how to properly dry wet shoes

How to Properly Dry Wet Shoes & Boots

Wet shoes or boots can be a real drag, not only in terms of comfort but also for their longevity. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to properly dry your wet shoes and boots so that they last longer and remain comfortable while wearing them. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from drying methods and proper storage techniques to using specialized materials such as newspaper or silica gel packets to help speed up the drying process. We’ll also discuss how long it takes for different types of footwear to dry completely, as well as tips on preventing future water damage. So if you want to learn how to properly dry wet shoes, then read on!

Why the Shoe Drying Process is Essential

wet shoes in puddle

Drying your shoes properly is an important step because when your shoes wet, it can cause damage to the material and even encourage the growth of mold and mildew.

The dampness from wet shoes can also make them uncomfortable to wear, reducing their overall comfort level. Properly drying your shoes will help reduce or eliminate these issues, as well as extend their overall life by preventing further water damage. For more information, read our guide on how Vancouver rain can destroy your shoes.

Methods to Dry Your Shoes

Method #1: Stuff Your Shoes and Air Dry

That’s right! It’s no surprise that air drying your wet running shoes is the best method. Throwing them into a clothes dryer may seem like a good idea, however excess heat is likely to damage your sneakers, depending on its material. The newspaper method is tried and true, and commonly recommended by most professionals.

With a little bit of patience, stuffing shoes with newspaper or paper towels and allowing them to air dry is the safest way. The paper absorbs any excess water inside the shoe as well as helps retain its original shape. Make sure to stuff each shoe generously with at least 8-10 pieces of paper for a faster drying time. If possible, remove the insoles.

Leave them to dry in a well ventilated area for 24-48 hours and replace newspaper every few hours. Always avoid direct sunlight as this can damage your footwear.

Method #2: Use a Fan or Blow Dryer

electric fan

Using either a dehumidifier or hair dryer is also an effective way to quickly dry wet shoes and boots, especially when you’re in a pinch. For best results, keep the temperature low and use on a regular basis.

For hairdryers, start by setting it to its lowest heat setting and move the nozzle around all of the wet areas inside and outside of your shoes or boots. Move slowly so that you don’t damage any fabric or cause too much heat to build up in one spot.

Do this for a few minutes then check to see if they’re dry. If not, you can always repeat the process or switch to using a fan.

You can hang the shoes on a clothes drying rack as the fan blows to make the drying process more efficient. Alternatively, you can bend a clothes hanger into an s shape and hook the shoes on them.

Be sure to remove the insoles and shoelaces to help dry your shoes quickly.

Method #3: Use Silica Gel Packets

Silica gel packets are small pouches that contain tiny beads of silicon dioxide which absorb humidity from the air. You can find them in many stores, online or even in your new pair of shoes or boots.

To use, simply insert the gel packets inside the wet shoe and leave them inside while they dry. It’s important to replace the packets every few hours as they can no longer absorb moisture once they become saturated.

For best results, you should also make sure to store your shoes in a cool, dry place and use the silica gel packets on a regular basis. This will help keep your shoes in good condition for years to come.

Method #4: Get a Shoe Dryer

shoe dryers

A Shoe dryer is amazingly worth the investment for shoes that are wet frequently. It’s handy equipment that can be easily used and cost less than an individual item. Dryers also help in eliminating unpleasant odours from your footwear. They circulate air hot air into your shoes to help them dry faster.

Start by removing the inner soles from your shoes if possible, and then turn on the dryer. Choose a setting that suits your shoe material and then place the nozzles of the dryer into each shoe. Allow the dryer to run for around 20 minutes, or until all wetness has been removed.

Finally, take out the nozzles and leave your shoes to dry for another 10 minutes before replacing the inner soles and wearing them again.

Method #5: Use Uncooked Rice

uncooked rice to dry shoes

Uncooked rice is another popular method to get rid of water from wet shoes. Simply dump a handful of uncooked rice into each shoe and let the grains soak up the water overnight. The rice will act as a natural dehumidifier, and absorb excess water in your shoes.

You may need to repeat this process several times until all the water is absorbed. Another method is to simply fill an empty cardboard box with rice and place the shoes inside and close the lid.

Once your shoes dry, remove all the rice from the inside before putting them on.

Method #6: Use Your Fridge Vent

To give your footwear a little boost when drying, place the shoes in front of the fridge vent. The warm air flow will help dry shoes quickly but still be completely safe.

Remove the insoles and be sure to let the shoes dry for several hours or overnight. You can also stuff your shoes with dry paper towels using the newspaper method to help dry shoes fast.

Method #7: Use a Professional Sneaker Cleaning Service

shoe cleaner washing stinky shoes

If your shoes are extremely wet, you may want to consider using a professional sneaker cleaning service. These services use different types of equipment, such as dryers and dehumidifiers, to remove moisture from wet shoes quickly and safely.

They also have special products that can help protect your shoes from water damage in the future.

No matter how wet your shoes get, there is always a way to dry them safely and effectively. Following these simple methods will help keep your feet dry and prevent water damage to your footwear.

