Can I Put Shoes In The Dryer?

When you were rushing to get out the door on time, did you ever realize that your shoes were still wet from a sudden rainstorm?

It’s also possible that you’ve had to deal with sweaty gym shoes that won’t dry fast enough. Everyone has been there.

And at those times, throwing our shoes in the machine to get them clean quickly may seem like a good idea. But before you press the “Start” button, you should think about whether this method is safe and will work.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of drying shoes and give you some tips on how to keep your favorite shoes in good shape. We’ll look at everything, from possible damage to safety risks.

Let’s discuss whether it’s worthwhile to take a risk before making a decision.

Can I Put Shoes In The Dryer?

No, it is not a wise decision to put shoes in the dryer as it can result in harm to both the appliance and the shoes themselves. The intense heat and tumbling motion of the dryer can cause delicate materials such as leather and suede to deteriorate or lose their shape.

This can also lead to shrinkage, discoloration, and even pose a fire hazard. It is best to explore alternative methods for drying shoes that do not involve using a dryer.

Alternative Methods for Drying Shoes:

Method Description Safety Rating
Natural air drying Place your shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry naturally. Very safe
Stuff with newspaper Stuff your damp shoes with crumpled newspaper to absorb moisture and speed up the drying process. Safe
Low heat hairdryer Use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to gently dry your shoes. Keep the dryer a few inches away from the shoe and continuously move it around to avoid overheating. Moderate
Rice method Fill a bowl with uncooked rice and place your damp shoes in it. The rice will soak up the moisture from the shoes. Moderate
Towel method Wrap your damp shoes in a towel and squeeze out the excess water. Repeat with a dry towel until most of the water is absorbed. Safe
Cat litter method Fill a sock with cat litter and place it in your damp shoes. The cat litter will absorb the moisture from the shoes. Moderate

Types of Shoes That Can Be Put in the Dryer

The extreme heat can cause these materials to shrink or even melt, resulting in permanent damage. It is best to air dry these types of shoes to maintain their quality and shape. However, canvas or athletic shoes can generally handle the dryer, but it’s still important to use caution.

To provide a clearer understanding of which types of shoes are safe to put in the dryer, I have created a table outlining various shoe materials and their corresponding dryer safety levels:

Shoe Material Dryer Safety Level
Leather Avoid using the dryer as it can cause shrinkage or melting
Suede Avoid using the dryer as it can cause shrinkage or melting
Canvas Generally safe to use in the dryer, but use low heat to avoid damage
Athletic shoes (with rubber soles) Generally safe to use in the dryer, but use low heat to avoid damage
Faux leather/Pleather Avoid using the dryer as it can cause melting or warping
Mesh/Neoprene Generally safe to use in the dryer, but use low heat to avoid damage
Synthetic materials (nylon, polyester, etc.) Generally safe to use in the dryer, but use low heat to avoid damage
Rubber/Plastic (rain boots, Crocs, etc.) Safe to use in the dryer, but remove any detachable parts and use low heat
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It is important to keep in mind that the dryer safety level may also depend on the quality of your shoes. Cheaper or low-quality shoes may not be able to withstand the heat and tumbling action of the dryer, resulting in shrinkage, warping, or even falling apart.

If you have determined that your shoes are safe to put in the dryer, here is a step-by-step guide to ensure they dry properly without causing damage:

  • Remove any detachable parts such as laces, inserts, and insoles from your shoes.
  • Place your shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them from the heat or tumbling action.
  • Use a low-heat setting on your dryer.
  • Check on your shoes periodically to ensure they are not getting too hot or tangled.

Factors to Consider Before Putting Shoes in the Dryer

Before tossing your shoes into the dryer, there are a few important things to keep in mind. The material, type, size and weight, wetness level, and overall condition of your shoes can all have a significant impact on the drying process.

It’s crucial to consider these factors to avoid any potential damage and preserve the quality of your beloved kicks.

Different materials require different levels of caution when it comes to drying. For example, leather shoes should never be put in the dryer as the heat can cause them to shrink, crack, or lose their shape.

On the other hand, canvas and synthetic materials are more durable and can usually handle the dryer without any issues. Check out the table below for a breakdown of recommended safety levels for various shoe materials.

Material Safety Level
Leather Do not dry
Canvas Safe to dry
Synthetic Safe to dry

Another important factor to consider is the type of dryer you’re using. A regular household dryer may work fine for most shoes, but if your shoes are particularly delicate or expensive, it may be worth investing in a shoe-specific dryer with adjustable heat levels.

The size and weight of your shoes also play a role in the drying process. If your shoes are bulky or heavy, they may take longer to dry and should be checked periodically to avoid overheating. Wetness level is also important – if your shoes are completely saturated, it’s best to let them air dry before attempting to use the dryer.

Lastly, always take into account the overall condition of your shoes. If they’re already worn out or damaged, it’s best to avoid putting them in the dryer as it could further deteriorate their quality.

Precautions to Take When Drying Shoes in the Dryer

Worrying about potential risks and damages when drying shoes in the dryer? You’re not alone. Here are some tips to minimize damage and ensure your shoes come out looking good as new.

Risks and Damages:

  • Shrinkage of natural materials such as leather, suede, or cotton.
  • Warping or distortion of the shoe’s shape, especially with synthetic materials like plastic or rubber.
  • Color fading or bleeding, particularly with bright or dark-colored shoes or those with printed designs.

