Can You Put Wellies In A Tumble Dryer?

This is another one of those questions with such a divided opinion, look on any forum and you’ll find at least one thread talking about how to dry wellies. There are those that swear they have dried their wellies (or other boots) in their tumble dryer and those who say it should never be done. So what’s the truth? Can you put wellies in the tumble dryer?

The truth is no footwear, including wellies should ever be exposed to too much heat. This is because the heat can distort their shape, melt any glue and damage the molecular structure.

Never put wellies in a tumble dryer as you run the risk of damaging them beyond repair and making them unwearable.

What Happens To Wellies In A Tumble Dryer?

If you put your wellies in a tumble dryer and subject them to any heat at all, you will ruin your wellies. The rubber will become deformed, any glue used to assemble them is likely to melt. Which means they will no longer be waterproof, and they will definitely be uncomfortable to wear.

How Can You Safely Dry The Insides Of Wellies?

If you have been caught out in a particularly bad rainstorm or stepped too far into a stream, and the inside of your wellies are wet. There are several ways to dry them safely, without having to worry about damaging them in any way.

Dry Them With Newspaper


The best way to dry them out is to fill them crammed full with newspaper. The newspaper will absorb the moisture and leave the boots dry enough to finish the drying process by leaving the wellies in a warm room with a decent airflow. It might take two or three lots of newspaper stuffing to remove all of the dampness (depending on just how wet they are), but this is one of the best ways to dry wellies safely.

Dry Them With Rice

This is the most used method for drying mobile phones and it can be used on wellies as well. All you have to do is fill each boot with rice and allow them to sit for up to 48 hours. The rice soaks up all of the moisture and your boots will look like someone filled them with rice pudding. However, the water soaked rice will very easily fall out of the boot once it’s turned upside down and gently shaken.

If you do decide to use rice, it will take quite a lot and the boots should be upturned onto the compost pile. After all of the rice has been removed, simply wipe the interior of the boots out with a clean, dry cloth.

Alternatively, you could fill socks with rice and stuff the wellies with the socks.

Dry Wellies With Cat Litter

Cat litter is a great moisture absorbent and can be used to soak up the moisture in wet wellies. Either fill each boot directly with cat litter or fill the boots with socks filled with cat litter. Leave for a couple of hours (overnight works best) then empty the cat litter/socks out of the boots which should now be dry.

In Front Of A Fan

Lay the wellies down with the opening faced towards a fan, turn the fan on and direct the cool airflow towards the boot opening. This could take quite a long time (up to 12 hours) to be effective.

In Front Of A Closed Oven Door

We would never suggest putting your wet wellies in an oven to dry them out, but if you are cooking something in the oven and the door is securely closed, it’s perfectly fine to place the boots in front of the oven to use the latent heat to dry them.

In Front Of A Radiator

Not on the radiator, but in front of it without touching. Obviously the radiator needs to be on, then you can use the radiant heat to speed up the drying process.

Use Tea Bags

Tea Bags

Tea bags are absorbent, so placing tea bags inside the boots can remove moisture. This will only work if there is a small amount of moisture in each boot as it would take an awfully large amount of teabags to fill each boot.

Dry Them With A Boot Dryer

Although many boot dryers can be quite costly, they are a good investment. They will last for years and are the fastest and easiest way to dry out any shoes, trainers, and boots including wellies. You simply place the boots on the boot dryer and leave them for a few hours (depending on the type of boot dryer you use) and the wellies will be warm and dry.

What Should You Never Use To Dry Wellies?

We’ve already mentioned the tumble dryer, but here are some other techniques that should never be used to dry your wellies.

The Oven

Never dry your shoes, trainers, boots or wellies in the oven. It is impossible to regulate the temperature precisely enough to get just enough heat to dry the boots without exposing them to too much heat. And just like the tumble dryer, the boots will damage, become misshapen, and possibly melt any glue used to manufacture them.

The Hairdryer

Some people actually advocate using the hairdryer to dry wellies, but the heat produced by a hairdryer is too intense for the structural integrity of the wellington boot. It might appear OK from the outside, but once you put the boot on, you will find it has changed shape and is no longer comfortable to wear.

A Fire

Never place wet wellies in front of any kind of fire be it an open, electric or gas fire to dry them out. As with the oven, there is absolutely no way of regulating the heat. This means there is a high chance of damaging the structural integrity of the boot.

Ways To Remove Smells From Inside Wellies

Baking Soda

If after drying your wellies you notice they have an odour about them, and you want to remove that smell without making the boots wet, here are a few tried and tested ways.

Use Bicarbonate Of Soda (Baking Soda) To Remove Smells

Simply sprinkle bicarbonate of soda into each boot and leave overnight. The following morning turn the wellies upside down to remove any residual powder and then use the vacuum cleaner to get all of the powder out.

Use A Corn Flour, Bicarbonate Of Soda And Essential Oil Mixture To Remove Smells

Mix together one cup of corn flour, ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda and 5 drops of essential oil of your choice. Add the mixture to each boot and leave overnight. The following morning, tip the mixture out of each boot and vacuum any excess away.

Use White Vinegar To Remove Odours

White vinegar should be mixed in a 50/50 solution with water and used in a spray bottle. Be sure not to use too much as this could leave the boots wet. Allow to work overnight.

Use Citrus Peel To Remove Smells

Peel a citrus fruit of your choice, use either;

  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Tangerine

Place the peel in the boots and leave overnight. The following morning just remove the peel and the boot should now smell citrusy. This works best for light smells and will not combat some of the heavy duty odours that can sometimes be encountered.

Use A Commercially Produced Deodoriser

If none of these naturally produced deodorisers are working, you will have to buy a commercially produced deodoriser. These can be expensive, but many contain moisture absorbing and antibacterial properties. They will also have some form of strong fragrance to remove smells completely. Always read manufacturers instructions before using a commercially produced deodoriser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put wellies in the washing machine?

You should never put wellies in the washing machine,not only could they damage the machine, but any heat from the machine could compromise the structural integrity of your wellies.

Can I put my wellie boots in the tumble dryer?

You should never put your wellie boots in a tumble dryer, it could damage the dryer and the boots. The heat produced by the tumble dryer could melt any glue used to construct the boots and also damage the boots. They could become misshapen, or the sole could become out of shape just enough to make them too uncomfortable to wear.

Does cat litter get rid of smells from wellies?

Cat litter can be used to get rid of smells from wellies. It is a great absorbent and so it will dry the boots out and many cat litters are fragranced to remove smells.

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