Hiking boots need extra care when cleaning as opposed to regular shoes. This is because they endure way more dirt, mud and moisture regardless of whether you were on a leisurely hike to break them in or going hard on some tough trail out in the wilderness. Sometimes even for several days consecutively.
Meaning they will be drenched in sweat and covered in dirt and other stains. For this reason, you need to go the extra mile when cleaning them if you ever want them to be wearable for your next hike. Keep reading to learn how to clean hiking boots.
How Do You Clean Walking Boots?
The first step would be to start by soaking up the sweat. At this point, they are probably drenched in sweat, and if you do not dry the sweat first, you may be creating a perfect breeding ground for the growth of fungi and mold.
Not to mention the sweat may soak in the leather and weaken the leather fibers when different pH oils from your body penetrate the leather.
- Insert crumpled newspaper in your hiking boots so that they may soak up the sweat from your boots. Leave them for at least one night for the best results.
- Next, wipe your boots to remove all the dust and any stains. If your shoes have any other stains such as sap, throw them in the freezer. And wait till the sap dries and hardens. Then scrape it off with a blunt knife.
- You can use a leather cleaner either specially formulated for shoes oy any product made from leather. Depending on hour dirty the hiking boots are, you can then proceed to clean them with warm soapy water to remove any sweat or dirt residue left behind.
- Use a mild detergent or soap to prevent damaging the shoes or weakening the glue used to bind the top part of the shoe to the sole.
- Then dry your boots overnight to ensure they are completely dry before you store them. This is crucial to prevent the growth of mold or mildew in your damp shoes. Make sure you wipe off or rinse off the soap before you dry them.
How Do I Stop My Hiking Boots From Smelling?
You can use baking soda or activated charcoal to deodorize your hiking boots. You can find prepacked charcoal pouches in the market. Or you can sprinkle some baking soda inside your shoes or use a sock as a pouch to hold the baking soda.
Let the baking soda or activated charcoal sit overnight for the best results. You can also use commercially made shoe deodorizers to make your hiking boots less funky smelling. They also tend to contain antiseptic ingredients that will also sanitize your shoes.
Can I Put My Boots In The Washing Machine?
Yes, you can. But this is dependent on the material used to make your shoes. You cannot place shoes made from animal skin such as leather and suede in your washing machine. Check the manufacturer’s label to see if the boots are stated as being machine wash friendly before putting them in the washing machine.