4 Surprising Items You Can Clean in a Washing Machine

Did you know you can wash these four items in your washing machine?

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #189

3.) Shower Curtains and Shower Liners

If you have a shower that requires a shower curtain and liner, then you are likely familiar with the gunk that can build up at the bottom of the curtain and liner. The orange or gray film that builds up can turn a perfectly good shower curtain into a gross looking piece of fabric or plastic seemingly overnight. Not only can the shower gunk turn the curtains dingy, but you may have family members or guests who use the fabric curtain as a hand or face towel, which can leave dirt, makeup, or other stains on the curtain.

Your first response may be that you need to get a new shower curtain or liner, but these items can both be tossed in the washing machine to be cleaned. When I clean my plastic shower curtain liners, I like to throw them in with a few towels so they get a little scrub in the wash cycle. They can go on the same cycle as you normally wash your towels, just make sure to pull out the plastic liner before tossing the load into the dryer, and check the label on the shower curtain. When in doubt, hang them both back up in the shower to dry instead of running them through a dry cycle.

Have your beloved running shoes seen better days?

4.) Tennis Shoes

Have your beloved running shoes seen better days? Did you do a mud-filled run, or a 5k on trails? If your running shoes or tennis shoes are in need of a little cleaning, the easiest thing to do is throw them into the washing machine.  

First, knock off as much loose dirt as you are able. Next, remove or loosen the laces as much as you can. If the laces don’t need to be washed, I remove them. If they are as dirty as the shoes, I keep them in but loosen them, so the water can get inside the shoes. Finally, before tossing them into the wash, remove the insoles—especially if you have custom orthotic insoles as they should not be submerged in water.

Toss a couple big towels into the load to dampen the sound of the shoes in the washer, and run a normal warm cycle. The shoes can go through the spin cycle, but should not go through a cycle in the dryer. That may cause them to shrink, which may give you blisters or pain when you wear them next. Set the shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry completely inside and out before using them again. I’ve found that it can take 24-48 hours for the shoes to dry completely, but that opening them up as far as they can go does speed the drying process up a bit.

Once they are dry, lace them back up, and they will be ready to hit the trails again!

While you can wash a number of other items in the washing machine, these four are the ones that most people don’t know about. When I tell people these tricks, they are often pleasantly surprised to find out how much more life they can get out of the items they use on a regular basis by cleaning them in the washing machine.

What is your biggest trick for cleaning items in a washing machine? I’d love to hear how you clean up using your washer too! Leave your tips and tricks on my Facebook page, or in the comment section below.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.  

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.