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How to Wash Toms Shoes – Care Guide

December 9, 2023

Toms is a for-profit company that specializes in shoes. Based in California, the brand offers a variety of styles for men, women, and children. Aside from footwear, they also sell apparel, eyewear, and handbags.

Toms Shoes History

about toms shoes

Toms was founded by Blake Mycoskie and Alejo Nitti in 2006. Allegedly, the former had come up with the idea after volunteering to deliver shoes to children.

Wanting to provide free shoes to those in developing countries, he eventually put together the company. Before long, he created his own type of canvas slip-on shoe, which proved to be a hit in North America.

What makes the company unique is that they have a “one for one” concept model. For every pair that’s purchased, they will donate a free pair to a child in need. The countries involved include South Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Argentina, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.

More About Tom Shoes

The brand sells various types of shoes including sandals, flats, boots, dress shoes, and sneakers. However, they are perhaps the best known for their canvas slip-ons.

Not only are they comfortable, but they’re fair-priced as well. To give you a better idea, you can get a pair for a little over $50. You’ll be able to get them for even cheaper if you find them on sale!

Taking Care of Your Canvas Toms Shoes

toms shoes care instructions

As with all footwear, their shoes will get dirty, especially if worn on a regular basis (and if you’re dealing with their white canvas shoes).

For example, dirt or mud might accumulate on the sides – that’s especially true if the fabric of the canvas shoes is light-colored. Remember, there’s the issue of sweat too. Over time, it will collect on the insoles, which can lead to an unpleasant odor! Stinky shoes, anyone?

Don’t want your shoes to look icky? Then be sure to clean them every once in a while – that’s especially true for their white canvas shoes.

Can you throw them in the washing machine? Or do you have to wash them by hand? What kind of soap should you use? These are some of the questions that we’ll be addressing in this post!

How to Wash Toms Shoes (Alpargatas)

Have your shoes seen better days? If so, it might be time to give them a good cleaning. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds—if anything, the washing profess is quite simple. Follow along and your slip-ons will look cleaner in no time!

Can You Machine Wash Canvas Toms Shoes?

can you wash toms in the washing machineYes, their canvas shoes are machine washable! In other words, you can clean them with the press of a few buttons. To start, you’ll want to place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag – that will prevent them from being tossed around during the wash cycle.

For the best results, wash them separately (aka do not wash them with your clothes). However, you might want to put in a few towels—that will help to “balance” the load, so to speak.

Pro-tip: It might be a good idea to spot clean your shoes first, before putting them in the washer if they’re excessively dirty. To do this, mix a bit of cold water with some mild dish soap.

Dip an old toothbrush into the solution and use it to scrub out the stain on the fabric. Use gentle, circular motions; avoid rubbing the area as that can cause the stain to spread.

Once you’ve closed the laundry bag, place it into the machine. Next, you want to set the settings. Ideally, you want to wash the shoes with cold water on a gentle or delicate cycle.

Do not use hot water unless you want your shoes to shrink. On top of that, the heat can cause them to warp.

The next thing that you want to do is to add detergent. Assuming that you have a pair of their classic alpargatas, a little bit of mild detergent like ACTIVE Detergent.

Do not add any bleach; those types of products will affect the dye that’s on the shoes. Once you’ve added the detergent, fill the washing machine 3/4 full.

From there, you want to run a gentle cycle—let the washer work its magic. When it’s finished, take out your Tom shoes. Let your Toms air dry in a well-ventilated area. To speed up the process, you can stuff some paper towels or newspaper into the shoes.

Never place them in the dryer as harsh temperatures can cause the canvas fabric to shrink and rip.

Hand Washing Your Toms Shoes

Consider cleaning your Tom shoes by hand if you don’t want to put them in the washer. It’s easy—the first thing that you want to do is to dust them off. The goal is to remove any dirt or debris from the fabric; you can do this by using a soft, bristled brush.

Start at the heel and gradually move up towards the toe area.

Next, you want to prepare a cleaning solution. Fill a bowl with cold water (you won’t need that much) and add a bit of mild laundry detergent such as ACTIVE Detergent.

how to hand wash toms shoesOnce you’ve done that, agitate the liquid until you see bubbles. From there, dip your brush in. Use it to clean the surface of the shoe; be gentle as to not damage the fabric. If you have a pair with sequins, brush them in the same direction, otherwise, they can come off.

