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  • Sneaker waschen: So geht es richtig


    Clean sneakers are important to us at Asphaltgold. That's why we clean our shoes regularly, it's just part of it. When researching this text, we encountered recurring questions.

    Can I wash sneakers in the washing machine? Or: Which cleaner do I use for what? And, because that's not enough, the thought will probably cross some people's minds: Can I break something? We want to bring light into the darkness. That's why you'll find the ultimate guide to sneaker washing, cleaning and cleaning here. Let's start with the washing machine.

    The myths about sneakers in the washing machine

    The idea that you could wash all sneakers in the washing machine is wonderful. We can say in advance: Yes, you can wash your sneakers in the washing machine, but not all of them. And there are a few things you need to keep in mind so that your favorite sneakers come out of the washing machine in one piece. So that you can save yourself time in the future, we will give you the dos and don'ts and answer all the questions that we keep getting.

    We have had good experiences with sneakers in the washing machine and we have already been disappointed. That's why we are cautious about the topic. When we read that there were recommendations to wash sneakers in the dishwasher, we were amazed. Please dont do this. That sounds funny, but we want to honor our sneakers and not combine them with the leftovers from the last Pasta Napoli.

     The most important information can be found here at a glance:


    • Sneakers made from synthetic materials can be put in the washing machine

    • Always wash sneakers in the laundry net

    • Remove insole

    • Remove all applications from the sneaker

    • Take out the shoelaces and wash them separately in the laundry net

    • Wash sneakers below 30 degrees

    • Use the delicates or easy care program

    • Use short wash cycle

    • Set gentle spinning (approx. 400 - max. 800)

    • Pad the washing machine with towels

    • Use a maximum of one third of the detergent

    • Stuff sneakers with newspaper after washing

    • Allow sneakers to dry out of the sun and heat


    • Throw leather sneakers in the washing machine

    • Machine wash sneakers with elaborate decorations and applications

    • Use washing programs above 30 degrees

    • Use spin speeds over 800

    • Throw the sneaker, laces and insole into the washing machine.

    • Dry sneakers in the tumble dryer

    • Dry sneakers in the sun

    • Dry sneakers on the heater

    • Use fabric softener

    We have created an FAQ for you that answers all your questions about “washing sneakers”.

    Can I wash sneakers in the washing machine?

    Nope. You can wash sneakers made from synthetic materials in the washing machine. Under no circumstances should you machine wash leather sneakers. You should also avoid putting shoes with applications (metal, rhinestones, patches, etc.) in the washing machine. Applications can come loose.

    Step 1: Only put your shoes in the washing machine if they are made of synthetic material. The material composition is usually stated on the label of the shoe. If you no longer have that, you can google the model and item number. If the shoe is still available to buy, you will also find all the information about the material in the product details.
    Please note: Sneakers made of genuine leather and shoes with applications (metal, rhinestones, etc.) are not allowed in the machine.

    Step 2: Remove coarse dirt from the sneakers with a gentle brush.

    Step 3: Remove the laces, insole and any removable appliqués. Pack the shoelaces in a laundry net. Alternatively, you can also use a pillowcase.

    Step 4: Also pack your sneakers in a laundry net or pillowcase.

    Step 5: Take a few towels and put them in the washing machine too. This way you protect the drum and the sneakers.

    Step 6: Choose a gentle washing program such as delicates, easy care or wool cycle. Some washing machines even offer a program for sneakers. Set the machine to a maximum of 30 degrees and select a gentle spin (400 – max. 800).

    Step 7: Use only a third of the amount of detergent that you normally use for a full machine load. Be sure to avoid fabric softener as it makes your sneakers porous.

    Step 8: When the wash cycle is finished, stuff your sneakers with newspaper. This is the best way to absorb the liquid and ensure that your shoes retain their shape. You can also use Zewa, but it's not quite as effective as newspaper. Dry your sneakers in a place that is protected from direct sun and heat. Under no circumstances should you place your sneakers directly on the heater or in the sun. This reduces the lifespan of the material and can lead to unsightly dry edges.

