How to Wash and Care for Allbirds Sneakers

Allbirds sneakers are made from natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus tree fiber, which makes caring for them a bit different than typical sneakers. Properly washing and drying Allbirds is key to keeping them looking and feeling their best. Here are some tips on how to wash and care for Allbirds sneakers.

Preparing to Wash Allbirds

Before washing your Allbirds, you’ll want to:

  • Brush off any loose dirt with a shoe brush. This prevents the particles from grinding into the wool or tree fiber material during the wash.
  • Remove the laces and insoles. Check the insoles for any debris or buildup and clean as needed.
  • Zip up the laces into a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This keeps them from getting tangled or lost.
  • Turn the shoes upside down and gently knock them together to remove any additional dirt or debris.

Washing Allbirds Sneakers

Use cold water – Hot water can shrink or felt the natural fibers. Stick to cold water to preserve the fit and texture.

Wash by hand or use the delicate cycle – The agitation of a washing machine, even on delicate, can be rough on Allbirds. For the gentlest clean, wash by hand with wool detergent. If using the machine, choose a delicate cycle and place them in a mesh bag.

Use a mild detergent – Wool and tree fiber materials require a gentle cleanser. Steer clear of regular laundry detergent, which can strip the natural oils. Opt for a mild wool detergent or soap like Woolite.

Don’t soak for too long – While you want to allow some soak time to loosen dirt, soaking too long can lead to shrinkage. 5-10 minutes max should do the trick.

Gently scrub stains – For any visible stains, allow them to soak in the detergent for a few minutes then gently scrub with a soft bristle brush. Avoid harsh scrubbing.

Rinse thoroughly – Rinse away all traces of detergent, as residues can speed up yellowing over time.

Air dry only – Skip the heat of the dryer, as it can cause excessive shrinkage. Allow to air dry fully before wearing again.

Caring for Allbirds Between Wears

  • Allow shoes a full 24 hours to air out before re-wearing. This prevents odor buildup.
  • Use cedar shoe trees to absorb moisture and maintain the shape between wears.
  • To freshen insoles, remove and allow to air out for a few hours. Sprinkle with a light layer of baking soda to absorb odors.
  • Store Allbirds in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  • Spot clean stains immediately with cold water and mild detergent. Don’t oversaturate the shoe.
  • Brush wool exteriors gently with a natural bristle brush to revive texture.
  • Apply a wool-safe waterproofer spray if using for rain or snow. Reapply after each wash.

Avoiding Damage to Your Allbirds

  • Steer clear of using heat from hairdryers or direct sunlight to dry, as this can cause shrinkage. Air dry only.
  • Don’t use fabric softener, as it leaves behind a coating that diminishes the natural properties of the materials.
  • Avoid bleach and oxygen cleaners, which can yellow the white soles over time.
  • Don’t wash with other laundry, only wash Allbirds alone or with other sneakers. Zippers and hooks from clothing can snag the wool.
  • Check for any pilling or loose threads and carefully snip away. Don’t pull, which can unravel stitches.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Allbirds

With proper care, Allbirds can last for years. However, here are some signs it may be time to retire an old pair and replace with fresh kicks:

  • Excessive pilling that doesn’t brush away, leaving a fuzzy appearance
  • Holes, tears or rips, especially on seams or the sole
  • Permanent stains that don’t wash out
  • Misshapen from improper washing or drying
  • Soles excessively worn down with loss of tread
  • Odor that persists even after washing
  • Visible mold or mildew

Extend the Life of Your Allbirds

  • Use cedar shoe trees after each wear to absorb moisture and maintain shape
  • Allow 24 hours between wears for sneakers to fully dry and air out
  • Alternate between different pairs to allow the materials to fully rebound
  • Spot clean stains after each wear to prevent buildup
  • Apply waterproofer sprays to protect from moisture damage
  • Check periodically for pilling and loose threads and carefully snip away
  • Wash gently by hand or delicate cycle every 3-5 wears max

With a bit of TLC, your Allbirds sneakers can stay looking and feeling great for seasons to come. Follow these care tips to keep your merino and tree fiber kicks going strong.

Frequently Asked Questions About Caring for Allbirds Sneakers

Can I put my Allbirds in the washing machine?

Yes, you can machine wash Allbirds on a delicate cycle. Use cold water and a mesh laundry bag for protection. However, hand washing is most gentle.

How do I wash the insoles of my Allbirds?

Remove the insoles and wash by hand with mild detergent and cold water. Allow to fully air dry before replacing in shoes.

What is the best way to dry Allbirds after washing?

Always air dry only. Do not use heat from dryers or direct sunlight, as this can shrink the natural materials.

How can I get rid of odors from my Allbirds?

Allow shoes a full 24 hours to air out between wears. Freshen the insoles by removing and sprinkling with baking soda. Wash gently by hand with cold water and mild detergent.

How often should I wash my Allbirds?

Only wash when visibly dirty, about every 3-5 wears. Too frequent washing can strip the natural oils. Spot clean stains after each wear.

What can I use to protect my Allbirds from moisture?

Apply a lightweight waterproofer made for wool and suedes after each wash. Reapply as needed after exposure to moisture.

Why does pilling happen on the surface of Allbirds?

Pilling is normal from the wool fibers rubbing together. Gently brush with a sweater stone or shaver to remove pills. Avoid pulling loose threads.

Can I use the dryer to dry my Allbirds faster?

No, only air dry Allbirds. Heat from the dryer can cause excessive shrinkage. Fully air drying is best for preserving fit and texture.


Allbirds sneakers require a gentle approach when it comes to cleaning and care. By using cold water, mild detergent, air drying, and periodic brushing, you can keep your merino wool and tree fiber Allbirds looking like new. Avoid heat, harsh detergents, and over-washing. With some TLC, your Allbirds will last for seasons of comfortable, sustainable wear.