We have all been faced with a pair of wet boots or shoes that we need to dry after we have been out in the snow or the rain. In an ideal world, those boots should air dry over a few days before we put them back on our feet. But what if you haven’t got that time? We are going to show you how to dry leather boots overnight so you can wear them comfortably the next day.
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How Long do Leather Boots Take to Dry?
Air drying is the traditional method to remove excess moisture from leather shoes and boots but it takes time. Typically a pair of wet leather boots can take up to two or even three days to dry out completely. This is fine if you have time to allow your boots to dry naturally but if you only have one pair of boots and they need to be worn the next day you’ll need to speed up the process.
We are going to talk about a number of methods that are going to help you to quicken this drying process but bear in mind that some of these should be used with caution. If you have expensive leather boots only choose methods that will not dry your shoes too quickly so that the natural oils are stripped out of them or they start to crack.
Most of our methods will work even on soaked leather boots but some are better left for older footwear if you have any worries about the results.
How Do You Get the Moisture Out of Leather Boots
If you want to dry wet boots one of the first steps you need to think about is exactly how wet are they. In some cases, your boots may be wet on the outside but the inside of the boot is completely dry. In other cases, the moisture will have saturated right the way through the leather and into the actual inside of the boot as well.
If there is excess moisture on the inside of your boots the first step you can take is to place some paper towels or dry newspaper into the inside of your boot. If you were using the air dry method these paper towels would stay in for at least overnight to remove moisture. If you are using our other methods just use the paper towel for an hour or so to remove the excess water before moving on to our other steps.
Regarding the wet outside of your leather boots use some old towels to get rid of the extra moisture. Your boots may still be wet but they won’t be completely saturated after doing this allowing you to use our first method that works to dry your boots overnight.
How to Dry The Inside of Boots Fast
Once you have removed as much of the moisture that you can from your boots with towels and paper towels move on to our very best method for drying wet leather boots overnight which is using a good boot dryer.
Boot dryers are a relatively recent phenomenon but they have caught on fast as they are a really simple and super efficient way to get your wet leather boots ready to wear the next day.
There are tons of models on the market but one of our favorites is this DryGuy 2207 Force Dry Boot Dryer. This clever machine doesn’t just dry your shoes and boots but can also dry your gloves and ski boots as well making it a bit of a workhorse.
This is the perfect machine if you want to know how to dry leather boots really quickly. In fact, the manufacturers claim that most items that people put on this machine will dry in just 1-2 hours. This is because the machine uses a forced air system that heats to high temperatures.
Boot dryers such as this machine can have your wet leather boots ready to wear in no time and in are unlikely to harm your boots.
It is worth noting that some boot dryers don’t have the ski boots feature that this machine has. Ski boots are generally very heavy which means that conventional boot dryers can’t be used well as the boots are placed in them upright. This machine allows the ports to be adjusted so that the ski boots can be laid flat on the floor for the drying process to work.
How to Dry Boots Overnight
Whilst a boot dryer is probably one of the fastest methods you can use to get your boots wearable again there are plenty of other methods that you can use that can help but they are all going to be a little slower.
Our next suggestion is to place your wet boots in a small warm room in your house and put a dehumidifier on to help speed up the drying process.
Dehumidifiers are often used to dry clothes and there is no reason not to use them to dry your boots a little faster as well. This Waykar Dehumidifier is a perfect example of a product that can help to remove moisture from different areas in your home including laundry rooms. If you have one in your own home then you could use it as a way of speeding up drying time so that any leather shoes and boots are ready to wear the next day.
How to Dry Leather Boots Fast Using a Fan
Wet leather boots can also be helped to dry faster if you think about air circulation and how that can help in the drying process. In particular, think about using either a table fan or floor fan to help increase air circulation so that it can help dry your boots faster.
Never attach your leather boots directly to the fan itself. Instead, find a way to suspend your boots or shoes at least 8 inches away from the front of the fan. As an example, you could hang your boots to dry on a clothes horse. Make sure that you place some old towels on the floor underneath the boots to stop any water from getting onto the floor.
To help dry your boots quicker take out your boot insoles and hang those in front of the fan as well. Now simply aim your fan directly at your boots and you will speed up the natural air drying process.
Remember that a fan won’t necessarily help dry the inside of your boots quickly if they are really saturated. This is why boot dryers can be more helpful for this drying process.
Using Direct Heat As a Drying Method
It makes to know that warm and dry rooms are going to be better for drying your boots than colder rooms in your home. If your central heating is turned on that is clearly going to make a difference to the speed at which your web boots dry. If you place your wet leather boots or hiking boots near a radiator that is going to be on all evening then that is going to dry your boots faster.