Prevention Tips:

  • It’s best to avoid putting shoes in the dryer altogether if possible.
  • If you must use a dryer, place your shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase first to protect them from tumbling.
  • To minimize damage, adjust the dryer to its lowest heat setting and remove your shoes promptly once dry.
  • For best results, air-dry your shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • Avoid drying shoes with embellishments or delicate materials in the dryer to prevent any potential damage.

By following these simple precautions and taking extra care when drying your shoes in the dryer, you can ensure they come out looking fresh and undamaged every time.

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Can I Put Shoes In The Dryer-2

How to Properly Prepare Shoes for Drying in the Dryer

To ensure your shoes are properly prepared for drying in the dryer, here are six simple steps you can follow:

Step 1: Firstly, check the label on your shoes to determine if they are suitable for machine drying. It is recommended to air dry leather or suede shoes.
Step 2: If your shoes can be machine dried, tie a knot with both shoelaces to prevent them from getting tangled.
Step 3: Next, place your shoes in the dryer and close the laces in the door to secure them during the drying process.
Step 4: Set the dryer to the air dry setting. This will use low heat and no tumbling action, which is gentler on your shoes.
Step 5: Dry the shoes for 20-30 minutes and check them. If they are still damp, you can continue to dry them in 10-minute intervals until they are fully dry.
Step 6: If you are unsure about putting your shoes directly in the dryer, you can place them on a dryer rack and set the dryer to air dry without tumbling.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when preparing your shoes for drying in the dryer:

  • Before placing your shoes in the dryer, make sure to remove any removable parts such as laces or inserts.
  • To prevent damage to your shoes, use a low-heat setting on your dryer.
  • Consider using a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase to protect your shoes from heat and prevent them from getting caught on any loose parts.
  • Remember to check on your shoes periodically during the drying process to avoid overheating or potential damage.

By following these steps and taking necessary precautions, you can safely and effectively dry your shoes in the dryer. However, if you are still uncertain or have any concerns, it is always best to air dry your shoes to avoid any potential damage.

Alternatives to Using a Dryer for Drying Shoes

During the rainy season or for delicate shoes that may be damaged in the dryer, there are many alternatives to using a dryer for drying shoes. You can try out different methods to see which one works best for your shoes:

  • Using rice to absorb moisture: Rice is an exceptional absorbent and can effectively dry out wet shoes. Simply place your shoes in a container filled with rice and leave them overnight. By morning, the moisture will be absorbed by the rice, leaving your shoes dry.
  • Newspaper: Another method is to crumple newspaper into balls and stuff them inside wet shoes to absorb the moisture. Leave them overnight and remove the newspaper in the morning to find your shoes dry.
  • Microwave: If you need your shoes dried quickly, you can use a microwave on medium heat for 15-30 minutes. This will help evaporate the water from your wet shoes. However, this method is not suitable for all types of shoes and may cause damage to certain materials.
  • Hair dryer: For synthetic, cotton, or canvas shoes, a hair dryer can be used to effectively dry them. Use a low heat setting and keep the dryer at least 6 inches away from the shoe to avoid any damage.
  • Plastic bag and freezer: Placing wet shoes in a plastic bag and then in an empty freezer can also help dry them out. Leave them in there overnight, and they should be dry by morning.
  • Light bulb: A slower but safer method is to keep your wet shoes under a light bulb overnight. This will provide gentle heat that won’t damage your shoes but will still help dry them out.
  • Vacuum cleaner: A vacuum cleaner with good suction power can also be used to dry out wet shoes. Just make sure the machine is clean before using it.
  • Fan: Pointing a fan towards wet shoes can also help speed up the drying process. The airflow will help evaporate the moisture from the shoes.
  • Towels: If your shoes are only slightly damp, you can use towels to absorb the moisture. Simply wrap the shoes in towels and press down to remove excess water.
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Common Mistakes When Drying Shoes in the Dryer

When trying to dry your shoes quickly, it’s easy to make mistakes that can cause damage to both your shoes and your dryer. To avoid any mishaps, here are some common mistakes people make when drying shoes in the dryer:

  • Neglecting to check the care label: It’s important to read and follow the instructions on the care label of your shoes. This will help prevent damage, shrinkage, or deformation.
  • Leaving other items in the dryer: Before drying your shoes, be sure to remove any clothing or accessories from the dryer. These items can get tangled or caught in the machine, leading to damage.
  • Using high heat: Delicate materials like leather, suede, and synthetic fabrics can be damaged by high heat. To avoid this, opt for a low heat setting or air-dry your shoes.
  • Not considering shoe material: Different materials require different drying methods. For example, synthetic materials should not be put in the dryer as they can shrink and become brittle. Delicate materials like sequins or prints should also not be exposed to high heat.
  • Not rotating shoes: To ensure even drying and prevent potential damage from high heat, it’s important to rotate your shoes every few minutes while in the dryer.
  • Overloading the dryer: Putting too many shoes in the dryer at once can cause them to rub against each other, resulting in tears or holes. It’s best to dry shoes in small batches or use a gentle drying rack.

Remember to always follow manufacturer instructions and consider the material of your shoes when attempting to dry them quickly. If you are unsure, it’s best to air-dry your shoes or seek alternative methods.


In conclusion, despite the temptation to take a shortcut, putting shoes in the dryer can have detrimental effects on their condition and safety.

The potential for damage and hazards should not be taken lightly. Instead, consider alternative methods such as air-drying or using absorbent materials like rice or newspaper.

And if you do choose to use the dryer, make sure to take necessary precautions and properly prepare your shoes beforehand. By being mindful of the material and condition of your shoes, you can guarantee they come out unscathed and looking good as new.

Remember, when it comes to drying your beloved footwear, patience and caution are key.

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