As far as the insides go, consider wiping them with rubbing alcohol—that will help to get rid of any odor. On top of that, it’ll remove residues that might be on the surface.

For the best results, pour the rubbing alcohol onto a piece of cotton and use it to wipe the inside of the shoe. Pay extra attention to the toe and heel areas as they tend to be dirtier.

When you’re finished, let them air dry. Remember, you never want to put them in the dryer—the heat from the machine will cause the fabric to crack and break.

Not to mention that there’s a chance that the shoes can shrink! While it depends on how saturated they are, they will generally dry within a few hours. Consider stuffing the inside with used newspaper to soak up some of the excess moisture.

How to Deodorize Toms Shoes

Chances are, your Tom shoes will develop an odor after a while. Don’t fret; that’s normal—it just means that you’ve been wearing them for a while.

There are several things that you can do to get rid of the smell. We’ll be sharing these tips with you below:

Placing Baking Soda Inside Your Shoes

You’ve probably heard this before but baking soda is a great deodorizing agent. The best part of all—most of us already have it in the house.

Simply add a liberal amount of baking soda to each of the shoes.

Once you’ve done that, give them a good shake; you want the powder to spread evenly inside. From there, let it sit for a few hours (consider leaving it in overnight if your shoes are excessively stinky). Remove the powder in the morning.

If necessary, use a soft bristle brush to brush the inside of the shoe—that will help to get rid of any baking soda that might be stuck.

Make Your Own Deodorizing Powder

toms deodorizing powder recipe

Another option is to create your own deodorizing powder. For this method, you’ll need three things—baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch.

First things first, grab a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1/4 cup of baking powder. Mix the powders to create a deodorizer.

If you want, you can add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance.

Once everything is mixed, sprinkle the powder into your Tom shoes. Let it sit for several hours (overnight if necessary). Remove the mixture from the shoes in the morning. Dispose of the powder in the trash.

Using Dryer Sheets

Don’t want to make a mess with powder? Here’s an easier solution—use dryer sheets. That’s right, you can use them with shoes too, not just clothes.

Not only will they neutralize odors, but they’ll make your slip-ons smell fresh! All you have to do is put a sheet inside the shoe.

Leave it in for a few hours and they’ll smell as good as new by the time you take them out in the morning.

Making Use of Tea Bags

Did you know that certain tea bags can be used as deodorizers? Take black tea, for instance—it contains tannins, which is effective at killing odor-causing contaminants.

Ultimately, what you want to do is to put the tea bag inside your shoe. Before you do that, though, it’s important to place it in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Once it’s cooled down, you can place it in your shoe. Leave it in for an hour or two before taking it out.

Depending on how wet the bag is, it might leave a little bit of liquid residue.

how to prevent odors in toms shoes

Wear Socks

Always wear Toms shoes with socks – they will absorb the sweat from your feet and prevent them from going onto your shoes, which can cause an unpleasant odor. Also, socks are much easier to change and wash than the shoes themselves.

How to Wash Toms Shoes – FAQs

Can you machine wash leather shoes by Toms?

No, their leather shoes (and leather insoles) should never be put in the washing machine. The moisture will damage the material permanently. Consider wiping the outside with a soft cloth and leather conditioner instead.

Alternatively, you can take them to a shoe care specialist co.

Can you put their mesh shoes in the washing machine?

Yes, their mesh shoes (including lace Toms) are machine washable with cold water and mild laundry detergent. Just make sure to put them in a mesh bag and run a gentle cycle.

How can you get rid of tough stains?

Mix a bit of ACTIVE Detergent with water in a bowl. Using a soft bristle brush, gently scrub the stain on the surface of the shoe. Rinse with water afterward.

Do you have to wash your Toms regularly?

It’s best to wash Toms regularly to prevent tough stains from setting in. You can also use white vinegar to deodorize the material.

Can I use a stain remover on my leather toms?

No, it’s not recommended that you use a stain remover on your leather shoes, unless they’re specifically designed for leather.

So now you’re equipped with the knowledge of how to clean your favorite shoes from Toms. As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can go about it, from using a mild detergent in the sink to putting them in the washing machine.

Just remember to use a lingerie bag if you’re going with the latter!

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Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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