If you’re like most people, you wash your clothes on a regular basis. This is pretty normal, considering most of us don’t want to walk around covered in a thin layer of dust, hair, and all sorts of things you don’t want to know about.
While washing and drying clothes are easy, what do you do about your shoes? Surprisingly, a lot of people simply don’t wash them. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Why Don’t People Wash Their Shoes?
It seems to be socially acceptable to not wash your shoes, but there is another reason why it might make sense to hold off on throwing your sneakers in the washer.
Our shoes take quite a beating day to day. After all, they bear the full weight of our bodies as we walk around.
Throwing our shoes in the washer puts wear and tear on them, so it’s not something you want to do regularly. There are steps you can take to keep this to a minimum, but that’s better left for another article.
Now, that you’ve decided that your shoes need a good washing, let’s move on to drying.
Can You Put Shoes in the Dryer?
The short answer is: it depends. Most athletic shoes are safe to be put in the dryer, but you’re not going to want to run your dress shoes or work boots through a cycle. For sneakers that are safe to dry, you’ll want to take some precautions to make sure you don’t damage them.
First, remove the insoles, if possible. This will help to extend their lives, and they shouldn’t take too long to air dry anyway.
Second, make sure you set your dryer to the lowest heat setting. This will also help to prevent damage to your shoes.
Finally, depending on the drying method (more below), remove the shoelaces, and let them air dry. This will allow the shoes themselves to dry, with less interference.
Are There Any Risks to Putting Shoes in a Dryer?
Most sneakers will do fine in a dryer, but it’s important to be aware of any potential issues.
For one, the heat from a dryer can cause fabric to shrink. That’s why it’s recommended that you dry your shoes at the lowest possible temperature.
Also, the dryer heat has the potential to melt the glue that holds certain types of shoe materials together. Again, go with low heat.
Depending on the drying method that you use, your shoes might also take a physical pounding during its cycle. This can potentially lead to a loss in structure.
If I haven’t scared you off yet, let’s move on to determine the best method for drying your shoes.
How Do You Dry Shoes in a Dryer?
Realistically, you have three options when it comes to drying your shoes in a dryer:
1 – Use a Dryer Rack
Most dryers now come with a rack that sits across the middle of your dryer (you can find them online pretty easily, if yours didn’t come with one).
The dryer rack is ideal for more delicate items that you don’t want tumbling around, such as shoes, which could potentially lead to damage. This also stops your shoes from making a ton of noise during the cycle.
2 – Attach Them to the Door
If you don’t have a drying rack and don’t want to buy one, another simple option is to place the shoes just inside the dryer door (with the soles touching the door), then tie the shoe laces to the door itself.
With the door closed, you should simply see the bottoms of your shoes on the door. Like the drying rack, this should protect your shoes from banging around too much and also cuts down on noise.
3 – Let Them Tumble
If all else fails, you can simply throw your shoes in the dryer and let them tumble. To help retain the structure of your shoes, you’ll want to stuff something inside of them (like wash clothes). Keep in mind that this will slow down the drying a bit.
You might also want to throw some large towels in there with the shoes to help minimize the amount of times the shoes hit the side of your dryer. This will cut down on both damage and noise.
You shouldn’t have to wash and dry your shoes often, but it’s not a bad idea to do it every once in a while.
If you’re not in a hurry, I recommend simply letting your shoes air dry with something (like paper) stuffed inside of them to help retain their structure.
If you’re in a hurry, one of the options above should work. Just keep in mind that not all shoes are dryer safe. Always consult your manufacturer’s instructions when in doubt.