A Complete Guide to Drying Sneakers in the Dryer

Drying sneakers in a tumble-dryer can be done with care, or alternative methods such as air-drying or using a fan can preserve their integrity and extend their lifespan.

By ekomfort Updated May 8, 2024

Reviewed By Ekomfort

Fact Checked By Haroon

Drying sports shoes in a tumble-dryer must be done with care to avoid damage; other methods, such as air-drying or using a fan, preserve the integrity of the shoes and extend their lifespan. Factors such as material, care instructions and drying technique determine whether sneakers can safely withstand the heat and shocks of a tumble dryer.

Key Takeaways

  • Care must be taken when drying sneakers in a tumble dryer to avoid damaging them.
  • Other methods, such as air-drying or using a fan, may be gentler and preserve the integrity of the sneakers.
  • Factors such as material and care instructions determine whether sneakers can be dried safely in a tumble dryer.
  • Removing detachable parts before drying helps prevent damage.
  • Monitoring the drying process and inspecting the sneakers after drying ensures that they remain in good condition.

For individuals who are pressed for time or have to cope with bad weather, drying sneakers in a dryer might be a practical solution. To prevent breaking your priceless shoes, you must proceed cautiously with this procedure. We’ll go over whether it’s safe to dry sneakers in a dryer, how to dry sneakers effectively, how to dry sneakers in a dryer step-by-step, and what affects how long your sneakers last in this comprehensive tutorial.

Can I put sneakers in the dryer?

The answer to the question of whether you can put sneakers in the tumble dryer depends on a number of factors, including the material of your sneakers and the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. While some sneakers can withstand the heat and tumble of a tumble dryer, others are more susceptible to damage. In general, sneakers made from durable materials such as canvas or synthetic fabrics are best suited to tumble drying, while those made from delicate materials such as leather or suede require other drying methods to prevent warping or discoloration.

See also: How to wash sneakers in a washing machine

How to dry sneakers

If you can’t use a tumble dryer or prefer other methods to dry your sneakers, there are several effective techniques that can speed up the drying process:

Air drying

Remove any excess moisture by blotting the sneakers with a clean towel. Then stuff the sneakers with crumpled paper towels or dry newspaper to absorb the moisture inside. Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, to allow them to air-dry naturally. Rotate shoes periodically to ensure even drying and avoid odors.

Using a fan

Place a portable fan near the shoes to facilitate air circulation and speed up the drying process. Ensure good ventilation to prevent moisture build-up and mold formation. This method is particularly useful for drying sneakers indoors in damp weather or in poorly ventilated spaces.

Silica Gel Packs

Place silica gel packs inside the sneakers to absorb excess moisture and speed up the drying process. Silica gel packs are commonly used in packaging to prevent moisture damage and are readily available from hardware stores or online retailers.

How to Dry Sneakers in the Dryer

If you decide to use a tumble dryer to dry your sneakers, follow these steps to minimize the risk of damage:


Remove all detachable parts, such as soles or laces, from the sneakers before placing them in the dryer. Cleaning the sneakers beforehand will also prevent dirt and debris from accumulating inside the dryer.

Use a mesh bag

Place sneakers in a mesh laundry bag to protect them from excessive tumbling and prevent damage to the dryer drum. The mesh bag allows air to circulate while containing the sneakers, reducing the risk of them becoming tangled or deformed during the drying cycle.

Select Low Heat Setting

Set the dryer to a low temperature or air-only setting to minimize the risk of overheating or melting sneaker materials. Avoid high-temperature settings, as they can cause shrinkage, warping, or damage to materials such as rubber or plastic.

Monitoring the drying process

Check the sneakers regularly during the drying cycle to assess their progress and avoid over-drying. If necessary, remove the sneakers from the dryer before they are completely dry, to avoid potential damage.

Final inspection

Once the sneakers are dry, check for any signs of damage or deformation. If necessary, reshape the sneakers and allow them to cool before wearing them again.

How long do sneakers last?

The longevity of sports footwear depends on a number of factors, including the quality of materials, frequency of use, maintenance practices, and the intensity of the activities to which they are subjected. On average, good-quality sports shoes can last 300 to 500 miles of running, or 500 to 700 hours of use, before showing significant signs of wear. However, proper care, such as regular cleaning, drying, and storage, can extend the life of your sports shoes and ensure optimum performance.

Drying sports shoes in a tumble dryer can be a convenient solution to speed up the drying process, but it’s essential to exercise caution and follow specific guidelines to avoid damaging your shoes. Whether you choose to air-dry, fan-dry, or tumble-dry, opt for gentle methods and proper care to preserve the integrity of your sports shoes and extend their lifespan. By adopting these practices, you can ensure that your favorite pair of sneakers remains in perfect condition, ready to accompany you on your next adventure.

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