Do Shoes Shrink In The Dryer? (4 simple Process)

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Your shoes can get dirty with daily use. Or at any moment, you can suddenly get caught in the rain. The result, a wet pair of shoes! If you want to reuse them the next day, they can be machine-dried. But how safe will it be to dry in the machine? Thus, it’s necessary to dig deeper into this matter more accurately. So, do shoes shrink in the dryer?

Shoes can be dried with the proper technique or settings. However, if not performed adequately, you risk damaging your shoes or even the machine, which can be expensive to fix.

Let’s see how to dry your shoes properly in the dryer, what kind of shoes you can dry, possible machine damage, and alternative solutions to Machine Drying.

How To Dry Your Shoes Properly?

How To Dry Your Shoes Properly? (4 easy steps)

When putting your shoes inside the dryer, there’re a few measures and precautions to follow. For example, instead of throwing your sneakers in the dryer, touch a few buttons.

Here’s a step-by-step guide you’ll have to pay attention to to protect the shoes against shrinking. 

1. Make Sure Your Shoes have a Label on Them

A label or tag is always inside your shoes. This will usually provide information such as the size specifications, the materials that are used to manufacture the pair of shoes, the origin of the manufacturer, and so on.

If you don’t know what to look for, search for the drying sign, basically a square.

  • If the squares have a circle inside them, machine drying is possible. 
  • You won’t be able to machine dry if it has an X through it. 
  • Some labels go a step further and include a square with a circle within and a dot sign inside that circle, indicating that it is dry at low temperatures.

Note: Don’t be concerned if there isn’t a label. Below is a list of materials that can and cannot be dried.

2. Fill up Your Machine with Plenty of Towels

You don’t want your favorite shoes tumbling around the machine. Fill the dryer with large and tiny towels to soak the shoes if they’ve been pushed around for a little.

Also, stuffing little rags into your shoes can help with drying and avoid any shrinkage while drying is a good idea. Small items such as a handkerchief, scarves, or even socks, could be used as substitutes.

3. Tie Your Shoes in a Knot and Hang Them

The right approach is to keep the footwear from slamming inside is to knot the lace together or join the shoes. Except for the last hole, detach the laces from your shoe. 

Ensure the laces aren’t tied in the loop or bow knots like you’d tie your shoes ordinarily. As a result, the drying process will be unusual. Instead, tie them in at the laces’ ends.

Now that they’re all tied together, hang them inside the dryer, leaving enough space outside to close the door.

Also, the knot will keep them from falling inside. It’s alright as long as your shoes get hanging.

4. Turn on the Proper Settings

You’ll want to use the air-drying setting on the dryer. If it isn’t possible, set the dryer to the lowest setting—no need to overheat your shoes over-dry because they’ll shrink during the drying process.

The machine may have a 60-minute automated setting. However, it’s suggested that you inspect your footwear every 15 minutes. It’d help if you kept an eye on the dryness of the shoes. 

It’d be best to judge the dryness of your shoes because depending on how strong the dryer is. Also, how wet the shoes were will help determine how long it’ll take.

For more details, watch this:

Types of Shoes That You Can Dry

Laundry the shoes in the dryer will make life much easier. It’s fast and easy to do, so it doesn’t take much work. If your shoe label says “machine approved,” then you can stop thinking about it.

However, because we aren’t always fortunate to have this, some materials and fabrics are usually machine-safe.

1. Cotton

Cotton shoes can quickly be dried in the dryer. So, if the shoes are made of cotton, you can use the machine to reduce them from half size to an entire size shoe. Plus, this material generally shrinks when exposed to high temperatures.

You can restrict the cotton over your shoes to moisten them and then put them inside the machine dryer for around twenty minutes. It’ll give you the best result to have the shoes fit better. 

2. Canvas

Canvas shoes are generally considered to be safe. Fabrics like tents and sails are made of rough fabric material.

They usually have a rubber sole with metal or plastic perforations for winding the laces in or out. The converse is an excellent example of canvas shoes that are machine safe.

3. Nylon / Polyester

In addition, the materials used inside the tags of your clothing include nylon and polyester. Because of the stretchy material used in several running shoes, this combination is common. 

However, nylon is less famous than polyester and cotton. Thus it’s more commonly utilized like a cross-blend to improve comfort.

Lower temperatures are required if your product comprises nylon since some nylons melt quickly. Polyester, on the other hand, dries rapidly but shrinks when exposed to high heat.

Which Material Of Shoes Aren’t Dryable In A Dryer?

We’ve gathered different shoe materials to see if they’re machine-dryable or not. Let’s have a look at the various goods.

4. Leather

The combination of heat and leather shouldn’t be together. Because whenever a leather shoe gets hot, the materials loosen and stretch, causing it to distort. You should expect indent and wrinkle if your pair of leather shoes lose their shape and bounce about in your shoe rack.

