Can You Dry Sneakers in a Clothes Dryer? A Comprehensive Guide

Can You Dry Sneakers in a Clothes Dryer? A Comprehensive Guide


As sneaker enthusiasts, we all know the struggle of keeping our beloved footwear clean and fresh. And when it comes to drying sneakers, the question often arises: can you safely dry them in a clothes dryer? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various factors to consider and provide you with expert advice on how to properly dry your sneakers, ensuring they maintain their shape, quality, and longevity. 

Understanding the Risks and Benefits

Drying sneakers in a clothes dryer can be a convenient option, especially when time is of the essence. However, it's important to understand the potential risks involved. Certain materials, such as leather, may not react well to the heat and tumbling motion of a dryer, leading to damage, shrinkage, or warping. On the other hand, some sneakers made of durable fabrics like canvas or polyester can withstand the drying process without significant harm.

Assessing the Sneaker's Material

Before deciding whether to dry your sneakers in a clothes dryer, it's crucial to assess the material they are made of. Sneakers made of leather, suede, or delicate fabrics should be avoided. These materials require more delicate care and are best air-dried to prevent damage. However, if your sneakers are primarily made of canvas, nylon, or polyester, they may be suitable for drying in a clothes dryer.

Steps to Safely Dry Sneakers in a Clothes Dryer

If your sneakers are suitable for drying in a clothes dryer, follow these steps to ensure optimal results:

Step 1: Preparation

Start by removing any detachable parts, such as laces and insoles. These can be washed separately to ensure a thorough cleaning. It's also essential to remove any excess dirt or debris from the exterior of the sneakers before placing them in the dryer.

Step 2: Protecting Your Sneakers

To protect your sneakers from potential damage during the drying process, place them in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This will prevent them from getting tangled or caught in the dryer's mechanism.

Step 3: Selecting the Right Settings

Choosing the appropriate settings on your dryer is crucial to prevent overheating and damage to your sneakers. Opt for a low or delicate heat setting with a gentle cycle. Avoid using high heat or extended drying times, as this can lead to shrinkage or distortion of the sneakers.

Step 4: Adding Absorbent Materials

To expedite the drying process and minimize potential damage, add absorbent materials like towels or socks to the dryer. These will help absorb excess moisture and provide cushioning, reducing the impact on your sneakers.

Step 5: Monitoring the Drying Process

Regularly check on your sneakers during the drying process to ensure they are drying evenly and not experiencing any adverse effects. If necessary, adjust the drying time or heat settings accordingly to prevent overheating.

Step 6: Final Touches

Once the drying process is complete, remove your sneakers from the dryer and allow them to cool down. Inspect them for any signs of damage or changes in shape. If needed, gently reshape them with your hands to restore their original form.

Alternatives to Drying Sneakers in a Clothes Dryer

If you have concerns about drying your sneakers in a clothes dryer or your sneakers are made of materials that are not suitable for this method, there are alternative options to consider:

Air Drying

Air drying is the safest and most recommended method for drying sneakers, especially those made of delicate materials. Simply place your sneakers in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Make sure to stuff them with newspaper or towels to help retain their shape and absorb moisture.

Using a Shoe Dryer

Investing in a shoe dryer can be a game-changer for sneaker enthusiasts. These devices are specifically designed to dry shoes gently and effectively, using a combination of gentle heat and airflow. Shoe dryers are particularly useful for individuals who frequently need to dry their sneakers or live in humid climates.

Stuffing with Absorbent Materials

Another alternative method involves stuffing your sneakers with absorbent materials, such as newspaper or silica gel packets. These materials help draw out moisture from the sneakers and accelerate the drying process. However, be cautious when using newspaper, as the ink may transfer onto the interior of your sneakers.

Additional Tips for Sneaker Care

Proper care and maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your sneakers. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly clean your sneakers to prevent dirt and stains from settling in. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove surface dirt before it becomes embedded.
  • Store your sneakers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration of materials.
  • Consider using protective sprays or waterproof treatments to enhance the longevity of your sneakers, especially if they are made of canvas or other porous materials.
  • Rotate your sneakers regularly to allow them to air out and prevent excessive wear on specific areas.


While drying sneakers in a clothes dryer can be a convenient option, it's important to consider the materials and potential risks involved. Assessing the type of sneakers you have and following the proper drying techniques will help ensure they remain in optimal condition. Alternatively, air drying or using specialized shoe dryers are safe alternatives that can provide excellent results. Remember to always prioritize the care and maintenance of your sneakers to keep them looking fresh and performing their best for years to come.

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This article was written by Muhammad Saleem Shahzad, Managing Editor of Fashion and Manufacturing. With more than a decade of experience in the Fashion industry, Muhammad reports on breaking news and provides analysis and commentary on all things related to fashion, clothing and manufacturing.