How to Dry Wet Leather Boots With or Without a Dryer

We’ve all been there- a good pair of leather boots drenched by water.

Air-drying your wet leather boots will usually be the most effective way, but there isn’t always time for that. Fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways to do the job.

What are these magic ways you ask? Well, look no further, I’ve put together a list of my favorite tricks to help you dry wet boots fast. In this guide you will learn:

  • Preparations to make before starting to dry your leather boots.
  • Fast and effective ways to dry your wet leather boots.
  • What not to do when drying your wet leather boots.

Prepare Your Leather Boots Before Starting to Dry Them

muddy wet leather boots

Some preparations before drying your wet boots are necessary. This is to make sure the boots will not develop any creases, cracks, or discoloration in them once dry. Don’t worry; they are quick to perform. Let’s discuss them:

  • Always remove any mud or dirt from boots using a clean towel or a soft brush. It can be tempting to avoid this step, but not cleaning your boots first will leave them marked. Also, this step can help prevent the discoloration of boots.
  • Always take laces out of the boots. Drying your wet boots with laces in them may cause discoloration of the area below the laces. So better remove them.
  • Same way, remove the insoles of your leather boots as well. Both laces and insoles are super quick to dry if dried separately from the boots.
  • Always lay a towel on the floor regardless of what method you will use to dry your wet boots. Otherwise, the dripping muddy water may leave stains on the floor.

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Dry Your Wet Leather Boots

drenched leather boots

With the preparations out of the way, time to dry your wet leather boots. Pick any one technique out of the list given below and use it to dry your pair. Do not get tempted to apply multiple techniques at the same time. Here you are:

Invest In A Boot Dryer

A boot dryer is a sure-shot solution to dry your wet leather boots without causing any damage to them.

A boot dryer might seems like an unnecessary luxury. But, for people working or hiking outdoor under wet conditions, a boot dryer is a true companion.

A boot dryer draws in air from the surrounding, warms up the air, and passes the hot air through the pair. This passing air carries the excess moisture out with it, leaving the boots dry.

Leaving your wet boots on a dryer overnight is enough to get a completely dry pair in the morning. Sometimes, it takes only a few hours for the dryer machine to dry soaked leather boots.

On top of that, a boot dryer helps to keep your boots in good condition for longer. That makes up for the amount spent on the boot dryer machine.

To buy a machine for yourself, look no further than my list of the best boot dryers available on the market today. I always keep this list updated.

Use Old Newspaper to Soak Excess Water

Using newspapers is one of the fastest ways to dry wet leather boots. After air-drying, it is the second safest method to use.

Newspapers are a bit coarse by nature. This makes them very effective at soaking in a lot of water rather quickly. We are going to utilize this characteristic of newspapers to dry our wet leather boots.

Here’s how to dry your wet leather boots with newspapers:

  1. Fill your wet leather boots with as much newspaper as you can fit inside them.
  2. Wrap some newspapers all around each boot covering every inch of it.
  3. Keep an eye on the newspapers and replace them as soon as you noticed them soaked.
  4. After a few hours and a few times of replacing the newspapers, you will find your boots are dry and ready to wear.

Use a Towel to Dry Your Leather Boots

You can use a towel too in place of newspapers to dry your wet leather boots. Towels are a lot faster at soaking the excess water and do the job. You can use both of them together as well if you want.

Here’s how to dry your wet leather boots with a towel:

  1. Starting from a corner of the towel, fit as much towel as you can inside the leather boots.
  2. Wrap the remaining towel around the boots covering every inch of the pair.
  3. Leave the pair, with the towel in and wrapped around, to air dry for a few hours.
  4. Unlike newspapers, you do not need to replace the towel.
  5. After a few hours, your leather boots will be dry completely.

Use Rice to Absorb Extra Moisture

I have used rice many times as a technique to save my phone when it has gone for a swim. To your surprise, rice is equally effective to dry leather boots as well.

A grain of rice is hollow from the inside and can absorb a lot of water into it very quickly. This characteristic makes rice suitable for the job.

Here’s how to dry your wet leather boots with rice:

  1. Fill an empty container with about an inch of rice.
  2. Place your wet leather boots on top of the rice layer and leave them overnight.
  3. In the morning, you will find your boots dry and ready to wear.
  4. Throw away the used rice.

Hang Your Boots From a Fan to Dry

Household fans can be saviors in times of emergency drying needs. The moving air runs through the boots and takes the moisture away from them. This is a very fast method to dry your wet boots.

Here’s how to dry your wet leather boots with a fan:

  1. Put a towel under the fan to soak any dripping water.
  2. Use an old wire to hang boots from the fan. Twist the wire into an “S” shape. Attach one end to the fan and use another end to hang the boots.
  3. Turn the fan on and leave the boots hanged onto it.
  4. Within a couple of hours, your wet leather boots will be completely dry.

Mistakes To Avoid When Drying Your Wet Leather Boots

drying mistakes

We are trying to make the process of drying wet leather boots as safe as possible. For this to achieve, we need to avoid a few common mistakes that may damage the pair:

Don’t Put Your Boots Too Close to a Heat Source

Always air dry your wet boots and do not use any heat source to haste the job. You can place the boots close to a heat source, at least three meters away, but avoid any direct contact.

It could be tempting to blast a hairdryer on a pair of wet boots or place them next to a fire source. But, such things may ruin the pair permanently or shorten its lifespan.

Don’t Dry Your Boots in a Small Space

Putting wet boots in small cupboards or plastic boxes to dry them affects the pair’s lifespan. This is due to the lack of air circulation that boots need to dry naturally. As a result, some bacteria, fungi, and odor may breed on your boots.

So, make sure you always dry your leather boots in open spaces only. Also, make sure you always dry them under shade only.

Don’t Think That the Job is Over

No matter what technique you use to dry your wet leather boots, it may suck some life out of the pair.

So, it is mandatory to recondition your leather boots with oil after they are dry. The oil will help restore the essential moisture of the leather. You may use my guide on leather boots care for reference.

What’s Next

That was all you needed to know about how to dry wet leather boots and avoid any ill effects of the process. If you have time, let the pair air dry. If you want to speed up the process, use the techniques you just learned.

If you often find your boots wet due to your work environment or outdoor activities, waterproof your leather boots or buy a pair of waterproof leather boots. Now go forth and conquer.

Photo of author

Liam Scout

Hey, I’m Liam Scout. I teach my readers how to style boots & shoes with different pieces of clothing and how to take better care of them. Follow my guides to double the charm and lifespan of your footwear. Thanks!