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Can You Put Shoes In The Dryer?

Can You Put Shoes In The Dryer?

Got your favorite pair of shoes too dirty and are planning to wash them soon? Or are you also one of those people who always tend to get their shoes wet?

You probably were planning to wash your shoes in a rigorous washing machine cycle and then toss them into the dryer next.

Of course, when they’re your everyday shoes, you might not have the option of waiting for long hours, making a dryer a perfect solution.

However, putting your shoes at the mercy of a dryer is a recipe for completely ruining them.

You can wash shoes manually or run them in a washing machine at the lowest possible speed. However, you cannot put them in a dryer, as the damage it causes will be permanent.

This might come off as a surprise because the common perception of washing any kind of fabric is accompanied by drying it out later.

This is not true with shoes though, because it’s not entirely made of fabric and hence, don’t have the same care required.

Still, have some confusion about drying your shoes? Let’s unpack the topic a little.


What Happens If You Dry Your Shoes In The Dryer?

Each pair of shoes is specifically designed to be a perfect fit in terms of size and shape. The toe side is made wide, the heels narrower, and the tip is made oval to align with the natural formation of a foot. 

If any of these dimensions go off because of any reason, be it wear and tear or minor damage, you are at the risk of ruining your comfort and overall fit of the shoe.

A similar thing occurs when you put your shoes in the dryer.

They’re repeatedly thrown around by force, banging on the walls of the dryer, which can eventually lead your shoes to lose their shape and also significantly dent the sole. 

The heat applied by a dryer is also not favorable for the adhesive parts of the shoe, leading to dislocation of parts or wearing off of some areas.

Good footwear is a necessity for everyone, but the quality becomes extremely important if you’re an athlete or most of your business depends on how fast you walk.

It’d be a nightmare for you to realize that your shoe sole is ripped off, right before walking into a meeting. 

Similarly, foot coordination is an essential part of the training of any athlete, emphasizing the comfort level of their shoes.

The last thing you’d want as a footballer would be a lopsided walk, only because your once-perfect shoes are now unexplainably loose.

Putting your shoes in the dryer is not a go-to but having said that, desperate times call for desperate measures.

You can opt for this method once in a blue moon if you want squeaky clean shoes within a few minutes, but it’s best to not make it a habit.

Drying Shoes

What Is The Recommended Approach To Putting Shoes In The Dryer If You Have To?

If you do find yourself in a situation that requires a quick fix, don’t worry! Follow these steps to safely dry your shoes in a dryer:

  1. Find out if your shoes are actually dryer safe or not. If they are, you can go ahead and dry them without worrying about any aftermath. You can easily find this info on the box label or the interior sole of the shoe, but entirely dryer-safe shoes are not common.
  2. Identify your fabric type because not every shoe can make it out of the dryer in one piece. Suede or leather-based shoes are better left dirty than being put into the dryer.
  3. To prevent the shoes from knocking around in the dryer, tie them together with the shoelaces.
  4. To avoid excessive banging completely, you can also leave a part of your shoelaces outside the door so that minimal movement reduces the damage. All you’d need to do is hold your shoelaces, place the shoes inside the dryer and close the door, having almost a quarter of the laces sticking outside.
  5. Break the drying cycle into shorter intervals so that the impact is gentle. Keep checking up on your shoes after every interval so that if they start to wither, you can take them out right away.
  6. Make sure your dryer settings are tuned to be the lowest so that the cycle is mild and gentle on the shoes.

What Are The Other Methods Of Drying Your Shoes?

Since the fastest way of drying your shoes is by manual action, here are a couple of ways that’ll help you get rid of all the dampness.

If you don’t wash your shoes often and end up tossing them in the dryer just because they’re wet, newspapers are bound to come in handy for you.

Not only are they great at absorbing water, but they’re also readily available and easily recyclable. Follow these steps to dry your shoes in no time:

  • Clean up your shoes with a bristle brush to get rid of all the wet dirt stuck to the fabric. If you’re unable to clean it off completely, a quick rinse might serve the purpose well.
  • To speed up the process, make sure that you get rid of the soles. They are usually made from foam and tend to absorb a lot of water. Leaving them inside the shoe might result in partially dried footwear that you’ll only realize once you wear it for a while.
  • Allow as much air as possible to come in contact with the insides by opening up the shoe as much as possible.
  • Start working your way on the shoe with newspaper pieces, getting to as many areas as possible. For the insides, make a ball out of newspaper and stuff it in; keep changing the balls until one comes out completely dry. If your shoes are of a light color, you might also have to pay attention to which bits of the newspaper you’re using. Pieces with too much writing will tend to leak ink and ultimately stain your shoes.
  • Wrap your shoes nicely with lots of newspaper that can go around them multiple times. Keep checking up on them and change the newspapers once they start appearing as damp.
  • Place them in a place that has a sufficient amount of air and light. Harsh or direct sunlight might not be useful in this case so placing them indoors will be a wise decision.

Another method to achieve perfectly dried shoes is air drying. Being a common resort, leaving your shoes to dry out by themselves is a hassle-free way when you’re not in a hurry. Here’s how you can dry your shoes using this method:

  • Get rid of all the dirt and residue stuck to the shoes and make sure there are no leftover particles before proceeding to the next step.
  • Open up the shoes so that the insides can receive an ample amount of air to be dried completely.
  • Place them right under a fan and wait for the action to happen. You can also hang them in mid-air with the help of hangers so that no part is left wet.
  • You can also opt for air inlets or heaters to speed up the process.

Final Word on Putting Your Shoes in the Dryer

Ruining your shoes because of one blunder can cause your shoes to be ruined.

It is, therefore, important for you to be aware of all the processes involved so that you end up making the most favorable decisions.

Don’t rush into drying out your shoes because patience is the key!

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.