How to Wash Work Boots: Soft Toe & Steel Toe Leather boots

Dirty work boots?

Does stinking steel toe work boots?

Disgusting work boots? 

Well, all are parts of a daily worker’s ordeals. And these inconveniences need to be dealt with as effectively as possible.

Keeping that in mind in this article we have tried to list out some common methods that you can use to wash off the dirt and grit of your precious leather work boots! We have also given some reasons and precautions for such actions!

To understand how to wash work boots, read till the end!

Why Is It Necessary To Wash Work Boots At Regular Intervals?

Why you need to wash work boots

We pay lots of attention to our work clothes and all. But many times we forget to take care of those hardy bearers of our feet: our precious work boots.

We think since they are so tough, and made to sustain the most difficult of situations they can be treated anyway. But that is never the case. Your work boots need equal amounts of care and attention to last as long as you want.

One of the best ways to take care of your work boots is to clean and wash them. Whether you have soft-toe or steel-toe work boots, you should wash them at regular intervals.

Here are some reasons why you should wash your workboots:

  • The biggest problem a work boot can come up with is the stink problem. It is very common to find your leather boots emitting a bad odor all over the place. The reason is the presence of bacteria and sweat on the insides of your boots.
  • With regular use of work boots, sometimes the leather lends to retain the dust and grit from your workplace. This in the long run becomes an issue because
    • a) it destroys the luster of the material
    • b) and more importantly with this daily accumulation of foreign harmful substances on the surface of the boot, over some time you will notice wear and tear along various parts of the boot
  • You should try to wash your work boots at regular intervals to get rid of the substances from under the soles. What happens is since most work boots have grooved soles often mud and grease might get stuck in the creases. These if not cleaned daily over time may lead your work boots to lose friction. This is particularly dangerous if you work in slippery areas because you have a greater tendency to fall over due to your frictionless work boots.

Now that we know why it is so necessary to Wash work boots, let’s look at some ways to do it.

Different Ways To Wash Soft Toe & Steel Toe Work Boots 

So, since we have listed down the reasons for washing your work boots under three categories, we shall try to stick to that structure and discuss the ways to remedy those three problems.

How to Clean the Inside of Work Boots to Prevent Odor

How to clean boots from inside
  • Remember to mitigate this problem you can never rely on simple washing of boots, you need to get creative in washing them.
  • The first thing you should do is take out the inside soles of your work and wash them in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Then you can let the soles air dry.
  • Next, you can lather up some mild shampoo in a wet washcloth and rinse out the excess water. Then use it to rub on the insides of boots till the smell has gone away. Now let your work boot air dry and soak away any leftover moisture.

You should also watch this short video which shares some different helpful tips to prevent the smell from your work boots.

Note: Never let the inside of your work boots get wetter than is necessary and there might crop up the problem of another kind of odor.

How to Wash to Prevent Wear and Tear-Off Work Boots

I also suggest watching this short video for cleaning work boots. It’s very informative and helpful.

This eventual wear and tear in work boots is pretty common and stopping it might be next to impossible. But by cleaning your work boots sometimes you might be able to slow down the process. So how to do it?

  • You can take a wet washcloth and lather some mild shampoo. Remember to rinse out the excess water and rub it gently over the boot surface. After that lather, some conditioner on a washcloth and rub that over the surface as well. Probably, this is the best way to clean leather work boots.
  • Note: conditioner ensures better moisturizing of leather surfaces preventing them from becoming excessively dry.
Cleaning leather work boots

Washing Work Boots to Keep the Friction Intact

  • This is an important part of your work boot-washing method. Cleaning the outer soles of your boots that are often caked with mud, dirt, and whatnot. To be honest, it is the grossest part of a boot. But you have to clean it so that it does not create greater problems for you in the future. 
  • So, let your work boots dry first. 
How to wash steel toe leather boots
  • Then try and remove the dirt out of the creases of the grooves with some moderately sharp objects. 
  • When you are satisfied that there is no leftover dust clinging to them except for the stuff that absolutely cannot be gotten out. 
  • Use a solid brush to get out any hard solid objects. Remember to pull out any stuck-up debris. 
  • After that use, the hard brush with mild soap gently rubs the entire tread area of your work boots. 
  • Keep rubbing till there is no dirty water. 
  • Once done, air dry it properly.

Some Other Ways To Wash Work Boots

  • Instead of rubbing wet washcloths inside the boots after removing the insoles, you can also use some soap or water to clean out the inside. 
  • But remember to allow the water to flow out of the boot. You must also ensure that the boot is amply dried in the air or the sun.
  • Sometimes to remove the smell you can also leave some Baking soda or talcum powder inside the boots overnight and then wash them off in the morning.

Precautions To Be Taken While Washing Your Work Boots 

Precautions when washing leather work boots
  • Never pour water all over the boot in an attempt to wash it.
  • Do not use a very sharp object to remove the dirt from the outer sole.
  • Never try to dry the work boots’ inside heaters or hair dryers. They could spoil the quality of the leather.

Final Words

If you are a daily worker, then wearing clean steel-toe work boots is necessary not only to look your best but also to keep your feet healthy.

It also affects you psychologically and boosts your mental strength.

So remember to wash your work boots at regular intervals. 

We hope this article helped answer some of your questions regarding washing work boots!


Q-1 How can I remove tough stains from my work boots?

Answer: For tough stains, try using a specialized cleaning product designed for the specific type of stain and material of the work boots. You can also try using a mixture of baking soda and water to gently scrub the stain, or using a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to help break down the stain

Q-2 What is the best way to clean my work boots?

Answer: The best way to clean work boots depends on the material and type of boots. Soft toe leather work boots may be machine washable, but it is best to check the care instructions on the label to be sure. For steel toe leather work boots, hand washing with a mild soap and a soft brush is recommended.

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Tessa Reynolds
Tessa is a Denver-based writer who likes to share her knowledge and personal experience in the form of articles. When she is not writing, you can probably find her skiing with her friends in the mountains of Colorado.