Can You Put Vans in the Dryer?

Whether you prefer the lace-less slip-ons or the classic authentic style of the Vans, these classic sneakers will never disappoint any fashion enthusiast especially when paired with a chic maxi dress or a pair of blue or black jeans.

In fact, these sneakers have become synonymous with the modern American skateboarder, as they’re both light and comfortable when worn. But, despite their profound success among most youngsters, wearing Vans can sometimes be a disaster especially when it comes to keeping them clean.

Can You Put Vans in the Dryer
Despite maintaining that elegant and sophisticated appeal, Vans, especially white ones, can be quite challenging to maintain especially when it comes to clumsy spills from food and drinks. That said, if you feel you’re the one we’re talking to, then you don’t have to worry as this guide will discuss exactly how you’re supposed to clean your Vans using recommended home methods.

In addition to that, we’re also going to answer one of your most pressing questions regarding putting Vans in the dryer. So, if you’re ready, then let’s begin.

Can You Put Vans in the Dryer?

Well, the simple answer is no. Although some people will proceed to do it anyway, putting your Vans inside a dryer can cause some minor problems that might not be as pleasant. You see, Vans come in three major fabrics that are leather, suede, and canvas.

In the case of canvas Vans, putting them inside a dryer can expose them to too much heat that can shrink the canvas fabric causing serious damage to your dear sneakers. In the case of leather and suede Vans, putting them inside the dryer will not only shrink them but will also cause the leather fabric to peel off resulting in permanent damage.

So, to avoid damaging your Vans, it’s better if you put them out in the sun to dry naturally. In fact, this is considered one of the best and safest ways to dry Vans as you won’t risk damaging them. Another method you can consider is by using paper towels. Here, all you need is to insert the papers inside the Vans and leave them overnight to soak all the wetness.

But, What if the Dryer is the Only Solution?

Now, there are times when you might be getting home from work then you accidentally get rained on. In such a scenario, one way you can consider drying your Vans much faster to wear them the next morning is by using a dryer. Although we mentioned that it’s not a good idea, sometimes “desperate times can call for desperate measures”.

dry shoes in dryer
In this regard, a dryer can be the only solution though you have to follow the right technique to avoid damaging your Vans or your dear dryer. So, which are the steps and precautions you have to follow when drying your Vans using a dryer?

  • Check the Labels on Your Shoes

In case you must use a dryer to dry your Vans, then the first step you need to take is to inspect the label inside the sneakers to see whether they’re safe to dry in a machine. Thankfully, the label is easy to locate as it’s mostly found on the tongue or inner heel of the Vans.

In most cases, this label offers information about the size of your Vans, the material used, and whether it’s safe to dry them using a machine. Now, if you see a label that contains a square and a circle inside it, then it means your Vans are safe for machine drying.

However, if the label shows a circle with an (X) through it, then it means your Vans cannot be machine dried. If the circle has a small dot inside it, then it means your Vans are machine dryable but on the lowest setting.

  • Try to Dry them First

In case the Vans are completely soaked in water, you need to find a proper way to remove the excess water before you can proceed to put them in the dryer. Here, you can think of stuffing some old newspapers or some paper towels inside the Vans to soak the wetness.

But, before you do that, you need to remove the wet innersoles from your Vans to avoid damaging them. You also need to loosen the laces to make it easier for you to stuff the newspapers inside the shoes. Although this process is tiring, it’s well worth it as you won’t risk damaging your dryer.

  • Put the Vans Inside a Mesh Bag

With the Vans now ready to be dried, put them inside a mesh bag then wrap them around some clothes and bed sheets. You see, your pair of Vans are heavy, and putting them inside the dryer by themselves can create rigorous banging that can damage the inside of the dryer as well as the canvas fabric on your Vans.

So, to avoid that, you need to wrap them with a mesh laundry bag then add some clothes to give the dryer enough cushioning to prevent it from being damaged by the heavy Vans.

  • Hang the Vans on the Door

If you’re not comfortable with putting the Vans directly inside the dryer, perhaps you can consider hanging them on the door of the dryer. To do this, simply tie the laces of your Vans together then drape the Vans on the door of the dryer.

With the Vans inside the dryer and the laces hanging up, close the door of the dryer to have the Vans inside and the laces stuck outside. This will leave the Vans hanging inside the dryer close to the door. The best thing about this strategy is that it works perfectly well regardless of whether you’re using a front or a top loading dryer.

  • Use the Correct Dryer Setting

Once everything is well set, the final step is to turn the dryer to the recommended setting that will dry your canvas Vans without shrinking them. If your dryer has the “Air Dry” setting, then this is the perfect setting to use as it will activate the machine’s fan to blow your wet Vans and dry them.

