Hiking can be an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, one of the most important aspects of hiking is making sure that your feet are kept dry and comfortable, and the best way to ensure this is with a pair of clean hiking boots. Here, we’ll provide you with a detailed guide on how to clean your hiking boots in three easy steps.
1. Remove Loose Dirt, Debris and Mud
Scrape, Brush and Rake Away Loose Debris
The first step in cleaning your hiking boots is to remove any loose dirt, debris or mud from your shoes. An old toothbrush can be a great way of gently brushing away at any stubborn dirt and debris, while a stiff plastic brush can be used to scrape off any dried mud. Similarly, a coarse-edged tool will help to rake away any mud or dirt which is stuck in-between the boot’s treads.
Wipe Away Stains and Scuffs
It’s inevitable that your hiking boots will become stained or scuffed during your hikes. You can easily wipe away any minor stains or scuffs with a soft, damp cloth. Make sure you don’t use any abrasive cleansers or stain removers, as this can damage the leather or nylon of your boots.
2. Clean the Outsole of the Boot
Soak the Boot in Water
You should begin by soaking the boot in a bowl of warm water. This will not only help to soften the dirt and mud on the boot’s outsole, but also help to dislodge any trapped particles which are preventing the boot from cleaning properly.
Scrub the Boot with a Soft Brush
Once you’ve soaked your boot for around 10 minutes, take a soft brush and start scrubbing away at the dirt and mud which has built up on the boot’s outsole. Make sure you pay extra attention to the treads on the outsole, as these can often be difficult to clean. You can also try using a half-and-half mixture of lemon juice and baking soda to help break down any stubborn dirt.
Rinse the Boot with Clean Water
After you’ve finished scrubbing the boot, rinse it off with a bowl of clean water. This will help to remove any remaining soap residue, dirt or debris. After this is done, simply dry the boot off with a dry cloth.
3. Clean the Upper of the Boot
Apply Cleaning Solution
Depending on the material of your boot’s upper, you’ll want to use a specific cleaning solution. The cleaning solution should be designed specifically for the material used on your upper – whether it’s a leather, suede or nylon upper.
Use a Brush or Sponge
Lather the cleaning solution onto the upper, and work it into the material using either a sponge or brush. This should help to break down any dirt or debris which is on the upper.
Rinse and Dry the Boot
Once you’ve finished lathering the upper of the boot, rinse it off with a bowl of clean water. This will help to remove any leftover dirt or debris, before finally airing the boot out and leaving it to dry.
People Also Ask
Can I Clean Hiking Boots in the Washing Machine?
No, you should not clean your hiking boots in the washing machine. Doing so may cause irreparable damage to the material or outsole of the boot.
What is the Best Way to Clean Hiking Boots?
The best way to clean hiking boots is to use a soft brush on the outsole, before applying a cleaning solution and lathering it into the upper. This should help to break down and remove any dirt or debris which is stuck on your boot.
Should I Waterproof My Hiking Boots?
Yes, you should waterproof your hiking boots in order to ensure that they remain waterproof and breathable on your hikes. This can be easily done using a waterproofing spray or spray-on sealant, which can be applied to both the outsole and upper of your boot.
What is the Fastest Way to Clean Hiking Boots?
The fastest way to clean hiking boots is to use a soft brush to remove any loose dirt, mud, or debris from the outsole before rinsing the boot in a bowl of clean water. This should help quickly clean your boot without causing any damage to the material or outsole.
Keeping your hiking boots clean is an important part of the hiking experience, as it helps to ensure that your feet remain dry and comfortable during all of your hikes. While some effort is required to keep your boots clean and in good condition, it’s something which can be easily done in just a few minutes. Hopefully, these tips should help to ensure that your hiking boots stay as good as new and look their best.