You can clean Allbirds sneakers in the washing machine or by hand. However, always keep in mind that they are wool and require extra care. The most important thing when washing Allbirds is to use cold water and mild detergents.
Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to wash your Allbirds.
What’s Great About Allbirds
Allbirds are among the most comfortable shoes on the market. Many wearers say they’re the best-fitting pair of sneakers you’ll ever own.
The soft New Zealand merino wool makes these sneakers feel almost like slippers on your feet. Still, they’re sturdy enough for a run or walk around the city.
But your Allbirds do come with a negative side—they get dirty. Fabric, especially wool, attracts a lot of dirt, and you can’t simply wipe it clean like you would with leather. Fortunately, it’s easy to wash Allbirds.
How to Wash Your All Birds-Step by Step
The easiest way to wash your Allbirds is in the washing machine, but you can also wash them by hand. We’ve compiled the instructions here, so you have a step-by-step guide to do it perfectly.
In the Washing Machine
You may wonder if it’s safe to wash the shoes in the washing machine, but Allbirds recommends this method.
You’ll need a laundry bag and some delicate detergent, preferably one designed specifically for wool items. If your sneakers are a light color, consider using a light-colored detergent to avoid staining them.
You may also need a soft shoe brush, a sponge or towel, for cleaning the insole.
Take Out the Laces
First, take out the laces. Allbirds laces are delicate, and you shouldn’t machine wash them as this will damage the material. They may also get tangled in the machine. If you’ve got your laces too dirty to wear, replace them with new ones.
Wash the Insole
Take out the insoles to wash them separately. You can use a soft shoe brush or wash them with soapy water. The best detergent to use with the insole is a shoe cleaning solution. You can often buy it as a kit like this one, together with a brush.
Some users only wash the shoes and leave the cleaning of the insole. They are delicate, but they also create a lot of odor if left unwashed for a long time. So wash them now and then. It feels much better putting on those shoes again once they’re thoroughly cleaned.
If you spot stains, you can pre-treat the shoes before washing by applying some cold water directly on to them. Wet a sponge or a towel and rub the stain gently with it. You don’t have to use any soap yet; cold water is enough to loosen up the stain and make the washing cycle more effective.
Put the Shoes in the Machine
It’s time to pop your Allbirds in the washing machine. Use a laundry bag for extra protection if you can and pick a delicate or wool-specific cycle. Don’t use fabric softener, as it can damage the wool fibers.
Make sure you’re using cold water to wash your shoes. Warm water can make the wool shrink, and your shoes could become deformed.
If you’re using a garment bag for your Allbirds, you can put other items in the washing machine with them. However, remember that shoes carry much more dirt and bacteria than clothes, so the smartest thing is to clean them in a separate wash.
Remove and Let Dry
When the cycle is finished, remove the shoes immediately, so they’re not left in the closed-up, humid washer forming nasty smells.
Leave them to dry in a well-ventilated spot for at least 24 hours until they’re completely dry. You can direct a ventilator to dry them quickly or leave them outside. Don’t use a hairdryer or leave your Allbirds in the sunshine, as hot air and sunlight can damage the fibers.
Washing Allbirds By Hand
If you’re washing your Allbirds by hand, you’ll need a soft sponge or towel and some cleaning solution.
If you buy a full shoe cleaning kit, you may also get a brush, but only use it on the soles, unless it’s an extra delicate one. This brush from Alloda has both a soft and hard side, but remember to be careful not to rub the wool.
Prepare the Sneakers
Take out the laces and insole and put them aside. Gently wipe away any excess dirt or mud from the sneakers with a dry sponge or towel. Doing this outside is best to prevent the dirt from going on your furnishings, especially if your sneakers are excessively dirty.
Apply Cleaning Solution
Grab your shoe cleaning kit of choice. Use some water and a cleaning solution, and apply it onto the shoe with a delicate sponge or towel. Use a circular motion and make sure you have enough cleaning solution to make a good foam to get out all the shoe’s dirt.
Use a brush to clean the soles. Be careful not to catch the delicate wool with the brush. Wipe the suds off with a clean towel or cloth.
Leave your Allbirds to dry in a well-ventilated area, and don’t put the insole back in until everything is completely dry. Allow at least 24 hours for drying to avoid mold forming inside your shoes.
Finishing Your Wash
Whether you’re using the washing machine or washing your Allbirds by hand, it’s good to give the cleanup a couple of finishing touches.
First, use some shoe freshener to keep the inside of your shoes odor-free. Then, apply some water and stain repellent to keep them looking good for longer.
Lighter colored Allbirds are especially prone to staining, so apply the stain repellent generously on the fabric. Make sure the product you pick is gentle and approved for wool!
Also, inspect your shoes for any loose threads or snagged fibers. This is normal with fabric shoes and nothing to worry about. You can cut them with scissors.
Why Can’t I Wash Insoles in the Washing Machine?
They make your Allbirds insoles of rubber and wool, so they require a delicate hand wash. You can use soapy water or a shoe cleaning solution and a sponge or a towel to clean your insoles.
It’s likely your insoles will lose their freshness before the rest of your shoe. If they get too dirty and smelly, it may be time to replace them with new ones.
To extend the life of your sneakers and keep them fresh, you can buy replacement insoles directly from Allbirds.
You can also check out our additional tips for cleaning the insoles of your shoes. Using vinegar or baking powder gets rid of smells naturally, without damaging the merino wool layer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Put Allbirds in the Washing Machine?
Yes, all Allbirds shoes are machine washable, and it’s the cleaning method the company recommends. As long as you keep the water cold and the cycle delicate, you’re good to go.
Can You Get Allbirds Wet?
Yes, you can get Allbirds wet. Their upper is made of wool, so they’re completely washable, either by hand or in the machine. You can also use a water repellent spray on them to keep your shoes from getting wet and dirty for longer.
Can I Put My Allbirds in the Dryer?
You shouldn’t put Allbirds in the dryer. The high temperatures will harm the wool and possibly even deform the shoe. It’s best not to tumble dry your Allbirds and keep the water cold when washing.
Will Allbirds Stretch Out?
Allbirds, like most fabric shoes, will stretch a little, especially on the upper. However, they will not stretch as much lengthwise, so it’s best to get the right fit when you’re buying. The upper can feel snug at the widest point of the foot, but make sure you have a bit of space in front of your longest toe.
Allbirds sneakers have enjoyed a great deal of success in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They’re among the most comfortable shoes you can find, while at the same time soft, moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating.
But you need to know how to wash Allbirds to keep them looking and feeling fresh for longer. The company recommends washing them in the machine with cold water and a gentle cycle. You can also get them squeaky clean by hand, with a shoe cleaning kit.
Remember to take out the laces before washing and replace the insoles when they get too damaged. Follow our tips, and you’ll keep your Allbirds spick and span for as long as possible.