The look of a dirty shoe sitting around in your shoe stand would surely irk you, especially when you have to go out for a quick walk or morning jog. The next step would definitely be washing your favourite pair with a good soapy solution. Right? Well, at times, you might not be in the mood to clean them manually and would need to pop them into a washer-dryer.
But, how would you know that this machine wash wouldn’t harm your shoes or destroy them in any manner? Today, in this blog, we would answer this question for you before you make a blunder or maybe get it right!
What happens if you put your shoes in a Dryer?
Once you are done with shoe cleaning the washer, the next thing that would pop up in your mind would be drying the same as fast as possible. However, keep in mind that not all footwear types are designed to withstand the tumbling and heat that happens in the dryer.
Some materials might shrink & others might even melt. In case your shoe is created from a durable material, a quick and occasional dance with the dryer might not hurt. However, keep in mind that the dryer should be kept on a low heat setting to ensure a safe drying experience.
Here are some materials that shouldn’t be put into a dryer:
- Pure nylon might not withstand high dryer temperature
- Rayon might burn or discolour
- Polyester might warp or melt
- Shoes with sequins, nylon stickers, or embellishments might loosen or damage
- Suede, sheepskin, leather, or fur might get damaged or shrink
How to Dry Shoes in the Dryer
In case you need your shoes all clean and dried in urgency, and there is no other way to it than popping it into a dryer, we can help you do that in the best possible way.
Let us check out different ways by which you can ensure your shoes are just as good as new when using the dryer.
1. Check the Shoe’s Label:
This step is a mandated one. Before you put your shoes in the dryer, check its cleaning instructions mentioned on the label.
In case you don’t know how the read this label, look for an “X” within the square right next to a picture that suggests ironing, tumble drying, or washing. If you find an “X” marked next to the dryer picture, it is strongly recommended not to put your shoe in the dryer.
2. Determine the Material:
As stated above, there are several materials that might not be meant for tumble drying. In case you aren’t sure about the material used in the shoe, you can check the official manufacturer’s website for information or get in touch with the customer care representative to determine the same.
3. Tie the Pair Together:
When you pop the shoe into the dryer, you will observe that they rotate in a particular direction. While one shoe might follow clock-wise, it is quite possible that the second one might go the other way and crash onto each other and lead to uneven drying.
In case you are going to dry one shoe at a time, this won’t be a problem. However, when going with pairs, it is ideal that you tie them together for even drying.
4. Hang them Tight:
As you place the shoes in your dryer, the key is to bundle the laces atop the door & close it. Why do we do this? Doing so helps hold the shoelaces in a secure position and prevents the sneakers from tumbling all inside the dryer. This trick can be used in both top-loading as well as front-loading machines.
5. Utilize the Air-Dry Setting:
As explained earlier, there are several sneaker materials that might be prone to warping, shrinking, or even melting. That is why such shoes are best used with the air-dry or heat-free setting. However, if you use any machine that lacks this option, make sure you program the heat setting to the lowest temperature to reduce any possible damage.
6. Shorter Drying Cycles:
Depending on the moisture stuck within your shoe, make sure you set one drying cycle for nothing more than 20 minutes. After this, check your shoes, and if you feel that they are still wet or moist, pop them in for another 5 minutes.
Alternative Ways to Dry Shoes
In case the material used in the shoe isn’t meant for dryers, or you don’t want to risk it, there are multiple ways to dry the pair. Let us explain some of the popular methods you can try out.
In order to use this unique drying method, here is how you must proceed:
- Start by removing the insoles (in case they are removable). Insoles are generally thick and extend the overall drying time.
- Scrunch up two to three newspaper pages or dry paper and then place it inside the pair.
- Next, grab about 3 to 4 stacked pages & wrap the whole thing on the shoe.
- Replace this newspaper after 1-2 hours and wrap up a dry one again. Repeat this step until the moisture from the shoe has been absorbed completely.
2-Dry Rice Method:
You might be aware of the DIY, where that rice is used to dry out a smartphone that has been drenched in water and avoid any damage. The very same procedure can be used with your shoes as well.
Here is how you can dry your shoes with rice.
- Pack your box with rice towering an inch or two
- Now, place your shoes over the rice and sprinkle some inside the shoes
- Make sure your shoes are immersed partially.
- Cover this container with a lid & keep it aside for 3 to 4 hours
- Every now and then, check whether the shoe is still wet; in case it is, place the shoe back into the container until it is dry completely
The bottom line
So, to answer your question, there is no direct reply to this. Depending on the shoe type & material used, dryers could be good or bad for your lovely and adorable sneakers. If possible, the key is to avoid using them.
With proper care and cleaning/drying techniques in place, you can extend the life of your shoes and enjoy their glamour & comfort for years to come.
Do you have some more ideas or solutions for the safe drying of shoes and sneakers? Share your secret with us in the comment section below.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.