Can I Wash My Leather Trainers in the Washing Machine? Decoding Leather Trainers Care

leather trainers care

Hello Cocorosers 💗

This week, we decided to dive into the age-old question that's been on so many minds - and a question that we're often asked: Can you put leather trainers into the washing machine? We all know the golden rule for our leather clothes – hands off the washing machine. But what about our beloved leather shoes? To satisfy your curiosity and save you from potential mishaps, I took one for the team and experimented with a couple pairs of my very well-worn Hoxton Leather Trainers, which I salvaged from our Recycling box in the office (more on this below) 🧼👟

leather trainers in washing machine


The Method

I selected two pairs of well worn and dirty leather trainers from the recycling box and, without doing any further cleaning of either pair, I placed them in the washing machine. I didn't remove the laces or the insoles, as I wanted to trial this for maximum convenience. I added the washing detergent, closed the washing machine door and put it on a fast wash mode, which finished with a 1400 spin.


Picture of Leather Trainers BEFORE Washing:
how to clean Hoxton trainers


The Results and What We Found Out

With anticipation (and yes, a bit of skepticism too!), I waited for the cycle to finish. As expected, the trainers emerged cleaner, whiter and brighter, no doubt about that, although I thought the soles were still dirty. I did clock that should I have pre-prepared the shoes, like brushing off caked dirt from the soles, then this would have definitely helped to give a cleaner result.

What surprised me mostly, however, was the weight of the shoes. The leather, especially the insoles, soaked up water like a sponge and it was clear that this would take a considerable amount of time to properly dry out. London is not the warmest of places, especially in November, and for many others living in colder climates, the extended drying time might be a deal-breaker. Three days in, the trainers are still wet and retaining a significant amount of moisture, although not as heavy, so clearly some of the water has dried out. However, the drying time is still a concern and it does leave me pondering whether the washing machine is the best option.


Picture of Leather Trainers AFTER Washing: 

after cleaning Hoxton trainers


My Recommendations

In light of this little experiment, here is my resounding verdict: I do not recommend putting your leather trainers in the washing machine. Whilst the results were impressive in terms of cleanliness, this can easily be achieved by regular maintenance and the hassle of drying them out is a significant deterrent.

In addition to this, there may be an issue whereby the leather upper might come away from the sole. This could be a reaction between the detergent and the adhesives used, so it's best to avoid any potential issues.

Instead, I suggest adopting a more practical approach – clean your trainers as you go. 

Regular maintenance, such as brushing off dirt and giving your trainers a wipe-down, can go a long way in keeping them in top-notch condition. Here are some cleaning steps you can follow to keep your leather trainers clean:

  1. Wet Wipe Wonder: Start with a gentle wipe-down using baby wipes or wet wipes. These little wonders are fantastic for quick clean-ups and can remove surface dirt without causing any harm to your leather.

  2. Brush Away the Blues: Invest in an old toothbrush – repurposing at its finest! Apply a small amount of toothpaste or a mild washing liquid to the brush, and gently scrub away any stubborn spots or stains. This method helps target specific areas without subjecting your entire trainer to a water bath.

  3. Spotless Soles: Don't neglect the soles! A firm brush can work wonders in removing dirt lodged in the treads. An old toothbrush can get into those nooks and crannies, leaving them looking as good as new.

  4. Microfiber Magic: For a final touch, use a microfiber cloth to give your trainers a thorough wipe-down. This will help remove any remaining cleaning agents and leave your leather with a polished finish.

If your beloved trainers have truly reached the end of their journey, consider investing in a new pair. What to do with the retired ones? Fear not! Cocorose London's Reuse & Recycle Scheme is here to save the day.

Return your pre-loved Cocorose shoes through our scheme, and not only will you contribute to making the world a bit greener, but you'll also earn 200 Rosebuds (worth £10) to use towards your future purchases. It's a win-win that keeps you stylish and eco-conscious!

Thank you, as always, for your fantastic support. We love hearing your thoughts and reviews. If you have other ways of cleaning your leather trainers, let us know and we'll be happy to add it to the blog! Email us at

With lots of love, Janan & Team Cocorose xx 🌿💖

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