Wet shoes are not just uncomfortable. They can cause blisters and, literally, cold feet. Additionally, they’re perfect for mold to start growing. If your shoes are soaked through from bad weather or if you’ve just washed them, they should be completely dry before you use them again. However, shoes can take pretty long to dry, especially if it’s cold weather. Thus, we’ve put together some ways that you can dry your shoes quickly without ruining them.
How long do shoes take to dry?
How long it takes for your shoes to dry depends on a few factors, including how wet they are, shoe materials and the weather and temperature. The method you use to dry them can also make a big difference.
You can expect to need at least:
- 20 minutes if you use a clothes or shoe dryer
- 2 hours if you use a fan
- 8 hours if you use newspapers
- 2 hours if you use rice
- Overnight if you use a refrigerator
How to dry wet shoes quickly?
The following are some ways to dry wet shoes quickly.
Newspapers are produced using materials such as wood pulp which absorbs water and moisture. It’s also easy to ball up and stuff them into your shoes.
To use them to dry your shoes after a wash, first, remove the insoles of your shoes so that you can airdry them separately. Next, loosen the laces or open up the shoes and then stuff the newspaper all the way in. Make sure not to use parts that have lots of ink as they may leave unwanted marks on your shoes, especially if your shoes are light coloured.
Once you’ve done this, you can also wrap a towel around your shoes to dry the outer parts. Finally, place your shoes in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
If your shoes are really wet, you may need to replace the newspapers several times.
Use a fan
One of the best ways to dry your shoes quickly is to use a floor fan. To do so, first, remove the insoles so that you can airdry them separately. Then, open up the laces and place your shoes on top of the fan. Finally, let the fan run for a few hours until your shoes dry.
You can also use a stand fan, but you’ll have to hook your shoes to it so that it gets maximum airflow. If your shoes are soaking wet, allow them to drip dry before placing them on the fan. You can place a towel under the fan for a stand fan to ensure that the floor doesn't get wet.
The fan is an excellent way to dry leather shoes and other materials that are sensitive to heat.
Use a shoe dryer
A shoe dryer is a small appliance designed to dry your shoes quickly. It’s convenient, easy to use and definitely worth the investment if you often have wet shoes to dry.
To dry your shoes with a shoe dryer, remove the insoles and open up the laces. Then, place the hoes on the drying tubes. For best results, ensure that some space between the shoes and the base of the shoe dryer so that the air can move. Once your shoes are placed in the dryer, turn it on.
Remember not to block the air vents and keep the appliance away from all heat sources so that accidents do not happen. Shoe dryers will dry your shoes very quickly, and you’ll have fresh shoes in no time.
Use uncooked rice
Yes, you read right. Uncooked rice is a powerful desiccant that can absorb moisture very well.
To dry your shoes from the inside with uncooked rice, you’ll need a pair of socks and some rubber bands. First, fill the socks with uncooked rice and use the rubber bands to tie them up. Next, make sure that there is space in the socks for the rice to move around a little. Then, place the socks inside the shoes for a few hours.
To dry your shoes from the outside with uncooked rice, fill an empty container with rice. Do leave some space on top for your shoes. Then, place your shoes on the rice and cover the container. Your shoes will be dry in a few hours, but this will depend on how wet it was, to begin with.
Additional plus points when using rice to dry your wet shoes is that it will also prevent bacterial growth and remove the smelly wet shoe odour from your footwear.
Use the fridge vent
The fridge vent is usually located below the fridge door. It releases hot, dry air after your fridge’s cooling cycle. If you don't want to place your shoes in front of the fridge, place them behind near the fridge's intake fan.
Remember to have the opening of the shoes facing the vent (or the fan) so that the hot air will get inside your shoes. While using the refrigerator to dry your shoes is cost-effective - your won’t need to pay for the hot air - it’s recommended to leave them there overnight, so if you don’t have that long, then this isn’t the best option. Also, while this method is great for shoes made from cloth materials, it isn’t best for leather shoes as the hot air may damage them.
Use dehumidifying shoe inserts
Dehumidifying shoe inserts are still relatively new and, thus, may be hard to come across. All you need to do is insert them into your wet shoes and leave them in for a few hours. They work for all types of shoes, and because they also work as shoe deodorizers, you’ll soon have a pair of fresh, great smelling shoes.
Airdry your shoes
We’ve included airdrying your shoes in this list, although it may take longer than the other methods. This is because it’s probably the safest way to dry shoes without causing any potential damage.
To do so, place your shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and allow them to dry. If they are soaking wet, try absorbing some moisture with a soft towel before air-drying them.
Can you put shoes in the dryer?
Yes, you can, especially if you need to dry them really fast. However, you need to be careful to use the lowest heat possible.
This is because your shoes can shrink from the heat and thus, may cause a change in the fit and shape of your shoes. Additionally, high heat will also damage the glue that holds your shoes together and thus, they may come apart quickly.
Besides this, you should also be aware that certain materials should not be put in the dryer. This includes nylon, gel-core shoes, polyester, leather, suede, and sheepskin.
Can you dry shoes with a hairdryer?
Yes, you can use a hairdryer to dry your shoes. However, you need to do so carefully. Keep the hairdryer about 10 inches away from your shoes so that the high heat does not damage your shoes. Besides this, ensure that your hairdryer is at low or medium temperature.
A hairdryer is a good option for canvas shoes. It’s also a good option for suede and leather shoes if your hairdryer has a cool air setting.
Can you dry shoes in an oven?
It’s best not to put your shoes in the oven. High temperatures will cause damage to the glue and adhesive that holds your shoes together and, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire. Plus, it’s not hygienic to dry your shoes with the same appliance you use to cook your meals.
Should you dry your shoes in the sun?
It’s common practice for people in tropical countries such as Singapore to dry their clothes and shoes in the sun. While the sun helps kill bacteria and removes the damp smell, too much sunlight can damage shoes and cause discolouration. If you must dry them in the sun, do so only for a short time. Air drying your shoes in a well-ventilated area is a much better option.
How to keep shoes dry?
While we can’t avoid having to wash our shoes every once in a while, here are some ways to ensure that they stay dry when we’re using them:
- Avoid wearing them in the rain or bad weather.
- Opt for waterproof footwear if you know it’s going to rain.
- Choose breathable shoes that will help reduce sweaty feet. Two Little Feet is a great online shoe store in Singapore with breathable, easy-to-care for shoes for kids.
- Look for shoes that have insoles designed to absorb moisture.
- If you have very sweaty feet, use cooling socks
- Use waterproof sprays for shoes to keep them dry.
You must choose the best way to dry your shoes according to the materials they are made of. For more tips on shoe care and shoe materials, check out Two Little Feet, Singapore’s online kids' shoe store.