How To Wash Hiking Boots?

how to wash hiking boots

Before every trek, it’s essential to take care of your hiking gear and boots in particular. The proper maintenance will help you get the most out of your footwear and keep them in good condition for future treks.

The proper washing method will also ensure that your boots are spotless. Read on to find more on how to wash hiking boots!

Why Wash Hiking Boots?

  • Getting your hiking boots clean is essential to maintain the health of your feet and prevent blisters.
  • Dirty hiking boots will lead to a sore foot and a poorly fitting boot that won’t offer the protection and comfort you need on the trail.
  • Not only will your boots get dirty quickly, but they will also be susceptible to bacterial infections.
  • Dirty hiking boots can lead to plant infections like athlete’s foot and fungus infections like toenail fungus. The bacteria that cause these infections thrive in a moist and dirty environment.
  • If you’re wearing hiking boots that have been cleaned and maintained correctly, you will be able to avoid several health issues.

How To Wash Hiking Boots?

You can clean your hiking boots by hand or by machine. Hand washing is recommended for people who are going on a short trip. Machine washing is recommended for people going on an extended or multi-day trip.

Hand Washing Your Hiking Boots:

Using the steps below, you can wash your hiking boots without special equipment or cleaning products.

Step 1: Remove the laces from the boot and place them in a plastic bag to prevent them from getting wet.

Step 2: Fill a tub with warm water, add some mild soap, and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Alternatively, use a shoe cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean your footwear. Please don’t use bleach or strong detergents as they may damage your shoes.

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Step 3: Submerge your boots in the solution and let them soak for about 15 minutes. This will help loosen dirt and grime built up inside the shoe over time.

Step 4: Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the boot. This will help loosen any dirt or grime that’s stuck inside.

Step 5: Rinse off the soap and let your boots dry entirely. If you don’t have time to let them air dry, use a blow dryer to speed up the process.

Machine Washing Your Hiking Boots:

how to wash hiking boots

If you are taking a more extended trip or plan to wear your boots more than once, it’s recommended that you use a washing machine.

The steps below will help you wash your hiking boots in a machine at home.

Step 1: Remove the laces from the boot and place them in a plastic bag to prevent them from getting wet.

Step 2: Place the hiking boots in an old pillowcase or plastic bag to prevent damage from water splashing out of the washing machine during the wash cycle. You can also use an old towel for this purpose instead of using plastic bags and pillowcases.

Step 3: Add some mild soap or shoe cleaner to your washing machine and fill it with warm water, along with your boots and other cleaning items like socks, gloves, etcetera. Alternatively, add a few drops of mild soap or shoe cleaner to the washing machine.

Step 4: Set the washing machine on a delicate wash cycle and let it run through one process. You can also use a hand-wash setting on your device if available.

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Step 5: When the cycle is complete, remove your boots and other items from the washing machine and let them air dry completely before wearing them again. You can also use a blow dryer to speed up the process if you are in a hurry.

How Often Should You Wash Hiking Boots?

There is no set rule for how often you should wash your hiking boots. Every boot is unique, and your hiking conditions will dictate how often you should clean your shoes.

For example, if you spend most of your time hiking through mud or snow, you’ll need to clean your boots more frequently to avoid stinky odors.

On the other hand, if you hike in desert terrain, then your boots will only get dusty and dirty with no mud to be seen.

Tips For Care Before Washing

  • Scrub Your Boots: Before putting your boots in the bucket of water, scrub the dirt out of them with a toothbrush to remove as much land as possible. You don’t have to wash your boots ideally because you don’t want to damage their lifespan. Just make sure they are clean enough and free of any dirt.
  • Soak Your Sponge: After scrubbing your boots, soak a sponge in water and squeeze out all the excess water. Once they’re dry, use the sponge to help your shoes dry faster.
  • Rinse Your Boots: After cleaning your boots, rinse them out with cold water to remove all the soap and grime stuck there.
  • Dry Your Boots: After rinsing them out, get a sponge and dry your boots while they’re still wet. This will help dry your shoes out much faster.
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What to avoid when washing hiking boots

It would help if you didn’t do some things when washing hiking boots that can ruin the process and damage your shoes.

  • Don’t Use Too Much Soap: This will make your hiking boots feel greasy, and you don’t want that. It would help rinse your shoes, not wash your hiking boots with soap.
  • Don’t Let Your Boots Dry Out: Putting your boots on a rack while still damp can damage the boot’s structure and integrity. Instead, let them dry naturally.
  • Don’t Over-Dry Your Hiking Boots: Over-drying your hiking boots will damage the leather and make your shoes feel stiff. Let your boots dry naturally, and don’t let them get too hot or cold.
Conclusion

With the proper care, your hiking boots will last you for many years. Before every trek, it’s essential to take care of your hiking gear and boots in particular. The proper maintenance will help you get the most out of your footwear and keep them in good condition for future treks.

The appropriate washing method will also ensure that your boots are spotless. Follow the tips below to ensure that you’re giving your shoes the proper care.

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