How to NOT Melt Your Shoes in the Dryer

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by Nindo Mom on October 6, 2010

Does it sound weird to talk about shoes melting in the dryer? I would have thought so, too–if, Monday morning, that isn’t exactly what happened.

It rained Sunday. A cold, brisk rain that says fall has definitely arrived. It was 7 p.m. when my son indicated his willingness to walk with me up and down the sidewalk in front of our house for a bit of exercise. I had been busy, and it had been raining all day, so I hadn’t been able to walk earlier. I decided it wouldn’t hurt if went out for 10 minutes or so, as long as we wore rain jackets.

In turned out that even 10 minutes was long enough for our tennis shoes to get soaked. So when we came back inside, I slipped the shoes into the washing machine with plans of slipping them into the dryer the next morning.

What I didn’t count on was the dryer melting one of my son’s shoes. Right before work, when there was no time to do anything about it.

Now, I have been drying tennis shoes in the dryer since I was a kid and never had this sort of problem–but apparently, there’s a first time for everything.

It was 5:30 a.m. and I was in the living room when I heard the dryer start to make a weird sound I’d never heard before–a sort of whining. It only took me 60 seconds to run into the laundry room, but apparently that was about two seconds too long–the dryer had just stopped tumbling.

As I pulled open the door to the now-silent appliance, I could feel the heat pouring out of it–much too much heat considering it had been on the “delicates” setting. Sifting through the other clothing items that were inside, I discovered one shoe stuck hard to the inside of the dryer–and it was hanging upside down.

It took some tugging and peeling, but I finally got the shoe out. But not until the sole had ripped partially off.

There was no time for a proper burial for the munched shoe, as I had to get to work. That evening, I bought my son a new pair of shoes: now he has a shiny new pair of New Balance tennies  to replace the ASICS Gels he had been wearing since last year.

So I’ve learned an important lesson: never toss wet tennis shoes into the dryer without additional protection. And I’m glad I learned this on a pair of shoes that already needed replacing. (The New Balance pair is a half-size larger than the melted ASICS.)

I also feel quite fortunate that the dryer did come back to life after it cooled down. Rather than burning out, the motor had merely overheated. Which is a pretty good thing, considering the holidays are rapidly approaching.

In the future, if I need to put a pair of tennis shoes in the dryer, I’ll be using the same trick as I’ve always used for delicates. . .put the wet shoes in a pillow case and tie it closed before putting the whole lot in the hot maw of the beast.¬† (Just make sure to tie the pillow case tightly closed, or the shoes may battle their way right back out again.)

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