Drying your shoes in the dryer

It would be easier to put your shoes in the dryer after washing them. Then you’ll have them ready to wear in just a couple of hours. But is it even possible to quick-dry shoes – or will they shrink when exposed to those temperatures? Read along and find out.

Maybe you were caught in the rain wearing your favorite sneakers and now they’re soaked. Maybe you walked across a field wearing a white shoe with rubber soles and canvas upper parts and now they’re covered in mud. For one reason or another, a pair of shoes that you were planning on using to a party tonight got wet and you want it to quick-dry immediately, so you don’t have to replan your outfit. So, you’re thinking that you’d just put them in the dryer. When they’re fit for the washing machine, why wouldn’t they be fit for the dryer?
However, it’s not entirely how it works. Some shoes can stand a machine wash – but not a machine dry. Although it might not seem logical you can’t compare the two.

First of all, a washing machine is gentler, and you can choose your temperature. In the dryer, however, you need those high temperatures to get your garments dry. If your shoes are made of more delicate materials, they could shrink.

Can you put your shoes in the dryer?

So how do you know if it’s safe to put your shoes in the dryer? Here are some simple rules to follow.

1) Check the label
Just like your clothes have a label with washing instructions sewn into the fabric, your shoes have the same. Look for the square mark with a circle inside it, which indicates whether the shoes are safe for drying or not. If the mark is not crossed over, drying your shoes should be unproblematic. If, however, it is crossed over, you can’t put your shoes in the dryer, and you’ll have to wait for them to air dry.
If you’ve sweated out the ink on the mark or if the mark isn’t there anymore, then read along for good tips when machine drying your shoes.

2) Remember the general rules of drying
Treat your shoes like you’d treat your clothes. There are some garments you’d put in the dryer – and some you wouldn’t. Also make sure to clean out the lint before drying. That way your dryer won’t have to work unnecessarily hard.

3) Fill your dryer with towels
You definitely don’t want your shoes whirling around in there hitting the hard surface again and again. The best way to prevent that from happening is to fill your shoes with towels and the dryer too. It’s like a soft ‘padding’ that will protect the shoes in the process.

4) Always go for the lowest temperature
If it’s an option, then go the ‘air dry’-setting on your machine. If you don’t have that setting, then set your dryer at the lowest temperature and check on your shoes every 15 minutes. Don’t overheat them and don’t leave them in there for too long. In general, the keyword is gentleness. If you take your precautions, you and your shoes will probably be fine.

Will shoes dry overnight?

If your shoes cannot go in the dryer, then the best way to dry them is actually to take out the insole and stuff them with newspaper overnight and allow them to dry for a minimum of 12 hours. This method is most effective in the summer when the humidity is lower than average.

You can also place them near a heater or sunny window to speed up the drying process. Just be sure not to put them too close to the heater or in direct sunlight, as this could damage the shoes.

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