The first time I owned a pair of UGGs, I made a huge mistake. After cleaning them because they were muddy, I put them in the tumble dryer, wrongly assuming it would dry them effectively and safely. It turns out that UGGs and dryers don’t mix well.
You cannot put your UGGs in the dryer because of how hot it becomes. A dryer reaches between 125 and 135° F (51 and 57° C), which is hot enough to damage some materials, such as the sheepskin and suede found in UGGs.
In this article, I’m going to explain why you should avoid putting your UGGs in the dryer and provide you with more effective methods of drying them that I’ve tried with success. These will keep your UGGs looking as good as new.
Why You Can’t Put Your UGGs in the Dryer
According to the UGGs website, UGGs contain delicate materials, such as leather, suede, and sheepskin. To understand why you shouldn’t stick these in the tumble dryer, let’s look at some basics of how dryers work.
A tumble dryer has an electric motor that spins a drum in which you put your wet laundry, and it operates a fan to release hot air into the drum. This process dries the items quickly, usually within 30 to 45 minutes. While it’s practical, it’s too harsh for some materials that shouldn’t get exposed to hot temperatures or dry too quickly.
Bearing this in mind, let’s look at materials used to make UGGs and what happens to them when you dry them in a tumble dryer.
- Sheepskin. This type of material needs to be dried slowly. You should never expose sheepskin to direct heat. If you put sheepskin in the tumble dryer, it will shrink.
- Suede. Although you might’ve heard that you can put suede items in the tumble dryer, exposing them to high heat can be damaging.
- Leather. This material is durable, but it needs the utmost care. Heat causes it to become dry and cracked, which will distort its shape.
- Hemp. This material will shrink in the dryer! In addition, it can also become dry and brittle, losing its flexibility. Hemp items need to be dried slowly, no matter what drying method you use.
How To Safely Dry Your UGGs
How should you dry UGGs if you can’t put them in the tumble dryer? Here are effective methods.
Air-Dry Your UGGs
The most effective way to dry your UGGs is to air-dry them. According to the UGGs website, it would be best to leave them to air-dry at room temperature (which is 68° F or 20° C) for between 24 and 48 hours. Make sure you hang them upside down.
You can do two things to make your UGGs dry faster:
- Put clumps of rolled-up towels in your UGGs. These will absorb moisture. Never use newspaper pages to do this, though, because they will cause the inside of your UGGs to become stained with ink!
- Wring out your UGGs if they’re very wet, such as if you got caught in a rainstorm. Doing this will remove excess water so they’ll air-dry faster.
Use a Hairdryer
You can use a hairdryer to dry your UGGs quickly, but make sure you don’t use it on high heat. Remember that a hairdryer can reach temperatures between 80 and 140° F (26 to 60° C), so set the hairdryer to a cool setting and a low speed.
Ugg Care and Maintenance Tips
Regular maintenance of your UGGs can prevent you from washing and drying them frequently, reducing wear and tear. Here are some tips:
- Brush your UGGs with a suede brush. You should brush your UGGs regularly, making sure to brush them down from the top of the shoe. According to the New York Times, this works well to lift the suede fibers and fluff them again. I recommend buying the Wilkins Suede Shoe Cleaner Brush (available on Amazon.com) because it comes with a rough eraser that you can use to remove stains effectively.
- Clean them with a damp cloth. If your UGGs have become dirty, a cloth dipped in cool water is usually enough to clean them. They will dry faster in this way than if you soak them in water. Using a damp cloth on your UGGs and wiping off dirt in a consistent pattern will prevent watermarks from forming when the UGGs dry.
- Tackle unpleasant odors. If your UGGs smell unpleasant, you don’t have to put water and soap on them. Just put half a cup of baking soda inside them and let them sit overnight. As the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports, baking soda absorbs odors effectively because it brings acidic and basic odor molecules into a neutral state.
- Use dry stain-removal methods. If your UGGs have a stain, such as an oil-based one, you shouldn’t dunk them in water. It’s easier and more effective to soak up the oil by covering it with baby powder and leaving it for 24 hours to work. Then, brush the powder off the shoe with an old toothbrush or your suede brush.
- Spray a protective product. Preventing dirt and stains will go a long way in making Ugg maintenance easier. I recommend using the M&B Suede and NuBuck Protector (available on Amazon.com). It creates a stain-resistant and waterproof coating on your UGGs to protect them from dirt and water that can stain them. It also protects UGGs against harmful UV exposure that can cause their color to fade.
If you own a pair of UGGs, you know that you have to clean them regularly to keep them looking clean and beautiful. If you feel tempted to throw your UGGs into the tumble dryer after washing them to make cleaning them more manageable, this is a bad idea because it can ruin their delicate materials.
It’s much wiser to air-dry them instead. Then, follow the tips I’ve outlined in this article to maintain your UGGs properly so that looking after them is a breeze.