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Top tips for washing sports shoes and trainers

Bye-bye, dirt and odours!

We wear sports shoes and trainers everywhere: for exercise, leisure, and sometimes even at work. The difference between casual and sloppy is down to how we care for them. Trainers that are dirty or smell unpleasant just won’t do, so it’s good that many trainers are easy to wash. Here, we show you how it’s done.


First, prepare the trainers for washing in two simple steps:

- Remove the shoelaces and insoles.
-Brush off the bulk of the dirt.

Washing trainers in the washing machine

Now put the trainers into the washing machine. It’s best to put an old white sheet or several old white hand towels in as well. This prevents the shoes from banging around in the washing machine. You can wash up to three pairs of sports shoes in the machine at the same time.

The shoelaces that you have removed can be washed along with the shoes inside a laundry net. It’s better to wash insoles by hand.

Wash the trainers on the delicates programme at a maximum of 30°C and the lowest spin speed. Treat your shoes more gently by not spinning them at all.

Washing trainers by hand

Trainers can, of course, also be washed by hand. Washing trainers decorated with rhinestones, applique, or embroidery in the washing machine is not recommended. Trendy shoes like these should be washed by hand. This is best done by using a soft brush to remove soiling. But avoid rubbing too hard.

By the way: Leather trainers must not be washed, but should be cared for like standard leather shoes. Don’t wash synthetic leather shoes in the washing machine either.

Choose the right detergent

Special trainer detergents are ideal for sports and functional shoes. They remove dirt gently and retain membrane properties, such as breathability.

IMPRÄGNOL Bionic Care Sports Shoe Detergent also contains a freshness booster. This neutralises odours and gives long-lasting freshness. Its skin tolerance has been dermatologically approved.

Do not use fabric softeners as they damage the membrane function.

The correct washing temperature

Trainers, sports shoes, and outdoor shoes are often glued. The adhesive can dissolve at high washing temperatures, so you shouldn’t wash shoes made of textile and functional materials above 30°C. It’s easy to set the washing machine temperature, but you need to take care when handwashing, as it’s easy to use water that’s too hot. After all, “warm” for us often means “shower temperature”—and this is usually 38°C. A simple baby bath thermometer can be useful here.

The right way to dry sports shoes and trainers

After washing, stuff the shoes with newspaper. This maintains the shape of the shoes, and they dry faster. Replace the newspaper a few times during the process.

To protect the shoes’ textile and functional materials, don’t put them directly onto radiators or heaters. Shoe trees are not recommended for drying wet textile shoes, because the material can lose its shape. Don’t put trainers in the tumble dryer.

A fresh look

Using these simple tips will keep your favourite trainers looking like new for longer—and will guarantee your look stays fresh.