How to Wash Your Tennis Shoes Properly? [Life-Saving Tips]

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No one wants to keep playing with the same dirty pair of tennis shoes for weeks.

If you play regularly, especially in clay, they can catch dirt and stain on the surface and the inside.

People ask if tennis shoes must be hand-washed, or if they can throw them in the dishwasher.

Leather and fabric shoes can be put in the washing machine, but are exposed to chemicals and friction that might damage their materials and fade their colors.

Washing your pair of tennis shoes takes a few easy steps.

Steps for Hand-Washing Your Tennis Shoes

1)    Remove the laces

It is important to prevent them from getting entangled during the process. They should be cleaned separately using detergent.

2)    Clean the insoles

The original or any added insoles have to be removed and cleaned separately because they might be damaged or take a long time to dry.

You can use a piece of cloth dipped in lukewarm water with some baking soda and wipe them to remove dirt and bacteria.

3)    Remove dirt

Rinse the shoes and remove caked soil and big pieces of dirt.

By using a soft brush and a heavy-duty detergent, scrub to wash properly the upper, the sides, and the outsole.


4)    Rinse and dry

Finally, rinse the pair with water and let the excess drip away.

Then, hang them outdoors to air dry for a few hours or days.

Can You Wash Your Tennis Shoes in the Dishwasher/Washing Machine?

It is considerably easier and time-saving to just throw your pair of tennis shoes in the washing machine and get it done.

But is it right to do so? What are the risks?

If yes, how to use the dishwasher properly for the tennis shoes?

Reasons Not to Use The Dishwasher

Most of the time, it is not recommended to use a dishwasher or a washing machine to clean your tennis shoes. And there are several reasons for this:

  1. Most tennis shoes have a mesh fabric in the upper, which can get torn up in the rotation movement of the washer and break the shoes entirely.
  2. The outsole rubber can be exposed to abrasion due to the repeated friction, which can rub out the tread pattern and make the shoes less grippy and useless.
  3. The machine drum is at risk of being completely damaged.

Tips On Washing Your Tennis Shoes in The Dishwasher?

In some cases, your tennis shoes can be cleaned using a soft cycle. We recommend checking the label firsthand before taking any risks.

If the label indicates the ability to use a dishwasher, then we advise you to follow these tips:

  • Throw in a towel or use a wash bag with the shoes to soften up things and allow less friction.
  • Use a low temperature to prevent the colors from fading
  • Use low spin to maintain a gradual movement and avoid damage
  • Use liquid detergents instead of powder, which can remain stuck in the fabric after the wash

Can You Put Your Tennis Shoes in the Drying Machine?


We highly suggest not to dry your washed tennis shoes in an electric dryer for the following reasons:

  • The shoes get beat up and damaged when tumbling around
  • The shoes may shrink and lose their shape due to high temperatures
  • The glue inside the shoes can melt and cause damage
  • Supporting midsole materials like GEL or Mesh can melt or deform making the shoes less comfortable and less cushioned

Using a piece of newspaper to remove moisture is an alternative quick method recommended on many other sites.

Finally, Air drying is the best practice. Also, beware not to put your pair directly in the sunlight.

Read Also: Tennis Shoes – 7 Things You Should Know Before You Buy One

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