Can You Put Converse In The Dryer? (Find Out Now!)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins
Converse shoes are a staple in popular culture. It can be tempting to wash and dry your pair of Converse when they get dirty, but is it worth the trouble? Follow along as we explore the many reasons that it’s a bad idea to put your Converse in the dryer.

Converse shoes became extremely popular during the ‘90s, but the popularity never really went away, unlike other fashion trends. However, the fact that these are canvas shoes makes them a bit harder to clean. While they’re generally safe on the cold, fragile setting in the washer, should you put Converse in the dryer?

Do not put Converse in the dryer or the heat from the dryer will warp the rubber soles and shrink the canvas. Your Converse will no longer fit and could fall apart. Instead of putting your Converse in the dryer, you can air dry them, which is the manufacturer’s recommendation. You could also wrap them in a newspaper, or hang them on a fan, but do not use a hairdryer to dry your Converse.

So, now, what do you do? You need to wash your shoes, right? This article will cover several ways you can dry your Converse without the risk of warping or shrinking your beloved shoes. We will also give you some tips on maintaining them to last you in the years to come.

Why Shouldn’t You Put Converse In The Dryer?

We highly suggest you refrain from putting your Converse in the dryer. Even just one cycle in the dryer may cause them to fall apart. Is it worth the risk? No.

However, we understand there may be circumstances where you need your shoes dried right away. If you need to dry your shoes quickly, you can throw them in the dryer on ‘air-dry’ with no heat. Although you need to make sure you check them every 15 minutes.

This method should be used very sparingly, no more than a couple of times a year. The tumbling action of your dryer may damage the material of the shoes. So, it’s not just the heat that’s the problem.

Can You Dry Converse With A Hairdryer?

No. You should avoid using a hairdryer to dry your shoes as the heat can damage the rubber and the glue. If you want to speed up the drying process, you could possibly use a hairdryer for a few moments on a low setting, but make sure to move it around as you dry. Keeping the dryer in one spot for an extended period on a hot setting will damage your Converse.

Better Ways To Dry Your Converse

When it comes to drying your Converse, there are better solutions such as:

  • Using the newspaper (Yes, newspaper!)
  • Air drying them
  • Hanging them on a box fan

The great thing about these tactics is that they’re foolproof. There’s no risk of ruining your Converse, and you can execute each method safely. Below, we describe exactly how to do that so that you can get your shoes nice, dry, and ready to wear.

Using Newspaper To Dry Your Converse

First of all, do your shoes have bright colors? If so, you can still follow this method using either blank printer paper or paper towels. If your shoes’ colors aren’t dull, the ink from the newspaper will leak into the canvas, and you won’t be able to get it out.

  • Remove the inner soles. If you have any inner soles, you will want to hang them to air dry. The wet soles can end up growing mold, ruining your shoes. It’ll also make them stinky, which defeats the whole purpose of ensuring they are clean.
  • Stuff your shoes with newspaper. Crumple up the newspaper (or your paper of choice) and shove them into your shoes. This will help to absorb the moisture.
  • Wrap your shoes. Each shoe should be wrapped in three layers of newspaper. You need to get the newspaper as tight as possible so it will absorb most of the moisture. You can use rubber bands to hold everything in place.
  • Leave them be. Find a nice, dry spot inside for your shoes to sit so the paper can absorb the moisture. You will need to keep replacing the newspaper on the inside of your shoes. Also, keep checking the paper on the outside. Once the paper is damp, you will need to re-wrap your shoes so that they will dry out.
  • Repeat step 4. Keep repeating step 4 until your shoes feel completely dry. This process can take several hours. However, if your shoes are completely soaked, you will most likely need to leave them out to air-dry overnight. 

Air Drying Is The Best Way To Dry Converse

Air drying is, hands down, the best method to dry your Converse and also what the manufacturer recommends. There’s no risk of ink prints or any damage to your shoes or laces.

