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Can You Safely Dry Your Shoes in the Dryer? An Insightful Guide

Shoes are an important part of our daily lives, protecting our feet and adding style to our outfits. 

However, they sometimes get wet from rain or a demanding workout. The big question is: can you dry shoes in the dryer? 

This comprehensive guide will answer this question and provide practical steps to safely dry your shoes using your dryer.

Is It Safe To Put Shoes In The Dryer?

While it’s possible to dry shoes in a dryer, it isn’t always the best method. Depending on the material your shoes are made of and how high the temperature setting is, you could end up damaging your shoes, or even your dryer. 

Therefore, always check the label of your shoes and proceed with caution.

How to Tell if Your Shoes are Machine Washable?

Not all shoes are machine washable. While some shoes like running sneakers and canvas shoes might handle the rigors of the machine, others like leather boots and suede shoes may not. 

Check the labels or consult the manufacturer’s guide to determine if your shoes are machine-washable.

Woman putting blue sneakers in mesh laundry bag into washing machine, close up. Washing dirty sport shoes. Footwear care

How Often Should You Dry Sneakers in the Dryer?

Using a dryer to dry your sneakers should only be an occasional solution, never frequently. 

The high heat and tumbling can break down the cushioning and weaken the glue that holds parts together. If your shoes often get wet, consider alternate drying methods like air drying.

How to Dry Shoes in Dryer

Before diving into the steps individually, it’s worth noting that drying shoes in a dryer requires a cautious approach. From checking the shoe label to monitoring the process, remember to be vigilant to prevent possible damage.

1. Check the Label First

The first step is to check the shoe label. It usually carries the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and drying the footwear. If it says the shoes are dryer-friendly, you’re good to go.

2. Air Dry First, If You Can

Before tossing your shoes in the dryer, try to air dry them first. Remove the laces and insoles if possible. This will allow the air to circulate better, speed up the drying process, and reduce the risk of the shoes getting damaged in the dryer.

3. Tie Laces Together and Shut Them In the Door

To prevent your shoes from tumbling around in the dryer and causing damage, tie the laces together and shut them in the dryer’s door. This will keep your shoes stationary during the drying process.

4. Turn Your Dryer to the Lowest Heat Setting

High heat can damage your shoes and even the dryer. Therefore, set your dryer to the lowest heat setting or use an air-dry setting if available.

5. After 20 Minutes, Check the Shoes

After 20 minutes of drying, check your shoes. If they are not yet dry, rotate them to a new position to ensure even drying and put them back in for another 20 minutes.

6. Remove them from the Dryer

Once your shoes are dry, remove them from the dryer immediately to prevent any heat build-up from damaging them. Let them cool down and then put the insoles back in (if they were removed), replace, and they’re ready to wear.

Should You Put Your Sneakers in the Dryer?

The intense heat from the dryer can degrade materials and adhesives used in shoe construction, leading to deformation or disintegration. Always check the shoe label or manufacturer’s guidelines before putting shoes in the dryer.

Businessman in suit open modern cloth dryer taking clean shoes. Cropped shot of elegant man at home taking dried pair of shoes from washing machine. Modern technology concept

What Precautions Should You Take When Drying Shoes in Dryer?

Drying shoes in the dryer can be risky if not done properly. 

Here are some key precautions for the best way to dry shoes in the dryer:

Monitoring the Drying Process

Don’t leave your shoes in the dryer longer than necessary. Check your sneakers every 15-20 minutes to prevent overheating and ensure even drying.

Addressing Potential Noise and Imbalance Issues

Hanging the shoes from the dryer door can reduce noise and prevent the imbalance caused by shoes tumbling around, which could severely strain the dryer’s motor.

Are There Alternative Methods for Drying Shoes?

Several alternative and safe methods are available to dry your shoes if you’d prefer to avoid using the dryer.

Air Drying: Pros and Cons

Air drying is a gentle and safe way to dry your shoes, though it can take longer. Just make sure to place the shoes in a well-ventilated area for maximum airflow.

Using Inserts or Newspaper for Absorption

Padding your shoes with newspaper or absorbent inserts can help speed up the drying process. Be sure to replace the inserts or newspaper frequently to maintain the quick absorption rate.

Exploring Specialty Shoe Dryers

Though a more expensive option, specialty shoe dryers provide a safe, fast, and gentle way to dry shoes, extending their lifespan.

Sneakers inside the washing machine

How Does Dryer Drying Impact Shoe Longevity?

Repeatedly drying shoes in a dryer can shorten their lifespan, as the heat could degrade the materials and loosen adhesives. The tumbling can also distort the shape over time.

The Verdict: Drying Shoes in the Dryer – Yes or No? 

Ultimately, while it’s possible to dry your shoes in a dryer, it’s not necessarily the best or safest option, especially if you want to prolong their lifespan. 

When you’re in a pinch and don’t need the shoes right away, air drying or using absorbent inserts is a much safer bet.

At this point, you may be thinking, ‘I wish there was someone who could take care of my laundry, shoes included.’ Well, look no further than Clutch City Laundry, located in Houston, Texas

We’ll ensure your shoes and clothes are cleaned and dried professionally, helping them last longer. Our experts understand how to treat each material correctly, so you don’t have to do any guesswork or worry about damaging your valuable items. Clutch City Laundry simplifies your life and keeps your footwear looking its best.


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