How To Clean Work Boots? (Simple and Easy 9 Steps)

Have you ever found yourself eyeing your work boots, wondering how to give them a refresh after a demanding day on the grind? We totally get it – those reliable boots have been through thick and thin, and now they deserve a little attention. Well, good news! Today, we’re going to unravel the secrets of how to clean work boots without breaking a sweat.

Imagine this: your trusty boots, a bit worn from all the hard work, getting a second chance at looking as good as new. It’s a straightforward process, and you won’t need a chemistry degree to pull it off. So, fellow worker, if you’re keen on learning the ropes of boot TLC, you’re in for a treat. Let’s delve into the world of “How to Clean Work Boots” and show your footwear some well-deserved love.

Ready to transform your boots from tired to triumphant? Let’s do this!

How To Clean Work Boots?

how to clean work boots

How to clean work boots? Here is a quick guide for you. To clean your work boots effectively, start by brushing off any loose dirt and debris. Using a toothbrush, scrub away stains and scuffs with a little mild soap and water. Wipe Remove any soap residue from the boots by wiping them with a damp cloth, and then let them air dry naturally. For leather boots, consider applying a conditioner to maintain their quality. Following these simple steps will leave your work boots looking refreshed and ready for your next day on the job.

Now let’s take a look at the detailed guide for better understanding.

Cleaning Kit

Before diving into the art of work boot cleaning, ensure you have these essential materials you’ll need…

  • Water: You’ll need access to clean, lukewarm water.
  • Brush: A stiff brush or an old toothbrush will work wonders for removing loose dirt and debris.
  • Mild Soap: Choose a gentle, pH-balanced soap or boot cleaner.
  • Cloth/Rag: A soft cloth or rag for wiping down the boots.
  • Sponge: A sponge is useful for scrubbing and cleaning the boots thoroughly.
  • Boot Conditioner: To keep your work boots hydrated and maintain their suppleness.
  • Optional: Leather Cleaner/Conditioner: If your work boots are made of leather, a specialized leather cleaner and conditioner can be used for extra care.

They’ll be your trusty allies in restoring your shoes to their former glory.

Once you have your cleaning gear, LET’S START THE

Cleaning Process

Step 1: Bye-bye Laces

Let’s start by saying goodbye to those bootlaces. Removing them will make it super easy to clean every nook and cranny of your boots without any fuss.

Bootslaces’ removing process:

  1. Prepare Your Workspace: Find a comfortable and well-lit area to work in. Make sure you have enough space to move around.
  2. Position Your Boots: Place the boots in front of you with the toes facing upward. This will give you better access to the bootlaces.
  3. Loosen the Laces: Starting at the top of the boot, loosen the laces by pulling them away from the boot’s eyelets or hooks. You can use your fingers to help with this step.
  4. Unthread the Laces: Once the laces are loosened, carefully unthread them from each of the eyelets or hooks on your boots. Work your way down from the top to the bottom.
  5. Remove the Laces: Once all the laces are unthreaded, pull them out from the last set of eyelets or hooks at the bottom of the boot. You may need to give them a gentle tug to remove them fully.
  6. Store the Laces: To keep your laces organized and prevent them from getting tangled, consider coiling them neatly or placing them in a bag or container for safekeeping.

Step 2: Brush Off the Dirt

In the work boots cleaning process, it’s time to take a look at the 2nd step. To do this step, grab a trusty brush or even an old toothbrush and gently scrub your toothbrush on the surface of your work boots to lose the dirt and debris. After this, give your boots a tap-tap to shake off all the dirt and debris. But KEEP IN MIND, during this process, don’t forget those little corners and seams that dirt loves to hide in.

Step 3: Rinse and Shine

In the guide on how to clean work boots, now it’s time for a nice, refreshing shower – for your boots, that is! Get some lukewarm water (approximately 1 liter) and splash it onto your boots. ALERT: Be sure not to use hot water, as water temperatures above 100°F (38°C) could harm your boot buddies.

Adding the quantity of lukewarm water and specifying the suitable temperature for hot water should help ensure the safe and effective cleaning of your boots.

Step 4: Suds It Up

In the 4th step, get a bowl of lukewarm water and a dab of mild soap. After this add a dab of mild soap in the lukewarm water and dip your sponge into the soapy goodness and start scrubbing your boots. Again, Don’t Forget to get into all those sneaky spots where dirt likes to hang out.

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

After the scrub-a-dub, rinse your boots with clean, lukewarm water. Make sure you get rid of all the soap – we want squeaky-clean boots!

