How to Wash Trainers: The Definitive Guide

Trainers looking jaded? Here’s how to get them looking good as new


Down with dirt

Before you even think about how to wash trainers, you need to prepare them. First, remove any surface mud, dust or sand; a soft brush will help in the first instance, then use a damp cloth and be as thorough as you can. Check the soles for chewing gum or stones that have lodged between the grips: if your trainers are washing machine friendly, the last thing you want is a loose pebble rattling around in the drum.

Care for leather shoes equipment

Care for leather shoes over white wooden background.


Machine wash – on cold

Check the label of your trainers to find out if they are suitable for machine washing (many modern sneakers are). Whatever style or brand you’re washing, the best temperature to wash trainers is a cold cycle. Remove laces before you put them in the machine (machine wash them separately) and it’s best to pop trainers in a laundry bag for a bit of added protection. To save on bumps and banging, you could throw swimming towels, jeans or non-delicate bedding in the same wash for a quieter cycle.


Machine wash trainers

Protect your trainers and pop them in a laundry bag before you press start.


Hand wash – with a sponge

If washing trainers in the machine isn’t an option, you could consider hand washing: it’s an easy process. You just need a sponge, a bowl of warm water and a good quality washing powder. Clean the waterproof parts of the shoe first, including the inside: give the interior a really good scrub to deal with stains and odours. Then change the water, add a bit more detergent, and squeeze the sponge out really well before applying it to the more delicate areas. Once the shoes are looking clean and fresh, use a soft cloth and clean water to wipe away all traces of detergent.


Trainers with soapy water

Out with the old and in with the new – washing dirty trainers in soapy water.


Clean and dry

Check care labels, but it’s rare to find that you can tumble dry trainers. The best option is drying trainers outside, avoiding direct sunlight as this can fade colours. If you don’t have outside access, leave the trainers in a warm, dry area where there’s good airflow. If you’re in a hurry to wear them again, try stuffing them with clean paper to absorb the moisture.


White sneakers hanging

White trainers hanging on the clothesline.



Clean from top to toe

With sparkly, clean trainers to wear, make sure the rest of your wardrobe matches. You don’t need to save a laundry service for your best clothes: Laundrapp can clean casual clothes too, washing, folding and delivering to your door from just £2 per item.

Do you need more tips and tricks for washing at home? Check out one of our latest articles about how to wash silk fabric or even how to dry clothes quickly this summer.


Guest written by,

Johanna Payton

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