Can You Put Steel Toe Boots in the Dryer?

Having the right work footwear is great but if you want them to last long then it is important that you take care of them. 

Now, if you own a pair of steel toe boots and are wondering if it is okay to throw them in the dryer as a quick solution after the cleaning ritual, know that not all footwears are the same. All types of shoes and boots need different type of care. 

To resolve your doubt more straightforwardly, yes, you can put your steel toe dryer boots in the dryer. But should you put your steel toe boots in the dryer? The answer is NO.

Can You Put Steel Toe Boots in the Dryer

Let’s take a closer look into why you should not put your steel toe boots in the dryer and what should you do to dry them without causing any damage to your precious boots:

What happens if your dry your steel toe boots in a dryer?

We have already established that steel toe boots (or shoes) should never be dried in a dryer. But if you are wondering what is the worst that could happen even if you do put your steel-toed boots in the dryer, here is a quick overview:

Scenario 1: Suppose the outer layers of your boots are made of leather. In this case, the excessive hot air from the dryer will damage the natural fibers of the leather.

As a result, your boots will be dehydrated and the outer layer made of leather will start to shrink and crack, making your boots appear nasty and worn-out. Your dryer will bear some damage, too, due to the constant ramming of steel into it for 15 to 45 minutes. 

Scenario 2: Let’s say you put your boots in the dryer on a ‘no heat’ setting. In this case, while the leather layer may stay preserved, the damage to your dryer is inevitable.

There is no setting to prevent this from happening. There is also a chance that boots may come out bent, making it impossible to wear them again. 

6 best way to dry steel toe boots

The good news is that there are a number of equally easy but safer ways to dry your steel toe boots. 

So, what are these alternative ways of drying your steel-toed boots? Let’s take a look:

1. Let your Boots Dry Naturally

Nature has the best solution for everything, even for drying your wet steel toe boots. All you have to do is keep your boots in a place where sunlight reaches easily. 

It is best to keep your shoes in a slanted position with the throat of the boot facing the sunlight. You can then just leave your boots as it is and let nature do the magic. 

However, if you want your boots to dry as fast as possible, then you will have to reposition your boots from time to time in a way that all the sides get exposed to sunlight.

2. Use a Fan

Another way to dry your steel toe boots without causing any potential damage is to use a fan. You can try this method indoors or in combination with the sunlight. 

In fact, a fan together with sunlight will dry your boots in no time at all. 

In case you want the drying process to be even faster, then you can tie your boots with the fan such that the air is blown directly at your boot’s body. 

Although, if you do this, make sure that the fan you use can handle the weight of your boots; if not, just place the boots right in front of the fan (or below if you are using a ceiling fan) at a level that the air blows directly onto your boots. 

3. Pack Newspaper inside your Boots

You can ball up a newspaper and place it inside your wet steel toe boots. The newspaper will absorb the extra moisture from the threads and fibres and help dry your boots. 

You can also use paper towels or any light, porous paper in place of newspaper to do the trick. 

stuffed some newspapers inside the boots

One important thing though, you will have to keep changing the balls of newspaper or paper towels every few hours to make sure that all moisture is removed from your boots. 

This method can also fasten the drying process using the fan method. So, don’t hesitate to use the newspaper method and the fan method together. 

4. Dab and Wrap Dry your Boots with a Towel

Another way that helps the fan method is to stuff your steel toe boots with a dry flannel or bathroom towel and wrap the rest of the towel around your boot. 

This method is similar to the newspaper method, and you will have to change the towel with another dry towel every few hours. But you will not have to change the cloth towel as frequently as you would a newspaper or paper towel. 

The downside of this method, however, is that you will not be able to use the same towels for normal bath purposes again. That is, if you care about hygiene, which you absolutely should! 

So, while this method is better than the newspaper method in terms of the frequency by which you need to change the towels, it is to a larger degree impractical –until and unless you have a lot of spare large towels lying around, that you do not wish to use. 

5. Place your Boots in a Container full of Rice

You must have heard of the magic rice can do if your electronics get wet. Dropped your phone in water? Just put them in rice and watch the magic happen.

You can use the rice method to dry your steel toe shoes (and boots), too. However, don’t put your boots in rice straight out of water. This method is best only to remove the final remaining moisture when your boots are almost dry but still feel a tad damp. 

As a general rule of thumb, one or two cups of rice per boot is usually enough for this method to work. So, you can just place some rice in a plastic bag, throw your boots in there and let the magic happen overnight. 

I do not specifically like this method because of the additional clean up required and, needless to say, the apparent wastage of good food.

6. Use a Boot Dryer

Last but not the least, you can invest in a device specifically made for drying steel toe boots –the boot dryer. The electronic handheld boot dryers typically have adjustable heat settings that give out cold blow and warm blow. So, you can choose the best setting depending on the type of boot you have. 

It is best to use a cold blow if the outer layer of your boots is made of leather; if not, a warm blow, which is generally no more than 2 horsepower, is good to use. 


There are several ways to dry your steel toe boots, and drying them in a washing machine dryer is not of the recommended ones. If you dry your boots in a dryer, it can damage both your boots and the machine. And, really, who wants that?! 

The alternatives are to let your boots dry naturally in the sunlight, use a fan, newspaper, towels, or a small handheld dryer. 

Now, if you hate waiting and want your boots dry as quickly as possible, then the handheld dryer is the best option to go for. It does the job well and is much safer than a machine dryer. 

However, the best overall option is to let your boots dry naturally in the naturally. This is because this method requires the least effort and causes no damage to your boots, provided you don’t just leave your boots out in the sun and forget about them. The only thing to remember is that your aim to dry your boots, not toast them.  

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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