When the shoes of leather have dried completely, they’ll have taken on a new form. Furthermore, the dye may run in some leather shoes when exposed to severe temperatures.

5. Suede

If you have a pair of suede shoes that are moist, and you need proper care of them right now. Suede gets stiff when it becomes wet and dries. Besides, when you dry the shoes outside in the cold, the soles can easily fall off, causing lasting damage to your shoes.

Also, using heat to dry your shoes might cause the suede to twist and break. It’s best to let your clothes air dry inside the shade.

6. Gel or Foam Shoes

Gel soles and foam are used in a lot of footwear these days to improve comfort. When you expose these shoe materials to heat, they lose their convenience, whether it’s an extra cushion or even bouncing in your stride.

Based on the setting on your dryer, foam soles may quickly break. Once you let the shoe thump around the drum, the glue that keeps the sole may separate.

On the other hand, Gel is simple to understand, and it may melt and dry in the right manner in which the shoe has been warped if it’s warmed. This isn’t good for sneakers or shoes because we rely on certain types of soles for comfort.

Heat can also make the Gel stiffen and lose its bounce, making it difficult to walk on.

Is There Any Potential Damage To The Machine?

Your shoelaces are more likely to get trapped here, depending on the shape of your dryer’s rim. That’s if your shoes aren’t adequately hung up as directed.

Another issue is that if your footwear flies around inside, it could dent the drum.

The more deformed the cylinder grows, the more probable it is to collide with other sections of the machine inside, resulting in catastrophic internal damage.

The main trouble of drying in the machine is that if one portion stops working, the whole thing stops working.

And even if it does operate, odds are it’ll only operate for a short time. It’s easier to take your time and do things correctly rather than risk making a costly mistake.

What Are Some Possible Machine Drying Alternatives?

When you don’t have enough time, avoid the tumbling machine favoring a less dangerous method like drying your shoes.

Alternatively, if you cannot use a device due to the materials used in the construction of your shoe, there are safe and effective alternatives.

1. Easy Technique: Air Drying

Air drying won’t be a machinery set but instead the real thing. If you don’t wish to keep the side of the shoe, fresh air will suffice. However, find a shaded area to avoid the sun, damaging shoes’ color over time.

Your pair would be alright outside for a couple of days as long as it isn’t below freezing and there isn’t any chance of rain.

2. Oldest Technique: Rice

Rice has been one of the older tactics you can try. Just dry the shoes into rice the same way you dry the soggy phone. There’re two most effortless ways to do it, though, so pick your favorite.

  • First method is to fill a large container with enough rice and then place the shoes inside and close the top. 
  • Second method is to stuff socks with rice and close the openings to prevent the rice from spilling out. Remove the soles and replace them with the rice sock. Based on how moist the shoes are, it should take up to an hour.

people also ask

1. Is it possible to shrink shoes on purpose?

Fortunately, whether you purchased shoes that are a tad big or any of your shoes that have stretched by excessive wear, you may shrink them to attain a better fit. To shrink canvas, and cloth shoes, moisten the fabric and place it in a dryer to shrink.

2. Do you unshrink a shoe?

Fill empty sprayer halfway with rubbing alcohol. Spray the insides of the excessively tight shoes with water until they are getting wet. Put on your shoes and walk about until this alcohol dries. If you see the shoes are still tight, repeat the process.

3. What if your shoes have featured sparkles or sequins?

If your shoes feature sparkles, laces, sequins, or other delicate elements that are easily removed, they’ll fall off. Consider air-drying your clothes instead. There is a risk of harming your dryer, although this is more likely if it is not designed for machine drying.

4. Do tennis shoes shrink in the dryer?

It’s determined by the materials utilized to construct your shoes. As a result, you must verify the label/tag of your shoe to ensure that the shoe is safe for drying in the machine or not.

5. How can you shrink your shoes using Iron?

Using an electric iron’s high heat to shrink your shoes is also effective. This procedure is ideal for shrinking only specific portions of your shoes!

Before using this procedure, re-enter the shoes and mark the areas where they could be shrunk. After that, wrap the shoes in a damp towel. Press lightly over the portions you want to shrink with your Iron.

Have used the lowest temperature and avoid direct interaction between the shoe as well as the Iron! The high heat will irreparably ruin any pair of shoes.

This process will take anything from a few minutes to 20 minutes depending on your shoe’s materials. After that, let the shoes sit for a few hours before re-trying them on.

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in Conclusion: Do Shoes Shrink In The Dryer?

It may be easier to shrink your shoes in the dryer. But you should consider first, which shoes will go into the machine and which will not.

Or else, hot temperatures can damage the shoe glue. Also, using a machine dryer can cause your shoes to become permanently deformed, affecting their fit and function. So, before using the dryer, double-check the shoe details.

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