how to wash trainers

How to Wash Trainers

Ever wondered how to wash trainers and keep them spotlessly clean without damaging them? Look no further!

Welcome to Dip's comprehensive guide on how to wash trainers. As pioneers in sustainable laundry care, our goal is to deliver the most effective and eco-friendly approaches for cleaning your favourite footwear.

So, whether you're considering tossing your trainers in the washing machine or opting for a gentle hand wash, this guide will provide you with a detailed, step-by-step process to ensure your shoes come out looking as good as new.

What this article covers:

Can You Put Trainers in the Washing Machine?

Absolutely, you can put trainers in the washing machine, but following the right steps and precautions is crucial to ensure they come out looking and feeling great.

As per our expertise, correctly washing your trainers can significantly enhance both their longevity and appearance. An essential part of this process is choosing the right detergent.

Our eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets are the perfect choice for washing trainers. Whether you're tossing a premeasured sheet directly into your washing machine or dissolving one in water for a gentle hand wash in your sink or bathtub, these sheets are formulated to effectively clean without harsh chemicals.

washing trainers in washing machine

This makes them ideal not just for your trainers, but for the environment too. Our sheets ensure that no residue is left on your shoes, preserving the material integrity and colour, thus extending their lifespan and keeping them in pristine condition.

How to Wash Trainers in a Washing Machine

Now, let's dive into the process of how to wash trainers in a washing machine. This method can be a great option if you're looking to save time and ensure a thorough clean.

However, it's not as simple as just throwing your shoes in with the weekly laundry load. There are specific steps you should follow to protect your trainers and get the best results.

Get Rid Of Any Stains Beforehand

Before tossing your trainers into the machine, it's crucial to treat any stubborn stains. A gentle, eco-friendly pre-treatment can do wonders, ensuring a thorough clean without damaging the fabric.

If you're wondering whether it's safe to wash your trainers with other laundry, the short answer is yes, but it depends on the fabrics from which your trainers are made. Typically nylon, cotton and polyester are safe to wash with other laundry.

In our experience, we've found it's helpful to wash trainers with other laundry items as it balances out the load.

Speaking of caring for special garments, if you have items like cashmere, wool, or linen, they require specific care just like your trainers. Why not check out our articles on how to wash wool and how to wash linen?

These pieces need attentive handling to maintain their quality and longevity, much like the precise approach needed for your trainers.

laundry detergent

Remove Laces And Insoles

For an effective wash, always remove the laces and insoles from your trainers.

This simple step is crucial as it not only aids in thoroughly cleaning those hard-to-reach areas within the shoes but also ensures that the insoles retain their shape and functionality after washing.

Removing laces prevents them from tangling during the wash cycle, which can lead to uneven cleaning and potential damage to both the laces and the trainers.

Similarly, taking out the insoles allows each component of your trainers to dry completely, reducing the risk of developing odours or mould.

Use A Pillowcase To Protect Your Trainers

To safeguard your trainers during a machine wash, placing them in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag is essential.

Our findings show that this protective measure prevents the trainers from banging against the washing machine drum, which can cause damage not only to your shoes but also to the machine itself.

Moreover, it prevents the trainers from potentially snagging or harming other garments in the same load.

In the same way that you protect your trainers, you can also protect delicate baby clothes by placing them in a mesh laundry bag during washes. This keeps the fabric safe from hooks, zippers, or other harsh elements in the wash. For more detailed tips on caring for your little one's garments, be sure to check out our article on how to wash baby clothes.

Using a pillowcase or laundry bag ensures that your trainers, baby clothes, or other delicate garments emerge from the wash cycle in pristine condition, ready for more days of wear.

laundry sheets

Use A Mild Detergent

Choosing the right detergent is crucial when washing trainers, and opting for a mild, eco-friendly detergent is the best course of action.

Harsh chemicals found in many conventional detergents can severely degrade the glue and materials that hold your trainers together. As a result, it can significantly reduce their lifespan and effectiveness.

A gentle detergent not only preserves these essential components but also ensures that the colours and fabric of your trainers remain intact after each wash.

Opt For A Gentle Cycle

When washing your trainers in a machine, it's important to select a gentle cycle with cold water.

