A leather belt is an essential accessory for any outfit. Whether you are wearing it with a dress or jeans, your belt will complement the ensemble and help create that polished look. But what do you do if your leather belt gets wet? You might be tempted to put it in the dryer but before doing this, read on to learn why it’s better not to!
You should NOT put your leather belt in a dryer because of the following reasons;
- The Leather Belt Will Dry Out If Put In The Dryer
- Leather Belt Gets All Wrinkly From The Dryer
- Putting A Leather Belt In A Dryer Can Weaken The Adhesive
- The Shape And Size Of The Leather Belt Can Be Distorted
- Surface Finishes And Treatments Can Be Removed If Leather Belt Is Placed In Dryer
- Putting Your Leather Belt In The Dryer Can Cause Stains And Discolorations
- Heat From The Dryer Can Cause Sticky Residue On The Leather Belt
To learn the details on why you should not put your leather belt in the dryer keep reading this article.
Details On Why You Should NOT Put Your Leather Belt In The Dryer
Leather belts are expensive pieces of clothing with high-quality material. They should be treated with care and not placed in the dryer to avoid ruining them.
Below are some of the main reasons why you should never put your leather belt into a dryer.
1. The Leather Belt Will Dry Out If Put In The Dryer
One of the very first reasons why putting your precious leather belt in the dryer is that it will dry out the leather. Leather contains essential oils that keep the leather supple, soft, and fresh-looking.
When a leather belt is put into a dryer those essential oils will dry out causing the leather to become dry and brittle. And if you do not know, leather drying up can lead to the leather cracking and peeling off.
This is often caused by the heat the dryer generates to dry the items placed in it. The way your typical dryer will work is by drawing air through special vents on the outside of its housing.
It then heats up the air and distributes it throughout its drum by a blower mechanism. As a result, the heated air then helps to draw moisture from the items placed in the dryer.
So essentially, dryers use heat to dry and heat is one of the arch-enemies of leather. Instead of drying your leather belt or any other leather item this way, I will share with you much safer alternatives to drying your leather belts and other leather goods. More on this later!
2. Leather Belt Gets All Wrinkly From The Dryer
Another reason why you should never put your leather belt in the dryer is that putting them in there can cause wrinkles to form on the leather.
When taking the belt back out, those creases are very noticeable as they don’t come right back undone with ease.
The wrinkles will develop because when leather gets wet it stretches and as the dryer heats up and dries the leather belt quickly the leather shrinks causing those unsightly wrinkles that we all know very well.
What’s worse is those pesky wrinkles are very difficult to remove especially on leather belts. What you might end up with when you try to remove such wrinkles from leather belts is a leather belt that is stretched out of shape.
I have heard people say that one of the best solutions for wrinkled leather is using a hair straightener. Trust me, if anyone has also told this to you, it’s false and will only make the problem work.
So to avoid all of this simply do NOT put your leather belt in the dryer!
3. Putting A Leather Belt In A Dryer Can Weaken The Adhesive
Leather belts are usually assembled by using adhesives that are on the inside of the leather belt. These adhesives are NOT heat resistant and will weaken under hot temperatures, which can cause your leather to break down faster than it should.
As the dryer heats up the adhesive holding the various parts of the leather belt also heat up and weaken causing the various adhered parts to fall apart. With the adhesive not doing what it is meant to do the leather belt is then more susceptible to breakage.
The adhesive used to assemble the various parts of the leather belt is important not only because it joins or holds the various parts of the leather belt but also it helps to distribute the tension or stress on the leather belt.
Meaning once the adhesion is weakened there will be a lot of stress on the stitches placed on the edges of the leather belt. This can cause the stitching to come undone as well.
I am sure that you would like for your favorite leather belt to last as long as possible so all we have to do is resist putting a leather belt in a dryer!
4. The Shape And Size Of The Leather Belt Can Be Distorted
Another thing worth mentioning is that once your leather belt has been exposed to the heat in the dryer it will no longer be able to keep its original shape or size.
The heat caused by placing the leather belt in the dryer changes its shape causing it to deform irreparably.
This is particularly the case if the leather belt is put in a dryer for too long and set to a much aggressive tumble. It can be distorted and reshaped into something that you might not want.
That’s because heat will cause the fibers to expand when wet and shrink when it comes into contact with heat – which means that they may take on an altered shape or size. And if this happens your leather belt may not fit or not be as aesthetically pleasing as you would want.
5. Surface Finishes And Treatments Can Be Removed If Leather Belt Is Placed In Dryer
It should be noted that if you put your leather belt in the dryer, it will expose some of the surface treatments and finishes to heat.
UV or waterproofing treatment can be removed by placing a wet leather belt into an overheated tumble drier for too long.
As hinted above, some of these surface treatments and finishes are placed on the surface of the leather belt is to usually make it water-resistant and also protect it from UV damage.
This is especially true with water-resistant treatments like waxes and oils being stripped off when exposed to high temperatures inside a hot tumble dryer over about 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 Celsius).
This means any additional protection against liquid contact will be removed. If the belt has a finish like wax or oil, it will peel off when exposed to high heat in an over-dryer situation.
Without these water-resistant finishes, you are even more at risk for contact with liquids as they soak into your leather without protection.
This is especially true for belts made from untreated vegetable tanned leathers where oils were never used – leaving them vulnerable to moisture penetration after being dried improperly.
The potential consequences of this for your leather belt are that the color may change.
6. Putting Your Leather Belt In The Dryer Can Cause Stains And Discolorations
When you put your leather belt in a dryer another possible downside is that the leather belt could develop some blotchy stains and other discolorations.
The way this happens is when the surface of the leather heats up, it causes the oils on the surface to start seeping into the pores.
This is not an issue in most cases, but when you put your leather belt in a dryer without caution – this can be very dangerous because as soon as those oils are heated up during the drying process they come out of the pours to form stains on the surface of the leather belt.
If you are not careful this could result in stains as well as discolorations so make sure that if you want to use the dryer for something like clothes instead, be sure to take off anything made from leather first!
7. Heat From The Dryer Can Cause Sticky Residue On The Leather Belt
Many people mistakenly think that can you put a leather belt in the dryer is OK if they use low heat. Constantly using the dryer to dry your leather belt when it is wet or whenever you wash your pants can be damaging as well.
The continuous heat exposure will cause oils, finishes, polishes, and adhesives to build up over the surface of the leather belt after it is dry. This can then cause the surface of your leather belt to be sticky or gummy.
If you want to keep your leather looking brand new without any sticky feeling on its surface for as long as possible then it is best that you avoid putting your belts in the dryer at all costs.
Although low heat might seem harmless, it has been shown time and again that frequent exposure will cause serious damage over time.
Here’s What To Do Instead When Your Leather Belt Is Wet
While the dryer may seem like a viable option, it is not the best way to dry your leather belt when it gets wet. If you really want to safely dry your leather belt, there are a few things that you need to do instead of tossing it into a dryer.
- Leather Conditioner
- Heavy Books
- Clean Towel
- Microfiber Cloth
- First, you will want to blot out any excess moisture from the leather belt. Make sure to remove as much moisture as possible.
- When you do this well, the leather belt at this point will be damp instead of soaking wet.
- Now cover the leather belt with a towel or cloth and let it air-dry.
- Next, take the belt out of the towel and put some weight on top like books or heavy furniture so that pressure is applied evenly all over its surface.
- This is so that the leather belt will not deform, curve, or change shape.
- Leave it for about a day. If your leather belt still feels damp after 24 hours then repeat these steps until fully dried.
- Once the leather belt is fully dried, apply your leather conditioner and allow the leather belt to thoroughly air-dry before use.