Similarly, open fires, log burners, a heated fan and even electric heaters will all help to speed up the drying process. The key is to make sure your wet boots don’t get too much heat. Placing leather shoes or boots right in front of an extremely hot direct heat source is asking for problems and can cause your boots to dry too quickly.
When your boots dry out too fast you are at risk of leather cracking, losing flexibility and the natural oils being stripped from the material. So if you are going to place your shoes or leather boots in a very dry room just make sure they are not right in front of the heat source to allow them to dry a little more slowly.
Using Kitty Litter
If you have kitty litter around the house then this is a less well-known method for helping to dry wet leather boots and shoes. This method works particularly well for the inside of boots and is a great alternative to a boot dryer.
Simply get an old sock or pair of tights and fill it with the kitty litter and then tie the top or use a rubber band to stop any of the product spilling into your shoes. Place the sock or tights into the wet shoes or boots and leave them to sit in their overnight and soak up the moisture.
When you take the socks out the following day you should find that the inside of your boots are completely dry as the litter will have absorbed all the moisture. This is such a clever trick and works brilliantly without ruining the leather.
If you use a lavender scented kitty litter like this product you should also find you have lovely smelling boots when they are dry as well.
Using a Blow Dryer to Dry Boots
Whilst cat litter is a relatively safe way to help dry wet boots our next method is a little more problematic and that is using a blow dryer/hairdryer to dry your boots.
Whilst hairdryers can be great at helping to dry your hair you do need to be careful about using them on soaked boots and expecting a great result. Remember that leather doesn’t like a direct heat source being placed on it as it can dry the leather too quickly which can cause cracking and eventually ruin your boots.
Blow dryers do exactly that as they blow hot air in close proximity to your wet shoes and boots. If you are going to use this method because you don’t have anything else that you can use remember that a hairdryer has high and low settings. Use the lower settings where possible to avoid ruining your boots.
Also, it is worth pointing out that this method to dry wet boots can take you a very long time. This is why products like boot dryers make more sense as you can leave your boots in the hot air stream and get on with doing something else rather than holding a dryer for hours to dry out the moisture.
Can You Put Boots In The Dryer?
We have heard that many people have thought about drying their shoes using a tumble dryer rather than a boot dryer which has been specially made to dry boots fast. We believe this method to dry shoes and boots is never a great idea because in most cases you aren’t able to change how hot the dryer becomes. Excess heat is a good way of ruining your nice leather boots.
Remember that leather boots and shoes aren’t just held together by stitching but also by glue in some areas. Plus parts of your boots such as the eyelets or heels can be made of plastic. If these components get too hot they can start to melt or degrade ruining your boots completely.
Plus boots are going to bounce around in the machine which can also cause problems as they hit the sides of the dryer. This can damage the leather as well. It, therefore, makes sense to avoid this method if you can and only use it as a very last resort unless you have specific drying instructions for the manufacturers that allow a tumble dryer to be used.
Drying Boots In an Oven
Yet another wacky method of drying wet boots that people think about is using an oven to solve the problem. Whilst at first this seems like a good idea it really isn’t as most ovens operate at relatively high temperatures which can impact the materials in your boots.
Boot dryers are made to dry wet boots fast at the correct temperatures and do the job incredibly well and don’t damage the leather. Ovens however are completely untested on boots and shoes meaning that whilst you might be able to dry your wet leather boots you might also manage to ruin them at the same time.
Leave some of the more out there solutions to other people and focus on what really works safely, especially if your boots are new or expensive.
How to Dry Steel Toe Boots
We thought it was worth mentioning that some work boots will have a steel toe cap. If you want to dry wet boots that have this feature then most of our drying methods are suitable including boot dryers, using a fan, and the cat litter method.
As we have already mentioned you just want to exercise a little more caution when using methods that apply direct heat onto the wet boots in case you cause a problem.
Don’t Forget To Use Saddle Soap
Finally, remember that if you are regularly drying your wet boots over the winter or rainy season then you need to make sure that you look after your footwear by regularly conditioning it to keep the leather flexible and supple.
Saddle soap not only cleans leather but can also help to nourish it so that it doesn’t get brittle or crack. Regularly using saddle soap means that you are looking after your boots and shoes and keeping them in tip-top condition. This is particularly important if your footwear is expensive. It isn’t an expensive product but can work wonders. Make sure you use it after you have dried saturated boots and you won’t go far wrong.
Learning how to dry leather boots can be simple when you know how just remember that boot maintenance is a great way of prolonging the life of your boots and can keep them looking great.
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