Imagine keeping your beloved New Balance 550 sneakers fresh and lasting. This guide is your ticket to achieving both ease and care. It’s more than cleaning – it’s preservation. Learn step-by-step: prep, wash, and let air do the rest. Discover how to choose water wisely and when to use gentle techniques. Unveil the magic of sneaker maintenance – where temperature, materials, and patience matter. Join us in revitalizing your New Balance 550.

Table of Contents

How To Wash New Balance 550

How To Wash New Balance 550

Total Time: 3 days

Cost: $0.53

  • Buy a Mesh Laundry Bag for $5.99
  • Buy Tide Pods for $55

Supplies & Tools:

  • Mild detergent (avoid bleach or harsh chemicals)
  • Soft-bristle brush or toothbrush
  • Old towels or shoe inserts
  • Mesh laundry bag or pillowcase (optional but recommended)
  • Washing machine
this is a photo of mild detergent used to wash new balance 550 shoes in the washing machine
Mild detergent
This is an old towel to wash new balance 500
Old towels
This is a pillowcase used to wash New Balance 550 in the washing machine
this is a photo of soft bristle brush which you will need to wash your new balance 550
Soft bristle brush
This is a mesh laundry bag used to wash New Balance 550 shoes in the washing machine
Mesh laundry bag
this is a photo of a washing machine which you will need to wash your new balance 550
Washing machine

This summer, I spent my time traveling around Europe. The day before I left Vancouver, I picked up a pair of size 14US/48.5EU 550 for my travels. They added 2 inches to my already 6-foot 7-inch frame, but I couldn’t not get my hands on this stylish shoe.

After a month of living in Copenhagen, two weeks in Budapest, and two weeks in Zagreb, I needed to wash the shoes. 

Before I headed to Hvar, I took advantage of the washing machine in my Airbnb in Zagreb and washed my 550. I followed the guide below, and they turned out clean as I wore them the first day. 

The only thing I noticed was how long they took to air dry. It was almost three days in the middle of summer in Croatia (35c/90f).

Washing sneakers like the New Balance 550 in a washing machine can be convenient, but it’s essential to do it properly to avoid damaging the shoes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash New Balance 550:

1. Prepare your 550

Prepare your 550 by removing the laces and insoles from the shoes.

This is a photo of a pair of 550 New Balance shoes being prepared to wash in the washing machine

2. Clean the surface of the 550

Use a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush to gently remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the shoes. Get the old towel wet and rub on any dark spots. Be gentle to avoid damaging the materials.

If your laces are extremly dirty then you will want this extra focus on cleaning your white shoelaces.

this is a photo of the surface going to be clean of a New Balance 550 shoe

3. Put the shoes, laces and insoles into laundry bags

Put the shoes into one laundry bag. You can wash the laces and removable insoles separately in a second laundry bag. Place them in a laundry bag or pillowcase to prevent tangling or damage during the wash.

I chose to not wash my insole due to the short amount of time they were worn. There was no smell to them so I decided to spare them a washing, which would wear on them.

Remember, only wash your New Balance 550 when necessary.

This is a photo of the New Balance 550 shoes in a mesh laundry bag
This is a photo of the New Balance 550 shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag

4. Washing machine settings for 550 set to cold

If you’re using a washing machine, choose a gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid using hot water as it can damage the glue and materials of the shoes.

this is a photo of a washing machine set to cold for New Balance 550 shoes

5. Use mild detergent on your 550

Use a small amount of mild detergent that’s suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals as they can damage the materials.

this is a photo of mild detergent to wash New Balance 550 shoes

6. Place the 550, shoelaces, and insoles in the wash

Place the shoes, laces, and insoles (in the laundry bag or pillowcase) into the washing machine. You can add some towels or similar soft items to help cushion the shoes and reduce the noise during the wash.

this is a photo of New Balance 550 shoes in the washing machine

7. Air dry the 550 for 1-3 days

After the wash, remove the shoes and insoles from the washing machine. Do not use a dryer or direct heat source to dry them; this can warp the materials or cause them to lose shape. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. Stuff them with crumpled newspaper/old towel or shoe inserts to help maintain their shape and expedite drying.

Depending on the time of year or the warmth of your house, this may take up to three days. The 550 are thick shoes with a lot of inner padding.

this is a photo of New Balance 550 shoes being air dried

8. Put your 550 back together and lace up

Once the shoes are completely dry, reattach the laces and insoles. They should now be clean and refreshed. I suggest your do a straight lace on the 550.

Remember, washing shoes in a machine can be risky, especially for premium or delicate materials. If your New Balance 550 have leather or other sensitive components, consider spot cleaning with a damp cloth instead. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions if available.

this is a photo of New Balance 550 shoes being put back together after being washed


Yes, you can wash your New Balance 550. As with any other shoe, you will want to follow our specific directions to make sure you don’t ruin your shoe.

Yes, New Balance is easy to clean if you know what you are doing. The material they are made with allows materials to be washed, scrubbed or rinsed off better than other materials.

The upper part is made from high-quality, smooth, and perforated leather, and the breathable mesh lining is on a rubber sole.