How Best To Clean Soccer Cleats [5 Super Easy Ways]

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Sure, you may love playing football and watching it, but do you really love cleaning your football boots? We didn’t think so! Don’t worry—we have five super easy ways that can make boot cleaning a breeze. Let’s talk about how to clean football boots to get them looking as good as new in no time.

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How to clean football boots – 5 easy ways.

#1 Bash them together

It’s a classic trick of the trade, and one that many seasoned players swear by.

If your football boots are covered in dry mud or turf, simply bash them together to get rid of any dirt or debris stuck on them.

If your boots are wet, leave them to dry first so the mud hardens and is easier to take off.

It’s good practice to always give your boots a bash outside after you’ve worn them before storing them away for your next match. Anyone who’s found thousands of black bits everywhere from playing on 3G or 4G pitches will get what we mean!

#2 Brush with a dry brush

This is another great way to remove mud and grass from your football boots.

All you need is a soft-bristled brush (an old toothbrush works perfectly) and some elbow grease!

Start from the top of the boot, working downwards as you go along and under the sole.

Brush around each stud or blade to loosen and clean the dirt. Once done, simply shake off any excess dirt and admire how clean they look! 

#3 Hand wash with detergent and warm water

For those who want their boots spick-and-span without using harsh chemicals like bleach, try this method instead.

Fill up a basin with warm water and add some mild detergent (or washing-up liquid).

Swish around the water until it starts to bubble slightly then, using a damp cloth, wipe around your boots starting from the top down to the sole.

If they’re very bad, you can let them soak for about 10 minutes before swishing gently again then take out the boots and rinse carefully with cold water.

Lastly, just leave them somewhere warm and airy to dry naturally overnight. Stuff some newspaper inside them to absorb the moisture and help keep their shape.

#4 Use a Boot Buddy

If you don’t have much time on your hands but still want your football boots to be clean, then this handy gadget is perfect for you!

To use a Boot Buddy, all you have to do is fill it with water and let the Boot Buddy do its magic—it will clean off even the most stubborn dirt from your favorite pair of kicks in no time at all.

It’s quick and easy. Plus, it won’t damage any sensitive materials or stretch your boots so they don’t fit right either so there’s no need to worry about ruining them! 

Tried and tested

The Boot Buddy – Simple, Efficient Way to Clean Your Muddy Boots, Shoes & Other Outdoor Equipment.

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The Boot Buddy Soccer Cleat Cleaner - Shoe Cleaner & Boot Brush - Effortlessly Cleans Muddy Soccer Cleats, Hiking Boots, Golf Shoes & Other Outdoor Footwear in Minutes - All-in-One Shoe Cleaning Kit

We’re OBSESSED with the Boot Buddy at Kit Queen! It’s easy to use and does a really good job of cleaning muddy boots (once you get the hang of it).

It doesn’t need a hose or any any electricity – all you have to do is attach it on top of the mud-covered shoes or wheel and rotate the handle in a clockwise direction. All the mud then gets collected in a special collection box that easily detaches for easy emptying – genius! 

It works well with both wet or dry mud and not only do we use it for muddy booted feet but also for pram wheels, wheelchairs, bikes and so much more. The Boot Buddy has been featured on BBC’s Dragons’ Den! Talk about getting approved by the pros. 

#5 Put them in the washing machine

Yes, believe it or not—you can actually put most types of football boots into the washing machine without worrying about ruining them!

That being said —make sure you treat them delicately because otherwise they could easily get destroyed during the cycle.

Remove the laces and pop them in separately to be washed. Wash them on a cool cycle so as not to warp the material or leather.

Also remember not to use too much detergent when doing this method as well—otherwise there might be too much residue left behind after washing which could cause staining later down the line. 

Watch and learn: How to clean your football boots in 2 minutes.

This is a great video if you’re looking for a life hack to clean those football boots, fast!

YouTube player

How to clean football boots inside.

Start by removing the insoles and laces.

You’ll want to do this first so that you can access the inside of your boot more easily.

