My most recent piece was on another piece of footwear and tumble dryers.
Wellies are definitely a bad in the tumble dryer, but what about trainers?
Chances are, you’ve spent a fair bit on some nice trainers, especially if you’re a keen runner and the consequences of ruining them would be heart breaking.
I wrote a piece on putting your trainers in the washing machine which showed that you can do that to get them clean, as long as you use a laundry bag or something similar.
It would follow then that you could put them in the tumble dryer and everything would be fine right?
Putting your trainers in the tumble dryer runs the risk of ruining them, especially with the rubber soles. The high temperatures inside a tumble dryer can start to deform the rubber and the soles will lose their structural integrity. Trainers with no rubber sole or more “casual” trainers won’t be at risk of this damage.
Like the welly tumble dryer post, this article will show why putting trainers in the tumble dryer is a bad idea, how to clean them properly and give some other items that shouldn’t be tumble dried.
Why You Should Not Put Trainers in the Tumble Dryer
Just like with the wellies, trainers in the tumble dryer can lead to serious damage.
On trainers, especially running trainers, this damage will be localised on the rubber soles.
The heat generated inside the tumble dryer can start to deform the rubber. This may not seem like a huge deal, but it can basically be the end of your trainers.
The rubber can start to crack and peel apart. In some cases the sole could actually start to peel off from the bottom of the shoe.
Even if they don’t look damaged, it’s never a good idea to carry on running on trainers that have been exposed to heat like this, as the sole will not be structurally sound and this could lead to injury from running on an unstable surface.
On top of all this, the tumble dryer actually isn’t particularly effective at drying the trainers so they may still come out damp after a cycle.
A further problem for some is that the trainers can really make a racket inside the tumble dryer. As the drum spins, the trainers will be bouncing and thumping off the walls of the drum, making pretty loud banging noises.
If you’re drying other shoes which don’t have rubber, this will be an issue there too, but it can be solved by drying some towels at the same time, which will dampen any thuds or stop the shoes from hitting the drum altogether.
So overall, putting trainers in the tumble dryer isn’t a great idea. Let’s look at some of the best ways to dry your trainers instead.
How to Dry Trainers Effectively
There are a few ways to effectively dry your trainers without putting them in the tumble dryer. The unfortunate thing is that most of these methods will take quite a while, usually requiring you to leave the trainers overnight.
Air drying: This is as simple as it sounds. You can set your trainers down in a warm place, preferably with air circulation.
Make sure the area you choose isn’t too hot, however, otherwise you’ll end up with some of the issues mentioned above.
If you have a small fan heater, you can set it to blow mild warm air over your trainers.
This will achieve the same thing as a tumble dryer would, but at a much milder temperature and without the banging.
If the weather is warm enough, just outside your front door is an ideal spot for this method.
Stuffed newspaper: I mentioned this in the welly drying post as this is a fairly common method of drying shoes.
Rolling up balls of newspaper and placing this inside the trainers will help to absorb excess moisture and speed up the drying process.
If using this method it’s a good idea to swap out the newspaper every so often to help with airflow and to ensure you do not leave wet newspaper inside your shoes.
An alternative to this is to fill some socks with rice or cat litter and leave these inside the trainers. Both of these materials can absorb water pretty well.
To go even further, you could use dehydrated silica gel. These come in packets with electronics to keep them dry so you know they’re great for absorbing moisture.
Shoe dryer: This is easily the most effective route you can take. You can buy a shoe dryer specifically designed for this purpose and this will likely outlast your shoes.
Some of them are as cheap as $20 so this is a very viable route.
Other Items You Should Never Tumble Dry
So you know about not tumble drying trainers (and wellies) by now, but are there other items you should avoid tumble drying?
Sequined clothing: This can be a bad idea because the sequins on clothing can often be ripped off quite easily.
Not only will this ruin that piece of clothing, but the sequins will then cover everything else in the dryer.
The best thing to do for these clothes is to hang them after washing.
Tights: These are very prone to shrinking inside the tumble dryer due to the heat produced.
As well as this, the tights run the risk of becoming laddered inside the dryer.
Hand washing is the best route to go for tights.
Swimsuits: These are made from material that is designed to hold its shape in pool water and sea water.
Exposed to too much heat, however, and a swimsuit can be completely ruined, losing all its shape.
Bras and underwear: Anything with lace, clasps, underwire etc. will be ruined by a tumble dryer.
The heat, combined with being thrashed about in a metal drum is enough to cause some serious damage.
As you can see there are a lot of items that just can’t be dried in a tumble dryer, trainers not being the only ones.
So that’s the answer!
Trainers with rubber soles are a no go in your tumble dryer, as well as the list of items at the end.
Using any of the other methods of drying your trainers may take longer, but that’s worth not ruining your favourite pair of shoes right?