How to Wash Your Kids’ Shoes



What was your favorite part of childhood? Maybe it was running around on the playground, playing tag with your friends, and swinging on the monkey bars. Perhaps it was going to the park and pretending you lived in a magical kingdom.

Having a vivid imagination gives children the ability to enjoy playtime and learn more about the world around them. The best part of being a kid is being able to run around outside, soak up the sunshine, and explore new places.

Now that you’re a parent, you probably don’t get home at the end of the day with mud on your shoes and grass stains on your pants. However, your children might!

Whether you have a house full of little ones or you’re a first-time parent, you know how the joy of having kids comes with a handful of messes. One of which is shoes!

Wearing durable and supportive shoes is absolutely essential when it comes to being a kid. Running around on woodchips, asphalt, or concrete would be too painful for little feet that are in the process of growing.

Shoes are integral to your kid’s health and development. Since they get worn every single day, they can get dirtier with each wear. Even if you have an extraordinarily clean child (good for you!) keeping shoes perfectly clean is pretty much impossible.

We’re here to give you tips about how to wash your kids’ shoes so they can continue going on adventures every single day!

How to Clean Kid’s Shoes

Whether you’re new to parenting or you’ve been raising kids for a while, you’ve probably dealt with a fair share of dirty clothes and shoes. While washing clothes is a relatively straightforward process, washing shoes can often seem like a larger feat.

Here are some tips you can use when it comes to cleaning your kids’ shoes:

  • Start by soaking the shoes

For shoes that are particularly muddy or dirty, you can start by hosing them down outside or soaking them in a bucket of cold water. You can change out the water every few hours as the mud starts to come off and you can even leave them in the water overnight.

  • Use a cleaning agent

Maybe you’re dealing with a pair of dirty shoes that goes beyond the regular level of caked-on mud. Grass, blood, chocolate, and other tough stains often need more than water.

When it comes to cleaning agents, make sure you aren’t using anything that could damage the material or color of the shoes. One surprising option is toothpaste. Just add a bit of toothpaste to a brush or sponge and scrub away!

You can also try using a vinegar and baking soda solution or color-safe bleach. However, you should check to see if you can clean the shoes with certain ingredients before you use any chemicals.

  • Try a magic eraser

If the shoes in question aren’t super dirty but you’re hoping to get rid of some scuffs, a magic eraser might be the right option for you. A magic eraser is particularly helpful when it comes to cleaning up rubber soles. Just rub it along the bottom like a sponge until the marks start fading.

If you’ve tried these steps already or some other alternatives, and you still aren’t seeing results, don’t give up on those shoes quite yet! We have some more ideas for you.

Can I Wash Shoes in the Washing Machine?

You may be wondering if you can put shoes in the washing machine, and the answer is yes! In fact, washing shoes in the machine can often get those shoes squeaky clean much faster than any hand-washing process.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind, though:

  • Check if the shoes are machine washable

The first (and most important) step is that you should check to see if your shoes are machine washable. Take a look at the care label to see if it gives any indication about whether the shoes can go into the washing machine.

If the shoes don’t have any care instructions or the instructions aren’t clear, it’s best to avoid washing shoes made from animal products, such as leather or suede. For shoes made from these types of materials, it’s a good idea to have these professionally cleaned. Washing them with water can actually cause damage.

  • Prepare the shoes for the washing machine

After you’ve determined the shoes are safe for a spin around the washing machine, you should get them ready to go in. First, scrub off large chunks of mud or dirt. Then, remove laces. Laces can be washed as well, but make sure you take them out of the shoes. Lastly, to protect the shoes from getting snagged inside the washing machine, you can place them inside a mesh bag.

  • What to do during and after the wash

Now that the shoes are ready for the washing machine, what’s the best way to go about it? Well, it’s important to set the washing machine water temperature to cool. Warm water can cause colors to fade and can damage the coating on some materials.

After the washing machine rinses and spins the shoes around, they’ll finally be clean! For the drying process, it’s a good idea to let the shoes air dry. Heating them up in the dryer can cause glue in the shoes to melt or make harder surfaces susceptible to cracking.

Best Washable Shoes for Kids

Now that you know all the ins and outs of of washing shoes in the machine, you may be wondering where you can find washable shoes for kids.

Well, at Livie & Luca, we specialize in creating shoes that are durable, functional, and easy to clean. Many of our shoes are vegan and machine washable so you can clean them without any hassle.

Your kiddos can have the freedom to run around, play, and get as dirty as they want without you worrying about them ruining their shoes.

Here are some of our favorites:

Petal 2.0 / Dew Drop

Ridge Eco

Lynx Sneaker

Reeve Eco

These shoes are perfect for any occasion, from playing in the backyard to going to a party!

Your little ones deserve comfortable and supportive shoes that they’ll enjoy wearing every day. And you deserve less work when it comes to cleaning up after your kiddos.

Take a look at all the machine washable shoes we have to offer and enjoy shopping!


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