How to Wash Sneakers in Dishwasher: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sneakers are a staple in many wardrobes, but they can quickly accumulate dirt, stains, and odors from daily wear. While hand-washing is a common method, using a dishwasher can be an effective way to clean your sneakers thoroughly. However, it’s important to follow the right steps to avoid damaging your sneakers or your dishwasher. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of washing sneakers in a dishwasher, ensuring they come out looking clean and fresh.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need:

  • Dirty sneakers
  • Dishwasher
  • Mild detergent
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Old towels

Preparing Your Sneakers

  1. Remove the shoelaces and insoles from your sneakers. This will prevent tangling and ensure thorough cleaning.
  2. Brush off loose dirt and debris from your sneakers. A soft brush or cloth works well for this.

Loading the Dishwasher

  1. Place your sneakers in a mesh laundry bag to prevent them from moving around and potentially causing damage to the dishwasher.
  2. Avoid overloading the dishwasher. Make sure there’s enough space for water and detergent to circulate freely.

Selecting the Right Cycle

  1. Choose a gentle or delicate cycle on your dishwasher. Avoid using high-temperature settings, as they can cause the glue on your sneakers to melt.
  2. Turn off the heated drying option. High heat can warp the shape of your sneakers.

Adding Detergent

  1. Use a mild detergent that’s suitable for delicate fabrics.
  2. Add a small amount of detergent to the dishwasher’s detergent compartment. Using too much detergent can lead to excessive sudsing.

Starting the Cycle

  1. Close the dishwasher and start the chosen cycle. Allow the dishwasher to run through the cleaning process.
  2. Avoid using any other dishes during this cycle to prevent contamination.

Drying Your Sneakers

  1. Once the cycle is complete, open the dishwasher and take out the sneakers. Remove them from the laundry bag and let them air dry.
  2. Stuff the sneakers with old towels to help maintain their shape and speed up the drying process.

Post-Wash Care

  1. Once your sneakers are dry, reinsert the insoles and shoelaces.
  2. Give your sneakers a light brush to fluff up the material and restore their appearance.

Cleaning the Dishwasher

  1. After washing your sneakers, run an empty cycle with a cup of white vinegar to clean and deodorize your dishwasher.
  2. Wipe down the interior of the dishwasher to remove any remaining detergent or debris.


1. Can I wash any type of sneakers in the dishwasher? Yes, but be cautious with sneakers that have delicate materials or glued parts. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines.

2. Can I use regular laundry detergent? It’s better to use a mild detergent to prevent damaging your sneakers.

3. Can I skip the mesh laundry bag? Using a mesh bag helps protect your sneakers from direct contact with dishwasher components.

4. Is air drying necessary? Yes, it’s recommended to avoid damaging your sneakers with high heat.

5. How often should I wash my sneakers in the dishwasher? Only when they’re visibly dirty. Over-washing can lead to wear and tear.


Cleaning your sneakers in a dishwasher can be a convenient and effective method to restore their freshness. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your sneakers come out clean and ready to wear. Just remember to be mindful of the materials and the dishwasher settings you use to keep your sneakers in great condition.

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