How to Wash Allbirds

  • Are you familiar with Allbirds runners? They’re too cute not to love them. Even dirty! However, these delicate-looking shoes deserve an honest wash from time to time. Ensure you follow all the instructions to turn them clean while keeping them in the same shape form as before the washing.
  • For washing these shoes, use only a gentle detergent and cold water. A linen bag that you put your Allbirds in can also be helpful. To get rid of excess dirt, reach out for a soft brush—wool is a delicate fabric. Steer clear of the bleach. 
  • When you wash your Allbirds, ensure you treat them gently. Otherwise, you may not witness them in the same shape ever again. Keep reading our guide to discover all the care instructions we’re happy to share!

Allbirds—all you need to know

Before we throw Allbirds’ shoes into the washing machine, let’s get to know them better.

Allbirds, Inc. is a New Zealand-American company selling footwear and apparel.

The brand’s products are eco-friendly. 

We can buy them through the Allbird website and retail stores.

The first Allbirds’ shoes were Wool Runners. The brand created this beauty from New Zealand superfine merino wool. 

Since then, the company has expanded into manufacturing other footwear (like running shoes and flip flops) and apparel.

Before launching the brand, Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown had attended business school and made leather shoes for friends.

Funny enough, he was perfectly aware of how uncomfortable they were!

He engineered a sneaker in 2014—thanks to the research grant he received from the New Zealand wool industry—and subsequently promoted his idea on Kickstarter.

After receiving tremendous financial support, he teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer and renewable materials expert, and they officially launched Allbirds in March 2016.

In 2020, they announced a partnership with Adidas. 

Wash your Allbirds

Now that we know everything about the brand’s history, the crucial question is how‌ to‌ wash‌ Allbirds‌?

There’s one thing that no marketer will try to hide from you: All shoes get dirty—all of them. 

Whether they are white, pink, or black, on-the-edge-of-surviving, or sturdy, wool-, or leather-made, all of them will eventually forget their fresh, clean days. 

If your Allbirds become smelly, baking soda is an effective solution that could help fix the odor issue.

Washing instructions

Here’s how to proceed to clean your Allbirds in several quick steps:

1. Remove the laces and insoles.

Don’t forget to remove the insoles before you toss your Allbirds into the washing machine drum! 

Insoles and laces have different care instructions than shoes—ending up in the laundry machine is not their cup of tea.

2. Brush off excess dirt with a towel or soft brush. Using a clothes brush is suitable for the wool. 

3. Throw the shoes in the washing machine on wool. Do not wash insoles in the washing machine!

4. Choose delicates gentle cycle—cold water is the best for this fabric. 

Use a gentle detergent or soap if you wash your shoes by hand. It’s okay to add some fabric softener. 

Double-check if you’ve set the temperature of your machine on its cool.

Tip: You can use a linen bag to put Allbirds inside and do the washing. 

Important: Avoid bleach like fire!

Wash Allbirds insoles

We strongly suggest washing the insoles by hand every time. 

Since washing insoles is such a significant part of this washing enterprise, let us share some tips. 

How to wash your Allbirds insoles?

The insoles are made of foam-based plant oils that have an upper layer of Merino wool. 

Let us say it once more: They cannot be placed in a machine, and you should clean them manually.

So while you can put the shoes into the washing machine and proceed to do the mild laundry, the rule is different with Allbirds laces and insoles. 

What do you need for insoles’ washing?

  • mild detergent,
  • warm water use,
  • a soft brush (with soft bristles),
  • sponge or a clean cloth,
  • toothbrush;

1. After you remove the insoles of your shoes, use a soft brush to remove dust and dirt from the insoles.

2. Then, fill a bucket with warm water.

3. Add a mild wool detergent and then mix it all well.

4. Now, dip a toothbrush in a water-based solution.

5. Let your insoles dipped in this soapy water—they’ll like it!

6. Turn the insoles and repeat the process from the beginning.

7. You can now take a sponge or clean cloth and remove soap residue from insoles.

8. Similarly to the process of shoe drying, let your insoles dry in the air freely. Put them on a rack or clean surface, hang them from the tree, or any other efficient drying surface. Make sure your insoles are completely dry before you wear the shoes.

Clean Allbirds with baking soda

Another way for bringing your Allbirds back to the fresh side is by giving them a delicate touch of baking soda. 

This substance has deodorizing properties—it has been proved that it reduces smells in garbage cans. Of course, your feet don’t smell that bad! It’s just to say that you can really count on baking soda’s properties.

So how to do it?

Here are the baking soda-related tips so that you don’t have to search for them by yourself. 

You’ll need:

  • baking soda,
  • newspaper/an old towel,
  • sealable container/Ziploc bag,
  • soft brush;

And here’s what to do:

(Before using baking soda on them, make sure your shoes and insoles are dry)

1. Remove the laces and insoles from your pair of sneakers.

2. Place your shoes in the container or bag. 

3. Cover the whole of the material uppers with baking soda. Just a couple of ounces—it should be enough.

4. Leave the baking soda overnight. 

It needs to stay several hours at room temperature, so the chemical interaction could slowly kick-off. 

5. When you wake up, place your shoes on a newspaper or an old towel.

6. Sprinkle baking soda all over the soles, the inside and outside of the shoes. Then, again, leave it to sit overnight.

7. Next day, shake off as much excess as you can.

8. Use a soft brush to remove any remaining baking soda. Also, banging the soles of the shoes together can help remove some of the baking soda.

9. Let shoes air out for about five minutes before replacing the insoles.

You can use this method to freshen your Allbirds as often as you like!

Dry your Allbirds

After you wash your gorgeous Allbirds shoes, proceed to air dry. 

Yes, the good old air dry. 

While it may be tempting to tumble dry, you want to avoid it. 

Unless you really hate your Allbirds. Then, go on and give them this tumble-dry adventure that they will never forget. Oh, don’t forget to tell them “goodbye” before you place them inside the dryer drum.

So, air dry your Allbirds and be patient—they may take a long time to dry out completely. 

You may need to let your shoes air dry for 24 hours in a well-ventilated area. 

Put Allbirds shoes next to 

  • a fan, 
  • open window, or 
  • on your porch;

Let them naturally dry on their own. Then, wait at least 24 hours before wearing them again.

After all the parts of your shoe are dry, reinsert the insole and laces into the shoe. 

Now, you’re free to go in your pair of fresh, shiny, and fragrant Allbirds!

Tip: Since they take quite a long time to dry completely,  it’s best to wash Allbirds when you don’t have to wear them the same or the next day. 

Related articles

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on the fabric that your clothes are made of. Also, consider whether any of the items you wash are prone to lose some color. It's the same as with regular washing: just like you wouldn’t wash dark colors with light ones, it might not be advisable to put some clothes in specific, intense colors with your white Allbirds. Moreover, if you don't own a laundry bag to put your sneakers in separated, place some old white towels in the machine with your Allbirds to stop them from rattling around.
Allbirds are comfortable and versatile. This footwear is ideal for intense use—in your outdoor activity, gym, or work. Yet, after actively wearing these shoes for a while, we may notice an odor; some users perceive it as worse than in other sneakers.
Allbirds' shoes are created from New Zealand superfine merino wool; therefore, we should treat them gently when washing. The wool is known to stretch or shrink occasionally, so using too much heat isn't advised, both in the wash and when drying.
Leave a Comment