Then, use an old toothbrush or soft bristle brush to scrub away any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in there.

If you’re feeling brave, you might even use a little bit of detergent to help break down stubborn stains or odors.

Once you’ve finished scrubbing, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess soap suds before rinsing with cold water. 

If you’re looking for something more natural, try using baking soda or vinegar instead of detergent.

Baking soda is great for absorbing odors while vinegar can help break down dirt and grime.

Simply sprinkle some baking soda or mix some vinegar with water in a spray bottle before spritzing onto the inside of your boot.

Let it sit for a few minutes before brushing off with an old toothbrush before wiping away any residue with a damp cloth. 

Once everything has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, replace the insoles and laces before storing your boots somewhere cool, dry, and shaded until game day arrives! 

how to clean football boots inforgraphic

How to clean football boots that have a sock.

Take care with sock liners – Soccer shoes with sock liners can be somewhat trickier to clean.

If possible, remove the sock liners completely and pop them in the washing machine.

After washing, allow your sock liners ample time to dry completely before returning them back into your cleats; otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with an unpleasant odor later on!  

If the sock liner is stitched into your boot and you can’t remove them, you will have to clean them by hand.

Start off by stuffing a pair of socks into the cleats, this should help hold their shape while you scrub away any dirt or debris.

Using an old toothbrush and some warm soapy water, gently scrub away at the surface of the sock liners before rinsing off with cold water.

And voilà—your football boots are as good as new! 

What is the best way to clean football boots? Step-by-step.

Football boots take a real beating on the pitch, so it’s important to give them the love and care they need to stay in peak condition.

A good cleaning routine will not only keep your boots looking pristine, but it’ll also help reduce wear and tear. So what’s the best way to clean football boots?

Step 1: Start by brushing away dirt and mud with a soft stiff-bristled brush.

Step 2: Wipe any remaining dirt off with a damp cloth or sponge before leaving your boots to soak in warm soapy water for around 10 minutes. A gentle shampoo or special sport cleaner should do the trick!

Step 3: Rinse them off with cold water and leave in a cool area until fully dry.

Step 4 (Optional): You can take it one step further by periodically spraying the upper material with a water repellent spray, but that’s completely optional.

Now you can proudly pop your football boots on again for another round of glory!

Is it OK to put football boots in the washing machine?

It’s certainly possible to put football boots in the washing machine, but it’s not always the best idea.

After all, if you don’t want to risk ten hours of your Saturday repairing tiny pieces of ancient machinery, then maybe you should just – you know – spot clean them with a warm damp cloth.

Plus, it kinda defeats the purpose of having expensive football boots if you’re throwing them around in a washing machine!

That said, if laundering your decent kicking shoes are in a bad way and it’s something that needs doing, then you sure can.

Just make sure to use the right settings on your machine, use the right amount of a good quality detergent, and make sure you dry them out properly afterwards (no dryers!).

How do you clean smelly football boots?

Taking proper care of your football boots is the key to keeping them in good condition.

It’s also an effective way to make sure they don’t start producing smelly odors! To make sure your football boots always smell their best, it’s important to clean them regularly.

A great solution is baking soda – sprinkle baking soda in your boots and around the affected area, let it sit for a few hours (or even overnight!) and then brush off any excess with a dry cloth.

The baking soda will help absorb any unpleasant odors and leave your boots smelling fresh.

Do tea bags stop shoes smelling?

We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that putting tea bags into your stinky shoes helps to combat the odor – but is there really any truth in this?

The answer might surprise you: sure enough, a tea bag pack full of smelly goodness could be just what you need to deodorize your favorite pair of football boots.

Cinnamon and chamomile teas have natural antibacterial and antifungal properties which can help combat that unpleasant smell.

Not only are you killing bacteria with the tea bags, but their fragrant scent could also be masking the smell to a certain degree!

For us, baking soda worked better and seems to take away the smell rather than simply mask it. But there’s no harm in trying tea bags if that’s all you have at hand.

What can I clean my football boots with at home?

