Lace Study No. 1: How to Clean Laces (and Why)

Welcome to the inaugural post for Lace Study, a blog series dedicated entirely to all things shoelaces.

Laces are an important part of your sneaker. They can compliment a fresh colorway, augment a stale colorway, and most importantly, they determine how much space and comfort is in your sneaker, to an extent. But even though laces hold a lot of importance in this way, they are still often disregarded and uncared for when it comes to taking care of them and maintaining them.

So for our first Lace Study, you are going to learn an easy and convenient way to clean your shoelaces. After this, there should be no reason why your laces aren’t taken care of.

The easiest way to clean your laces is in the washer.

It is also, I believe one of the best and most effective method to cleaning them*. First things first, make sure you have unlaced your sneakers. Almost any and every kind of lace can be put in the washer machine with some clothes, and washed at the same setting. Personally, I wash them with socks and other delicates in warm water to help the detergent really work the fabrics and materials.

If you have ever washed your sneakers in the washer machine with the laces, then you know that it is likely your laces could knot up during the wash cycle. It doesn’t always happen, but it can happen. Just have patience for like maybe 10 minutes to un-knot them if that happens.

After they’ve been washed in the washer, like your shoes, they should NOT be placed in the dryer. I absolutely cannot stress this enough. Instead, you should find somewhere or something to hang dry your laces. I like to let my laces dry for about a day, but really, it may only take a couple of hours max.

Hand washing is a safe option.

If you don’t like the idea of putting your laces in the washer, you can also do them by hand. With a bowl of warm water and solution, dip your laces in the bowl, get them nice and drenched and soapy. Next, there are a couple of ways you can do this: You can either wring out the water and dirt, or you can rub and grind the laces together to get the dirt out. I do both.

Like the washer method, let these hang dry somewhere.

Coat your laces with Rain N’ Stain.

Yes. Use your Crep Protect, Jason Markk, whatever water/stain repellant you have and coat your laces like you would your sneakers. Extra protection can’t hurt, can it?

Why we clean our laces…

Because like your sneaker, without maintaining the condition of the lace, all the dirt and stain left on the lace, coupled with the fact that it’s shape hardens the more it is left in the shoe can lead to laces that become tattered and torn, which can be harder to tie and lace up. It also just doesn’t look good. You think it wouldn’t make a difference because they’re laces, but if that were true, I wouldn’t have made this post.

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One response to “Lace Study No. 1: How to Clean Laces (and Why)”

  1. […] were looped through eyelets and where they are tied. While some stiffness over time is inevitable, this is where washing them on a somewhat consistent basis is important, because a good washing routine can slow the effects of stiffness and any staining from bent/tied […]

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