    Step 9: When your shoes are completely dry, you can rethread the laces and put the insoles in. Complete!

    How often can I wash sneakers in the washing machine?

    Shoe manufacturers generally do not recommend washing shoes in the washing machine. We know from experience that sneakers made of synthetic material can be washed in the washing machine. However, every wash carries a risk because the upper, the sole, the shape, the cushioning and the adhesive edges can suffer - even with synthetic materials. We cannot give a specific number of washes per sneaker. We recommend that you always wash your shoes by hand.

    What can happen if I wash my sneakers in the washing machine?

    If you're not careful about which shoes you wash and how, your sneakers can come out of the machine looking very ugly.

    Washing sneakers in the washing machine poses these risks:

    • Glue edges turn yellow

    • Glue on the sole can come off

    • The cushioning of the sole can break

    • Leather inserts can become porous and brittle

    • The shape of the sneakers may be distorted

    • Applications (metal, rhinestones, patches, etc.) can come off

    • Dry edges may occur

    Smooth leather shoes in particular do not belong in the washing machine. But sneakers with mesh and leather trimmings can also break in the machine. The leather overlays suffer from this and the shape quickly becomes distorted.

    Which detergent do I need to use to wash sneakers?

    You can use conventional detergents. It's best to use liquid laundry detergent; powder can cause white edges. Make sure that you only use a maximum of a third of the usual amount for laundry. Please do not use fabric softener as this can make your sneakers porous.

    Can I wash several sneakers in the washing machine at the same time?

    Yes, but we recommend you wash no more than two to three pairs. Make sure the material and color are similar and stuff the machine with enough towels. This will protect the drum and sneakers from impact.

    What spin speed should I choose when washing sneakers?

    It's best to choose a very gentle spin cycle. Choose a number between 400 and a maximum of 800.

    At what temperature can I wash my sneakers in the washing machine?

    Never wash your sneakers above 30 degrees. Use a gentle washing program such as delicates, easy care or wool cycle. Some washing machines even offer a program for sneakers. Be sure to select a gentle spin (400 – max. 800).

    Can you wash leather sneakers in the washing machine?

    No. The leather becomes porous and reduces its lifespan. We've often heard about successful washing of leather sneakers, but we strongly advise against it. You should also be careful with sneakers made of mesh and leather. This can work well the first time and the second time the sneaker has lost its shape. If you want to know how to clean leather sneakers, check out this guide.

    Can you wash all sneakers in the washing machine?

    No. Please only wash sneakers made of synthetic material. Be sure to avoid throwing leather or nubuck sneakers in the washing machine. Sneakers with applications (metal, rhinestones, patches, leather overlays, etc.) can also be damaged by washing.

    Washing sneakers in the washing machine is risky. It can work well, but you can also go wrong with it. If they are slightly dirty, we always recommend washing the sneakers by hand. Because you can do a lot less wrong.

    This is how you can wash sneakers by hand

    We prefer to wash our sneakers by hand. There are a few things to consider and it takes more time, but if you clean your sneakers yourself, they will last longer. You can find out how to properly clean your sneakers by hand here and now. We give you tips and tricks.

    Have everything you need ready

    Take your time and make yourself a good drink, prepare everything you need and put a towel under you that can get dirty. This is what you should have ready for cleaning the shoes: a suitable brush for the material of the respective sneaker, cleaning agent of your choice, a sponge or a microfiber cloth, an eraser and a waterproofing spray.

    Clean the sole properly

    We actually find it hardest to get the sole really clean again. Some brands offer midsole cleaners that you can leave on briefly and then simply wipe off with a sponge, brush or microfiber cloth. We have had very good experiences with it so far. If you prefer to use home remedies, use an eraser. With the classic erasers from school you can get almost any stubborn dirt off the sole. You can also use dirt erasers, but we swear by the good old white eraser as it's the most effective. We also keep seeing the tip that you can use nail polish remover. We advise against this.

