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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

How to Wash Trainers in the Washing Machine: A Complete Guide to Clean Your Trainers and Sneakers

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Washing your trainers is an essential part of maintaining their longevity and appearance. However, the process can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure how to go about it. Should you handwash or use a washing machine? What about different materials like suede or canvas? This comprehensive guide aims to answer all these questions and more. We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of washing trainers in the washing machine, as well as provide tips for hand washing and dealing with different materials.

According to experts, regular cleaning not only keeps your trainers looking new but also extends their lifespan. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of getting your trainers as clean as possible. Whether you’re dealing with daily grime or stubborn stains, this guide has got you covered.

Preparing Your Trainers for the Washing Machine

Before you toss your trainers into the washing machine, there are some preparatory steps you need to take. Proper preparation ensures that your trainers get a good wash and come out looking as good as new.

  1. Remove the Laces and Insoles: Taking out the laces and insoles helps to ensure a good wash. It also makes it easier to clean these parts separately. Here’s a quick guide on how to wash your laces.
  2. Scrub Off as Much Dirt as Possible: Use an old toothbrush or a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and grime from the surface of the trainers. The cleaner they are before going into the machine, the better the results.
  3. Pre-Treatment: For stubborn stains, you can pre-treat them with a stain remover or white vinegar. Just apply a small amount to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes.

By preparing your trainers properly, you’re setting the stage for a successful wash. Not only does this make the washing process more effective, but it also helps to preserve the quality of your trainers.

Materials You’ll Need to Wash Trainers in the Washing Machine

Before you start the wash, gather all the materials you’ll need. Having the right materials on hand ensures that you won’t have to pause mid-way through the washing process, which can be both inconvenient and ineffective.

  • Liquid Detergent: It dissolves better in cold wash settings. Opt for a high-quality detergent that is known for its stain-removing capabilities.
  • Towels or Pillowcase: To prevent your trainers from banging around in the washing machine drum, it’s a good idea to place them in a pillowcase or wrap them in a towel.
  • OptionalStain Remover and Old Toothbrush for pre-treatment. These come in handy for tackling stubborn stains that don’t come off easily.

You can find a variety of detergents suitable for trainer washing here.

Step-by-Step Guide to Wash Trainers in the Washing Machine

Now that you’re all set, let’s get to the actual washing. Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure your trainers come out looking brand new.

  1. Place Trainers in a Pillowcase: To protect both your trainers and your washing machine, place them in a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag. This also helps to prevent the colors from fading.
  2. Add Detergent: Use liquid detergent for a more effective wash. Avoid using too much to prevent the colors from fading. About two tablespoons should suffice.
  3. Set the Machine: Opt for a cold wash to avoid ruining your trainers. The lowest temperature possible is usually best. Most washing machines have a ‘delicate’ or ‘hand wash’ setting that works well for trainers.
  4. Start the Wash: Once everything is set, go ahead and start the wash. This is where the magic happens!
  5. Post-Wash: After the cycle is complete, remove your trainers and inspect them. If they require another round, put them in the washing machine again. Sometimes, stubborn stains need a second go.

How to Handwash Your Trainers

Handwashing is a great alternative when your trainers are made of materials that don’t fare well in the washing machine, like suede or leather.

  1. Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix warm water with a small amount of liquid detergent. For suede shoes, you can use a cleaning solution specifically designed for suede.
  2. Scrub Gently: Use an old toothbrush or a soft bristle brush to scrub the trainers. Focus on areas with stains or dirt.
  3. Rinse and Repeat: After scrubbing, rinse the trainers with warm water. If stains persist, repeat the process.
  4. Air Dry: Place the trainers in an area away from direct sunlight to air dry. You can also stuff them with newspaper to absorb excess water.

For more on handwashing trainers, check out this guide.

Special Considerations for Different Types of Trainers

Different materials require different care. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Suede Trainers: These are particularly sensitive to water. Use a suede cleaning solution and a soft bristle brush. Always test a small area first to ensure the cleaner doesn’t affect the color.
  • Canvas Trainers: These are generally machine washable, but make sure to remove the laces and insoles first. Use a gentle cycle and cold water to prevent shrinking or warping.
  • Leather Trainers: These are best cleaned by handwashing. Use a leather cleaner or a mild detergent. Always dry leather shoes naturally, away from direct heat or sunlight.

Drying Your Trainers After Washing

Drying your trainers is an art in itself. Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Air Dry: The best method to dry your trainers is to let them air dry. Place them in a well-ventilated area but avoid direct sunlight and radiators, as these can warp the shape and fade the color.
  2. Tumble Dryer: If you’re in a hurry, you can use a tumble dryer, but this is generally not recommended. If you must, use the lowest temperature setting and place the trainers in a pillowcase to minimize banging.
  3. Silica Gel Bags: These can be placed inside the trainers to absorb moisture quickly. They’re particularly useful for materials that are sensitive to water, like suede.

For more tips on drying your trainers, read this.


In summary, washing your trainers is not as daunting as it may seem. Whether you choose to use a washing machine or opt for handwashing, the key is to use the right materials and techniques. This comprehensive guide has hopefully demystified the process for you. So go ahead, give your favorite pair of trainers the care they deserve!

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