Can You Use Laundry Detergent on Shoes? (What About Tide Pens?)


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Yes, you can use laundry detergent on shoes, but proceed with caution. Avoid using it on delicate materials like leather or suede. For canvas, mesh, or synthetic materials, create a mild detergent solution and gently scrub the shoes with a soft brush, then rinse and air dry. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions first.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent on Shoes?

We all love the look of white shoes. but the unfortunate truth is that they get dirty quickly (especially if you don’t take care of them very well). On top of looking dingy and not clean. it’s embarrassing to have dirty shoes when you’re dressed nicely for a night out.

Sometimes you might forget to bring your shoe brush with you when you travel or go out. but luckily there are brands of laundry detergent that can help you keep your white shoes looking fresh.

This is the most important thing to remember about washing shoes: You can’t just throw them in the wash like your clothes. Most stain-removing detergents are too abrasive for leather and suede materials. which can result in irreparable damage. Most of these products also use a chemical process to break down dirt and stains. which will eventually remove the color from the leather as well.

However. as stated it can be done so let’s see how.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent on Shoes?

Yes. you can use laundry detergent on shoes. While it is not commonly recommended to wash shoes in your typical household washing machine. there is an alternative method for cleaning shoes with laundry detergent.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent on Shoes?Examples
Yes, on some types of shoesSome types of shoes, such as canvas sneakers or running shoes, can be washed with laundry detergent in the washing machine. Always check the care instructions first, and use a gentle cycle with cold water.
No, on other types of shoesSome types of shoes, such as leather or suede shoes, should not be washed with laundry detergent in the washing machine. Doing so can damage the material and shorten the lifespan of the shoes. For these types of shoes, spot cleaning with a specialized cleaner or taking them to a professional cleaner is recommended.
Considerations for Cleaning Your ShoesExplanations
Check the care instructionsAlways check the care instructions before cleaning your shoes. The manufacturer’s recommendations will provide guidance on how to clean and care for the shoes properly.
Consider the materialDifferent types of shoes require different cleaning methods, depending on the material. Leather shoes should be cleaned differently than canvas or suede shoes, for example.
Use the appropriate cleaning solutionUsing the appropriate cleaning solution for the type of shoe and material is important to avoid damaging the shoes. Specialized cleaners are available for different types of shoes and materials.
Test a small area firstBefore cleaning the entire shoe, it’s a good idea to test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t damage the material.
Allow shoes to dry completelyAfter cleaning, it’s important to allow shoes to dry completely before wearing them again. Air drying is typically the best method, and avoid direct heat, such as a dryer or radiator, as this can damage the shoes.

How to Clean Shoes with Laundry Detergent

  1. Grab a bowl or bucket and add lukewarm water.
  2. Add a small amount of laundry detergent (between line 1 or 2 inside the cap) to create a watery. bubbly mixture.
  3. Dip in a toothbrush. or other small brush. and lightly scrub your shoes.
  4. Wipe away the remaining detergent mix from the shoes with a damp washcloth or dishcloth.
  5. Dry your shoes with a second dry washcloth or dishcloth.

Can You Use Tide on Shoes?

Depending on the material of the shoes. Tide can be used on them successfully. Avoid Tide on leathers. suedes. and silks.

In fact. if you’re looking for a good way to clean sneakers. try Tide laundry detergent. It’s made to help remove stains from clothes. but it also works well on shoes.

This is especially true of white sneakers that get dirty after a few wears. If you don’t want to spend your money on new shoes. clean the ones that you have. Tide helps brighten the color and removes dirt and soil from your shoes.

Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap.  High Efficiency (HE).  Original Scent.  64 Loads

Tide works especially well on fabric shoes. and even better than the detergent is the Tide To Go Pen for spot treating your shoes. Before throwing your shoes in the washing machine with Tide. always remove strings and insoles. and allow them to air dry if possible.

To avoid discoloration. test Tide on the inside of your shoe first to see if the fabric of your shoe will hold up to the detergent.

Can You Use Tide to Go on White Shoes?

Yes. you can use Tide to Go on white shoes. Like with most cleaning measures. it’s the sooner. the better when it comes to ridding white shoes of dirt and stains.

How Do I Use Tide to Go on White Shoes?

Tide to Go can be used alone or with accompaniment. A common method is wiping off as much of a stain as possible with a watered cloth and then applying the Tide to Go pen to the remaining markings. Tide to Go is widely available at local pharmacies and general department stores.

Can You Use Tide to Go on Suede Shoes?

You can clean just about anything with a Tide pen. from clothes to carpets to toys. Some people have had great success cleaning their shoes with Tide pens. but not everyone has had such great luck.

The main problem with using tide on shoes is that it can leave an oily residue behind. The oil acts as a surfactant. or cleaner. and allows the detergent to work more effectively. Unfortunately. this oil can also make your shoes look dirty if you don’t wipe them off immediately after cleaning.

