Nearly 50 million Americans run in some capacity. Running is a fantastic form of cardio, helping to keep your heart healthy and your body in shape!

However, your running shoes could likely use a little TLC. With all of the dirt, dust, sweat, and grime that builds up on your shoes, keeping them clean is essential.

However, improper washing can deteriorate your sneakers! Knowing how to wash running shoes is crucial to ensure they stay in great shape. If you’re unsure how to keep them clean, keep reading for some of the easiest ways to make your shoes look as good as new.

Spot Treatment

Whether you have a few spots you want to remove from the surface of your shoes or want to treat a stubborn stain before washing, you’ll want to spot-treat the blot before washing the rest of the shoe.

However, you’ll need to know what the stain is and the material of your shoes, as this will impact your treatment method. Whether you’re washing your Air Max 97 shoes or basic gym sneakers, you’ll want to pay attention to the tag indicating the material of the shoe.

For example, if you have a massive mud stain on the top of your shoes, you’ll want to wait until the mud has dried. Trying to scrub off wet mud will only make the spot bigger.

Next, you’ll want to use a dry piece of paper towel to remove the dirt from the material. You can then use a mixture of water and dish detergent to scrub with a soft toothbrush. This will help loosen up the dirt engrained in the fabric.

If the fabric of your shoes is clean, but the soles look worse for wear, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to fight tough stains. You can also try a melamine foam sponge to help scrub off scuff and scratches.

Hand Washing

If your sneakers aren’t machine washable, you can hand wash running shoes. You can find washing instructions on the tag inside of your shoe. If you’re unsure whether your shoes would survive a spin cycle, err on the side of caution and handwash them anyway.

If your shoes are protected by waterproof material, you’ll need to buy a special soap to ensure they can be thoroughly cleaned. However, if they’re a standard fabric, you can use dish soap or laundry detergent.

To begin, you’ll want to start by removing any buildup of dirt from the soles of your shoes. Take a toothbrush to gently dislodge dirt from the crevices of your shoes.

Next, you’ll want to remove the insoles and give them a good scrub. This is especially true if your shoes emit an odor. The insoles tend to hold smells, so thoroughly cleaning them will help them smell fresher.

You will also need to wash your shoelaces unless you plan on using a brand-new pair. Though many people skip this step, these small details can help make your shoes look great. Using dish soap and water, take a soft toothbrush and scrub the dirt from the laces.

When washing the exterior of the shoes, you’ll want to scrub the shoes in a mixture of soap and water. Continue scrubbing the sneakers until the fabric looks clean!

Machine Washing

If you’re confident that your shoes can go in the washing machine, it’s a great way to save time and ensure a thorough clean.

Before you start the cycle, you’ll need to remove the laces and insoles from your sneakers. However, if you have gel or custom inserts, you’ll want to hand wash these to prevent damage or deterioration.

One of the best running shoes washing tips is to place the laces and insole in a small mesh bag. This ensures they will still get clean without getting tangled or broken in the process.

When washing running shoes in a machine, you’ll want to use cold water. Be sure not to use warm or hot water, as this can set stains and weaken the glue that holds the shoes together. Hot water can also cause the color of your shoes to bleed, making them appear faded.

Drying Process

Whether you’ve hand or machine-washed your shoes, the drying process is similar. This is the final step of the running shoes washing guide.

Many assume they can simply throw their sneakers in the dryer. However, the high heat of the dryer can ruin your shoes, as it melts the glue holding the sneaker together. Never put them in the dryer!

Instead, you’ll want to get newspapers, crumple them into balls, and put them inside the sneakers. This will help absorb water, hold the shape of the shoe, and trap any excess odor.

You’ll want to leave your shoes in a well-ventilated area to dry. This will help release moisture from the fabric. If the shoes are particularly wet, you may need to replace the newspaper a few times, as this will help speed up the drying process.

If you’re trying to dry them quickly, you may want to place the shoes in front of a fan to help.

How to Wash Running Shoes, Made Simple

Though running shoes washing advice may not be at the top of your “must look-up” list, keeping these tips in mind can help ensure that your sneakers look and perform their best. After all, built-up dirt on the soles can impact your traction.

If you found this guide on how to wash running shoes helpful, you’ll want to race over to the rest of our website. There, you can discover more cleaning and lifestyle tips and tricks.