Can You Wash Shoes In The Dishwasher?

By Cory White

Washing shoes by hand is often frustrating. Many people have looked for alternatives like washing machines and dishwashers. Let us talk about whether it’s okay to wash your shoes in a dishwasher.

Should you be cleaning your shoes in the dishwasher?

The decision to wash shoes in a dishwasher usually depends on the kind of shoes you have. Sneakers and cloth shoes ain’t recommended. Neither are leather shoes. But rubber boots, flip flops, or crocs should be fine.

You should know that you risk spoiling your shoes in the dishwasher. 

However, it’s a better option compared to a washing machine. Shoes in a washing machine are prone to banging inside the machine and damaging the washing machine’s drum. 

So if you’re sure you can take the risk you can use the dishwasher. 

Most detergents made for dishwashers are not recommended for shoes with a cloth material. Some of them contain bleaching agents. Before you put your shoes in the dishwasher, confirm that the detergent you’re using has no bleaching agents. 

Woman Pressing Button Of Dishwasher

Steps to wash your shoes in the dishwasher.

1. Preparing the shoes for cleaning.

Shoes are generally the dirtiest things we put on. You need to prepare them before you put them in your dishwasher. Remove as much dirt as you can before you put them in. You don’t want large soil particles to clog your dishwasher’s filter. Also, you don’t know what you stepped in. You don’t want to mix dog feces in the same place where you wash your dishes.

Remove the insoles and shoelaces before you put shoes in a dishwasher.

When washing your shoes in the dishwasher, make sure they’re the only ones there. Don’t mix them with dishes. 

Make sure the detergent you use is not going to bleach the shoes.

2. Turn off the heat

Washing your shoes in the dishwasher puts them at risk of shrinking and cracking. If your shoes have some kind of adhesive, it’s at risk of being softened by the heat. 

This is because your dishwasher was built to work with hot water to aid thorough cleaning and drying. Hot water is not good for shoes. Make sure you turn off your hot water line before washing shoes in a dishwasher. 

Only wash your dishes in the dishwasher if your machine has an option not to use the heat setting. 

The heat from the dishwasher is capable of melting your leather shoes. Leather shoes are generally not recommended to be put in a dishwasher. 

3. After the washing cycle & drying the shoes. 

After a wash cycle, don’t use the dry feature of your dishwasher. Drying, just like using hot water, will increase the temperature in the machine. This will put your shoes at risk of shrinking and cracking. If your shoes have some kind of adhesive, the heat from the drying feature can soften the adhesive. This could spoil your shoes. 

Stuff old newspapers into the shoes. This helps the shoes not to lose their shape but also in drying the shoes. 

Let your shoes dry naturally in a warm place or you could use a fan to make the process faster. 

4. How to clean the dishwasher afterward.

After washing, you need to clean your dishwasher’s filter to remove all the soil in the dishwasher. Remove the filter from the dishwasher and run it under hot water. 

Place a cereal bowl of vinegar into the dishwasher’s bottom rack and run a hot water cycle. 

The vinegar will break down any grease or stubborn dirt that came from the shoes. 

After washing your shoes in the dishwasher, the machine could have a bad smell. You can’t put dishes in the dishwasher immediately. Leave the dishwasher’s door open for about 30minutes to ensure that the bad smell has gone. 

Other usages for the dishwasher? 

The dishwasher was meant to do dishes. This does not mean you can’t get creative about the items you clean in your dishwasher.

1. Washing potatoes.

If you have potatoes that you think will waste your time cleaning by hand.

Put the potatoes in the upper rack and select only the rinse cycle. Make sure there’s no detergent or any soap. You don’t want to eat soapy-smelling potatoes. 

2. Cleaning Kids’ Toys.

Kids’ toys can get dirty and nasty easily. An effective way to clean them is by using a dishwasher. Don’t put any electronics in the machine. Only put plastic toys like legos that won’t be damaged by the dishwasher. 


Yes, you can wash your shoes in a dishwasher. But you have to take extra caution while doing so. Remember, don’t use any hot water, and don’t use the drying feature on your dishwasher. Lastly, not all shoes can be washed in a dishwasher without getting spoilt.

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