You may have seen a viral video of someone putting a pair of shoes in the microwave and wondered if you can put your leather shoes in the microwave? Well, the answer is a big No! Why? Because leather is made from animal skin and microwaving it can cause the leather to dry out, become brittle, and even wrinkle.
Read on as I tell you more about the reasons why putting leather shoes into the microwave is a bad idea and a few alternatives to drying and getting rid of smells from your leather shoes super-fast without ruining them.
1. The Leather Shoes Will Dry, Crack, And Peel
One of the main reasons why you do not want to put your leather shoes in a microwave is that even the slightest heat from the microwave will cause the leather to dry out. When this happens, the leather can become brittle and crack. In addition, the heat from the microwave can also cause the leather to peel.
This is mainly because leather as a material is very susceptible to heat. When leather gets heated or comes into direct contact with heat, whether dry heat like those from microwave ovens or the direct sunlight, the natural moisture inside the leather starts to evaporate and this causes the leather to dry out and become hard.
Leather as a material needs its fibers to be lubricated as this keeps it supple and soft. Once that moisture is gone, the fibers start to rub against each other which causes them to break and this is what leads to cracks on the surface of your leather shoes.
In addition, heat also causes the pores on the surface of the leather to open up. When this happens, moisture and oil that keep the leather conditioned will start to escape from those pores.
2. The Leather Shoes May Lose Its Adhesion
Another reason why you should not put your leather shoes in the microwave is that they may lose their adhesion or weaken the adhesion. However, when you subject leather to heat, that glue or stitching can start to come undone and this will cause your leather shoes to fall apart.
Leather is usually glued together at the seams and this helps to keep the shoe strong and durable. While a lot of the leather glues used today are heat resistant, putting your leather shoes in the microwave can still cause the glue to weaken and this will cause the seams of your shoes to come apart.
The worse part is, once this sort of damage is done, it will require really expensive repair work. In some cases, it may be so hard to fix and you will most likely have to buy a new pair of leather shoes.
In addition, microwaving your leather shoes can also cause the metal parts on your shoes such as the eyelets and rivets to become hot and this can cause them to fall right off.
So, if you are thinking of putting your leather shoes in the microwave to dry them out or get rid of smells, think again as this can cause more harm than good to your beloved leather shoes.
3. The Overall Design Of The Leather Shoe Could Get Damaged
Another reason not to put your leather shoes in the microwave is that it can cause the overall design of the shoe to get damaged. This is because when heat is applied to leather, it causes the material to shrink.
Leather as a material is also able to change its shape when it is heated up and this means that putting your leather shoes in the microwave can cause the shoe to lose its original shape.
For example, if your leather shoes are wet and you want to dry them out quickly, putting them in the microwave can cause the shoes to shrink and this will change the overall shape of the shoe – due to the presence of heat and moisture.
This is also because when water evaporates, it takes up space and this causes the leather to contract. In addition, heat also causes the fibers in the leather to contract which further changes the shape of your leather shoes.
So, if you are thinking of using the microwave to dry out or get rid of smells from your leather shoes, this is not a good idea as it can cause the shoes to lose their original shape.
4. Other Materials Could Get Damaged
While this may seem like the least of your problem, it is important to add that other materials on your leather shoes such as plastics, vinyl, or rubber labels could also get damaged from the heat of the microwave.
As you may have rightly noticed, leather items such as shoes may not only have leather as the only material. In fact, most leather shoes have other materials such as plastics and rubber.
These materials will usually be used as labels, buttons, buckles, or embellishments on your shoes and they can also be found in the soles and heels of your leather shoes.
When these materials are heated up, they can start to warp and this will cause them to become damaged. This can ruin the look of your shoes and make them uncomfortable to wear.
So, if you are thinking about putting your leather shoes in the microwave, this is another thing you should also be aware of.
5. The Leather Shoes Will Become Discolored
On top of all these reasons, another reason not to put your leather shoes in the microwave is that it can cause the leather to become discolored.
Leather is a natural material and is made up of protein fibers. When these fibers are heated up, they can start to change color. There are a few ways the heat from your microwave oven can affect the color of your leather shoes. Here are two common ways.
- The Dyes Could Bleed:
If your leather shoes are dyed with natural dyes, the heat from your microwave could cause the dyes to bleed. This is because natural dyes are not as colorfast as synthetic dyes and they can be easily damaged by heat.
That notwithstanding, this can also happen even with leather shoes treated or dyed with synthetic dyes. This is because the heat from your microwave can cause the dyes to spread and this will result in your leather shoes becoming discolored.
