Are TOMS shoes machine washable? 3 Easy Tips

So you love your TOMs shoes. They’re both comfortable and stylish. But are they machine washable?

Most TOMs shoes are machine washable. Follow our step-by-step instructions for a solid cleaning. We have a few tips for stinky shoes as well.

The Basics

Some people think their shoes will be clean forever. What they need to realize is that it is inevitable that they will get dirty if they’re worn frequently. If you hate cleaning shoes, only wear them on special occasions.

Even if you take great care this is true. Substances such as mud and dirty will accumulate. If you’re eating, food might accidentally drop on your shoes. If your TOMS are light colored, the stain will show up. This includes both vegan TOM shoes and non-vegan.

Another issue to be concerned about is sweat. It can collect on the insoles, especially in hot and humid weather. This will eventually make your shoes stink. Bringing your shoes to a public place like a mall or work would be a big mistake.

Are TOMs shoes machine washable?

Most TOMs shoes are machine washable. This is very true of the popular canvas shoes. However, if the shoes are made of leather, you might be out of luck. Just check on the tag to learn more information.

Some types of shoes can’t even get wet unless they have a protection spray on. Regular TOMs shoes (canvas) can get wet. They’re fairly easy to wash by hand or machine.

Besides leather, if your shoes are made of organic cotton, lace or chambray, be sure to lookup if they can be machine washed.

Part of the appeal of canvas shoes is that they’re very easy to clean. Unfortunate, other TOMs shoes will need other cleaning strategies.

Most people are happy to hear this as that means you can clean them with just a press of a few buttons. Washing your TOMs in the washing machine shouldn’t cause any issues, but if you’re concerned you can use one at the laundromat.

Place your shoes in a mesh laundry bag. The shoes will bounce around a lot, so it’s a good idea to put a few towels to balance the load.

Dryer Sheets and Smell

Dryer sheets can be of great use of your shoes are stinky. Some people don’t want to make their own powder, either because of the mess or they don’t have the right ingredients at the time. This will make your shoes smell fresh.

Tea Bags Good at Deodorizing

Everyday tea bags can be great at deodorizing. Regular black tea contains tannins. This will be very good at getting rid of odor causing bacteria.

Place the tea bag in boiling water for a few minutes, then put it in the shoe. Leave it in there for roughly an hour or two before removing it.

Machine Washing

Set your washing machine to gentle wash and to use cold water.

Use a quarter of the normal amount of laundry detergent in the dispenser. Use mild detergent.

Put your TOMS in a mesh bag.

If you have a front-loading machine. put in your shoes, start the wash cycle.

If you have a top-loading machine, wait until it is three quarters full before putting in the TOMs.

Air your shoes until they’re dry.

Hand-washing TOMs

You can also hand wash TOMs. Maybe your washing machine is broken or you don’t want to be additional stress on it. Either way, it is quite straightforward.

  1. Use a soft bristle brush. This can be a regular toothbrush to remove dirt on the outside of the TOMs. They’re very good at removing dirt and debris.
  2. For the stains, use mild laundry detergent on the affected areas. Rub it in gently with your hands. Put your shoes aside for half an hour.
  3. Take a large bowl and fill it up with water that is cold.
  4. Scoop a tablespoon of mild laundry detergent and mix. Be careful that there is no bleach because this substance can discolor your footwear.
  5. Use the brush and apply the liquid to your shoes. Scrub until they’re clean.
  6. If your shoes are extremely dirty (if the wearer ran through mud) you can completely submerge them in water. This will assist in removing the stains.


If you think your stains will be particular stubborn (such as buffalo sauce) you can put mild laundry detergent on the affected areas. Put your shoes aside for half an hour before putting them in your washing machine.

How to wash lace shoes

Pretreat your shoes as listed above. Use mild detergent on it and leave it aside for 30 minutes.

Take a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Put in a few drops of mild laundry dry detergent. Use a soft bristled brush (such as a toothbrush) or a microfiber cloth. Dip your tool in the solution.

Rub your tool onto the shoes in a circular pattern to get rid of the dirt and stains. Keep repeating this process until your shoes are clean.

How to clean TOMs insoles

TOMs manufactures its insoles with a variety of materials. Don’t use these instructions if your footwear insoles have leather. Baking soda will cause damage to leather.

  1. Take a small bowl of water that is cold and mix it with a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Mix thoroughly and make sure it doesn’t contain any bleach.
  2. Use a soft-bristled brush as your tool. A used toothbrush can be great. Dip it in your cleaning solution and scrub the insoles
  3. If you’ve been using your shoes regularly, it’s like that they smell bad. Don’t worry, it’s quite easy to deodorize them. Take a cup of cornstarch, a 1/2 cup of baking powder and a 1/2 cup of baking soda.
  4. Go to your favorite store and buy some essential oil. Scents such as lavender and tea tree are popular. Put in roughly 5 drops into your powder.
  5. Put a few tablespoons of your powdered solution into the TOMs. Save the rest for a future cleaning.
  6. Put it aside for eight hours. Unfortunately, depending on the timing and your schedule you might not be able to use your shoes for a whole day so do some planning.
  7. Remove the powder. You can just put it in the trash. It might be worth it to use a vacumn.

How to Dry your TOMs shoes

You might think you have a couple options when it comes to drying. However, this is false. You should never put your TOMs shoes in the dryer. It can melt the shoe glue, which can ruin the shoe forever. Drying the shoe in the dryer can also lead to fading and shrinking.

The best possible option is air drying. This shouldn’t take too long. Hanging on a washing line is an excellent option. You can choose to put them in a well-circulated area. A drying rack can also work.

If you’re concerned with the shoes keeping shape, you can stuff them with newspaper.

TOMs shoes are popular because they’re fashionable and fit well. They are machine washable. Washing instructions are fairly straightforward given that they are of the proper material. Be sure to follow the right drying instructions.