Cleaning ones running shoes?: Ok, so I know I am... - Couch to 5K

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Cleaning ones running shoes?


Ok, so I know I am not the only one taking 'mud baths' at the moment. (At least I didn't do a face plant!) :)

Anyone know how to clean really muddy trainers? Can they go in the washing machine?

17 Replies

Some can, some can't. It'll say on the label. Tie the laces in a knot, and chuck 'em in the machine. Otherwise, scrub the outside with a nailbrush in a little soapy water, let them drain for an hour, then put them in the airing cupboard or on a radiator until dry.


Hi King9fisher, oh the trophies of running!


Sorry, it cut off my reply, I have been advised never to put them in the washing machine, just let them dry and wipe/brush off any dried dirt or mud.

Be proud of those trainers! They are used! (And they'll only get dirty again anyway!)


Take the innersoles out. Scrape / brush off the excess if they arwe muddy they are probably wet right through. If your likely to get them in the same state for the next few weeks I wouldn't bother cleaning them too much. If you wash them in the machine take out the laces first and wash them by hand


I will machine wash almost anything, but not proper running shoes. I give them a scrub with an old toothbrush under the tap with some washing up liquid or other detergent, leave them to drain for a while and then put them near but not on a radiator. And have two pairs! The sink hole does get quite full of peat.


There is a post somewhere about how to dry them - pack them with newspapers - leave for an hour and replace the newspaper with dry newspaper, leave tow hours, replace and leave overnight

Merry Christmas


try letting the mud dry out somewhere warm and then brush it off with a soft dustpan brush. Take them outside and clap the soles together. Then a gentle wash with a toothbrush. If its a clay based soil hot water isn't the thing as it gets claggier.


I bought a white soap filled sponge from pound store and use that to clean the outsides etc. I also fill my shoes with newspaper to dry them. Having had a few mud filled runs this winter I have bought another pair of my trainers in a darker colour too. Happy running.


Shoes dry much quicker if not caked with mud, so I have a bucket and brush outside and wash them off, while still wearing them, before coming into the house. Stuffing with newspaper works well to dry them out and some shoes have removable inner soles which speeds things up even more. I always have two pairs of trail shoes, so never have to put wet ones on. I think washing machines are generally considered to be a no no.

Thanks for asking this - on the bridle paths it's not just the mud I have to contend with but presents for gardeners. Must admit I still have yet to wash mine as I only just bought a second pair of trail shoes.


I was told when I bought my new trainers if they got wet to stuff hem with newspaper and let them dry naturally. Don't put them near a radiator.

I have put mine in the machine but mine are v lightweight and there's not much to them. It's probably not a good idea to do it often, and the more substance / layers they have the more damage the water could do, but an occasional quick cycle is ok. Alternatively have you thought about hand washing in cool soapy water in a bowl / sink / bath and then rinse?



Brush the mud off, but don't worry too much about drying them ~ they will only get wet next time you use them. If you do want to dry them, pack them with loosely scrunched newspaper and put them somewhere warmish, but NOT on a radiator or by a fire.

Yep never put proper running trainers in the washing machine and never direct on a heat source.

Wear that mud as a badge of honor. If they have unmentionables on in addition to mud, I hose off while wearing them (feet are wet any way) and then allow to dry naturally.


Thanks for all your comments guys. Really appreciate it. I will start by trying to brush off the worst of the dried on mud and if there is still too much then I will hand wash with an old toothbrush and dry with newspaper as mentioned above. Cheers.

Personally, I don't like trying to brush off the mud, but I agree DO NOT put in washing machine!!!

I run mine under the cold tap to wash off the mud (having taken the liners out first) then stuff with newspaper. Leave somewhere warm overnight and change the paper if they are still wet first thing the next morning. I've had to do it several times and the fabric of my trainers stayed looking good - just unfortunate that the miles have got the them now, so they need replacing...


If wet and smelly, dry with newspaper as directed - but then put tights legs filled with cat litter in and it will get rid of smell/ damp smell/should have remembered they were damp and in a bag smell/ ran through the river and now a bit whiffy/feet running hot smell/homely feet smell!! - or whatever else you want to call it!!!

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