing them back in your shoes.

4. Deodorizing: If your Nike shoes have developed an unpleasant odor, you can try deodorizing them. Sprinkle baking soda or activated charcoal inside the shoes and let them sit overnight. In the morning, simply shake out the powder and the odor should be reduced. You can also use odor-neutralizing sprays specifically designed for shoes.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to keeping your Nike shoes clean. Regularly wiping them down with a damp cloth after each wear can help prevent dirt and stains from setting in. It’s also a good idea to rotate your shoes and allow them to air out between wears to minimize odor buildup.

While it may be tempting to toss your Nike shoes in the washing machine, it’s generally not recommended due to the risk of damage. Instead, opt for gentle spot cleaning or handwashing methods to keep your shoes clean and fresh.