Can you put leather shoes in the washing machine or dryer?

If your leather shoes have become dirty there is possibly a temptation to throw them in the washer or dryer. Washers clean fabrics and all types of materials but does this work on your leather shoes?

Unfortunately leather is a hydrophobic material meaning that it does not react well with water. If the rapid rotation of the washer doesn’t damage the structure of your shoes, the water will definitely destroy the leather. Leather readily absorbs water and stains easily – this is the reason most people invest in water protection for their leather goods. If you combine detergents with machine washing your leather shoes, the results may be catastrophic as detergents are formulated for cleaning textiles not treating sensitive leather fibres.

As for the dryer, this will also destroy the leather by dehydrating the fibres. Leather requires conditioning and nourishment with suitable leather care products in order to restore or keep the fibres intact.