Step 6: Time to Dry

Your boots need a little pause, but don’t put them near hot stuff like radiators or sunlight. Let them air dry at room temperature while stuffed with some newspaper to soak up the moisture.

Step 7: Show Some Love with Boot Conditioner

Now that your boots are all dry and comfy, it’s time to show them some love. For leather boots, grab a good boot conditioner. This stuff helps keep them from drying out and getting all cracked up, and even gives them that natural shine. Just follow the instructions on the product for the best results.

Step 8: Shine On Leather Boots

If you’re rocking leather boots, why not give them a little extra shine? Grab some top-notch leather polish that matches your boot color. Put on a tiny bit and give it a good rub with a clean cloth – watch them gleam! 

“Don’t skip ahead. In the next section, we’ll discuss cleaning various other types of work boots, so don’t skip ahead.”

Step 9: Lace ‘Em Up

Last but not least, put those laces back where they belong. Please make sure they’re nice and snug.

Now you know 9 steps about how to clean work boots, but keeping the work boots in the same condition is also essential. So, let’s look at some maintenance tips mentioned below.

Maintenance Tips:

Keep those boots spick and span by cleaning them regularly – no one likes a dirty boot!

If you’re facing wet conditions, use a waterproof spray to keep your boots dry and happy.

Give your boots some buddies – rotate between a few pairs if you can. It’ll make them last longer.

If your insoles are looking tired, treat your feet to some fresh ones for extra comfort and support. Your feet will thank you!

How to clean the inside of work boots?

Now, let’s shift our focus to cleaning the work boots from the inside, tackling that stubborn odor to ensure your boots not only look great but smell fresh, too.

Step 1: Remove Insoles! ( if possible)

removing the insole from work boots

If your boots are equipped with removable insoles, it’s time to give them a breather. Here’s an easy way to take them out:

  • Find the Heel: Start by locating the heel of your insole. It’s usually the easiest part to grip.
  • Gently Lift: With a firm but gentle grip on the heel, carefully lift the insole from the bottom of your boot.
  • Set Aside: Once removed, set the insoles aside. These little troublemakers are often the source of those less-than-pleasant odors. They’ll appreciate the fresh air, and your boots will too!

Step 2: Shake Out the Gunk

Get ready for a little boot dance – turn your boots upside down and give them a gentle shake. This move is like a mini earthquake for your boots, shaking loose any dirt, pebbles, or crumbs hiding inside.

Instead, here are some Alternative Methods:

  1. Tap and Knock: Instead of shaking, you can tap your boots together or against a hard surface like a step. This method dislodges debris effectively and is gentler on your boots.
  2. Use a Brush: A stiff-bristle brush can also be handy. Simply brush the interior of your boots to dislodge and remove any loose dirt or debris. This method is particularly effective for reaching nooks and crannies.

Step 3: Mix Up the Odor-Be-Gone Potion

Grab a container and mix some warm water with white vinegar in equal parts. For example, if you use one cup of warm water, add one cup of white vinegar. This magical potion will chase away those pesky odor-causing bacteria.

Step 4: A Nice, Gentle Cleanse

Dip a soft cloth or sponge into your odor-fighting potion and give the inside of your boots a gentle wipe-down. Give your feet a special treat in the spots where they’ve been partying.

Step 5: Sprinkle Some Baking Soda Magic

Now, let’s unleash the power of baking soda! Generously sprinkle a good amount of baking soda inside each boot. This natural odor-eater will absorb and neutralize odors over time, leaving your boots smelling fresh and clean. It’s like giving your boots a breath of fresh air. On the other hand, here you can learn how to clean smelly work boots?

Leave the baking soda in there for a few hours or overnight for the best results. When you’re ready to wear your boots again, simply tap or shake out the excess baking soda.

Step 8: Give Insoles a Homecoming

If you took out the insoles in Step 1, it’s time to reunite them with your boots. If they’re looking worn or smell funky themselves, think about giving them a fresh start with some new insoles.

Maintenance Tips:

Keep Your Boots Dancing: Wearing the same boots every day can make them a bit grumpy. Rotate between different pairs to let each one catch some fresh air.

Sock It to Odors: Put on socks that fight off moisture and odors – your feet will thank you for it.

Cedar Shoe Trees for the Win: When your boots are taking a break, let them hang out with cedar shoe trees. Cedar loves soaking up moisture and leaves a nice, natural scent behind.

Post-Workout Rest: After a long day, give your boots a breather. Take them off and let them chill out while they dry thoroughly before you tuck them away.

