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Can I Put My Shoes In the Drier – The Right & Safest Method!

Written by Benedikt Meyers
Last Update: August 23, 2023

If you’re wondering whether you can put your shoes in the dryer and how to go about the whole process, you’re in the right place. We discussed all the relevant factors in detail so you don’t end up ruining your favorite pair or even the dryer by going down the wrong way.

Is It Safe to Put Your Shoes in the Dryer?

shoe in dryer

Well, the answer is yes as long as you follow the right method and dryer settings. However, be careful since this could result in internal damage to the dryer or ruin the shoe fabric if not done right.

How to Dry Shoes in the Dryer?

1. Check the label

You will find the label on the inside of your shoes, usually listed on the tongue or inner heel. The label holds information like the size, materials used, manufacturer origin, and how to take care of them. A square inside a circle means you can use the dryer while a square with a cross (‘X’) means you can’t. Remember that machine drying shoes not fitted for it could get damaged or shrink.

2. Know which goes into the dryer

A worn-out label or a missing one will require you to judge from the construction of your shoes. Not all materials will allow a machine wash.

Cotton shoes or ones made with synthetic material like nylon, polyester, or canvas can usually go in the dryer. Avoid putting leather or suede shoes into the dryer. Shoes with embellishments such as sequins, athletic shoes with gel-core, ones with hard soles, Gore-Tex, and clogs should not be dry cleaned. 

3. Tie a knot

The shoes have to be placed right next to one another and tie both the laces together to form a knot that will stop them from separating in the dryer.   

4. Hang the shoes in the machine

Most modern dryers come with a drying rack, in such cases just place the shoes on it to dry them. If your dryer doesn’t have one, hold the wet shoes by the laces and place them around the top of the dryer.

The laces along with the knot should extend out of the dryer when the door closes. The shoes will be suspended with their soles against the center of the door of the dryer. The knot will prevent them from falling inside.

5. Put plenty of towels

Drying shoes with no laces means you have to put them in the drum. To prevent warping, put some towels into the dryer along with your shoes. This will also stop them from getting tumbled or knocked around the machine and reduce the noise.

6. Stuff your shoes

To avoid shrinking, stuff your shoes with small towels or rugs. Scarves, dishrags, handkerchiefs, or even socks can work as alternatives. You can also put the shoes in a dryer-friendly laundry bag before placing them in the dryer. 

7. Use the air-dry setting

It’s best to use the air-dry setting but if your machine doesn’t come with this option, use low heat. If the proper heat setting is not chosen, the shoes may overheat and shrink, or get damaged.

8. Remove the lint of your dryer

Removing the lint from the lint filter of your dryer will improve air circulation. This will result in quicker and thorough drying. 

9. Dry the shoes for 20 minutes

Set the machine on a 20-minute cycle. Open the door, catch them before they fall, and check to see if they have dried thoroughly. Dry them for another 5 minutes if they aren’t completely dry.

It is better to do short cycles rather than prolonged ones to prevent shrinking. If the machine has an automatic cycle setting for 60 minutes, it’s best to check your shoes every 15/20 minutes. There is no fixed time on how long it will take for them to dry, it depends on the dryer and how wet your shoes are.

10. Wash them well

Since the shoes are already dry it might be the best time to clean them. You can either put them through a complete wash cycle or clean them outside. If you choose to wash them with the machine, use a mild detergent and warm water and use old towels to prevent warping.

Preventing Damage to the Dryer and Your Shoes

1. Don’t put loose shoes into your dryer

It will produce a loud banging sound if loose shoes are put into the dryer. The repeated banging will damage your shoes, may warp them or cause tears, and can also damage the inside of your dryer.

If hanging is not an option, put your shoes in a mesh laundry bag along with a few old towels. This will help prevent the damage.

2. Air drying is your safest option

It’s difficult to know what effect the heat may have on your shoes. Different shoes are made from different materials and it’s hard to find the right setting for each. Leaving them in for a long time may cause them to shrink or warp.

It’s best to leave them under the sun, on a flat drying rack, or hang them from a clothesline and leave them for a day or two.

3. Limit using the dryer

If you have time on your hands and the option, it’s always best to go for air drying in sunlight. Even with following all the above instructions, machine washing your shoes too often will cause them to warp or shrink. You can alter between air and machine drying them.

How to Dry Shoes in a Dryer Without being Loud?

Tie the laces together into a knot and hang them around the top of the dryer door before turning it on. Laces and the knot must extend out when the door closes. The knot will prevent the shoes from falling inside the dryer. Stop the dryer completely if you hear banging noise and adjust the length of the knot to minimize the movement.

Use the drying rack if your machine has one. Or use suction cups with straps to hold the shoe firmly against the door.

If both hanging and racks are not viable options, pack the dryer with old towels and wrap the shoes in laundry bags. This will significantly reduce the banging noise.


1. Can you put your wet shoes in the dryer?

Ans. It is safe to put your shoes in the dryer. However, there are certain things which you must consider before doing so. The significant weight of a completely soaked shoe striking the inside of the dryer may damage it. The machine’s heat and tumbling may damage or cause the shoe to shrink. Many ways allow you to safely dry your wet shoes in the dryer.

About the author

Benedikt Meyers

Benedikt Meyers is an accomplished executive with significant experience in global sales and marketing, product development, and supply chain for the apparel and footwear industries. He’s a skilled relationship builder who has lived in Asia for 10 years and visited the world to develop key alliances with industry partners in order to meet production and supply demands in ever-evolving markets.

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