Can You Wash Steel Toe Shoes In the Washer?

If you have to work in potentially risky places on a regular basis, you must wear steel toe shoes. These shoes are also referred to as safety shoes, because they can save you from injuries. These shoes are often made of leather, and they are pretty durable. But can you wash steel toe shoes in the washer? In this post, we will try to answer this question.

Should you do it?

Whether you should use a washing machine to wash your steel toe shoes depends on the materials the shoes are made of. Just by reading the care label, you can decide whether you should wash the shoes in the washer. As a rule of thumb, if your shoes are made of leather, you should not machine wash your shoes.

Materials such as leather or suede can be easily damaged by water. There are some cleaning products specially designed to clean these shoes. You can use these products to clean your shoes safely, or you can get the help of a professional cleaner.

You should be very careful when cleaning shoes made from silk or satin, because they are delicate materials. But there are many other types of shoes that can be washed in the washer, safely. So, can you wash steel toe shoes in the washer? The answer is usually no. But you can surely wash some steel toe shoes.

If you need to wash trainers, you can use a washing machine to get the job done. Shoes made from nylon, cotton and polyester can also be washed in a washing machine. You can use a washing machine to wash some PVC or PU shoes. But before you dive into action, do not forget to read the care label.

The main reason to wash shoes in a washing machine is that it can save your valuable time. You can spend more time with your family or do what really matters to you. It is really good that some washing machines come with a “hand wash” setting. Even if your machine has this feature, you have to be careful when using the feature.

Pros of steel toe shoes

While washing steel toe shoes in the washer is not always recommended, there are many advantages of wearing steel toe shoes. Now we will point out a few of them.

  • Compared to regular shoes, steel toe shoes provide greater protection for your feet. If heavy objects crash on regular shoes, they crumple easily. You may have to deal with serious injuries if that happens to you.
  • Compared to alloy or composite footwear, steel toe shoes and boots are less expensive. You can afford these shoes even if you have financial constraints. These are affordable shoes.
  • When manufacturing these shoes, workers have thought about the comfort and safety of workers. These shoes are breathable, which means they are more comfortable than other types of shoes.
  • There are plenty of models and styles out there, and you can choose the one you really like. The availability of different types of steel toe shoes is another great thing about these shoes.
  • You don’t need to compromise your movement when you get the protection of steel toe shoes. That means you can wear these shoes the way you wear regular shoes.

Can you wash steel toe shoes in the washer? You can, but it is not recommended. Yet, you may want to use these shoes for the benefits they offer.

Why do your shoes smell?

Before we discuss how to clean your steel toe shoes, let us try to understand what causes your shoes to smell. There are a host of reasons why shoes smell. If you wear your shoes frequently, they will absorb sweat, which is unlikely to dry out properly. As a result you will get an unpleasant odor.

To make sure that the shoes dry out properly, purchase multiple pairs of shoes and wear a different pair each morning. Wearing socks is another reason why shoes smell. When your socks absorb sweat, they get wet. And wet socks are the breeding grounds of fungus.

Can you wash steel toe shoes in the washer? Maybe you can, but it is better to look for other ways. There are multiple ways to remove or reduce the smell. We have discussed it in other posts. Now we will show you some great ways to care for your shoes.

Ways to take care of your steel toe shoes

If you think it is important to spend some time taking care of the shoes you wear regularly, read the following tips.

  • To clean your steel toe shoes properly, read the footwear instructions carefully. If a special type of cleaner, conditioner or polisher is recommended, use it.
  • At the end of a busy day, wipe dust and dirt. You can use a brush or a piece of damp cloth to remove dirt. Do not polish your shoes if they are not clean.
  • When necessary, you can use waterproofing spray. Apply it once in every couple of weeks.
  • Keep your steel toe shoes in a cool and dry place. Bacteria can grow pretty rapidly in your shoes if you keep them in a damp place.
  • You may need to use moisturizers and conditioners, but you should not overuse them. You can easily minimize using them, because certainly you do not wear steel toe shoes when you go to a party. After use, do not forget to wipe the dirt off.
  • It is good to purchase multiple pairs of steel toe shoes so that you do not have to wear the same pair every day. It can prolong the lifespan of your shoes.

Can you wash steel toe shoes in the washer? The question still remains. The answer is: you should not. If your shoes are made of leather, water will do much harm to your shoes. Even if the shoes are not made of leather, you should avoid using a washer for other reasons. Your steel toe shoes can damage your washer.

If your shoes are really oily, cleaning them is not an easy deal at all. But you can remove a lot of dirt with a damp rag. If there is mud on the smooth leather of your shoes, you can use some saddle soap to remove it.

If the color of your shoes is very light, removing dirt from your shoes will be a bit hard. You should consider getting professional help if your work boots are expensive. For expensive leather shoes, you can use leather conditioners and stain repellant.

With steel toe shoes or boots, wear polyester-blend or woolen socks. These materials absorb sweat and thus reduce odor. Before you wear shoes, you can sprinkle some cornstarch in them. Cornstarch can absorb moisture and sweat.


In fine, we can say that using a washer to wash steel toe shoes is not recommended. There are many other ways to wash these shoes. If you still want to do some experiments, you have to take risks. The steel parts may damage the washer, or the washer may damage the shoes.

Can you wash steel toe shoes in the washer? It is a bit risky, and you need to be careful if you decide to use a washer to wash your steel toe shoes. You can do it only if the alternative options are completely unavailable to you.