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Can You Put Leather Shoes in the Washer & Dryer? (Answered)

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Shoes can get dirty when worn every day. Sometimes even not wearing them for a prolonged period of time causes shoes to dry out, cover with dirt, and cause the rubber to get brittle. 

It’s obvious to clean your shoes when they get dirty or muddy and the fastest way that comes to our mind is to put them on a washer and dryer.

Cleaning leather shoes in the washer & dryer

It is always a big no-no when it comes to putting a leather shoe in the washer and dryer. Because materials like leather, suede, vinyl, and of course rubber get damaged when you put them in the washer. Putting them on the dryer can only cause further damage.

The high temperatures will dry out and crack the leather. Also, it will make the materials shrink and distort. Moreover, the dryer will warp your shoes, and as a result, you won’t be able to wear them the next time.

If you want your expensive leather shoes to look fit and fine, and wearable everywhere, it is always the best idea to keep them away from the washer and dryer. Because why risk it all when you are already aware of the consequences?

Even though we like to choose shortcuts when it comes to cleaning especially when it’s about shoes and end up putting them on the washing machine, it’s always better to be cautious about which material is washable in the washer and which material is not.

Putting your leather shoes in the washing machine is always a bad idea. Because it’s not like any other regular laundry that you do every other day.

In fact, it goes for all the leather wears, as the agitation can dry out and crack the leather. This is because real leather is made of animal skin. Its surface is already soft and wrinkled just like real skin.

It can also cause color damage and fade the leather which in turn will make your shoes look completely unattractive.

Machine washing is suitable when it comes to pleather or canvas shoes (faux leather shoes), unlike real leather shoes which will distort the shape of your shoes. Meanwhile, it will also make the shoes stiff leaving the upper part cracked.

Moreover putting your real leather shoes in the dryer may destruct the glue that holds them together due to its high temperature.

Furthermore using the washer or dryer will only lead to the shrinking of the material of the shoes and other fabrics attached to them.

So it’s always a better idea to take precautions before you ruin your favorite leather pairs and never get the chance to wear them again.

On the other hand, machine washing might be good to go when it comes to faux leather shoes like canvas or any other fabric shoes.

But before you try them out it is always a better idea to proceed with caution because you wouldn’t want to ruin your favorite pair of shoes by putting them in the washer without knowing the consequences.

Can you put fake leather shoes in the washing machine? 

Yes, you can always machine wash them. Fake leather shoes like canvas and pleather can be machine washed.

But before you put them on the washer, remove the shoe laces and put them on a mesh laundry bag in case you don’t want them to get tangled in the washer.

Put your shoes in another mesh bag. Make sure to wrap some towels around them to prevent them from extra hindrance and tears. This will help your shoes to clean and wash smoothly.

However, make sure to put them in the right water temperature, and detergent as hot water will permanently damage your shoes. It can damage the glue that binds them together.

Moreover, the heat can cause materials to shrink which will affect the shape of the shoes. So it’s better if you wash your favorite faux leather shoes with your hand to prevent them from any damage.

Will washing leather shoes ruin it?

If you want your expensive leather shoes to be wearable, the best thing you can do is to avoid washing them.

Washing leather shoes is not recommended, as it will not only ruin the color but also crack the leather and distort the shape of your shoes. Ultimately leading your shoes to become stiff and ruin its entire texture. 

Even your faux leather shoes could be dry clean only. So it’s always better to play safe than ruin your favorite pairs.

However, if your fake leather shoes are washable you should always wash them by hand, instead of using the washer.

How to properly clean and shine leather shoes without damaging them?

The best way you can clean your leather shoes is by cleaning them with your hands to prevent any damage.

But before you start, make sure to learn the process of cleaning them.

Here’s how you can clean your leather shoes by following the steps below:

Pull out the laces:

In case you have laces in your shoes, make sure to pull them out.

Since the laces are made of cloth, shoe polish or leather cleaner may stain them.

Clean the laces:

If the shoelaces are dirty, you can machine wash them. Make sure to place them in a mesh bag so that they don’t get tangled.

However, if your shoelaces are leather avoid machine washing them. Instead, rub them with a leather shoe cleaning creme.

Clean dirt or debris:

Remove the dirt or debris in your shoes by gently rubbing them with a soft cloth or brush.

Apply leather soap:

Wipe off the shoes with a clean damp cloth. Then add a small amount of saddle soap and rub it gently into the exterior surfaces of your shoes to remove any kind of stains.

Gently wipe off the soap:

Wipe off the soap with another clean damp cloth, wet paper towel, or a sponge. Gently use a towel to remove soapy water off of your shoes. Then let your shoes dry.

Do not try to even use a dryer to dry your shoes, to make it faster. Remember, the dryer will damage your shoes.

Even putting them by the sun or heater could crack your shoes or fade. Instead, take some time and leave them to dry naturally overnight.

Apply leather conditioner:

Remember leather conditioning is very important for your shoes when you use saddle soap or clean them. Because its natural oil gets off when you use soap.

Apply leather conditioner to get the oil and fat back into the shoes to make them shine.

You can also make leather conditioners at home. Take a little vinegar, then add double the amount of linseed oil.

Apply it to your shoes, let it rest for 15 minutes, and polish with a soft gentle cloth. You will see a shiny result.

Tips to maintain your favorite leather shoes:

Wearing your shoes for a prolonged period of time might wear and tear them. Here are 9 tips you need to follow to keep your shoes durable and long-lasting:

Follow proper shoe maintenance:

Always clean your shoes when you get back home. It’s always a good idea to have a shoe cleaning kit that includes:

  • Shoe polish
  • Shoe cleaning brush
  • Shine Cloth

Keep them in a safe place:

Store your shoes in a shoe bag to keep them away from dirt. You must also keep them away from any sort of heat or direct sunlight.

Make sure to not repeat your shoes daily:

Give your shoes some time and do not wear one pair every day. Rotate them so that your shoes stay in its best shape.

Put a shoehorn to prevent the back of the shoe from damage:

Wearing the shoes with the help of a shoe horn will allow you to easily wear them without damaging the leather.

Always carry a dust bag while you travel:

Make sure to carry a dust bag whenever you travel to store the shoes. It will help protect the leather from getting dirty.

Ignore bad weather conditions:

Avoid wearing your leather pairs when it’s snowing or raining. Because wetting leather shoes will crack them and distort its shape.

Apply leather conditioner:

To prevent your leather from drying and cracking, make sure to use a leather conditioner.

Wear them on dry feet:

Clean your feet with a towel or cloth before wearing your favorite pair of leather shoes. This will keep your shoes long-lasting.

Store it in the right shape:

Make sure to stuff some newspaper when you are not wearing your shoes. This will help to keep the shoe moisture and make it stay in its original shape.

Final thoughts

Machine washing your shoes is highly not recommended. Because it can only lead your shoes to become damaged. But you can always clean them with your own hands. Cleaning your leather shoes and taking care of them the right way will make your shoes last longer.