I washed my shoes some 72 hours ago; at the moment they are still too damp for me to wear.

I know that there are shoe dryers available, but that is not what I want because I only wash my shoes occasionally - it does not warrant spending the money and space for a machine dedicated to this task.

I am looking for ways to use common household objects / appliances and techniques such that I do not have to wait that long after washing my shoes.

5 Answers 5


Speaking from experience on the farm, during the winter months where our shoes/boots would get soaked from melting snow and needing them dry for the next day: putting them on/near a furnace register works well.

Make sure the air is blowing on or at the shoes. It doesn't even have to be into the shoes, although that works best. Just getting the heat and air movement will help them dry quickly, as in less than 12 hours. Wet shoes at night turn into dry shoes in the morning. Well, unless they were really wet.

You can also use a hair dryer or heat gun on it's lowest setting to help the drying process. Don't leave the hair dryer or heat gun running unattended, since they can start fires. Because it's a manual process with your presence being required, it's not going to fully dry your shoes, unless you plan on spending hours doing this, but it'll help speed the process.

In the summer months, when we worked in the rain (or worked with manure), we usually just wore rubber boots. If that wasn't available, we'd just leave the (clean) wet shoes on the back porch, which was indoors, and the heat of the day (usually) took care of it for us.

Running a fan with the air blowing across the shoes makes them dry quickly. Basically, any air movement and/or heat in or around your shoes is going to work.

I haven't tried this one, but it seems viable. Wrap a dry bath towel around your shoes and put them in the clothes dryer on low heat. You can try using a belt or velcro to keep the towel around the shoes. The towel is just there to help with the noise in the dryer. I think some dryers even have a shoe setting or basket.


Try using toilet paper to absorb the excess water.

  1. Stuff the toilet paper into the leg space in order to absorb the excess water inside.
  2. Cover the exterior space of shoe to absorb water that lies outside.
  3. You can hang your shoes on a table fan and work it in maximum in order to make it dry quickly.

I often use this trick when I wear sneakers in the rain. When I come inside I wrap my feet with socks on in toilet paper or paper towels and put my shoes back on. I may have to loosen the laces. My feet press the paper up against the shoes. This technique dries both my socks and the sneakers. Now, sometimes I have to use two wraps of paper once one gets soaked. But, I have found this to be very effective and relatively quick. Both toilet paper and paper towels have been intentionally designed to be very absorbent.

I should also add that, if my sneakers have an inner sole that I can pull out, I put paper under that sole or take it out completely and either wrap it in toilet paper and put something on top of it to press the paper down, or I put it in the sun to dry.

Another idea is to buy some superabsorbent (yes - that's what they are called) towels. They are made for camping. You could stuff your shoes with these.

  • Applying pressure makes the drying much more efficient. So walking, even a short distance, with paper or socks will work well. Stuffing towels inside, not so well.
    – anatolyg
    Jan 21, 2018 at 16:01
  • These superabsorbant towels are not like cloth towels. They are more like thin sponges. They don't have the little loops of threads that cloths towels have. They have a smooth surface. And, they do really soak up liquid. I have two of them. Jan 22, 2018 at 16:02

Stuffing shoes with newspaper is a great way of making them dry quicker. In my experience they would always dry much quicker than 72 hours.


HACK: Dry uncooked white rice is an excellent desiccant. All you need to use it conveniently is something to make handling it easy. Try a pair of stockings.

First, try to absorb the excess moisture with a dry towel or wash cloth. Push it firmly into the shoe and leave for a few minutes. Good. Remove the cloth. Re-position it. Do it again for a minute or two. Good.

Then, pour some dry rice into the toe of a stocking and drop it into the damp shoe. Tap the shoe to get the weighted sock into the shoe as far as possible. Fill the sock with more dry rice until the rice-filled stocking is filling the damp shoe as much as possible. Fill it right up just past the top and fold or roll the top closed and clip it or tie it. Do the same with its mate.

Set the pair aside in a dry spot for a while until dry which will vary with the amount of soaking, kind of shoes, and how dry the shelter is where you attempt to dry your footwear.

The now not-edible rice can be re-used for this chore after it has been set aside to dry. It's a one-time investment, though. Store it dry and Label it clearly to find easily on the next damp day.

Good luck.

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