11 Ways to Dry Wet Shoes Without Them Smelling

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How to Dry Wet Shoes Without Them Smelling

Wet shoes are awful – they’re uncomfortable, and they can really damage the leather. But you can’t just leave them out to dry because the bacteria inside your shoes will cause the smell, so you need to dry them without letting them get stinky.

If you can’t change your shoes and are stuck wearing the same pair of shoes throughout the day, here are some tips to dry them out quickly without making them smell even grosser.

Before we look into the various ways you can dry wet shoes without them smelling it is important to dry the outside first: Get a towel and wipe down the outside of your shoe. This will get rid of the excess water before you focus on drying out the inside.

Use a towel or cloth to wipe out excess water from the soles, insides, and outsides of each shoe. Make sure to check inside the seams and laces as well as all of these areas can collect excess water that must be wiped off before drying your shoes thoroughly. This will help keep them from becoming moldy or smelly later on.


11 Ways to Dry Wet Shoes Without Them Smelling

A rainy day is sometimes unavoidable, and there’s nothing worse than getting your shoes wet. Dampness can easily ruin the construction of your shoes, and even if it doesn’t, wet shoes are just uncomfortable and awkward to wear. There’s also the unpleasant fact that wet shoes tend to smell bad when they dry out.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep rain from ruining your footwear. Here are some low-effort ways to dry out your wet shoes without them smelling bad.

1. Dry the Shoes in the Sun

If it’s a nice day, don’t waste it — take the opportunity to dry your shoes in the sun. Place them outside on a sunny day and let the sun do its work. The warmth of the sun will dry out your shoes and help banish any lingering smells. While you’re at it, take off your socks and let them dry as well.

Don’t leave wet shoes in direct sunlight for too long. If they are made of leather or synthetic material, they can get damaged from sitting in the sun for too long. This is especially true of white sneakers, which can get yellowed from too much exposure to the sun.

2. Dry Them Slowly

If you want to make sure that your shoes don’t get ruined by over-drying, then you’ll want to use this method instead of placing them in direct sunlight. This is also good if you don’t have access to any sunny days but still need to dry out your wet shoes quickly.


3. Use silica gel packs

Silica gel packs are a lifesaver for wet shoes. They absorb moisture from the air and can be reused hundreds of times. If you’re concerned about how long it might take for your soggy shoes to dry out, put one or two of these packs inside each one and let them work their magic overnight.

4. Stuff with newspaper or socks

Another option is stuffing wet shoes with newspaper — but if you do this, make sure the paper doesn’t come in contact with the leather or material itself because it could stain or otherwise damage it. Plus, there’s always a chance some ink will rub off onto your socks when you put your shoes back on, so use it at your own risk!

Stuff them with socks

The same purpose of stuffing the shoe shape is done by stuffing with socks as well. Socks are easier to find than paper if you have a lot of shoes to dry.


5. Dry the Shoe Laces

If the shoelaces are removable, take them out of the shoe and place them in direct sunlight. This may not be possible if they’re tied but if they’re untied, this is the fastest method of drying them. If you can’t place them in direct sunlight or if they require immediate drying, use a blow dryer to dry them as quickly as possible.

6. Set a box of baking soda next to the wet shoes

Though this won’t actually speed up the process of drying your shoes, it will stop any odors from forming while they dry. Use an empty shoebox so that you can place one shoe in each corner and use a large box if you have multiple pairs.

7. Place near a heater

Put your shoes next to or on top of a heater (but not too close). Make sure that they’re not getting so hot that they melt or warp. After a few hours, check to see how wet your shoes still are.


8. Dry wet shoes with a hairdryer

Yes, it sounds silly, but it works! Use a blow dryer on a cool setting and hold it about six inches away from the shoe while moving it around inside the shoe to make sure all areas get dried out thoroughly.

Make sure not to get the leather too hot as this may cause damage. You can also use plastic bags over your hands for protection from any sharp parts of the shoe if needed.

It goes without saying that you should never use a hairdryer (or any other heat source) directly on leather, suede, or nubuck. The extreme heat will melt it and ruin your shoes forever.


9. Put them on a shoe rack

This method allows for free air circulation and will allow your shoes to dry faster. Just make sure you place the shoes in a well-ventilated area so that it doesn’t smell of mold growing on them.

10. Use a fan

The fan will blow air into your shoes, drying them faster. Just make sure to put them in a well-ventilated area so that they don’t start smelling of mold growing on them.

11. Put salt in your shoes

You may think that putting salt in your wet shoes will make them even damper, but this is not so. Salt absorbs moisture from objects, and the same applies when you put it in your wet shoes.

Put a generous amount of salt inside each shoe and leave it for 24 hours before shaking it out and letting them air dry for a few days under a fan or outside in the sun.


In summary, Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dry wet shoes without risk of damaging them or causing them to stink.

In a pinch, you can use paper towels, newspapers, or even a blow dryer to soak up excess moisture and speed up the drying process.

However, it’s important to avoid drying your shoes immediately after wearing them. This can cause them to shrink, crack, or even deform. Instead, you should let your shoes air dry for at least 24 hours before attempting to accelerate the process.

Drying wet shoes is not an exact science; there are dozens of different approaches and methods that claim to work best. However, there are specific steps you can take no matter which approach you choose.

If your shoes get wet while wearing them in the rain, let them air dry for at least 24 hours before wearing them again.

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