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How to Wash Trainers


If your trainers have become dirtier than expected, it may be time for a deep clean. Start by taking off the laces and cleaning them with a small brush.

It’s also beneficial to get into the crevices and corners of shoes – just as you would when hand-washing clothing – to ensure they receive optimal sanitation.

Hand washing

Trainers typically need to be hand washed to protect their materials and keep them looking new. Before beginning, check the care label and adhere to its instructions.

Washing shoes by hand is an affordable and secure way to remove dirt. Fill a sink or bucket with water and a few drops of detergent, dip a soft cloth or brush in the solution, and gently wipe away stains.

After some time, rinse the shoe in fresh water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. You may also use a Magic Eraser to remove stubborn spots if they’re not too dark.

Whirlpool Laundry Brand Manager Shawn Ashby suggests using a separate bag for sneakers when washing them in the machine to prevent them from getting tangled and potentially clogging the drain. This can be especially important if your running shoes have dirt on them.

Machine washing

If your trainers have become overwhelmed with muddy stains and you need them cleaned quickly, machine washing could be the answer. First, check the care label to see if your trainers can be washed in a machine (some brands like Nike or Adidas advise against this practice, while others do).

If the answer is yes, fill your washing machine with old towels, dirty jeans, and a sneaker bag designed for washing to minimize damage to the drum. Choose a delicate cycle and slow spin speed to reduce these impacts.

One of the essential rules when washing leather or suede shoes is to avoid overheating them. Furthermore, never put your sneakers in the tumble dryer, which could cause them to break or shrink.

Dry cleaning

A dry cleaner is an expert in textile cleaning. They know what products work best for different fabrics and will assess your shoes to see if they can be cleaned using their dry cleaning solutions. Depending on the type of shoe you bring in, they may use a brush and appropriate dry-cleaning solution to remove stains and dirt.

Suede is one material that should never be washed with water as this can cause irreparable damage. Dry cleaning your trainers is preferable to soaking them in a machine since the chemicals used for suede protection and care are designed explicitly for this purpose. Plus, many dry cleaners will add deodorizer to keep your footwear smelling nice and fresh – an effective way to maintain footwear quality and extend its lifespan! Having good shoes that fit perfectly is one of the greatest joys of ownership!


Ironing your trainers is an effective way to eliminate creases and make them look as good as new. But be careful: don’t use your iron directly on the shoe – use a towel first to defuse any heat generated. Once dampened, lay it on top of the crease of your shoe and press with iron in 10-second intervals until smooth as silk. With just this one-step hack, your boots should look brand new quickly! And while you’re at it, don’t forget about our top tips on cleaning trainers – these will help keep them looking like new for longer!