If you’re an avid runner or fitness enthusiast, chances are you own a pair of Nike trainers. After countless runs or gym sessions, your shoes might need a good cleaning to bring them back to their former glory. But can you put Nike trainers in the washing machine to get them looking and smelling fresh again?
Some Nike trainers are machine washable, We don’t recommend putting expensive training shoes in the washing machine as it can ruin the material. However, you can wash certain types of Nike trainers on a cool cycle with the right preparation.
To ensure the best results and to avoid potential damage, follow the correct washing techniques and follow specific care instructions for your specific Nike trainer model.
Assessing Your Nike Trainers
Before deciding whether to put your Nike trainers in the washing machine, assess their condition and materials. Not all Nike trainers are made equally, so determine if your shoe is suitable for machine washing. Putting a pair of racing shoes like the Nike Alphafly in the washing could wreck the React foam. However, you can wash other types of Nike trainers, for example, waterproof Nike trainers.
First, check the sneakers’ care instructions found on the inside label for any washing recommendations. Nike often includes guidelines for cleaning to prolong the shoe’s lifespan. Besides, look for icons indicating that the shoes are machine washable, such as a water bucket icon or a washing machine symbol.
For some materials used in Nike trainers, washing machines can do more harm than good. Here is a brief overview of common Nike trainer materials and their suitability for machine washing:
|Mesh||Yes, gentle cycle and cold water|
|Leather||No, use a damp cloth and mild soap|
|Suede||No, use a suede brush and eraser|
|Flyknit||Yes, gentle cycle and cold water|
If your Nike trainers are machine washable, remove any dirt or debris and unlace the shoes in preparation for cleaning. Remember that it’s always safer to air dry, as exposing them to high heat from a dryer could damage the trainers.
Preparing Nike Trainers For the Wash
First, remove the shoelaces and insoles if they are removable. This allows for a more thorough cleaning in the washing machine and prevents damage to these components:
- Shoelaces can be washed separately or replaced if needed.
- Insoles should be washed by hand and air-dried to maintain their shape and support.
Next, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any loose dirt or debris from the shoes. Pay attention to any areas with deep crevices where dirt might be trapped, such as the outsole or around the shoe logo.
Place your shoes in a laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash cycle. This additional layer helps minimize the impact of the washing machine’s agitation and prevents your trainers from rubbing against other clothing items or the interior drum. With your Nike trainers prepped and ready, proceed to wash them following the recommended settings for a gentle cycle and mild detergent.
Washing Machine Tips
When it comes to cleaning your Nike trainers in the washing machine, there are a few key tips to follow that will help protect the shoes and make the process more effective:
1. Choose the Right Detergent:
Avoid using harsh detergents with bleach or strong chemicals. Instead, opt for a mild detergent that is designed specifically for delicate fabrics or sportswear.
2. Use a Gentle Cycle:
Select a gentle wash cycle with cold water to protect the materials and glue of your trainers. You can also add a few towels or other soft fabrics to help cushion the shoes in the wash and reduce any potential impact.
3. Avoid the Dryer:
Don’t use the tumble dryer for your Nike trainers, as the heat can damage the materials and cause the glue to break down. Instead, air-dry them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
By following these simple tips, you can safely clean your Nike trainers in the washing machine without causing damage to your shoes.
Alternative Cleaning Methods
It may not always be the ideal choice, particularly if you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on premium shoes like the Nike Alphafly. To maintain your sneakers’ longevity and avoid potential damage, here are a few alternative cleaning methods to consider:
1. Handwashing: Gently scrub your sneakers using a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft-bristle brush or cloth. Focus on the soiled areas and avoid soaking the entire shoe. Rinse well and air dry.
- Pros: More control over the cleaning process, less risk of damage
- Cons: Time-consuming, not as thorough as machine washing
2. Spot Cleaning: If your Nike trainers only have a few dirty spots or stains, you can spot clean them with a damp cloth or soft-bristle brush and a mild cleaning solution.
- Pros: Quick, easy, and precise
- Cons: Not suitable for extensive cleaning, might not remove all stains
3. Dry Foam Cleaning: Purchase a dry foam cleaner designed specifically for sneakers. Apply the foam according to the instructions, and gently scrub with a cloth or soft-bristle brush. Allow the foam to dry and then vacuum or brush off the residue.
- Pros: No need for water, less risk of damage
- Cons: May not be as effective as other methods, requires a specific product
Each cleaning method has its advantages and drawbacks, so choose the one that best suits your Nike trainers’ specific needs and care requirements. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure the best results and maintain the integrity of your sneakers.
Drying and Post-Care
After washing your Nike trainers, follow proper drying and post-care steps to ensure their longevity and maintain their quality. The following steps will guide you through this process:
- Air Dry: Avoid using a dryer or direct heat, as it can damage the materials and adhesives in the shoes. Instead, air-dry your Nike trainers by placing them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
- Stuffing: To help the shoes maintain their shape and absorb any remaining moisture, consider stuffing them with paper towels, white tissue paper, or clean, dry rags. Avoid using newspapers or printed materials, as the ink may transfer to your shoes.
- Odor Control: Sprinkle some baking soda or place dryer sheets inside the shoes to help neutralize odors and maintain freshness.
- Re-lace: Once your trainers are completely dry, re-lace them to help maintain their structure and ensure optimal fit.
By following these drying and post-care tips, you can help ensure that your Nike trainers stay fresh, clean, and ready for your next adventure.