can you put shoes in a dryer

Can you put Shoes in a Dryer? Wash & Dry Shoes fast

If you have ever found yourself with a pair of shoes that you need to dry urgently, you have also wondered whether it is possible to put it in a drier.

Well, in most cases, putting shoes in a dryer is a bad idea. However, it can work out perfectly with some shoes and under certain circumstances.

The Dangers of Putting Shoes in a Dryer

  • Since most tumble dryers are not designed for shoes, using them to dry shoes is likely to cause balance issues and other forms of mechanical damage. Ideally, this is caused by the tumbling action as shoes move uncontrollably inside the drum.
  • A dryer causes permanent damage to shoes that are made of leather and suede material.
  • Heat released from the dryer can make shoes that are made of rubber soles to shrink or misshapen. In addition, it can also damage areas that are glued together.

How to Wash Shoes Properly

If it gets to the point that you have to dry shoes in a dryer, the first step is to wash them. Depending on the material, drying dirty shoes is likely to cause permanent staining.

How to Hand wash Shoes

how to hand wash shoes

Handwashing is the best method for cleaning shoes. It allows you to remove dirt gently by focusing in each shoe and each part at a time. Secondly, it makes it possible to adjust the cleaning procedure depending of factors such as color and shoe fabric.  

Besides leather and suede (which cannot go to the drier), the handwashing procedure provided here can apply to most shoes.

What you will need

  • Wash basin or sink
  • Soft brush/ tooth brush
  • Detergent
  • Bleach (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • White microfiber cloth


Step 1: Remove shoelaces and set aside to wash separately.

Step 2: Remove the insoles and inspect them for bad odor. If they are smelly, begin by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda and set them a side for at least an hour. Alternatively, make a baking soda and water paste and use a toothbrush to apply a thin layer on the insoles. Set them aside for 15 minutes before scrubbing all the dirt with a soft brush. Rinse out with warm water. If the dirt is not yet cleared, repeat the scrubbing step with detergent and rinse out with warm water.

Step 3: If the shoes are muddy, use a toothbrush to scrub off the dirt gently under running water.

Step 4: If the shoes are white and bleach-friendly, make a solution of bleach and water in the appropriate ratio. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution, wring it a little bit, and use it to dab the stained area. Use the same procedure for colored shoes with stained white areas. However, ensure that the bleach does not touch the colored areas.  If the shoes are deeply stained and pure white in color, presoak them in the solution for a few minutes.

Step 5: Make a solution of water and soap in a wash basin or tub. Submerge your shoes into the solution and use a brush to scrub off the dirt.

Step 6: Drain the dirty water and use clean water to rinse off the detergent completely.

How to wash Shoes in a Washing Machine

how to wash shoes in a washing machine

Cleaning shoes in a washing machine is a delicate process that requires skill and extra care. It is also important to note that not all shoes can go to the washer. Read the washing instructions provided on a label in the inner side of the tongue or heel to ensure that your shoes can be machine-washed.

What you will need

  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Soft brush/ tooth brush
  • Laundry bag /a pillow case with a zipper


Step 1: Remove the insoles and clean separately. Follow the insole cleaning steps provided in the handwashing method above.

Step 2: Use a brush to scrub off grime from your shoes and shoelaces. If the shoes are muddy, carry out this step under running water to remove excess dirt.

Step 3: Remove the shoelaces and place them in their own mesh/laundry bag.

Step 4: Place the shoes in a laundry bag or pillow case and transfer them into the washing machine together with the shoelaces.

Step 5: Load the machine with a few pieces of small old towels to create balance.

Step 6: Add detergent and choose the cold water setting.

Step 7: Run the machine on a low spin for a full cycle.

Step 8: Remove the shoes from the machine for drying.

How to Dry Shoes in a Dryer

Canvas, polyester and a few other types of shoes can be put in a dryer. Nonetheless, you have to be very careful with this method because no matter the material used, it can easily ruin your favorite kicks.

For shoes that cannot into the dryer, check out a list of effective and quick alternative methods.

What you will need

  • Sweater rack/ dryer rack
  • Dryer
  • Clean wet shoes


Step 1: If your drier has a sweater rack accessory, use it to hold your shoes inside the dryer. Its work is to prevent bouncing and uncontrolled banging inside the drum.

Step 2: in the absence of a rack, use shoelaces to tie the shoes together and hang them in the dryer such that the knot of the laces hangs outside the door whereas the shoes hang inside the drum. Shut the door and ensure that the knot is big enough to prevent the laces from sliding inside the drum.

Step 3: Use the air-drying setting to dry your shoes. If your dryer does not provide this option, choose the lowest temperature setting.

Step 4: Check the shoes after 15 minutes and if they are not dry, let the machine run for another 15 minutes.

Step 5: Remove the shoes from the machine and stuff them with old newspapers or paper towels if they are not completely dry.

How to Remove Shoe Odor

 If you live in cold and humid areas where it is difficult to dry shoes properly and fast, they are likely to develop an odor that is difficult to eliminate. Fortunately, there are a few measures that you can take to help maintain a clean and fresh smell.

  • Firstly insert silica gel sachets in your shoes so that they can capture excess moisture.
  • Add baking soda to a paper towel and place it gently inside your shoe. Leave it overnight so that it can absorb bad odor.
  • Place a piece of charcoal on a paper towel and slide it inside your shoe. Just like baking soda, it absorbs bad smell.
  • Transfer a tablespoon of activated charcoal on a paper towel and place it inside your shoe. Let it sit inside for a few hours to absorb bad odor.
  • Always put on a pair of socks before wearing your shoes. The socks will absorb sweat coming from your feet thereby preventing your shoes from developing bad odor.
  • Avoid wearing shoes that are not completely dry. Bad odor develops when moisture inside the shoes comes into contact with sweat released from your feet.
  • Disinfect your shoes when washing if you are suspicious of bacteria presence.

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