If your shoes are smelling like a closet full of angry skunks, I know it causes you embarrassment and you’re also worried that the terrible odor might cause fungal infections on your feet, all you need to do is sit back, relax and learn how to clean your shoes. The sweat and dead skin particles in your running shoes are the breeding grounds for fungus and bacteria resulting to a terrible smell. If you ask the experts, they will tell you that the only way to deal with that problem is to clean your shoes after every run and allow them to vent.

Sometimes back, I used not to clean my running shoes for fear of damaging them. Unfortunately, when I tried to keep them fresh and clean by washing them with soap and water, the terrible smell persisted. After sometimes, I got fed up with the smell and decided to use a washing machine. To my surprise, it worked wonders. They were not only clean but the smell was gone too. Still, I wasn’t confident and thought that their performance might had been compromised but that wasn’t the case because when I went for a run, I realized their performance was okay. For that reason, I would recommend that runners should try cleaning their shoes in the same way by following the following steps.

Step 1

Using cold water, turn the washing machine to a moderate circle. Be sure not to use hot water because that will damage the adhesive hence deforming the shape of your shoes.

Step 2

Before putting them on water for washing, use the toothbrush to remove dirt and mud in all sections.

Step 3

Insoles and inner shoe liners should be washed together with your running cloths. In that way, the clothes will eliminate the irritating tumbling noise from your shoes. To avoid overloading your machine, wash one pair of shoes per session.

Step 4

It’s advisable that you use non-scented and organic detergent to wash them in Oder to achieve the best results. On the other hand, you can as well use special sports detergents that are made for washing performance clothes. Sports detergents work perfectly in removing odor without interfering with the sweat wicking. In my case, I used plain liquid detergent mixed with ½ a cup of white vinegar together with ½ a cup of baking soda. White vinegar would kill the bacteria as well as fungi and the baking soda would act as a deodorizer.

Step 5

After cleaning, dry them in an open-air area with adequate vent. Even if you’re in a hurry, the last thing you can do is to put the shoes in a dryer since the excessive heat destroys the shoes’ materials. To help absorb moisture as well as keep them in shape, put the newspaper inside the shoes.


Many shoe manufactures like Nike and Brooke among others have warned that cleaning your shoes in a wash machine would destroy them. Machine washing is only my recommended method for cleaning running shoes. It’s therefore your responsibility to make the right decision as far as cleaning shoes is concerned.