You cannot wash suede shoes in the washing machine. Or can you? There is a suggestion that using a washing machine on suede shoes can help preserve them and keep them looking new for years to come. But, before you try putting your sneakers in with the laundry load, there are some tips and techniques that you should know.
Can You Wash Suede Shoes in the Washing Machine
Washing shoes in washing machines is not recommended as it can stretch out the uppers, damage stitching, and cause creasing. However, those who advocate the process say that soaking suede shoes in warm water and Woolite for 20 to 30 minutes and then throwing them into the machine will clean your shoes without harm.
Washing Method for Suede Shoes
Gather the following items before starting to wash suede shoes:
– Detergent (liquid or powder)
– Two towels
– Four pencils or wooden skewers
– A bucket of warm water, two tablespoons of fabric conditioner, and two teaspoons of salt
– Three sponges (small, medium, large)
– A flat surface
Fill the bucket with the warm water solution. Add the fabric conditioner to this mixture. Then add the salt. Stir well until all ingredients are blended. Place one small sponge in the bucket and soak it thoroughly. Wring out the excess water from the sponge until it is just damp.
Start cleaning your suede shoes by removing laces and lining, if present. Place each shoe on a flat surface with the sole facing up to avoid getting water into your shoe. Use pencils or wooden skewers to keep shoes in this position.
Apply the dampened sponge to the suede, but do not over-saturate it with water. If necessary, use the second small sponge to remove any dirt or stains from your shoes. Use medium-sized puffs for areas that are especially dirty or stained. Use the large sponge to soak up any excess moisture.
Allow shoes to dry completely away from direct sunlight before wearing them again. If you are worried about the color running, lay a towel on which you have spilled some water, wrap it around your shoes until they are almost completely dry, then allow them to air dry on another flat surface. This helps to avoid color bleeding.
Repeat the above steps for your other shoe.
Tips on How to Wash Suede Shoes in the Washing Machine
To get the best results when using a washing machine on suede shoes, follow these helpful tips:
– Use only cold water when cleaning suede shoes in the washing machine
– If your shoe is particularly dirty, add a little bit of laundry detergent to the water before adding your shoes. Wash them together on the lowest, gentlest cycle safe for your particular type of shoes. Never use hot water when cleaning suede leathers; it can change their color and cause them to dry out
– Do not overload your washing machine because overstuffed washers can cause the checked action that is very damaging for suede shoes. You also risk dye transfer if you wash multiple pairs of shoes together in one load, even if they are different colors
– Never use bleach on suede leathers. Bleach breaks down the fibers in the shoe leather, which causes permanent stains. Bleach should not be used on any leather because it can ruin them
– The more you take care of your suede shoes, the longer they will last. Limit exposure to water and sunlight as much as possible to avoid bleaching or harmful effects from prolonged exposure to sunlight
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are suede shoes more susceptible to water damage?
A: Suede shoes cannot handle as much exposure to water and sunlight as regular leathers because of how they are made. Suede is created with a unique manufacturing process involving using an excellent leather grade. The resulting product has a velvety finish that makes suede shoes extremely sensitive to water.
Q: Can I use the washing machine to clean my leather shoes?
A: No, never put regular leathers in a washer or dryer. Use this method only for cleaning suede shoes. Regular leathers are much more delicate than suede shoes and are susceptible to permanent damage from washing machines and dryers.
Q: If I accidentally wash my shoes in water that is too hot, will it ruin them?
A: Over time, yes. Water hotter than 40 degrees Celsius can change the color of your shoes and cause their fibers to break down over time. This causes irreversible damage that leads to permanent color loss and other unsightly signs of wear.
Q: What is the best way to dry suede shoes after washing them in the machine?
A: If you can, remove laces before washing your shoes in too hot water. Drying should occur on a flat surface away from excessive heat or sunlight, and avoid drying them near radiators or other sources of heat that might cause the colors to run and fade your shoes.
Q: Can I use regular powder laundry detergent to clean suede shoes?
A: No, always use a mild, natural cleanser when washing suede shoes in the machine. Never use bleach or automatic dishwashing detergent because they can cause damage to suede shoes.
Now you know the proper way to wash suede shoes in the washing machine. But, there is still a lot of controversy about this topic. Many people do it every day and have been doing so for years without damaging their shoes in any way. One idea is that if you try this method at home, it would be wise to try first on a pair of shoes that are not expensive or have sentimental value. Your suede shoes should come out just fine if you follow the instructions.