  • Stuff your shoes with newspaper. Yes, back to the newspaper. The newspaper will help your shoes retain their proper shape while drying and soaking up extra moisture. Crumple some newspaper into balls and stuff your shoes until they are full.
  • Hang your shoes. It’s best if you can hang them on a clothesline. However, if you don’t have a clothesline, you can improvise. Find a place in the sunshine where you can hang your shoes by their laces. Or, if you’d rather, you can lay them flat on a drying rack in the sun. If it’s raining out, you can leave them indoors and allow them to dry at room temperature.
  • Leave them to dry. Let your shoes sit to dry. You will need to frequently change the newspaper balls since they will continue to soak up moisture.
  • Do not wear your shoes wet. While you may be impatient, remember that it’s not hygienic to wear wet shoes. Therefore, you must allow them to dry before putting them on your feet.

Hanging Your Shoes On The Fan

If you don’t want to run the risk of the dryer, and you need them dryer a bit faster, you can hang them on a box fan.

  • Cut the wires. Cut two wires that are about 6 cm long. Use pliers to bend the middle part of the wires to form a makeshift hook. You can also use a metal coat hanger for this if you don’t have a set of pliers handy. You’ll have to clip it to the fan instead of feeding it through the fan.
  • Bend the wire into an “S” shape. You’ll want it essentially to look like one large hook on one side, and a small hook on the other. With your fan turned off, hang your wire on the front part of the box fan. You can feed the smaller hook through the box fan to get a good grip. Both wires should be about 3 to 4 inches apart, and of course, the wire should not be in the way of the fan blades.
  • Hang your shoes on the hooks. You want the insides of your shoes to be facing towards the fan so the air can blow through the insides. If your shoes fall, you will need to bend the wires more to get a good ‘U’ shape for your shoes to stay in place. Also, tie your laces around your shoes, so they don’t get caught in your fan.
  • Turn your fan on. Your fan should be turned onto the highest setting. Check the shoes every 30 minutes to see if they have dried. Typically, they will take about 1 to 2 hours to dry with the fan.

How Do You Maintain Your Converse?

Your first order of business before anything is going to be maintaining your converse. Keeping up with the maintenance will keep you from needing to wash and dry them frequently. It will also help them last a lot longer.

Some tips you will want to follow include:

  • Buy the original Converse.
  • Spot clean your shoes.
  • Give your shoes a break; don’t wear them all the time.
  • Wear socks.
  • Don’t wear your shoes when they are wet.
  • If you notice any damage, repair it right away.
  • Store your shoes properly.

Can You Put Converse In The Washing Machine?

it’s preferable to avoid tossing your Converse in the washer as it can warp the shoe and hot water can melt the glue holding the shoes together. However, you could wash them on a delicate setting in cold water and place them in a laundry bag. But, only put them in the washing machine if you really think it is the only way you can get them clean; it’s a better idea to handwash them in the sink.

When handwashing, you can use baking soda to help clean and deodorize your Converse. Make sure you mix the baking soda in with some liquid laundry detergent. You can then use a toothbrush to apply the paste and scrub your shoes. When you rinse them, make sure all the paste is gone.

Do not use vinegar to clean your Converse. The glue holding your Converse together is fragile, and vinegar contains acid. The acid will eat the adhesive, causing your shoe to fall apart.

Wrapping it up

Converse is a fantastic brand of shoe, but the material and construction of them are very fragile. It’s better to spend the time drying them the right way, rather than trying to find a shortcut.

Avoid putting Converse in the dryer or using a hairdryer to dry your shoes because the heat can damage the soles and melt the glue. The heat can also shrink the fabric part of the shoe, and banging around in the dryer can warp your Converse. The best way to dry your Converse is by air-drying them, or alternatively, you can hang them on a box fan or wrap them in a newspaper.

If your Converse are brightly-colored, use blank printer paper instead of newspaper to avoid ink stains. As long as you are careful with your Converse and maintain them properly, they will last you for an exceptionally long time.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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