If you’re the kind of person that enjoys casual clothes such as t-shirts and a pair of jeans, then it’s highly likely you’re aware of Allbirds. Regarded as some of the most iconic sustainable shoes, Allbirds are some of the softest and most comfortable footwear that keep your feet feeling good when jogging or walking.
But, other than giving you comfort and style, Allbirds have another huge advantage. They’re made from eco-friendly sustainable materials that are friendly to the environment. Some of these materials include Merino wool imported from New Zealand, Castor bean oil, recycled bottles, Sweet Foam from sugar cane, and fiber from the Eucalyptus tree.
But, despite being an overnight sensation among celebrities and other styling enthusiasts, Allbirds are susceptible to dirt due to the Merino wool used to construct them. For that reason, these shoes require special everyday care to stay clean and fresh for long. So, in this discussion, we’re going to offer a detailed step-by-step procedure on how to wash Allbirds to restore their former shine.
Now, What is So Great About Allbirds?
One of the greatest things about Allbirds is the amount of comfort they offer to their wearers. These sneakers are gentle on your feet. Secondly, they’re light meaning you won’t have to strain when walking, jogging, or running.
Another factor that makes Allbirds so iconic is the fact that the brand is owned by a former New Zealand soccer player named Tim Brown. After years of sponsorship by Nike, Tim thought of launching a line of footwear that consisted of natural materials. Since he’s from New Zealand, Tim thought of using Merino wool due to its availability and high breathability.
In 2016, Tim launched the Allbirds brand. The shoes consisted of Merino wool upper, rubber sole, laces made from recycled bottles, castor bean oil insoles, and soles made from a sugar-based material called Sweet Foam. Since these shoes are simple with fewer logos, most celebrities have picked this route making Allbirds a mainstream brand in the footwear business.
So, How Do You Clean Allbirds?
While people have talked a lot about Allbirds, these classy shoes have one major downside—they get dirty pretty fast. That’s because these classy shoes have a woolen top layer that attracts a lot of dirt to make cleaning quite overwhelming. So, how do you clean these shoes?
Part One: Start By Cleaning the Laces and Insoles
What You’ll Need:
- Warm water
- Mild detergent
- Clean cloth
- Soft brush
The first step of washing Allbirds is by removing the laces and the insoles. Remember, we mentioned that these shoes come from eco-friendly delicate materials that wear off if exposed to extreme abuse. Although these shoes are safe to machine wash, you need to remove the laces and the insoles first before you can proceed.
- So, with the laces/insoles out, pick a bowl and fill it with warm water.
- Add your mild detergent and agitate the water to make it foamy.
- Place your insoles inside the bowl and start scrubbing them gently using a soft-bristled brush.
- Once you’re certain the insoles are clean, use a sponge to wipe them clean.
- Lastly, use another clean sponge to wipe any excess soapy residue from the insoles.
Part Two: Cleaning the Shoes
Now that you’ve washed the laces and the insoles, the next step is to wash your Allbirds. There are two methods you can use to wash Allbirds. One is by using your hands while the other is by using a washing machine. So, let’s start with the first method which is using your bare hands.
Method One: Cleaning by Hand
What You’ll Need:
- Soft brush
- Bucket of water
- Mild detergent
- Soft towel
- Step One: Cleaning your Allbirds by hand is by far one of the safest methods. Since the uppers of these sneakers comprise of delicate Merino wool, extreme care is mandatory if you want to keep them safe. For this reason, cleaning Allbirds by hand is hence the best approach.
- Step Two: So, to clean your Allbirds, you’ll begin by inserting one hand inside the shoe to brace it from the inside. Next, pick your soft-bristled brush and start brushing the surface using back and forth strokes. This will help to remove dirt and debris from the surface before washing your shoes.
- Step Three: Pour cold water into a bucket and mix it with mild soap. Agitate the water a little to make it foamy. Now, in case you want to spot clean your Allbirds, then you can simply dip a clean cloth in the soapy water to spot clean the affected areas.
If they’re too dirty, then you can simply submerge them into the soapy water and leave them for about 20 minutes. Wipe them gently using a clean cloth then rinse them again with fresh water. In case of stubborn stains, then you can use a soft-bristled brush to scrub them.
Method Two: Using a Washing Machine
Things You’ll Need:
- Gentle detergent
- Washing Machine
- Laundry bag
- A few colored towels
Earlier on, we mentioned that washing your Allbirds by hand is the safest method you can consider. However, there are times when a laundry machine can come in handy. In this regard, you must observe extreme caution to avoid shrinking and stretching the Merino wool fabric.
Here, you have to use the right heat, the right detergent, and the right laundry cycle when washing these sneakers.
- Step One: Start by placing your Allbirds inside a laundry bag.
- Step Two: Place the laundry bag inside the washing machine and add a few colored towels to prevent the shoes from damaging the machine during the washing cycles.
- Step Three: Add a mild or rather gentle detergent inside the cap. Avoid using fabric softeners or any bleaching agents as they can damage the soft fabric of your Allbirds.
- Step Four: When you’re done adding the detergent, turn to the settings and turn the water temperature to the coldest setting. This way, the soft fabric of your Allbirds will not shrink due to extreme heat.
Part Three: Drying Your Allbirds
Now that the wash cycle is over, the next step, that’s equally important, is drying up your Allbirds. Remember, Allbirds are delicate; hence they need to dry up completely before you can wear them. We’ve already mentioned multiple times that Allbirds have a very delicate upper material.
So, when exposed to moderate to high heat, the upper fabric can easily shrink causing the shoes to lose their shape. For this reason, never attempt to dry Allbirds inside a dryer. Instead, lay the shoes on top of a towel in an upright position.
Make sure the area is warm at room temperature and nothing more. If you need to dry them faster, you can consider setting them next to a fan in a well-ventilated area such as next to a window. This way, your Allbirds will take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to dry up fully.
Part Four: Eliminating Odors
Although Merino wool has excellent moisture-wicking properties, Allbirds are susceptible to odors as compared to most other shoes. For this reason, you need to find creative ways of removing these odors. Now, one of the sure-fire ways of removing odors from Allbirds is by using baking soda. So, how do you accomplish this?
- Baking soda
- Soft brush
- Old towels and newspapers
- A sealable container
- Step One: With the shoes entirely dry, remove the insoles and stick them inside a sealable bag. Add baking soda inside the bag and shake it gently.
- Step Two: Next, cover your shoes with some old towels or newspapers. Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and on the outside. Again, set them aside and leave them overnight.
- Step Three: Wake up the next morning and remove the insoles from the sealable bag. Shake off any excess baking soda. Do the same to the shoes. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any remaining baking soda from the shoes or the insoles. When you’re done, replace the insoles and wear your Allbirds.
As you can see, there’s a lot to talk about regarding Allbirds. First, these sneakers come from eco-friendly materials that are extremely safe for the environment. Secondly, these shoes offer a lot to our feet such as comfort, breathability, and moisture-wicking advantage.
But, despite offering a wide range of benefits, Allbirds are very demanding when it comes to cleaning them. The Merino wool fabric used on the uppers is susceptible to dirt making cleaning inevitable. For that reason, this insightful guide has come to your rescue to offer a detailed step-by-step procedure on how to wash Allbirds.
Other than washing your shoes, we’ve further discussed how you’re supposed to dry your Allbirds as well as how to remove odors. With that said, we wish you all the best in your next pair of Allbirds.