Rehab Your Shoes | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Do you have that one pair of running shoes that look like they’ve seen better days, but still have a lot of miles left in them?  I’m sure you do – we all do.  Unless you do all your running on an indoor track or treadmill your shoes have probably gotten a little bit dirty.

So, what can you do to rehab your shoes and make them a pair you don’t mind being seen in?

You can wash them!

Did you know that most running shoes can go through the washing machine?  Just don’t put them in the dryer afterwards because they can become misshapen.  Washing may not get every mark off of your shoes, but it can at least brighten them up a little bit.

The steps are pretty easy:

  • Check the tongue to see if there are washing instructions – mine did not have any so I figured it was cool to wash them
  • If your shoes are really muddy, take the garden hose to them first because you don’t want all that crap inside your washing machine.
  • remove the insoles – you can either just throw them into the machine or put them in a lingerie bag (I went the bag route).  If you have custom insoles, I would not recommend washing those.
  • either take out the laces or tie them tight – because my Nike’s have that flywire stuff in them, I kept them laced. I was afraid the strings would get pulled into the shoes.
  • set your washer to cold water and the smallest load
  • toss your shoes in
  • you can add a couple towels if you want to soften the sound of them rolling around in there but I didn’t do that
  • add your usual laundry detergent if you want (I did)
  • add 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup white vinegar.  This will help brighten the shoes and kill any stink-causing germs.
  • To dry – DO NOT PUT IN THE DRYER.  Stick them in a warm, sunny place (which doesn’t exist this time of year in Michigan so put them near a fan or heat vent).  You can add newspaper stuffed inside or not – I didn’t because a) we didn’t have any, and b) I didn’t want newsprint on my shoes.

As you can see from the picture, washing didn’t get all the stains off of my shoes but it did brighten them up a bit.  In the future, I would probably wash them as soon as they get really bad looking or just never buy white shoes again.

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