However. you can use Tide to Go instant stain removing pen on suede. but always spot treat first to make sure there is no discoloration from the Tide pen.

Tide to Go is simply a strong detergent in pen form that can remove shoe stains. Tide to Go pens is not a sure thing at removing stains from suede shoes. though. Using a cleaning kit specifically made for suede shoes or taking the shoes to a professional are more effective ways of removing stains.

How Do You Use Tide Pens on Shoes?

If you want to clean your shoes with Tide pens. you need to remove as many loose materials from the surface as possible first. The strong chemicals in the pen can cause discoloration if they come into contact with other materials on the shoe. so it’s important to scrub them off before you apply the pen directly.

Once you’ve done that. simply hold the pen at a slight angle and rub it against the material. The brush tip should be large enough to cover an entire shoe in one application. but you might need to use it several times if there is a lot of dirt buildup.

When cleaning suede or leather shoes with a Tide pen. be sure to test an inconspicuous area first to ensure that there will be no discoloration.

Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pens 3 ea (Pack of 1).  White

Using a Tide to Go pen to treat stains on cloth shoes is a quick and effective fix.

  1. First. remove any excess residue or moisture from the shoe stain.
  2. Then. push down on the Tide pen’s tip until you’ve released a desired amount of liquid.
  3. Next. use the pen’s tip to gently rub the stain.

If the stain hasn’t fully lifted. repeat the above steps. You can continue treating the stain until it is as clean as possible. Make sure not to rub too harshly on the fabric so you don’t damage it.

What Detergent Cleans White Shoes?

Mild detergents like Woolite are preferable for shoes. but for tougher stains. Tide or Arm and Hammer can be used too.

Most detergents are fine for use on white fabric shoes. and even white mesh shoes with rubber soles. Hand washing is best. but the washer is fine if you’re in a hurry.

It’s always a good idea to spot test any new detergents on the inside of your shoes to make sure the fabric doesn’t become discolored from it.

Bleach should be avoided when washing white shoes since bleach can degrade fabrics if used in excess. If you must use bleach. only use it on the affected area and rinse thoroughly.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent on Shoes: Frequently Asked Questions

Are you considering using laundry detergent on your shoes but unsure if it is safe or effective? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and provided thorough answers to help you make an informed decision.

Is it safe to use laundry detergent on shoes?


The safety of using laundry detergent on shoes depends on the type of detergent and the material of the shoe. Some detergents may contain harsh chemicals that can damage certain materials such as leather, suede, or synthetic fabrics. It is important to check the label and do a spot test before using any detergent on your shoes.

Can you use laundry detergent on all types of shoes?


No, not all shoes are suitable for using laundry detergent. Shoes made from delicate materials such as silk or satin should be cleaned using mild detergents or special cleaners designed for the material. Additionally, shoes with embellishments such as sequins or crystals may be damaged by the chemicals in laundry detergent.

How do you use laundry detergent on shoes?


To use laundry detergent on shoes, mix a small amount of the detergent and water in a bowl. Dip a soft-bristled brush or cloth in the solution and gently scrub the shoes in circular motions. Rinse with clean water and let them air dry.

Can laundry detergent remove stains from shoes?


Yes, laundry detergent can effectively remove certain stains from shoes such as dirt, grass, or mud. However, for stubborn stains such as ink or oil, a specialized cleaner may be required.

Will using laundry detergent on shoes damage the color?


Using laundry detergent on shoes may cause the color to fade or change depending on the material and detergent used. It is important to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.

Can you put shoes in the washing machine with laundry detergent?


Putting shoes in the washing machine with laundry detergent is not recommended as it can damage the shoes and the machine. Instead, follow the instructions above for handwashing.

How often should you clean your shoes with laundry detergent?


The frequency of cleaning shoes with laundry detergent depends on how often they are worn and how dirty they become. As a general rule, it is recommended to clean shoes at least once a month to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan.

Are there any alternatives to using laundry detergent on shoes?


Yes, there are several alternatives to using laundry detergent on shoes such as baking soda, vinegar, or specialized shoe cleaners. These alternatives are often gentler on the shoes and can be just as effective in cleaning and removing stains. It is important to choose the right method based on the shoe material and type of stain.


In summary. the short answer to whether you can use laundry detergent on shoes is yes. But it depends a lot on the kind of shoe. and the material (different types of materials react differently to liquids). And even within a single type of shoe on a single material. there’s definitely a range of reactions.

So while you can use laundry detergent on shoes. it may not have the same result every time. which could lead to some frustration. Ultimately. using laundry detergent is best left to situations where you really don’t have another option. That’s mainly because there are usually better options available.

You may also be interested in.  How Can You Clean My Timberlands Without Ruining Them? and Can You Microwave Shoes to Break Them in?