    Find the right cleaners

    There are countless cleaners on the market. Cleaners with integrated brushes, foam, liquid cleaner, etc. Of course they all have their place, but you can also use a mild dishwashing liquid or liquid soap. If you really want a special sneaker cleaner, we recommend Jason Markk. We are fans of the RTU Foam , which you can use immediately without extra water. We also really like the Premium Shoe Cleaner . It can also be used on all materials, for example: leather, suede, nubuck, cotton, mesh.

    Use the right brushes

    In addition to sneaker cleaners, there is also a large selection of brushes. Jason Markk offers the gentle Premium Cleaning Brush . If such brushes are too expensive for you, you can also use a toothbrush. We recommend a special crepe brush for nubuck and suede. This brush gets rid of a lot of stains on suede - without any water.

    This will keep your shoelaces looking like new

    Take out the laces and wash them separately in the washing machine in a laundry net. You can also soak them in lukewarm water and soap. If you have stubborn stains, you can also pre-treat them with stain removers. If your shoelaces are dry, you can also treat them with a fabric razor. This will remove all the little lint. If you want completely smooth shoelaces, just iron them. You can also use a straightening iron for this. Your shoelaces will look like new in no time.

    Cleaning the upper

    After you have cleaned the sole and removed the laces, you can clean the upper. Make sure that your cleaner and brush are suitable for the respective upper. Take a damp sponge or microfiber cloth and go over any stains. Even if you use the right cleaner, brush or sponge, handle your sneakers with care so that you don't damage the upper by rubbing too vigorously. Once you've finished cleaning, remove the remaining foam and dirt with a cloth.

    If you want to put your sneakers back on the same day, you should work with as little water as possible because sneakers take a while to dry again.

    Destroy smells

    If you wash your sneakers by hand, you will have to take care of getting rid of any unpleasant odors yourself. Of course you can do this with a shoe deodorant. But you can also use home remedies because baking soda neutralizes odors. To do this, simply shake a little powder into the sneakers and leave it to work overnight. The next day you can vacuum or shake it out.

    We recommend that you regularly use a disinfectant spray on the inside of your sneakers. This keeps your shoes fresh and clean on the inside.

    Dry the sneakers properly

    When you're done, stuff your sneakers with newspaper. Of course, you should only do this if the shoes have become very wet. The paper absorbs the liquid best and ensures that your shoes keep their shape. Dry your sneakers in a place that is protected from direct sun and heat. Under no circumstances should you place your sneakers directly on the heater or in the sun. This reduces the lifespan of the material and can lead to ugly dry edges.


    After cleaning (or even after purchasing), you should definitely use waterproofing spray. Waterproofing protects your sneakers from moisture and dirt, especially in the cold months. And the nice thing about it: The sneakers are easier to clean and, if in doubt, also get less dirty. You should also re-waterproof your sneakers regularly to maintain their protection. We can recommend the Repel Spray from Jason Markk. A cream or wax is recommended for smooth leather shoes, which also gives them an additional shine.

    Are there differences when washing a leather sneaker and a fabric sneaker?

    Yes, leather sneakers should be cleaned differently than fabric sneakers. We have created a detailed guide on how to properly clean the different materials. To keep track, check out the detailed instructions:

    Clean leather sneakers

    Clean fabric sneakers

    Check out our guides for step-by-step instructions on how to wash fabric and leather sneakers.


    With our guide we give you all our knowledge. The most important thing is that you know which shoes can be put in the washing machine and which cannot. To be sure again: leather sneakers have no place in the washing machine. Be sure to get a washing net for the next wash cycle and make sure to put your sneakers in the washing machine as little as necessary. You can get rid of dirt in no time with just a few household remedies and you don't need expensive cleaners. If you have a good waterproofing spray, your sneakers won't get dirty as quickly. And the good thing is: If things get really bad, you can also hire experts to clean your favorite sneakers. If you love your sneakers as much as we do, you should clean your sneakers regularly. With our guide you can get even a super dirty white Air Force 1 clean again.

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