However, if this setting is not available, you don’t have to panic as you can simply use the lowest temperature setting to dry them. In most cases, your dryer will take around 60 minutes to dry your Vans entirely.

However, to avoid shrinking your sneakers, you need to judge the dryness by checking the shoes at least every 20 minutes. Always be careful when opening the door to avoid dropping the Vans inside the dryer.

Which Materials are Not Safe to Use in a Dryer?

The best thing about using a dryer to dry your Vans is that the process is a lot easier and the results are quick and very efficient. Although the process is effortless, you need to confirm with the labels in your Vans to ensure they’re machine-approved.

Since Vans are manufactured using different materials, there are those materials that are not safe to use in the dryer. These include suede and leather. But, first, let’s discuss canvas.

  • Canvas:

Canvas Vans are typically the best to dry in a dryer. The cloth-like material used is safe enough to withstand the harsh conditions of a dryer. But, regardless of being safe, canvas cannot bear the heat inside a dryer if it’s too high. For that reason, you need to use the “Air Dry” setting or set the machine to its lowest heat setting.

  • Leather:

Unlike canvas, leather is the worst fabric you can think of drying inside a dryer. If your Vans are made of leather, then you must consider another alternative method other than using a dryer. What happens when you put leather Vans inside a dryer is that they begin to shrink due to the extreme heat.

If the Vans are left to bounce inside the dryer, they’re likely to foam creases, wrinkles, and dents. They’re also likely to lose the dye and they can even peel off the leather top in extreme cases.

  • Suede:

Lastly, there’s suede. Unlike leather, suede can easily dry and become stiff when exposed to extreme heat. Once it dries up, it begins to warp and crack causing permanent damage to your Vans.

Have a look at:

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How to get oil out of suede boots

Can Vans Cause Potential Damage to My Dryer?

Well, Yes. Although your dryer can withstand heavy knocks, there are times when it might decide to give up especially when exposed to heavy banging. The first thing that can damage your dryer is the heavy banging of shoes especially if done repeatedly. Since your Vans are heavy, they’re likely to dent the walls of the dryer or worse, damage the motor, the drum belt or break the glass on the door.

Another factor that can cause serious damage to your dryer is throwing dirty Vans inside. Here, the repeated bouncing of your sneakers can cause dirt, rocks, leaves, and other debris to find their way inside the dryer causing serious clogging issues. Your shoelaces can also stick inside the dryer causing the machine to clog.

Since your dryer is a crucial investment, you must minimize the damage by following the right steps. One, you can opt to cover your Vans with a mesh laundry bag then cushion them with towels and clothes. Two, you can decide to hang the Vans on the door of your dryer to have them dried up without having to bang the interior.

Alternative Methods to Dry Your Vans

Although the tumbling dryer offers the quickest way of drying wet Vans, there are other alternative methods you can consider if you’re not on a time constraint. The best thing about these methods is that they’re fast and easy and they’re the safest options that won’t hurt the integrity of your dear Vans.

Air Drying

  • Air Drying

Now, when I mention air-drying, what I mean is the act of hanging your Vans outside to have them dried up by the fresh blowing air. This method is actually the best bet, as it won’t damage your Vans and your dryer in any way. However, you need to avoid direct sunlight as it can discolor your Vans over time.

  • Using a Fan/Blow Dryer

Now, in case you need your pair of Vans to dry up faster for the next day, then you can think of using a fan or a blow dryer. Using a fan is as easy as hanging your Vans close enough to the fan and turning it on.

Using a blow dryer, on the other hand, is quite tricky. First, you need to use the cold heat setting, and two, you need to hold the Vans at a safe distance from the blow dryer which is around 10-15 inches. The best thing about this method is that it doesn’t damage your Vans regardless of the material they’re made of.

  • Using Dry Rice

The dry rice method is one of the oldest tricks of drying waterlogged shoes and phones. In this method, you only need to fill your socks with dry rice then insert the socks inside your wet Vans. Let them sit for around 4-5 hours before inspecting your Vans. If they’re still wet, then you can repeat the procedure until they’re entirely dry.


So, can you put Vans in the dryer? Well, the answer to this question is like a double-edged sword that cuts on both sides. In plain words, it all depends on several factors such as the material used on your Vans and whether the Vans are safe for machine drying.

In case your Vans are safe for machine drying, then all you need is to follow the steps we’ve highlighted above just to ensure that you don’t damage your dear dryer with rigorous banging.

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