I checked this question on Google and saw different suggestions on how to wash shoes in a washing machine. In all the top they were talking about domestic washing machines.
But here the manufacturers of washing machines say:
“Do not place any objects such as shoes into the washing machine.” This is the simple instruction from a Samsung user manual.
So, can washing machine wash shoes?
Washing machines are built to wash laundry alone. Washing shoes in a washer can damage the appliance and your shoes.
For this reason washing manufacturers discourage washing shoes in their product.
Why you should not wash shoes in a washing machine
Although there are many videos teaching you how to wash your shoes in a washer, there are still many reasons why you should not wash your shoes in a washing machine.
Below are some of them. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list:
- Because washing machine manufacturers say so.
- Because it can damage your shoes.
- Because it can damage to your washing machine.
Because washing machine manufacturers say so
This might be the simplest reason to give, but should be the strongest reason of them all.
The manufacturers of any products know better how their device should be used. The screenshot above was from the user manual: Samsung Washing Machine User manual WW8*T******
It states in simple terms that shoes should not be placed in the washing machine, because it can damage the washer.
Going ahead to wash your shoes in a washer might not damage your machine or shoes immediately. But can do so with time.
And in the event of a damage to your device, even if caused by other things, you would have forfeited your warranty, any fault can be deemed as can be deemed as caused by negligence or going against the manufacturers stated guideline.
Because it can damage to your shoes
As important and expensive as washing machines can be, shoes are an equally valueable asset.
Washing shoes in a washing machine is bad for your shoes.
- Hot water can damage rubber shoes.
- Both hot or cold water are bad for leather.
- Water can weaken gum used to hold your shoe sole.
- Eyelet rings in shoes could easily fall off.
- Spinning and tumbling can crack shoe surface.
- Water can cause rust on shoes buckles and metal designs
Hot water can damage rubber shoes
Shoes made from rubber or dunlop can be adversely affected by hot temperature from a hot wash.
It can weaken rubber and cause it to lose its elasticity.
Both hot or cold water are bad for leather
Soaking shoes in water, irrespective of its temperature, is bad for leather.
Of course, you can wash your leather water, but leaving it in water for a long period of time can hurt your shoe’s leather.
Water can weaken gum used to hold your shoe sole
Have you noticed that shoe soles tend to loosen or come-off after walking in the open on a rainy day.
This is because water loosens gum.
Washing shoes in a washer is worse than walking in the open on a rainy day. This is actually soaking shoes for many minutes.
Water from the wash can sip into your sole and eventually cause your sole to detach from the shoe’s top.
Eyelet rings in shoes could easily fall off
Many shoes with lace usually have an eyelet ring attached.
Also called a grommet or an eyelet, these are rings used to reinforce the eyelet where the laces pass through
The word “eyelet” can refer both to the hold and the ring lining the hole. The expression “eyelet ring is used to separate the ring from the hole”
Continuous spinning and tumbling can cause these rings to come off and other metal designs attached to shoes.
Spinning and tumbling can crack shoe surface
Some shoes are made of … leather. This leather is smooth and shiny, but can easily crack when bent or scrubbed by a ruff surface.
Washing shoes in a top loader with an agitator or impeller can easily damage the leather surface.
Even in from loaders, continuous tumbling can crack this leather.
Water can cause rust on shoes buckles and metal designs
Leaving shoes in water for a period of time can result in rusts developing in shoes.
Some shoes has designs made from iron. Even eyelets can begin to rust when constantly exposed to water, for a long time at a stretch.
Because it can damage to your washing machine
All the points mentioned above about how washing machine can damage your shoes, still translate to saying: washing shoes in washing machine can damage your washing machine.
Whether the leather peels off, of the eyelet comes off, or gums used in sole loosens and fall off, most of the damage done to your shoes in a washer will result in some parts of the shoes or materials used in its production to fall off.
Metal buckles and eyelets will not only rust when washed in a machine regularly, but will also cause your washer to rust.
Better ways to wash shoes
Shoes can easily be washed, even without a washing machine. Actually, washing shoes with hands brings bette result.
- Pour a cup of water in a bowl,
- Add a little amount soap to the mix.
- Dip a toothbrush or a soft cloth (handkerchief or something similar), into the mixture and use it to brush the shoes.
- Focus on the sole or other areas with stains.
- Repeat step 1 – 3 using clean water alone, to rinse the shoes. Do not dip the shoes in water, you don’t need this to clean your them.
Loafers and other fabric based shoes are an exception. Even at this, they are better washed with hands.
While water does not affect loafers top, continuous washing in water can affect the sole, causing it to come off.
Like many other washing machine and laundry FAQs, the real issue is not “can you”, but instead it is “should you.”
You can decide to wash your shoes in a washer. Actually you can decide to wash anything, even your pets or firearms in a washing machine.
But the same principle always apply:
- Will you cause more harm than good?
- Are there better alternatives.
If the answer is yes to both question, then you shouldn’t, even though, technically you can.
This is an interesting topic with people having varying, or maybe, contrary opinions. If you’ve read this article this far, kindly drop your comments mentioning any contrary opinion you might have and your reasons.