Tuesday Tip: Wash Shoes in Dishwasher


how to clean shoes in dishwasher

A load of shoes I got at multiple garage sales plus some toys thrown in too

Sneakers.  Tennis shoes.  Kicks. No matter what term you use, we’re all familiar with shoes and the fact they wear easily and are impossible to keep clean, especially if little boys are wearing them around.  If you have old dingy shoes, before you go out and buy new ones, save yourself some money and try washing them in the dishwasher.  Yes, the dishwasher.

Growing up, my family always washed them in the washing machine.  I now use the dishwasher because I don’t like hearing the loud clunking of the shoes rolling around in the spin cycle.

To wash your shoes in the dishwasher, first check the shoes for any areas that need to be pre-scrubbed such as the soles or stained areas.  Use an old toothbrush to get most of the stain removed and if you need to, put a little dishwasher detergent on the bristles.  Put shoes on the bottom rack and if you want, remove the shoelaces (I don’t always do this because it takes a bit of time).  Add dishwasher detergent to the machine and set the cycle to normal but make sure to turn off the heat dry cycle (if you forget to do this it could cause your shoes to shrink).  Once the cycle is complete, remove the shoes and set in front of a fan or outside if it is hot out.  Warning– shoes take a long time to dry so allow them to dry overnight before wearing them.

Your shoes should be nice and clean when they come out.  This method will also help reduce foot odor that has invaded and camped out in your shoes.

Try washing toys in the dishwasher too!

Have any tips for lengthening the life span of shoes?

12 comments to Tuesday Tip: Wash Shoes in Dishwasher

  • Melanie

    I’ve heard of washing lots of things in the dishwasher but never shoes! great idea!

  • great timing! my oldest’s shoes are knocking us over with their stinch! will throw them in the dishwasher tomorrow! yay!

  • David

    Forgot to turn off heat dry cycle now have melted down soles 🙁

  • Emily

    Don’t do it! It ruined my shoes and no, I didn’t put the heat cycle on

  • Rand

    I just did it, it worked pretty good

  • Cheyanne

    Does it affect the washer and dishes later? My mom is scared that it is going to make the dishes gross afterwards

  • Joey

    I would not recommend a DishWasher for many types of shoes. A lot of shoes are made with painted/plastics now so a high pressure hot steam dishwasher “Dishwashers of today” could remove those paints and plastics rather easily. Using a regular laundry washer is very different but also, only use the Frontloaders that tumble or the old style top loaders that simply agitate. This allows the detergent to break down and oxidize dirts and what not. I recommend throwing towels or smaller shirts in with the shoes. Agitators and Front loading tumble style washers depend on clothes rubbing against clothes to actually do the washing and the detergents are just designed to oxidize and help loosen and make your clothes smell fresh while also disinfecting. So you really need other items in the washer with your shoes. Also, it’s best to dry your shoes in the sun outside with a natural wind breeze. But a fan is fine. DO NOT PUT IN DRYER. DO NOT USE HOT WATER CYCLE. Shoes have glue that hold the soles on and if you melt the glue, well it has to go somewhere which could be in your dryer or washer. So there are risks involved but for the most part, you are safe to just wash your shoes in the washer and let them dry naturally with a fan or preferred, outside. Takes 24 hrs on a sunny day.

    For people with smelly shoes, it’s call Arm and Hammer Carpet freshener. Put some in your shoe, let it sit. Shake and Vacuum it out. Then spray with a shoe cleaner or like I often do, use dryer fabric softener sheets and set outside for awhile so the sun heats the sheets up. Smell like fresh clean new shoes.

  • Kathy Hayes

    As for DRYING sneakers in the dryer, put each sneaker with tongues flipped over & exposed into each leg of a pair of pantyhose/nylons, with the sneaker smack in the middle of the top & bottom of nylons. Place sneakers with soles against door of dryer, tie a knot to secure in place. Close door and adjust if necessary. Dry on medium heat for up to an hour.


    Isn’t there a health/hygiene problem here? People accidentally step in poop, and in stuff people spit on the sidewalk…and you put your shoes with your cooking, eating utensils? Come on people….just the thought of it!

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