How to Wash Running Shoes: Keep Your Trainers Pristine

Natalie Cecconi
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How to Wash Running Shoes: Wash by Hand

Or Machine?

Caring for your running shoes is vital as they are the most important gear you need to run and race on and long term running can really damage your shoes.

Whether you prefer to wash them by hand or machine, cleaning your running shoes is an important process you need to carry out. Before starting the washing process, make sure you wear your running shoes so that you can lock out the laces.

Running shoes are made of high-performance breathable materials like mesh and fabrics, which are not designed to be submerged in water at high temperatures. This means that you should wash them with a light, cold hand wash. You can use a gentle detergent to remove the dirt and grime and an old toothbrush to clean any the mesh or fabric.

Do not spray shoes directly with water; instead, use a plastic bowl or other container to hold water.

To dry your flats, simply wipe them with a dry old toothbrush or a clean microfiber cloth to break any remaining water droplets from the shoes.

For your other running shoes with high ankle stability and support, you can consider placing them in the washing machine on a cold cycle. Make sure you use a delicate detergent and a microfiber cloth for the drying process.

Step 1: Clean the Soles

Considering that the soles of your shoes come in close contact with all sorts of filth from the road, it’s better to use soap that’s safe to use on synthetic materials.

Use a nail brush to brush off all the dirt and earth first. Use the nail brush on all sides of each sole and the grooves that are difficult to reach with your fingers.

Fill the bucket with warm water and add the detergent. Let the water and the detergent sink into the shoes for a few minutes. Next, take a clean, white cloth and scrub the soles until the dirt is completely gone. Rinse the shoes in the bucket to remove all the detergent and dirt.

Step 2: Scrub Dirt Off of the Upper

Use a toothbrush to scrub any dirt that you find on the outside of your shoes. It doesn’t have to be a fancy toothbrush. Any toothbrush will do the trick. Just make sure you’re using a clean one and that it’s a little stiff!

If you don’t have a brush handy, use your hand. It may take longer, but it will be just as effective.

Step 3: Clean the Insoles

Most of us would jump in the shower after a run and clean our bodies and hair.

But instead of jumping in directly, you should consider going for a warm-down walk to give your body a chance to cool down.

While your shoes are warm, it’s an ideal time to clean them. Warm water and soap loosens and washes away any dirt and grime on the upper and mesh areas.

Now, before putting on your trainers make sure to rinse all the soap off and let them air dry somewhere so that they dry off in a natural way. You can hang them upside down or prop them on a newspaper or outside on a soft surface (like on the grass) but not on a hard surface. This helps them dry a lot faster.

After letting them dry for a few minutes, clean the insoles and cushioning with a soft toothbrush or a sponge and some warm water.

Use a soft towel to clean the insoles and cushioning to remove all the dirt and grime.

Midsoles Still Not White?

You regularly take your shoes for a swim, but those black midsoles are still not as white as they should be. The suede streaks and the surface scratches won’t disappear. Your shoes need more than just a regular wash, it’s time for heavy duty scrubbing.

In part I of this article, we gave you an overview about how both colored midsoles and white midsoles are produced. In this part we’re going to take a closer look on how to wash running shoes. This includes the right time to wash your shoes, the right way to wash your shoes and how to maintain the white color of your shoes.


Let’s take a look at the essentials: ‡ Don’t wash your shoes too soon!

Your shoes are full of bacteria, sweat and dirt. Not washing them for a longer period of time is the best defense you have against cleaning products with high alkaline concentrations, which will have a drying effect on your shoes…

This advice is especially important if you run in the rain or if you have sweaty feet.

Don’t wash them too often!

What to Avoid

If you drop your high-tech running trainers in the washing machine, mild detergents are better than concentrated ones. Fabric softener should be avoided, and don’t use fabric softener sheets in your dryer, as they can leave a waxy residue on your training shoes.

Heavy Duty Detergent tabs are designed to dissolve in both cold and hot water, so most tab options, as long as they are rated for the machine, will do the job and get your shoes and stockings nice and clean.

While many detergents have bleach to get rid of tough stains, spot testing is always a good idea before you toss your shoes in the machine, particularly if you have white or light colored shoes.

For example, the instructions on a very popular detergent suggest adding the recommended amount of the powder to the machine, and then using a cup of water to dissolve the soap before you toss in the clothing. Some combinations of detergents and washers can leave a residue on your shoes if they are soaked for more than 5 minutes.

And some detergents can adversely affect the glue in the soles of your shoes. There is no need to cover your shoes with a special Rinse Aid when washing them in the washing machine, but if you do use it, use less than the recommended amount.

How to Take Care of Your Running Shoes

It is not only as essential in working out as is the selection of the best shoes for any exercise.

But it is also equally crucial knowing how to clean, take care and prevent them from getting damaged.

Without a doubt, a dirty and smelly pair of running shoes can really jeopardize your exercise routine.

To make sure that your footwear does not pose a serious health risk to your feet,.

You must be aware of – and regularly eliminate – the most common kinds of odor in sneakers.

Running shoes can be real organisms` hotels and can be home to the nasties that can make your life, your feet and your entire body pretty sick.

Keep in mind, though, that with the right method, a few simple products and a little bit of effort, you can take off dirt, odors or sweat from your favorite shoes.

If you feel that the smell from your shoes is something you can not deal with alone, instead of quickly throwing them away, why not trying these one simple trick that will help your shoes looking clean again.

Or try this great spray to kill the bacteria that causes odor on the feet.

Final Thoughts

Running shoes have changed over the past 50 years. They are lighter and offer more support today than ever before. But one thing has stayed the same – keeping runners’ feet looking and feeling great.

Not only is washing your running shoes an easy thing to do, it extends the life of your shoes and helps keep them fresh and clean.

When you look after your running shoes in the proper way and continue to train diligently, you will always be able to hop onto that treadmill with confidence and run your best!

Here are some of the things to think about and remember while washing your running shoes:

Keep shoes stored in a closed room with minimal sunlight exposure.

Never store shoes near a heat source, like your dryer or heater.

Keep your shoes neatly placed in their original shoe box.

Keep the original shoebox stored in a dry and dark place.

Wipe off the dirt that may build up on the laces.

Finish your run with a refreshing blast!

Thank you for reading one of my whitening articles! Please check out these other articles on teeth whitening.