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Simple Ways to Give Dirty Shoes the Boot

I’ve only owned my new sneakers for a month, but they look like I’ve had them since high school. I’m not sure if this is because I wear them nineteen hours a day, seven days a week, or if it’s because I live in a rural area with lots of mud and dirt. Either way, they’re gross, and I need them to look good again.

I remember the expression on a friend’s face when she saw me pull my sneaks from the washing machine. “You wash your tennis shoes?” Why not? They get clean, don’t they? And you, too, can clean your shoes the same way you clean any other washable garment. Just follow these simple rules for best results:

Know Your Materials
Most tennis shoes can are machine washable. (Shoes that contain suede, leather, or cheaper versions of pleather should probably avoid the washer.) For an idea of how they will hold up in the wash, wet an inconspicuous area with a wet wash rag and some liquid dish soap. If it dries looking funky, they weren’t meant to get wet.

Know Your Machines
Shoes are best washed on the shortest cycle with cold water and a regular amount of laundry soap. Some people swear by adding a little BIZ or some stain-lifting additives, but it’s not necessary.

Skip the Dryer
It’s possible to dry some shoes on a tumble-dry low-heat setting without ruining them. But why risk it? Since the only shoes this really works well on are canvas or cotton, just settle for air drying. Putting some wadded-up newspaper into the toes of the shoes and then setting them out for a day is the simplest method.

Help the Drying Process, If You Must
Don’t have a day to wait? Shoes can be placed next to a dehumidifier with the toes pointing up. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, put the shoes on their side in your refrigerator next to the bottom vent. (The fridge condenser removes water.)

Originally published on WiseBread

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