This choice is crucial as it minimises the mechanical stress on your trainers, preventing damage to both the fabric and the structural integrity of the shoes.

A gentle cycle ensures that the agitation is soft enough not to stretch or misshape the materials, while cold water helps in avoiding shrinkage and colour fading.

Furthermore, using cold water is more energy-efficient, thereby reducing the environmental impact of your laundry routine.

Air-Dry Your Clean Trainers

Always air-dry your trainers in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight after washing. This is crucial because heat from direct sunlight or artificial sources like dryers can significantly warp the shape of your shoes and degrade the materials, shortening their lifespan.

Instead, find a cool, shaded spot that allows air to circulate freely around the trainers. This helps in evenly drying each shoe, maintaining the integrity and comfort of the footwear.

Additionally, air drying is more energy-efficient and gentler on fabrics compared to using a tumble dryer.

washing detergent

Things You Should Never Do

Here are some things you should not do when washing trainers:

Don't Put Trainers In The Washing Machine On Their Own

To balance the load and protect your trainers, always wash them with a few towels or soft garments.

This practice not only ensures that the washing machine remains stable during the cycle but also cushions the trainers. It prevents them from banging against the walls of the machine, which can cause damage.

Washing your trainers with towels is like killing two birds with one stone. It offers an efficient solution to get both your footwear and your towels clean simultaneously.

So, if you've ever wondered how to wash towels while wanting your trainers to come out fresh and unscathed, now you know.

This method effectively maximises your laundry efforts while ensuring optimal care for both your towels and trainers.

Do Not Use Powder Detergent

When washing your trainers, it's important to avoid using powder detergents. These detergents can leave residues that are difficult to rinse out completely, potentially causing irritation to your skin or damaging the materials of your trainers over time.

Instead, we recommend sticking to our very own detergent sheets or liquid detergents for a clean rinse. These kinds of detergents dissolve more effectively in water, ensuring that no residue is left behind.

This not only helps maintain the integrity and appearance of your trainers but also ensures that they remain fresh and free from any detergent build-up.

washing sheets

Avoid A Tumble Dryer

Never use a tumble dryer for your trainers. The intense heat from the dryer can significantly alter the shape and compromise the integrity of your shoes.

The materials used in trainers, including glues and synthetic fabrics, are susceptible to high temperatures, which can cause them to warp, melt, or even separate. This can lead to a shortened lifespan and decreased functionality of the trainers.

Instead, we always recommend air-drying your trainers in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

How to Wash Trainers by Hand

Now, let's look at a step-by-step process to wash trainers by hand. Handwashing is a gentle alternative to machine washing, ideal for preserving the structural integrity and appearance of your trainers. Here's how you can do it effectively:

  1. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution: Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent, such as our laundry detergent sheets. Stir gently to mix the detergent thoroughly with the water.
  2. Remove Laces and Insoles: Take out the laces and insoles to ensure a more thorough clean. You can wash these separately in the same cleaning solution.
  3. Brush Off Loose Dirt: Before immersing your trainers, use a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface.
  4. Submerge and Scrub: Place your trainers in the soapy water. Use a soft brush or a cloth to gently scrub the trainers, focusing on areas that are particularly dirty. Be careful not to be too harsh on the material.
  5. Rinse Thoroughly: After scrubbing, rinse your trainers under cold, running water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that all detergent is washed away, as leftover soap can attract more dirt.
  6. Air-Dry: Press out as much water as you can gently with a towel. Then, let your trainers air-dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat and sunlight. Stuffing the shoes with paper or a towel can help them maintain their shape as they dry.
  7. Reinsert Laces and Insoles: Once completely dry, reinsert the laces and insoles.
laundry sheets uk


At Dip, our dedication to sustainable solutions makes us your go-to guide for keeping trainers in pristine condition.

By adhering to the methods outlined — you ensure that your trainers not only look their best but also last longer. This commitment to care extends across various types of textiles, from how to wash a duvet to how to wash pillows, each demanding a tailored approach for optimal results.

Our environmentally friendly detergent sheets are specifically designed to enhance your washing experience while reducing your ecological footprint.

We encourage you to explore our range of sustainable products and tips at Dip.

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