There are plenty of natural ingredients that you probably already have at home that can help you get your beloved soccer boots looking clean and new again. 

Vinegar & Baking Soda 

You may have heard about using vinegar and baking soda to clean and restore soccer boots before – and this is still one of the most effective methods out there.

Simply mix together equal parts white vinegar and baking soda until you have a paste.

Then rub it into your boots with a cloth or brush, leave it for a few minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.

This is great for cleaning dirty leather as well as removing any stubborn stains. 

Olive Oil   

If you’re looking for something more gentle, olive oil is another great way to clean your soccer boots.

Start by pouring some olive oil into a separate container (you don’t want to be using the same bottle that you cook with!).

Dip a cloth or brush into the oil and rub it into the leather of your boot. This will help bring back some of its natural softness without damaging the material.

Once you’ve finished cleaning, wipe down any excess oil with a damp cloth. 

Shaving Cream

Now here’s an unusual one!

Believe it or not, shaving cream can be used to clean all sorts of leather items – including soccer boots!

Simply apply some shaving cream onto the surface of the boot and rub gently in circular motions.

The cream will work its way into any dirt or grime on the surface, leaving your boot looking brand new!

Once you’ve finished cleaning, wipe off any excess cream with a damp cloth.  

How do you deep clean soccer boots?

Soccer boots can be tough to clean as dirt, sweat, and grime quickly accumulate on them. If you haven’t cleaned them for a while, they may need a good ol’ deep clean.

First of all, start by removing the laces and put them in the washing machine.

Then, using a dry brush, scrub away any dirt or grime from the outside of your boots. This will help to remove any surface level grime.

Next, use soft sponge or cloth and warm soapy water to gently remove any scuffs or dirt from the outsoles.

Then add some baking soda in the soap for added power – this will help to lift out any stuck-on dirt from creases in the material.

If they’re really bad, you can put them in the washing machine. But be careful to put them on a gentle cycle and NEVER put them in the dryer!

To dry, stuff the boots with newspaper to help them keep their shape and leave them to dry naturally.

Once they’re dry, you can use a leather conditioner on the upper material to help keep it soft and supple.

Then, rebuild your boots with shiny laces and sparkly studs – now it looks like you just bought them!

With a few simple steps, deep cleaning your soccer boots is done in no time – hey presto!

What happens if you don’t clean your football boots?

If you don’t clean your football boots, dirt and sweat can build up over time, causing them to become stiff and uncomfortable.

This can not only make playing in the boots quite unpleasant, but it can also cause long-term damage to the leather material if left unchecked.

The bacteria that accumulates on dirty football boots can also lead to foot odor which is of course gross!

In order to maintain your soccer boots in top condition, it’s really important to give them a good clean after every time you wear them – no matter how much time you have between games.

That way, you won’t be faced with any nasty surprises when it comes time for kick off!

The final score.

Keeping football boots clean doesn’t have to be a chore anymore now that you know these five simple methods for cleaning yours quickly and easily.

Whether you choose handwashing with detergent or using a Boot Buddy to keep things low-maintenance, having clean sports gear is important for both performance enhancement and keeping infections at bay — so why not give one of these tips a try today?

With just one successful cleaning session under your belt, we guarantee that taking care of football shoes will become second nature in no time at all!

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At KitQueen, our goal is to bring you the most comprehensive and trustworthy recommendations in the world of soccer.

We’re not just spectators; we’re players in the research game. We study the latest scientific findings and soccer journals to give you insights grounded in solid evidence. But it’s not all about the stats and data. We also gather real-life experiences and opinions from soccer enthusiasts, coaches, professional bodies and of course, actual players.

Our hands-on approach extends to the field. We don’t just read about soccer gear; we test it. We try out boots, jerseys, and equipment on the pitch, assessing their performance in real match conditions across various playing styles and skill levels.

This detailed and active approach allows us to kick you the truth about which products really live up to their hype.

Remember, the right gear can make a significant difference in your game. But always consider personal preferences and playing style before making your choice.

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This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...