Can New Balance Shoes Be Washed? (What About Drying?)

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New Balance shoes are among the most popular sneakers in the world and it’s not hard to see why. They’re built exceptionally well and have a reputation for being extremely comfortable.

Can you wash New Balance shoes? The short answer is yes, but there are some things you should know before you do!

New Balance shoes are very versatile, but does that mean you can wash them? If you’ve been wondering if you can put your New Balance shoes in the washing machine, or how to get the smell out of your New Balance shoes, this article is for you. 

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Can I Put My New Balance Shoes in the Washing Machine?

New Balance shoes are designed to be worn during exercise, but they aren’t designed to be washed in a washing machine. In fact, if you’re trying to wash your New Balances in a washing machine, you may find yourself with a pair of really stinky sneakers.

The materials and chemicals used in the rubber and polyurethane used in making New Balance shoes are not meant to be washed by hand or machine. These components will degrade quickly when exposed to water at high temperatures.

Putting your New Balance shoes through a washing machine cycle is not recommended by the manufacturer. Doing so can cause damage to both the shoes and the machine.

New Balance shoes often include suede or leather accents and are bonded together using a heat-activated adhesive. This means that the shoes are not designed to be worn in excessive moisture or heat. 

A typical wash cycle will expose the entire shoe to not only extreme temperatures but also complete submersion in water. This can cause the adhesive to break down and the suede or leather to become spotted or damaged. It may also damage the machine from the uneven load.

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Can New Balance Shoes Be Washed?

Many people who are new to the world of New Balance shoes wonder if they can be washed. The truth is that although it may seem counter-intuitive, washing these shoes is a great way to keep them smelling fresh and looking great.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you wash your New Balance shoes is that they should only be hand-washed.

New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Black/Black, 11.5

It is important to use cold water when washing your New Balance shoes because hot water can damage the shoe’s rubber soles or mesh uppers. 

Do not use fabric softener on your new balance shoes either as it can trap moisture inside the shoe which results in mold and mildew growth.

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New Balance shoes can be cleaned by hand to reduce odor and remove stains.

The recommended method for doing this is to gently scrub the outside of the shoe with a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush. The manufacturer recommends using an old toothbrush or similar and either laundry or dishwashing soap.

You can remove odor inside the shoe by using a deodorizing spray or baking soda and allowing the shoes to dry completely between each use. 

Cleaning products should be silicone-based, and a specialty cleaner should be used on the suede and leather parts of the shoes.

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Can You Put New Balance Shoes in the Dryer?

You should never put your New Balance shoes in the dryer.

New Balance shoes are often bonded with heat-activated adhesive. Putting them through a typical dryer cycle can weaken the bond between the pieces, especially the sole, and cause the shoes to split or even fall apart.

The best way to dry your New Balance shoes after washing them is to set them on an absorbent surface (such as a towel), stuff them with newspaper to help them keep their shape, and allow the shoes to air dry for at least 24 hours.

New Balance shoes are made of synthetic leather and manmade materials, which are more sensitive than natural leather. The heat from a dryer will cause the shoe’s materials to shrink or warp which is why you shouldn’t put them in one.


New Balance Women's 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer, White/Light Blue, 8.5 M US


If you do not want to risk the life of your new shoes, it is best to air dry them instead.

New Balance Shoes are already built with moisture-wicking properties to keep feet cool and dry, but if you have ever noticed that your shoes get smelly and sweaty even after one wear, it is because they have not been properly dried.

You can either hang them up by the laces in front of your heater or inside a clothes hamper to dry overnight or you can put them outside on a sunny day and let Mother Nature do the work for you.

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How Do You Get the Smell Out of New Balance Shoes?

The quickest and easiest way to get the smell out of any pair of New Balance shoes is by purchasing a good-quality shoe deodorizer spray.

Because placing most pairs of New Balance shoes in a washing machine is discouraged, you can eliminate bacteria by pouring a little vodka or rubbing alcohol into your sneakers or by sprinkling some baking soda or vinegar inside, letting them air-dry overnight.

You can also eliminate shoe odor with the use of baking soda

  1. Remove the insole and put them in the freezer overnight.
  2. Put baking soda in a small container, put your shoes on top, then cover with a plastic bag. Leave for at least 24 hours.
  3. Dust with baking soda, spray with vinegar and let dry.
  4. Spray vinegar on a cloth and wipe the insides of your shoe.
  5. Put newspaper at bottom of the garbage can and put shoes inside. Spray the entire shoe with vinegar (inside and out) and place a towel overshoe to absorb any liquid that may drip through the can. Leave it overnight or longer if needed to deodorize completely.
  6. Wipe down the entire shoe using vinegar mixed with water 50-50. Let air dry before wearing again.

The cleaning power of vinegar is legendary. Vinegar can remove stains from fabric, polish metal, and clean countertops and bathrooms. It’s also a great odor remover for shoes. You may notice a slight vinegar smell once they’re dry, but that should wear off in a day or two as the shoes air out. 

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In summary, New Balance shoes are of high quality. They are stylish and everyone wants them. However, a new pair of New Balance shoes do not come cheap.

Cleaning your New Balance shoes properly is important to keep them looking good for longer, or else you might find yourself spending extra money just to replace them soon after.

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