How to Wash Allbirds Sneakers

Light blue Allbirds sneakers being cleaned with bristled brush

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins - 8 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

If your favorite pair of Allbirds sneakers are looking dingy, it might be time to clean them. For context, Allbirds is a footwear and clothing company that uses sustainable materials in the production of its products. An American-New Zealander company, the company began with the launch of an athletic shoe with a 100-percent wool upper. The company now offers casual shoes with uppers created from eucalyptus, wool, and eucalyptus/wool blend fibers.

Learn how to wash all types of Allbirds footwear to remove stains and odor.

Fun Fact

The name, Allbirds, comes from the fact that New Zealand has almost no native land mammals, it's just "all birds".

Detergent Gentle or mild detergent
 Water Temperature  Cold
 Cycle Type  Gentle cycle
 Drying Cycle  Air-dry only
 Special Treatment  Wash shoes in a mesh delicates bag, handwash insoles
 Iron Settings  N/A

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Washing machine
  • Sink or large plastic tub
  • Soft-bristled nylon brush
  • Mesh delicates bag or pillowcase
  • Small bowl
  • Clothes drying rack
  • Microfiber towel

Materials

  • Gentle or mild detergent

Instructions

All styles of Allbirds sneakers—wool, eucalyptus (TENCEL™ Lyocell), and wool/TENCEL™ blends—can be washed. If you do not have a washing machine, the shoes can be hand-washed in a sink or large plastic tub. It is recommended that the water-repellent Mizzle collection be hand-washed to better protect the water-repellent finish unless they are extremely soiled.

Materials and tools to clean Allbirds sneakers

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  1. Prepare the Shoes

    If you have a style that features laces, remove the laces. Remove the innersole from all styles before washing. Innersoles should be handwashed.

    Allbirds inner sole and laces removed before cleaning

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Wash the Laces

    In a small bowl, mix some warm water and a few drops of laundry detergent. Add the laces and let them soak while you wash the shoes. After soaking for at least 15 minutes, squeeze the soapy solution through the laces to help release the soil. Rinse in warm or cool water and hang the laces from a drying rack to air-dry.

    Allbirds laces soaking in small bowl of soapy water

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  3. Check for Visible Stains

    If your shoes have heavy soil or visible food stains, place a dab of gentle laundry detergent directly on the soiled area. Use your fingers or a soft-bristled nylon brush (an old toothbrush works great) to gently work the detergent into the sneaker fabric. Let it work for at least 15 minutes to begin breaking down the soil before adding the shoes to the washer.

    Light blue Allbirds shoes being scrubbed with soft-bristled nylon brush

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  4. Select the Washer Settings and Detergent

    The washer should be set to the gentle cycle with the water temperature on cold. Use a mild detergent recommended for delicates or wool (Woolite, Castile soap, wool wash)

    Washing machine set to gentle cycle

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  5. Use a Mesh Delicates Bag

    Place the shoes in a mesh delicates bag before placing them in the washer. If you don't have a mesh bag, use an old pillowcase. Knot the open end or tie closed with a piece of cotton twine. The shoes can be washed with similar colorfast fabrics.

    Allbirds placed in mesh delicates bag for washing

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  6. Handwash the Insoles

    The insoles in Allbirds are made from wool and castor bean oil-based insole foam. They should be gently hand-washed to prevent damage to the foam.

    Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add the insoles. Apply a few drops of a gentle detergent to the wool layer of the insole. Work in the detergent with your fingers to create a few suds. Work gently, do not twist or wring the insole.

    Rinse well with warm or cool water and blot the insole between layers of a towel. Wool is easily damaged when it's wet, so blotting the insole instead of rolling it is less likely to cause damage. Allow the insoles to air-dry outside of the shoes. Never place them in a dryer—the heat will ruin the foam.

    Tip

    If your insoles are stinky, add a few drops of tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil to the detergent. You can also purchase custom replacement insoles for every Allbirds style.

    Black insoles hand-washed in yellow bucket with soapy water

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  7. Avoid the Dryer

    Once you have machine-washed or hand-washed the shoes, they should NEVER be placed in an automatic dryer. Allow them to air-dry on a drying rack.

    To speed the drying time, shake excess water from the shoes. Blot the shoe with a microfiber towel to absorb some of the moisture. Remove the shoes from the towel and allow them to air-dry. Add a circulating fan to improve airflow but do not apply heat from a hairdryer or other heating element.

    Cleaned Allbirds shoes placed on drying rack to air dry

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  8. Reassemble the Shoes

    Once the laces, insoles, and shoes are completely dry, reassemble the shoes.

    Allbirds shoes reassembled with cleaned laces and insoles

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Repairs and Storage

Allbirds offers a 30-day return policy on their shoes. If there is a needed repair, contact the company directly.

If possible, the shoes should be allowed to dry thoroughly between wearing to give the fibers time to recover. Store them in a breathable cotton bag to protect them from dust.