Picture this: You’re getting ready for work, only to discover that every pair of socks you own is in the washer. When your options are getting to work late or going without socks, you might be tempted to consider the microwave or even the oven, but do these actually work? and are they safe?
In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not it’s safe to dry your socks in the microwave and how you could go about it. You’ll also discover other ways to dry socks without a clothes dryer.
Is It Safe To Dry Your Socks In The Microwave?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Microwaves are made to heat food and drinks, not clothing. If you put your socks or clothing in the microwave, you risk starting a house fire. Luckily, there are alternative methods for drying your socks safely.
How to Dry Socks Fast Without a Dryer (Recommended Ways)
Since drying your socks in the microwave could start a fire, we recommend trying one of these simple methods to dry your socks instead.
1. Use An Iron
Drying socks with an iron is easy. All you need to do is lay a towel down on the ironing board, place your wet sock on the towel, then put a dry sock on top of it.
Iron the sock the same way you would iron any other article of clothing, and flip it over to make sure it’s dry on both sides.
2. Use A Hairdryer
To dry your socks with a hairdryer, just turn it on to the lowest setting and hold the wet sock about 6-8 inches away to keep it from getting singed.
To improve the airflow and help it dry faster, you can put the sock on your hand like a glove.
3. Lay Them On The Radiator
If you have an old home, you may have standing radiators for heat. If you do have radiators, you can dry your socks quickly if you lay them out on one of them while it’s running.
Be sure to put a towel down first to keep your sock from burning.
4. Use A Towel
This method will take longer, but it will dry your socks if you’re stuck somewhere without electricity. Just roll your wet socks up in the towel and wring it out to remove some moisture from the socks.
5. Use The Hand Dryer In A Public Restroom
If you step in a puddle on the way to work and end up with wet socks, you can dry them with the hand dryer in the restroom.
Your coworkers might give you an odd look, but it sure beats being stuck in wet socks all day.
How To Dry Socks In The Microwave (Not Recommended)
Not everyone listens to online recommendations, even when they’re trying to keep you from burning your house down.
We get it. If you feel you simply MUST dry your socks in the microwave, here are a few ways you can reduce the risks. PS, we still don’t think you should do it!
- Make sure they’re still wet: Microwaves heat food by vibrating the water molecules, so if your socks are dry when you put them in the microwave, there won’t be any moisture to absorb, which poses a huge fire hazard.
It’s dangerous enough to put wet socks in the microwave, but don’t even think about trying to warm your dry socks by microwaving them.
- Don’t walk away from the microwave: Since putting wet socks in the microwave poses a fire hazard, you should keep an eye on it the whole time so you can catch any problems as soon as they start.
- Don’t try to get them totally dry: As we mentioned earlier, dry socks in the microwave are an even bigger problem than wet ones. If you decide to try drying your socks this way, make sure you take them out while they’re still a little damp so they don’t catch on fire.
Now that you know how to take a few precautions, here’s a step-by-step guide for drying your socks in the microwave.
- Wring out your socks: This will remove any excess moisture to reduce the time your socks will need to spend in the microwave.
- Blot with a towel: Try to get a little more moisture out of your socks by patting them with a towel before placing them in the microwave.
- Lay them in the center of the microwave: Spread them out as much as possible to help speed up drying time.
- Set the microwave to cook for 2 minutes: Check your socks every 30 seconds to make sure they’re not getting too dry. Use tongs or oven mitts to flip them over halfway through drying.
- Take your socks out of the microwave when they’re nearly dry: Your socks will be hot when they’re done in the microwave, so make sure you use tongs or oven mitts to handle them.
- Hang your socks to cool and finish drying: Your socks will be steaming when you remove them from the microwave, so make sure that any surface they hang against won’t be damaged by the heat.
What Could Happen If You Dry Your Socks In The Microwave?
A lot of things could go wrong if you dry your socks in the microwave. Let’s take a look at some worst-case scenarios.
- You could start a fire: Microwaves are made to heat things, not dry them. If you’ve ever paid attention to the temperature of your food after you’ve reheated it, you’ll understand that microwaves don’t distribute heat evenly. While this is annoying when you’re warming up last night’s leftovers, it could be disastrous when your socks are involved. If one section dries faster than another, the dry area could catch on fire.
- You could ruin the microwave: Even if your microwave doesn’t catch on fire when you try to dry your socks, there’s a strong possibility that it will be ruined in the process. Since you’re microwaving fabric rather than food, too much heat may build up inside the appliance and make it stop working.
- You could ruin your socks: Everything else aside, drying your socks in the microwave will probably ruin your socks. Most clothing is made of synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, which can melt in high temperatures. You might fade the color even if the socks keep their structural integrity.
Can You Dry Socks In The Oven?
If you’re out of options for drying your socks, you might be able to get them dry in the oven. I personally don’t recommend it, but here’s the safest way to do it:
- Heat the oven to 100C or 200F, then turn it off.
- Place your socks on the center drying rack, taking care not to let them touch the sides or back of the oven or fall onto the heating element.
- Open the oven door so the moisture won’t build up as the socks dry.
Now that you know that drying socks in a microwave can cause all kinds of problems, you may wonder if it’s safe to put a sock filled with rice in the microwave to make a heating pad. Fortunately, heating a rice-filled sock is safe. Make sure the sock you use is 100% cotton so it won’t melt, and heat it on high for 2-3 minutes. Don’t leave it in longer than 3 minutes as it can burn your skin.
If you step in a puddle on your way to work, you don’t have to suffer the whole day with wet socks. Just go into the restroom, remove your socks, and heat them using the hand dryer. To improve airflow and reduce drying time, put them on your hands like gloves and splay your fingers while holding your hands under the dryer.
Wet socks aren’t just uncomfortable; they can be a real health hazard if you wear them too long. Sometimes we don’t realize that all of our socks are in the washing machine when we need to go out, which makes us look for alternative ways to dry them.
If you’ve ever considered drying your socks in the microwave, I will urge you to reconsider. All sorts of things can go wrong, like ruining your socks or microwave or even starting a fire.
If you need to dry your socks quickly, please consider safe, alternative methods such as:
- Ironing them
- Using a Hairdryer
- Laying them on the Radiator