‘’Now that we’ve unraveled the secrets of cleaning work boots let’s pivot our focus to the art of cleaning various types of work boots.’’

Is the cleaning procedure the same for different types of work boots, such as suede, nubuck, and leather?

While the general idea of cleaning work boots remains the same across various materials like suede, nubuck, and leather, there are some specific differences and considerations for each type of material. Here’s a basic overview of how to clean these different types of work boots:

Leather Work Boots:

Remove dirt: When it comes to clean leather work boots. Use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove loose dirt and debris from the boots.

Clean: Apply a leather cleaner or saddle soap to a damp cloth or sponge and gently clean the surface of the leather. Follow the product’s instructions for the best results.

Condition: Leather should be treated with a leather conditioner to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Polish: If you want to restore shine, use a leather polish or cream that matches the color of your boots. Make sure the boots are shiny by buffing them with a soft cloth.

How To Clean Suede Work Boots? A Quick Overview:

Brush: Use a suede brush or a soft-bristle brush to gently remove surface dirt and raise the nap (the fuzzy texture of suede).

Stains: For stains on suede, use a suede eraser or a solution of water and vinegar (1:1) on a clean cloth to gently rub the stain. Suede should be handled gently to prevent damage.

Dry: During the drying process, the boots must be removed from direct heat sources and allowed to air dry naturally. Maintain their shape by stuffing them with newspaper.

Protect: After they are clean and dry, apply a suede protector spray to repel water and stains.

Nubuck Work Boots:

Brush: Similar to suede, use a nubuck brush to remove surface dirt and restore the nap.

Stains: For stains on the nubuck, use a nubuck cleaner or a solution of water and vinegar (1:1) on a clean cloth to gently rub the stain.

Dry: In the absence of direct heat sources, let the boots air dry naturally. Use shoe trees or stuff them with newspaper to maintain their shape.

Protect: Apply a nubuck protector spray to repel water and stains, as nubuck is more delicate than regular leather.

In summary, the process of cleaning work boots is similar to leather, suede, and nubuck in that you need to remove dirt, address stains, allow them to dry properly, and use appropriate protectors. However, the specific products and techniques may vary, so it’s essential to follow guidelines and use products designed for the specific material of your work boots to ensure the best results and avoid damaging them.

“Before we conclude our conversation about work boot cleaning, let’s switch our focus and explore additional information on this subject.’’

Can I machine wash my work boots?

It is not recommended to machine wash work boots since they can damage them and reduce their lifespan. Here’s a detailed explanation of why machine washing is discouraged and alternative cleaning methods you can use:

Why you shouldn’t machine wash work boots:

Damage to Materials: Work boots are made from a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic materials, and rubber. Whenever these materials are washed in machines, they can deteriorate or break down more rapidly. The mechanical agitation, water, and detergent in the machine can be harsh on the boots.

Loss of Shape and Support: Machine washing can distort the shape of your work boots, particularly if they have soft or cushioned areas. This can affect the fit and comfort of the boots and may even compromise their ability to provide proper support to your feet.

Seam and Stitching Issues: The stitching and seams on your work boots can weaken or unravel in a washing machine. Once these areas are compromised, it can be challenging to repair them effectively.
Sole Separation: Many work boots have soles that are attached using adhesives. The moisture and agitation from machine washing can weaken these adhesive bonds, potentially causing the sole to separate from the upper part of the boot.


Taking care of your work boots not only extends their life but also ensures they provide you with the best protection and comfort. Regular cleaning and maintenance may seem like a chore, but it’s a small price to pay for the durability and performance of your trusty work companions. With this step-by-step guide about how to clean work boots, you can keep your boots in top-notch condition, ready to tackle any job that comes your way.


Does vinegar clean boots?

Vinegar: Yes, vinegar can clean boots. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, then use a cloth or brush to scrub away dirt and stains. It’s effective for removing odors and mildew, too.

How do you clean boots naturally?

Natural Cleaning: To clean boots naturally, try a mixture of baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply it, scrub gently, and wipe clean. Alternatively, use a damp cloth with mild soap. Dry them thoroughly afterward.

Does baking soda clean boots?

Baking Soda: Yes, baking soda can help clean boots. It’s an effective natural cleaner for removing stains and odors. Make a paste with water, apply it to the stains, scrub, and then wipe clean.

Can you use vesaline to clean boots?

Vesaline: While Vaseline can condition leather boots and make them shine, it’s not typically used for cleaning. It’s better for restoring moisture and shine, not for removing dirt or stains. Clean the boots first, then apply Vaseline sparingly for conditioning.