Who doesn’t LOVE a good pair of UGGs (or UGG look alikes)? I’m on my third pair — this pair is an UGG Classic Short II – super comfy, I can’t imagine my life without a pair of UGGs in them! And, let’s be real, UGGs aren’t on the cheap side either, with a price point averaging about $195 CDN + tax. I’ve had this pair for about 4 years and to be honest, at this point they owe me nothing, they have been perfectly good to me. However, as I have with my tall classics and my grey knits, I’ve been hard on them, and haven’t maintained them, I didn’t spray them, and never cleaned them after they got wet. This pair is on its way to the same unfortunate fate (the bin) unless I can salvage them somehow.
The biggest question to anyone who owns a pair of UGGs is … can I put them in the washing machine? The answer straight from the UGGSs mouth and anyone else in the shoe industry is an unequivocal NO! You cannot clean your UGGs in the washing machine. Authentic UGGs are made with suede which can easily be damaged if put in a washer.
See, I take the word “can” in “can easily be damaged if you put them in a washer” as more of challenge – it can ooooorrrrr it cannot. And, since my poor beaten down UGGs are on the way to the bin if I can’t save them, the least I can do is try to bring them back to life and save my pocket book a couple hundred dollars.
Suede is leather that has been chemically or physically abraded to produce a napped finish. Suede leather has more of a decorative finish than other types of leather. It’s a more delicate version of leather.
Knowing that, I’m still going to take the chance and throw them in the washing machine. I’ll let the chips fall where they may. At this point I’m not sure if the ending to this is going to be a success story about saving a pair of sad, old UGGs or the story of how I tried to save a pair of UGGs and ended up destroying them in the process.
Ok, so here are my UGGs …. watermarked, dirty and there’s a hole on the tip of the right toe … the poor things have seen better days … let’s see if we can save them and get a bit more life out of them …
- I tossed them in my front load washer on the delicate cycle (cold water wash and a cold water spin). I added 1 tab Kirkland detergent (I didn’t have any softer detergent such as a baby detergent). I also thought that putting my UGGs in with my hiking clothes (I don’t wear my UGGs for hiking, I had just got in from a hike and was washing my clothes) they wouldn’t bounce around the washer as much resulting in saving them from possible damage and precluding the hole in the tip of the toe from growing.
2) Once that cycle had run, I re-ran the washer on spin and drain 1 more time, as the load was still pretty soaked (because it was on delicate) and heavy.
3) So here are my UGGs fresh out of the washer … they don’t look ruined. They look clean – better than they have in a long while – but they’re wet – lets see what they look like when they’re dry.
I added Norwex cloths in them to absorb the some of the wetness and to help them keep their shape as they dried. I let them dry for about 18 hours.
4) Once they were dry, I then used my Horsehair Shoe Shine Brush and Crepe Suede Shoe Brush (items 1 and 3 below – this is the kit I own, purchased from Amazon) gently across the suede to restore its nappy texture. Once that was done, I took a lint roller and rolled it over my boots to pick up the extra suede from the de-napping.
5) To fix the hole in the toe tip, I decided to use what I had on hand, and that was Adhaero Super Glue. My only goal was to seal the hole to prevent snow from entering and to keep it from growing. This fix was utilitarian not cosmetic.
6) The fluffy material inside UGGs is wool. The fleece had eventually worn down and became matted due to wear. I used my dog’s brush to unmat my UGG insoles – it worked – they’re fluffy and soft again (I lint rolled the inside too!).
7) The next thing I did was use some Rain and Stain Protector, I applied 2 coats. Applied the 1st coat, waited an hour and reapplied.
So, all in all, I feel good about giving my UGGs a new lease on life. Other than the standard aged crease marks and minor repair to the toe hole, they’re definitely still in good shape and washing them in the washing machine did not ruin them.
I can certainly appreciate that you wouldn’t want to do this regularly, but if it’s do or toss — I’ll opt for ‘do’ any day of the week. This revamp of my UGGs cost me $0.00 – it cost me a bit of time and a bit of elbow grease and saved me abt $220 on a new pair (for now).
Has anyone else washed their UGGs in the washing machine? Comment below.