Can You Put Basketball Shoes in the Washing Machine/Dryer? Reasons to Avoid

Basketball shoes get dirty when playing on indoor or outdoor courts. No matter how clean a basketball court is, it will need a detailed cleaning after a few days. Can You Put Basketball Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Thus cleaning basketball shoes must be a religious routine to get the best performance. Most people try to try to wash them in the washing machine and end up;

  • Damaging their basketball shoe material
  • Ruining the aesthetics of the shoe
  • Damaging their washing machine because basketball shoes are heavy so you may mess up its parts.
  • Leather and Suede material will be permanently damaged or discolored.

Keep reading because this article will tell you the best way to clean and dry basketball shoes. Also, 5 proven tips for preserving its looks after several washes. 

Can You Put Basketball Shoes in the Washing Machine?

No, you cannot put basketball shoes in the washing machine. Basketball shoes are made of delicate materials like Mesh, Suede, or leather. Although washing through the machine seems quick and tempting, it will cause permanent damage to the basketball sneakers. Always hand wash your basketball shoes to preserve their performance and aesthetics, followed by air drying to make them completely moisture free. Using a dryer on basketball shoes is as damaging as machine washing. 

Is It Okay To Wash Basketball Shoes?

Basketball shoes need detailed cleaning to maintain their appearance and performance. First, we know that traction is one of the primary needs we expect from a basketball shoe. 

Many outsoles have thin grooves which do not clean with a quick wipe. Dirt and gravel get stuck between the traction pattern, making the shoes slippery and dangerous to play with.

Moreover, retro basketball shoes that are converse style are all white on their sides. However, they are replaced by many modern mesh and fly wire uppers. But if you have one, you will wash them now and then.

Reasons Why Not Put Basketball Shoes in Washing Machine

If you have suede and leather upper material, they are more likely to get stains from the outdoor basketball courts. 

Putting such materials in the washing machine means you are taking a big risk of losing their original color; more often, they lose their true color and looks.

The most reliable way is to wash them manually. If you are wondering how to clean them manually, here’s a step-by-step guide. Just follow along.

Related: How should Basketball shoes fit?

How To Clean Basketball Shoes Properly?

Can You Put Basketball Shoes in the Washing Machine/Dryer? Reasons to Avoid

First thing first, watch out for the shoe material. Leather, suede, mesh, and textile upper should be treated differently when you wash them.

It’s just fine to wash the textile upper with regular detergents. While for suede and leather, you should use a mild detergent to preserve its color. 

Check Out: Do You Need To Buy Basketball Shoes For Basketball?

Treat Stains Before Washing

Take a generous amount of mild detergent and apply it to the brush with soft bristles. Rub it gently on the spot where the stain is.

Suppose you have stains and pale color of the outsole and the area around the midsole. Then take warm water and add washing powder and toothpaste to it. Mix it and rub the white outsole and the sides with the prepared mix.

That will give a shinier and brighter finish to the white parts of the shoe.

Take out Shoe Laces and Insoles

Always wash the insole and laces separately. These are the parts of the shoe that you can either wash in a washing machine or use detergents separately.

However, we recommend washing them in a washing machine and then drying them in the Dryer.

Afterward, spray a good disinfectant on the insole. Playing in the hot weather for hours, the shoe might produce a smell in the insole. 

The disinfectant will maintain better echogenicity and kill all the bacteria that produce the smell. Afterward, dry the insole and laces in a dryer or out in the sun. 

Check Out: How To Plan A Good Basketball Practice

Wash Outsoles

The outsole is a part of basketball shoes that needs regular cleaning. It grabs so much dirt and small gravel on a basketball court’s hardwood or concrete surfaces.

To clean the outsole, use the same soft bristle brush to remove the dirt and gravel stuck in between the grooves.

Take warm water and add detergent to it. Apply the mix with the help of a brush on the outsole of the shoe. Clean all the dirt and gravel. 

Then take a cloth and dip it in the same detergent mix. Then wipe the outsole to ensure it is clean and good as new.

Clean Upper Material

Using the same mix, clean the upper material. Take a cloth and dip it in the mix. Rub it on all the shoes.

If there are leftover stains, you can add a little baking soda to the mix and rub it on the stain. It will clean the upper material.

Can you put basketball shoes in Dryer?

No, it would help if you did not wash them in the Dryer. Dry the shoes in the sun. The rigorous rotations in the Dryer and warm air will damage the shoe. 

So it is always advisable to air or sun dry the shoe. 

Tips To Maintain The Look And Aesthetics

Kick lovers love their ball shoes and want to maintain their condition for a longer period. Here we have a few tips that you should follow to keep your shoes as good as new.

  1. The basketball shoes lose their true color, especially if they are white; they will start looking ugly sooner than later. So always mix toothpaste in warm water and detergent to give the white parts a glossy finish.
  1. If your basketball shoe’s upper has suede patches here and there, or it is a full suede upper, you must avoid getting it stained in the first place. So always apply Suede protectants before you take them out in court.
  1.  Your basketball shoes outsole need to be perfect for the game. Sometimes you hate to resist the urge to wear them outside. But trust me, it is important. The outdoor street surfaces will damage the outsole and decrease traction by wearing its rubber grooves. So restrict your hoop shoes to the basketball courts.
  1. Using detergents is better than soaps as it removes stains easily, even in hard water. It decreases surface tension and works better than soap.
  1. If you have the best basketball shoes, you sure want to protect them properly. So never use a plastic bag to store the basketball shoes. Using a shoe bag made for the purpose will be best to store it. If you no longer have the bag that comes with it in the box, then you can buy them from a good retail outlet.


Basketball shoes are high-end gear. A sneakerhead would always love to protect their hoop shoe and keep them in the collection.

So it comes down to how committed you are to preserving its aesthetics. But in any case, wash them with your hands using mild detergents.

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