How to dry wet work boots

We’ve all been there—getting our nice pair of work boots soaked with water. Of course, air-drying them is the most effective way of handling the situation, but sometimes we don’t have the time to wait for the drying process. Fortunately, you can dry your favorite pair of work boots using other methods.

What magic solutions are we referring to, you ask?

Well, if you’ve been wondering how to dry wet boots, today’s your lucky day. We’ve drafted a list of different boot drying methods that will get you out of that predicament.

Here’s a quick view of work boots drying methods:

  • Use boot dryers.
  • Try newspaper.
  • Use a towel.
  • Absorb the moisture with rice.
  • Sun drying.
  • Use a fan.
  • Shoe/boot inserts.

Dry Wet Work Boots

Preparations Before Drying Your Work Boots

Preparations are necessary for every process, including drying wet boots. And don’t worry; these tips won’t take much time.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

  • Remove dirt and mud: If you don’t have a soft brush at home, you can use a clean, dry towel. The temptation to skip this step will be there. But remember, if you do, you’ll have to deal with irritating marks that will be left on your dry work boots. This step will also help you prevent your work boot from discoloring.
  • Take out the laces: There will be discoloration below the laces if you dry your boots without removing them.
  • Lay a towel on the floor: Muddy water droplets can potentially leave stains on your floor, regardless of what drying method you use.

Work Boots Drying Methods

Boot Dryers

It may seem extravagant, but if you’re one who gets their boots wet more than once in a while, a boot dryer is a necessary luxury. These handy tools are ideal for those who work outdoors or who live in areas with lots of rainfall.

A boot dryer will help you make sure your boots are always dry and ready to wear before leaving the house. And on top of that, you’ll be able to keep those same work boots odorless and in the best condition for a longer period of time when using a boot dryer.

Newspaper Method

Using old newspapers is only effective if you have more time on your hands or if your boots are slightly wet. Naturally, newspapers are coarse and effective at absorbing water. Follow these steps:

  1. Stuff your wet work boots full of dry newspaper.
  2. Wrap more newspaper around the outside of the boots.
  3. Once the paper looks soaked, replace it with dry sheets.
  4. Replace it a couple more times until your boots are dry inside and out.

Use a Towel

A towel will not only soak up all the moisture in your work boots but also preserve their shape. Take an old towel and stuff it in there—chances are it won’t fit entirely. That’s okay; just stuff all the corners inside, and use the excess material to wrap the outside of the boots.

This will ensure your boots dry on both sides simultaneously and hence reduce the overall drying time. You’re also encouraged to use a fan for added good measure.

Absorb the Moisture Using Rice

Just because we’ve added rice to this list doesn’t mean that we’re digressing. Rice can be used to dry so many things—not just your phone when it decides to go for a swim.

Here’s how you use it:

  1. Grab a large container.
  2. Fill it with an inch or two of rice.
  3. Place your work boots inside.
  4. Cover the container with a lid.
  5. Leave it overnight.

Sun Drying

Sometimes, all you have to do to solve a problem is to sit back, chill, and let nature do all the work for you.

Drying wet work boots using the sun is actually one of the best ways to dry boots. In addition to helping you dry up your shoes, the heat will kill all the pathogens, fungus, and bacteria living in there.

Note: Repeated exposure will damage your boots, so only use this method when necessary.

Use a Fan

These are the times when you remember how precious household items such as fans are. Drying work boots using a fan is a faster method because the moving air takes moisture with it.

  1. Place a towel under the fan to absorb the dripping water.
  2. Get an old wire coat hanger and twist it into an “S” shape.
  3. Hang the boots in front of the fan using the wire.
  4. Turn the fan on, and leave the boots for a couple of hours.
  5. Check the boots and remove once dry.

Shoe/Boot Inserts

This is an easy option for people who aren’t so open to the idea of setting up a fan.

There are some excellent products out there made from moisture-wicking filling or cedar. All you have to do is buy some and place them inside the boots overnight.

Shoe inserts have an antimicrobial coating. Therefore, you can use them more than once, without having to worry about developing a fungal culture.

Mistakes To Avoid While Drying Your Work Boots

Putting the Boots Too Close To the Heat Source

You’ll be tempted to place your pair of wet work boots right next to a heat source so as to dry them much faster. Don’t.

Using direct heat isn’t one of the best methods to dry your boots, it’s how they get burned. And if you’re lucky to get away with it, what you’ll have accomplished is shortening their lifespan or damaging the glue.

The best way to dry work boots is to air dry them. All these alternative methods are meant to help you hasten the process. If you really want to use a heat source, make sure to place your boots at least 3 meters away to avoid damage.

Squeezing the Boots in a Small Space

Placing your boots in a plastic box or a small cupboard is also a no-no. You’ll essentially be cutting off air circulation that’s deemed necessary for the boots to dry up naturally.

Assuming the Job’s Over

The drying process will take the life out of your leather boots. There’s no denying that. And that’s why it’s recommended that you use some good boot oil to recondition them from time to time.

An oil conditioner will help you moisturize and soften the leather. It’s also meant to protect leather boots against water abuse by creating a protective barrier around it.

yellow boots

Why You Shouldn’t Wear Wet Work Boots

The fit is often considered the primary problem with waterlogged boots. Wet work boots will never fit you the way they were designed to fit your feet. The material will distort and keep wrapping around the foot.

You’ll feel uncomfortable, cramped, and before long, you’ll be complaining about blisters and other health issues.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Wearing wet work boots can lead to all sorts of unpleasant infections, such as:

Athlete’s Foot

If you often wear enclosed work boots and your feet tend to sweat, you’re creating the perfect environment for this infection.

Athlete’s foot can be cured by over-the-counter antifungal medication. If you have developed a red, scaly rash out of nowhere, you need to get that medication.

Toenail Fungus

This is a catch-all phrase used to refer to different fungal infections that target the feet. Discoloring of the nails is the first sign that you might have a toenail fungal infection.

Plantar Warts

It’s easy to know if you have plantar warts—just check the weight-bearing areas of your feet for anything unusual.

The bottom line is, you must keep your work boots dry and clean at all times if you want to keep these infections at bay. You know what they say; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Waterproof Boots Any Good?

To be honest, the term “waterproof” is somewhat misleading. This type of work boots won’t keep your feet totally dry, as you’ll still sweat while wearing them, plus they won’t keep every drop of water out.

They also develop tiny holes with time, and that means they’ll no longer be “waterproof.” However, they will minimize the chance of your feet getting wet.

Why Do Boots Stink After Getting Wet?

There’s a bacteria that causes that bad odor, and it thrives in a moist environment. That’s why your feet start smelling once you get wet.

You can use a boot dryer to help remove the odor. Otherwise, there are many options for removing the odor, such as baking soda, that you can dry once your boots are dry.

How Long Does It Take Work Boots To Dry?

You just need to make sure there’s air blowing on the shoes. Try blowing air directly into the shoes for several hours or using something to soak up the moisture.

Don’t use a blow dryer. Excess heat will damage your leather boots, and then you’ll have to Google, “Which type of work boots are more affordable?”

mon setting in the forest

Before You Leave…

Now that you know how easy it is to dry a pair of wet boots, go forth, and conquer the world.

You can leave your boots to air dry if you have the time, use a fan, or something to soak up the moisture. If the sun is shining, consider leaving your boots outside to soak up the rays.

Hopefully your work boots will be dry by tomorrow using one of the above methods.


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