You can wash high-quality sneakers and should do it regularly. Just follow certain rules to avoid damaging your favourite pair of shoes.
Put your sneakers inside mesh laundry bags or an old pillowcase for extra protection. Select special programme for sports footwear, if available. Otherwise, run delicate or hand wash cycle with temperature set to 30 degrees or lower. These options prevent your sneakers from losing shape and colour. Make sure spin cycle and dryer are off.
Before placing the shoes in the drum, wash the treads and pick out any trapped stones, which can damage your machine.
Another important thing to remember: always remove sensors from smart models.
To reduce stress on the sneakers from tumbling against the drum, wash them together with a few towels or old clothes. It will also spare you the banging noise.
Do not add too much laundry detergent, no matter how dirty the sneakers are. Excess powder can remain in the fabric and stain the surface. This may look especially nasty on the white sneakers.
If your sneakers are new and expensive, and you do not want to mess them up, hand wash is a preferred option. Use warm soapy water and a soft brush. Insoles and laces are washed separately.
Check care labels to find out if the shoes are washable.
Washing is not recommended for leather and suede sneakers. You can clean them with an old toothbrush, wet cloth, or special detergents offered in shoe shops.
To remove bacteria, add a few drops of pine, fir, tea-tree, eucalyptus, thyme, juniper or sage essential oil to the wash water. Besides having an antiseptic effect, these oils give your shoes a nice smell.
Your sneakers may easily warp in a dryer. High temperatures can melt the glue that fixes the sole, so drying shoes on a radiator or near a heater is also out of question.
Ideally, you should leave the sneakers to air dry, but you do not always have time to wait. There are quicker safe and proven methods. Whichever you choose, start with removing the insoles. They are dried separately.
You will need a portable fan. Make two small hooks from a piece of wire or paperclips, and attach the sneakers to the fan grill. Their interior should face the blades. Let the shoes hang for one or two hours, with the fan running at medium or high speed.
If you just put the shoes in front of the fan, the process will take much longer.
2. Air Conditioner
Place the sneakers under the air conditioner and ensure the air flow is directed at them. It makes them dry faster.
3. Vacuum Cleaner
It sucks the moisture from the inner parts of the sneakers, but does not leave them completely dry. Put the shoes in a bucket or a suitable container. After removing the nozzle, insert the suction tube inside a shoe and turn the vacuum on for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then dry the second one, in the same manner.
4. Hair dryer
Be careful with a hair dryer. Hot air can melt the inner lining of your footwear. Select cold mode instead, put the sneakers on the floor and blow the air over them. Never leave the hair dryer inside a shoe!
The good old method is still popular, though it is the slowest. Crumple a few sheets of newspaper and stuff the shoes. Check the paper in an hour and replace if it is wet.
6. Silica Gel
As with newspaper, it absorbs moisture. Just put packets of silica gel into the wet sneakers and leave for a couple of hours. You can dry the balls on the radiator after, and reuse them.