How to Dry Shoes Quickly

Although we always recommend you air dry your shoes, we understand that there may be instances where time is of the essence. Depending on the shoe type, you may be able to dry your shoes in the dryer.

Most experts recommend setting the dryer to its low heat setting and placing a few clean towels inside with your shoes. This will help absorb water and also protect them from the tumble dryer.

Additionally, you should place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag for extra protection. You should use this method sparingly as it may cause damage to some shoe materials over time.

Is it Safe to Dry Shoes in the Dryer?

washing and drying machine

It is generally safe to put any canvas or fabric shoes in the dryer, as long as you set it to the low heat setting. However, for leather shoes, suede, rubber and synthetics, it is best to air dry them instead.

Additionally, even with canvas and fabric shoes, if they are heavily embellished or contain metal components, it is best to air dry them or use a specialized shoe dryer instead. Always double-check the label on your shoes to be sure you can dry them.

Can You Dry Tennis Shoes in the Dryer?

If you want to dry your tennis or athletic shoes in the dryer, make sure to check the care label before proceeding to make sure they don’t get damaged. Though most athletic shoes should be fine, there may be some materials that are more delicate when drying shoes.

Can You Dry Shoes in a Dryer with a Drying Rack?

shoe drying rack

Although some dryers have a drying rack designed to dry shoes, this is meant for only certain shoe types such as cotton or canvas shoes.

If you don’t have a rack or any of the materials we have suggested above, you can try and hang your shoes by the laces on the dryer door.

Even when you take all the necessary precautions, you should not tumble dry shoes often as it can damage your shoes over time. Professional shoe cleaning services such as Shoewash Supreme have the expertise and experience to get the job done.

Can You Dry Shoes in the Oven?

It is never a good idea to dry your shoes inside the oven or microwave. Heat can damage the material and even cause fires. The best way to dry any type of shoe is through air drying or using specialized equipment such as dehumidifiers or a shoe dryer.

It is also important to remember that not all shoes are meant to be dried in the same way. Make sure you check the care label on your shoes before attempting any drying methods. This will help ensure that your shoes remain in good condition for years to come.

How to Dry Suede Shoes?

suede sneakers

When it comes to suede, it can be a major problem when they get wet. It’s best to avoid getting them wet in the first place. But if they do get wet, you should not try and dry them with heat or a blow dryer as this can cause the suede to shrink and become stiff.

Instead, use a specialized suede cleaning kit which includes a brush, rubber eraser and shampoo. Use the brush to loosen any dirt or grime and then use the eraser to rub away any marks. Finally, apply a small amount of shampoo to the affected area and leave it for 15 minutes.

Afterwards, use a dry towel to absorb excess water from the suede and allow shoes to dry in an area that is well ventilated and not exposed to direct sunlight. Once dry, use a suede brush to restore the nap and breathe new life into your shoes.

How Long Does it Take to Dry Shoes?

It can take up to 24 hours for shoes to dry completely, depending on the type of material and the method used. Canvas and athletic shoes tend to dry faster, while leather and other materials may take a bit longer.

How to Store Your Dry Shoes

shoe storage boxes

When storing your dry shoes, be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place. Make sure that any insoles are removed and that the shoes are completely dry before putting them away.

Letting your shoes breathe is also important to prevent odours from forming and mildew or mold growing on them. It’s best to store shoes in their original boxes, or in a designated shoe rack that is away from direct sunlight. For more information, read our guide on storing shoes in different seasons.

5 Tips for Keeping Shoes Dry

  1. When storing your shoes, always ensure that they are in a dry area away from direct sun and heat sources.
  2. Clean your shoes regularly to get rid of dirt and grime which can cause them to become waterlogged more easily.
  3. Consider investing in waterproof protection sprays or creams for leather shoes and boots to help keep them dry.
  4. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row as this can cause them to become damp from sweat and body moisture.
  5. Always dry your shoes after they get wet, either using one of the methods outlined above or by simply placing them outdoors in an area that is well ventilated. This will help keep them in great condition for longer.

How to Dry Shoes Without Them Smelling

shoe deodourizer

After your shoes have dried, you may find that they still have a lingering smell. To get rid of this, you can use a fabric deodorizer spray or sprinkle some baking soda inside the shoe to absorb any odours. Alternatively, you can use a vinegar solution.

Another option is to place dryer sheets in the shoes overnight which will help keep them fresh and smelling great. Additionally, always make sure your shoes are clean and free from dirt before you put them on. This should help keep your shoes dry, fresh and smelling great no matter where you’re putting them on!


shoes drying on a line

Drying your shoes is an important part of maintaining their longevity and keeping them looking and smelling great. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your footwear stays dry no matter what activity or weather condition presents itself.

Whether it’s investing in waterproofing sprays, using fabric deodorizers to keep odours at bay or simply air drying them after they get wet, there are many ways to help protect your shoes from water damage. With a little bit of effort and care, you can make sure your favourite pair of shoes lasts for many years! Thanks for reading our guide on how to properly dry wet shoes and boots.

Tags: shoe cleaning, shoewash supreme

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