How to Clean Smelly Steel Toe Boots

Steel toe boots are popular with workers, and there are good reasons for this popularity. If you work in high-risk areas, these boots can protect your toes from different types of injuries. As you work, you do not have to worry about sharp objects.

But over time these boots develop and unpleasant odor. Once they begin to smell, you can not toss them out, because they are often pricey. In this post we will show you how to clean smelly steel toe boots.

Use soap and water

You need to clean your boots when they are dirty. Pour some warm water into a basin and mix some mild detergent. Remove the insoles, wash them with soapy water and then rinse them thoroughly. Then use a washcloth to wipe the boots. Dry them completely. If they are not dried properly, microorganisms will grow.

If you wear your boots regularly, clean them every 10-15 days. Find a well-ventilated area and hang the boots there to dry them. In most cases, soapy water is enough to remove odor from your steel toe boots. But for the best results, there are a few more things to do.

Use baking soda to soak up odors

Take some baking soda and sprinkle it on your boots. The baking soda must reach the midsole areas. For good results, it should be allowed to sit overnight. Foot odors will be absorbed and neutralized and the boot will no longer smell bad.

Before you wear the boots, shake them so that the soda falls out. You will get even better results if you mix the baking soda with some cat litter. It can also absorb odors.

Use disinfecting spray

You can use a pharmaceutical variety of disinfecting spray to treat your work boots. You can also make an effective disinfectant by using some vinegar, rubbing alcohol and essential oil. Spray the mixture thoroughly inside the boots.

It may not be able to remove the stench immediately, but you can expect it to kill the bacteria, which is responsible for the stench. If you are using vinegar, do not forget to use some essential oil and air freshener with it. You should use air freshener because vinegar itself has an unpleasant smell.

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Cover lingering odors with essential oils

There will still be some subtle odors, even if you have tried hard to remove them. While cleaning and disinfecting are effective, you should also use some essential oils to cover lingering odors.

The natural fragrance of essential oils will cover up the offensive smells of your work boots. Before you figure out how to clean smelly steel toe boots, do something about the offensive smells.

At night, apply a few drops of tree oil, peppermint or rosemary oil. Essential oils will work dramatically if you store boots in a dry place after applying the oils. Essential oils have both antibacterial properties and pleasant aroma. That is why it can be a great alternative to perfume, hand soap or deodorant.

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Keep your feet clean

Keeping your feet clean is one of the best ways to make sure that the odor does not spread to the boot. Bath regularly and clean your arches, toes and the whole feet. You will have to deal with embarrassing foot odor if you do not clean your feet well enough. If you want to know how to clean smelly steel toe boots, first make sure your feet are clean.

Oil, clogged pores and dirt result in embarrassing foot odor. Wash your entire feet at least once a day, especially after engaging in physical activities. Keeping your feet clean is the most effective way to prevent odors in your work boot.

Dry your boots between uses

Throughout winter, your work boots will remain wet due to snow and rain. That is why you have to keep your boots in a well-ventilated place so that they get dry easily. It is a good idea to keep them in a high place, preferably near a window. You can also keep them in a place near the heater or fire.

Germs will start growing in your work boots if you do not dry them regularly. Never let your boots stay damp for a long time. You do not want to make them a breeding ground for bacteria. You will not have to worry about how to clean smelly steel toe boots too often if you dry them between uses.

But how can you do that if you have to wear out your boots when you go to work? Here comes the main benefit of having more than one pair of boots. If you have multiple pairs of boots, you do not need to wear the same pair of boots every single day.

If you need to get your boots dry within a very short time, you can use a hair dryer. But keep in mind that too much direct heat is not good for your boots. So you have to do it sparingly. Yes, you can use a hair dryer, but not every day.

Use a drier sheet

There is another simple solution to the odor problem. Every night, before you go to bed, keep a fabric softener in each of your boots. Commercial dryer sheets are available on the market. Dryer sheets can not only absorb odors but also infuse some delightful fragrance. Yes, you can keep your boots fresh-smelling by using a simple dryer sheet.

Additional tips

  • If you hesitate to use disinfectant sprays, use scented air fresheners. Although they are not as effective as disinfectant sprays, they can kill bacteria.
  • If you are struggling with stubborn foot odor even after changing your socks frequently, there is fungal infection in the boots or socks. Do something about the infection. It is also a good idea to visit your doctor to see if there is any fungal infection in your feet.
  • You can make odor-absorbing pouches by using a few simple ingredients such as tea leaves, cat litter, charcoal and baking soda. Before you go to bed at night, you can place these pouches inside your boots.
  • Do not use harsh chemical cleansers or scents on your skin. Never apply air freshener directly on your skin. If you do, you may need to deal with discomfort, even skin issues. So if you want to figure out how to clean smelly steel toe boots, you must find out a mild chemical product that is not harsh on your skin.
  • Before you use any product or remedy, make sure you do not have an allergic reaction. How can you know how your skin will react to a certain product? Well, you can read the warnings if there are any, and talk to a skin specialist. The best idea is to go online and read relevant information on the product or chemical.
  • There is another simple and effective way to kill bacteria inside your work boots. Put your boots in a large plastic bag and keep the bag in the freezer. If you leave the boots there overnight, the freezing temperature will wipe out the bacteria. There will be no odor if there are no bacteria.
  • Do not use clarifying shampoos to clean your work boots, because these shampoos have a high PH factor. Highly alkaline products can damage your work boots. Try not to use moisturizing shampoos, because they are acidic. No matter what product you use to clean your boots, make sure it is PH balanced.

You can easily clean your smelly work boots if you just have the time and mindset. Regardless of the methods you use, make sure you clean your work boots regularly. Hopefully you will find these tips useful.