If you run regularly, then you probably run in muddy and rainy days too. This can mess up your running shoes seriously. Cleaning and maintaining your running shoes is important not only for a better appearance but in order to ensure they last and serve you for a longer time.
There are ways to safely and efficiently wash your sneakers, so here are some guides and tips about manual washing and washing machine washing.
How to clean muddy shoes manually
If you have that nasty problem, you should follow the steps below.
How to get mud out of shoes:
- Remove the sock liner or insole if you can, because washing them separately will definitely make your shoes feel even cleaner and more refreshed.
- You can use a nail brush or a toothbrush dipped in water and a mild anti-grease soap to remove any mud, grit or other dirt stuck on your footwear. Minimize the exposure of your shoes to water – don’t soak them.
How to get grass stains out of shoes:
- If you have children or you are an avid runner yourself, you will encounter grass stains rather frequently. There are a few ways to remove them depending on how old and stubborn the stains are. The cheapest and easiest way to treat new grass stains is with vinegar. Don’t solute it, let it soak completely and try to rub it off. Rubbing alcohol is much better in removing grass stains. Apply it the same way as you would with vinegar. Repeat if you have to. If those two methods fail and you have lightly colored sneakers, try the bleach and peroxide solution. Be careful, though as it is very powerful and might ruin the shoes. Mix 1/4 cup bleach and 1/4 cup of peroxide is a cup of water and soak the stained parts well. Let it sit for 30 minutes and clean them thoroughly.
Clean the insoles properly:
- The insoles can be washed with mild washing detergent and warm water, and should be left to dry completely before placing them back inside. If there is still an unpleasant odor, you can place them in a plastic bag and sprinkle them with baking soda. Leave them like that overnight, and the odor should be gone. Another natural odor removal method is to soak the insoles in a mixture of white vinegar and water for a couple of hours, and after that for a few more hours, soak them in a water, baking soda and essential oil solution.
- Don’t wash your sneakers very often, because they will wear down faster. To keep things hygienic, you can wash the sock liner or insoles after each run, or at least once a week, to keep bacteria and nasty odor away from your feet.
- Never dry your shoes on a radiator, or by using any direct heat on them, because it can cause them to become deformed. Rather, you should let them dry naturally. You can help the process by stuffing them with paper towels, newspapers or kitchen paper, and changing it periodically. On average, a pair will dry naturally for up to 12 hours. This is why if you run every day, you should get at least two pairs of sneakers, especially for the rainy and winter seasons.
Remember, manual cleaning is the preferred method. If you have more expensive or specific footwear, like plantar fasciitis running shoes or sneakers for low/high arches and you want to preserve them as long as possible, this is the way to go.
How to wash tennis or running shoes in washing machine
Personally, I am not a big fan of washing running shoes, particularly as it may ruin them quickly. However, there are times, when the manual methods just won’t cut it. To give your running shoe a good cleaning, you should pop them into the washing machine, but before that, keep in mind these useful tips and precautions:
- Check for any specific washing instructions by the manufacturer, and if not recommended refrain from machine washing them.
- Make sure you take as much dirt and mud off from the shoes before sticking hem in the washing machine, because you don’t want it to get clogged up. You can use a cloth, a brush, a toothbrush and even some mild anti-grease soap with water.
- If you can, you should remove the sock liners or insoles, so that you can wash them separately. Also, you can remove or leave the laces on when washing the shoes.
- To keep your washing machine safe and the noise down, place each shoe in a separate pillowcase, and secure them inside.
- Add detergent as normal and set you washing machine to normal or a gentler washing cycle.
- Pop in the shoes in the pillowcases and the insoles and laces as well. To further reduce the banging noises you can add a couple of towels inside too.
- If the laces are white and the sneaker isn’t, wash the laces separately or with your white laundry.
- Once the cycle ends, take the them out. If your sneakers have a mesh upper you can dry them in a gentle cycle of the dryer, but otherwise do not dry your trainers, because you can deform them and ruin them!
- You can stuff them with newspaper, paper towels or kitchen paper to absorb the water from the shoe. Change the paper periodically with dry one. Do not place directly under the sun or near or on top of a heat source. Let them dry naturally.