The Genius Way To Machine Dry Your Sneakers With Zero Damage

Whether you're a puddle jumper or just an unfortunate victim of a rogue rain shower, a soaking wet pair of sneakers has probably been a thorn in your side at one time or another. While allowing your sneakers to dry out naturally will suffice, sometimes a speedier solution is necessary. Luckily, all you need to do is tie your laces in a knot and hang your shoes from the outside of your dryer to effectively return them to their former glory. Before you pop those fresh kicks in the dryer, though, there are a few tips to consider. 

Many pairs of shoes are simply not made for the dryer. Always check the tags, typically under the tongue of the shoe, before considering using your dryer. Sneakers made from cotton, canvas, or other natural fabrics are typically good candidates. Anything made from animals like furs or leather should never be tossed in the dryer. Lastly, any sneakers with several glued pieces should not be placed in the dryer as they will likely melt, permanently damaging your sneakers. If your wet pair has passed these first tests, then you're ready to go.

How to dry your sneakers in the dryer

To dry your sneakers in the dryer without causing any damage, tie the laces in a knot and hang them inside the appliance, with the knot on the outside. Start by ensuring that your sneakers are relatively clean. If they're muddy or excessively dirty, it's best to give them a quick manual cleaning before drying them. Once they're tidied up, remove any excess water by gently squeezing the laces. Next, tie the laces together in a knot. Make sure the knot is tied tightly to keep the sneakers secure during the drying process. It's important to position the knot on the top of the outside of the dryer door to hold the sneakers in place while the appliance runs. You should also ensure there's enough space around your shoes for proper airflow.

Close the dryer door and set the heat to its lowest setting. High heat can potentially damage the sneakers, so it's best to avoid it. Allow the dryer to run for 20 minutes before checking on their progress. If they are still wet, run the dryer in five-minute increments — checking on them between each run — until the sneakers are completely dry. Once the drying cycle is complete, remove the sneakers and untie the laces. Check for any remaining moisture and, if necessary, let them air dry for a little while longer before wearing them. Through this method, you can safely dry your sneakers in the dryer without causing any harm.

Why this method works well

The tied knot method works particularly well for sneakers because it prevents them from banging around inside your dryer. Some online articles may recommend putting your sneakers — like other delicate clothing items in a mesh bag and placing it in the dryer. While this approach would work to dry out your sneakers, it has a high potential of damaging them as the dryer's turning forces your footwear to make continued collisions with the wall of the dryer, potentially damaging shoelace eyelets or other sensitive parts of your shoes. Furthermore, tossing your sneakers in the dryer also has the possibility of damaging the appliance, which is far more expensive to replace than a wet pair of sneakers.

Another reason this method works well is due to the low heat setting on the dryer. While using a high heat setting is appropriate for towels and linens, a lower heat is safer for sneakers, which tend to have plastic parts, glue, or other materials that may melt or become misshapen under a high heat. Low and slow here is the key to avoiding damage to your sneakers.