Can You Put Shoelaces In The Washing Machine?

Yes, it’s okay to put shoelaces in the washing machine unless they’re made of leather or have a wax coating. 

If your shoelaces are slightly shiny and have a waxy feel, they’re likely to be wax-coated. Washing these might melt the wax, which can ruin the shoelaces and damage the washing machine.

But what about other types of shoelaces, and how can you deal with tough stains or maintain the condition of sensitive materials like leather? 

Keep reading to learn the best practices for keeping all your shoelaces in top condition, no matter their material.

How To Wash Shoelaces In The Washing Machine

open washing machine door

If your shoelaces are made of nylon, cotton, or other washable materials, you can machine wash them following these steps:

  • Use an old toothbrush to remove any visible dirt or debris from the laces before washing.
  • Place the laces in a mesh laundry bag to prevent them from getting lost or tangled in the wash.
  • Wash the laces at 30°C or 40°C on a normal cycle with similar coloured clothes.
  • After washing, air dry the laces. Avoid the tumble dryer, as the heat can melt the plastic tips.

How To Hand Wash Shoelaces

shoes with shoelaces

For a quick clean or wax-coated laces, hand-washing is a gentle alternative. 

Make a cleaning solution with warm water around body temperature and a small amount of washing-up liquid or mild soap. Dip an old toothbrush or soft cloth into the solution and gently scrub the laces. 

Once scrubbed, rinse the laces thoroughly with clean water and air dry them away from direct heat or sunlight.

How To Treat And Wash White Laces

White shoelaces can be trickier to keep looking fresh. For best results, pre-treat stains by using an oxygen-based stain remover suitable for natural and synthetic fabrics with warm water. 

Soak the laces in the solution for up to an hour before washing. After soaking, either machine wash the laces or rinse them thoroughly by hand.

How To Clean Leather Shoelaces

leather shoes in washing machine

Leather shoelaces can become dry, brittle, and prone to breaking if machine washed. Instead, clean them like you would leather shoes, avoiding water. Follow these steps:

  • Take the leather laces out of your shoes and lay them flat on a microfibre cloth.
  • Mix a small amount of mild soap or leather cleaner with warm water.
  • Dampen another cloth with the cleaning solution and gently scrub the laces to remove dirt.
  • Hang the laces to dry away from direct heat or sunlight. Once dry, apply a leather conditioner to keep them soft.

How Often Should You Wash Shoelaces

Since white shoelaces get dirty more than coloured laces, they should be washed as soon as they become dirty or start looking stained. 

Coloured laces don’t show the dirt as much, so you can wash them when they start looking less vibrant or just do it at the same time you wash the shoes themselves. 

SEE ALSO: How To Wash White Shoes In The Washing Machine

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wash shoelaces in the washing machine?

Yes, you can machine wash shoelaces, as long as they are made from materials like nylon or cotton and are not wax-coated or made of leather.

Do I wash shoelaces with hot or cold water?

You should wash shoelaces with cold or lukewarm water, not exceeding 40°C, to protect the material and prevent damage to the tips.

What’s the best way to clean shoelaces?

The best way to clean shoelaces involves either machine washing them in a mesh laundry bag for durable materials or gently hand-washing with a mild soap solution for more delicate types, like wax-coated laces.

Should you hand wash shoelaces?

Yes, you should hand wash shoelaces if they are wax-coated or made of sensitive materials that might be damaged in the washing machine.

What is the best way to clean white shoelaces?

The best way to clean white shoelaces is to pre-treat them with an oxygen-based stain remover and warm water, then soak them before washing by machine or rinsing thoroughly by hand.

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