Running - Knowledge

How to Clean Running Shoes: Best DIY Guide for Runners

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Running shoes are the one companion who empowers a runner’s performance on the track. In fact running shoes are the most treasured possession of a runner. These are also your best buddies whom you proudly flash in front of others as your key to fitness. But what if these buddies are covered in mud and muck? What if they are emitting loathing odour? Not so impressive, is it? No matter how flashy the brand names of your running shoes are, they are not note-worthy if covered in filth. So as you are now biting your nails ruminating how to wash running shoes, we are here presenting you some quirky hacks of how to clean running shoes. Remember, you will never ever treat your bestie, your running buddy harshly. Be gentle and precise. A few steps can keep your shoes odourless, hardy and long-lasting.


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Importance of Cleaning Running Shoes

You are running through mud, muck, leaves, puddles, grit and what not. Of course, they are bound to get covered in such grime. If they are being embraced by such filth then they are bound to gain added weight and such extra baggage will definitely affect your running. Besides, the dried up dirt can erode the upper materials of your shoes. Cleaning running shoes not only make them look fresh and increase their life, it will also boost you up psychologically. Moreover, your feet are being stuck up for a prolonged time inside the shoes, accumulating sweat and dead cells. Have you ever wondered why your shoes smell so foul? It is because bacteria and fungus love to strive for them. While you are washing the outside of your shoes, the bacteria and fungus still reside inside creating the odour. Hence you need to know how to wash smelly running shoes.

how to clean running shoes
Importance of cleaning running shoes (source)

 

How to Clean Running Shoes Manually

First, we will come to the easy steps of how to clean running shoes. The manual process is easy and effective. You can get spic and span shoes in no time.

Essentials for a running shoe cleaner are-

  • Bucket
  • Lukewarm water
  • Brush/Wipes
  • Washing liquid/powder (with anti-grease agent)

Step 1: Use a Toothbrush for the Outsoles

First, separate the sock-liner or insole and the laces. Washing the different parts separately will give a better result. Now pick an old toothbrush and gently brush away the already built-up mud and grit from the surface. Brush only the outsoles and the shoe uppers. If you are wondering how to clean insoles of shoes, there is the next step.

Step 2: Give them a Gentle Wash

Now take a half bucket full of lukewarm water and add a few drops of gentle soap. Rub gently with a cloth or the brush you used earlier and let them soak in the water. This will possibly clean the shoes if the dirt is not corrupted. If you are worried of how to clean white shoes, this is the process.

Now is the solution of how to clean the inside of shoes. Let your laces and insoles get a bath with your sports attire. The clothes will help them to stay intact and also provide gentleness. Some sports detergents come up with a unique formula that removes the dirt and odour without damaging sweat-wickers or water repellent fabrics.

For a home-made hack, you can add a plain detergent and clean shoes with a half cup of white vinegar and a half cup of baking soda. Vinegar kills the fungus and bacteria while baking soda acts as a softening agent.

After you have performed the techniques to wash running shoes, now comes the part of how to dry running shoes.

Step 3: Dry Out Cautiously

After washing running shoes, wrap them in newspapers to soak the water and then let them dry in a warm area (not right under the sun). Don't use a hairdryer. Switch on air-cooler or fan. Open up the shoe tongue to ensure full drying or you can also stuff the insides of your shoes with newspapers or soft dishcloths. It might take about 10-12 hours regarding the weather conditions. Now you don’t need to worry about how to dry running shoes.

how to clean running shoes
Clean running shoes manually (source)

Can You Clean Running Shoes In Washing Machine

Now that you know how to clean your running shoes manually, it’s time to check out whether you should wash your shoes in a washing machine or not!

Warning while Using Washing Machines

We highly recommend that washing machines are not the best way to clean running shoes. The blades will exploit your trainer shoes in a way beyond recognition. So, beware. Yet, if you are in a hurry and need the best way to clean athletic shoes then there is no choice rather than the giant machine. In this case, the steps to clean running shoes are that you need to turn the machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. Throw a few gentle towels and some gentle soap powder. Hot water may damage the adhesive and mangle the shape of your shoes.

How to Clean Running Shoes with Washing Machine?

You must be thinking we are contradicting our words, but no, here we will discuss how to wash running shoes with washing machine properly without misshaping your shoes. The above-discussed idea of how to clean white shoes manually looks great and is easy to use. But what if you need to clean your shoes in the quickest way possible? After going through the tips to clean running shoes with brushing and wiping process (as discussed above), let us see how to wash smelly running shoes in this process.

  • You need to place each of your shoes in separate cases; let us take for example pillowcases or shirt-cases. Now tie the ends or knot them to keep the shoes secure.

  • Adjust the cycle in the gentlest way possible and add soft grease-free detergent or soap powder or liquid soap.

  • Throw two fluffy towels along with them so that the shoes don’t get banged on the washing machine walls.

  • After the cycle stops, keep the shoes out.

  • After washing running shoes in the machine, don’t put the running shoes in dryers. Instead, stuff newspapers inside the shoe and dry it under the sun

Livingit Tip-
This method is only applicable if your shoes are machine-friendly. You need to check out in the manual of the manufacturer to see whether it is machine-washable and how to clean running shoes.

how to clean running shoes in machine
Put running shoes in mesh bag (source)

Do’s and Dont’s on How to Clean Running Shoes

Let's now find out the important pointers that you should take care while washing your running shoes:

  • Firstly, don’t wash your running shoes too often. Too much cleaning of running shoes can cause your shoes getting worn-out.

  • Keep an alternate pair of shoes. In winter or in rains, you can use the alternative pair as the other dries out.

  • Minimize the high exposure to water. It will damage the adhesives.

  • Try not to clean them in the washing machine. If you still need to, then keep your shoes perfectly cushioned while throwing them in the machine.

  • Dry them under fan or cooler or in warm places. Never put them under direct exposure to sun or hair dryer. In case you are using washing machine dryer, stuff the shoes before putting them in the dryer.

  • Scrub the insoles properly and regularly. Change them as they wear out else they will emit bad odour even after cleaning.

Summing up

Your shoes are your best companion in covering the trails. They are hence, bound to get filthy and sweaty. You can clean the outsole on the grass or the sidewalk curbs. But you also need to keep them clean for durability, longevity and of course to make them look new. After all, who loves to watch muddy shoes? Moreover, your insoles become the home to bacteria and fungus as you ignore cleaning them regularly. You would not want to let people cringe at your smelly shoes. So follow the easy steps and get long-lasting and fresh shoes for a long run.

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