- The Leather Could Significantly Fade or Darken:
Another way the heat from your microwave could affect your leather shoes is by causing the leather to either fade or darken. The leather shoes will generally darken if the leather shoes were recently conditioned. The presence of the conditioning oils when met with the heat from the microwave will cause the leather to darken.
On the other hand, if your leather shoes are old or have been in storage for a long time, the heat from your microwave could cause them to fade. This is because the heat can break down the fibers in the leather and this will result in your leather shoes losing their color.
6. The Smell of the Leather Shoes Will Change
Leather usually has a natural earthy smell which is often synonymous with luxury and wealth. However, when you put your leather shoes in the microwave, this smell will change.
The heat from your microwave will cause the leather to release different chemicals and this will result in your leather shoes smelling like a mixture of chemicals. This is not only unpleasant but can be very irritating.
So, if you are thinking about putting your leather shoes in the microwave to get rid of bad smells, this is not a good idea as it will only result in your leather shoes smelling worse.
7. The Finish or Polish On The Leather Surface Would Be Affected
Another reason not to put your leather shoes in the microwave is that it can affect the finish or polish on the leather shoe’s surface.
The heat from your microwave will cause the finish or polish on your leather shoes to start peeling off or flaking. This will ruin the look of your leather shoes and make them look old and worn out.
In some cases, the finish could discolor or darken and this will also affect the look of your leather shoes. Was this a good idea like you thought in the beginning? I guess not so much. So much could go wrong that it’s not worth it to put your leather shoes in a microwave.
8. Faux Leather Shoes Will Melt In Microwave
Faux leather is a man-made material that is made to look like leather. It is often used in shoes, belts, and other accessories.
However, one thing you should know about faux leather is that it will melt when exposed to heat. This is because faux leather material is made from plastic materials.
So, if you put your faux leather shoes in the microwave, they will melt and this will ruin your shoes. In some cases, the faux leather could release dangerous chemicals when melted and this can be harmful to your health. It’s best to also avoid putting any type of shoe made with faux leather in the microwave.
Alternatives To Drying Leather Shoes Quickly
There are a few alternatives that you can use to dry your leather shoes or get rid of smells without microwaving them.
Hang Them Up
One way is to simply hang your shoes up. This is especially effective if you have a fan blowing on them. The air will help to dry out the shoes and get rid of any smells and moisture.
Use A Hairdryer
Another way to dry your leather shoes quickly is to use a hairdryer. This is also an effective way to dry your leather shoes super-fast. Just 3 important things to keep in mind when you do this;
- Be sure to keep the hairdryer on a low setting
- Keep a good distance between the hairdryer and the leather shoe. It is recommended you keep a distance of about 5-6 inches.
- Do not hold the hairdryer in one spot for too long as this could cause the leather to crack or discolor.
Use A Dehumidifier
If you want to get rid of moisture and smells from your leather shoes, you can use a dehumidifier. This is an appliance that will remove moisture from the air.
You can either put the dehumidifier in the room where your leather shoes are or you can put it in the same room as your leather shoes. This will help to suck the excess moisture out of the air and help to dry your leather shoes quickly.
Use Uncooked Rice
If you want to absorb moisture from your leather shoes, you can use rice. This is a common trick that people use to remove moisture from electronics. It is pretty effective because rice is a natural absorbent.
To use this method, simply pour some rice into your leather shoes. You can leave them overnight and the rice will help to absorb any moisture from your leather shoes.
You can also put the leather shoes into a dust bag and then place the dust bag containing the leather shoes into a bowl or bag of rice.
Use Talcum Powder
Another way to absorb moisture from your leather shoes is to use talcum powder. This is a powder that helps to absorb moisture and it works pretty well. To use this method, simply sprinkle some talcum powder into your leather shoes.
You can leave the talcum powder in your leather shoes overnight and it will help to absorb any moisture from your leather shoes.
Use A Moisture Absorbing Pack
If you want to remove moisture from your leather shoes, you can use a moisture-absorbing pack. These are packs that contain moisture-absorbing materials.
You can usually find these packs at the store in the laundry aisle. To use this method, simply put the moisture-absorbing pack into your leather shoes.
Leave the moisture-absorbing pack in your leather shoes overnight and it will help to absorb any moisture from your leather shoes.
If you’re not in the mood to go to the store, you can use newspaper to absorb moisture from your leather shoes. This is a common method that people use and it’s pretty effective.
To use this method, simply place some newspaper in your leather shoes. You can leave the newspaper in your leather shoes overnight and it will help to absorb any moisture from your leather shoes.
I hope this article has helped you understand the reasons why you should not put your leather shoes in the microwave and has saved you from making a costly mistake. Thanks for reading!
Feel free to browse other content on our site as I usually talk about how to take care of your leather shoes and how to clean them.