How to Wash Work Boots

No matter how careful you are, your work boots will get dirty. Cleaning dirty work boots is not a very pleasant experience, but you will have to clean them. Mud, dirt and concrete are the main enemies of work boots. They can make your work boots dirty very quickly. In this post we will show you how to wash work boots.

Whether you are wearing expensive or budget-friendly boots, you need to learn the art of washing your work boots. Yes, it can be an art! But at the same time you have to remember that washing work boots is a bit harder than cleaning dress shoe or sneaker. However, you will do it in no time if you are willing to do it.

Now we will show you the proper ways to wash different types of work boots.

Leather work boots

Let us see how to clean work boots made of leather. First of all, to get the dirt off, pull the laces out. To remove chunks of mud, you can simply beat the boots together. This is the easiest way to get rid of mud.

But you can not remove dirt as easily. You will find it a bit hard to deal with parts such as shoestrings and soles. In most cases you can clean your work boots with some mild dish detergent and water. Of course this rule has some exceptions. But ordinary dish soap is enough to clean your work boots, no matter how dirty they are.

If there is mud on the bottom of your work boots, you can use a stiff toothbrush to pick the mud out. You can also use toothpicks or something else for this purpose. Get something like that ready so that you can use it whenever you need it. We recommend you use a stiff toothbrush.

And if the finished product makes you happy, let the soles of your shoes dry in the sun. You can also dry the indoors. Remember, you do not need to be in a hurry. Avoid using a hair dryer or something like that to speed up the process.

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Here is another important thing to remember: before you put your boots into a cleaner, think of the leather parts. If you want to learn how to wash work boots, you have to know what type of boots you are wearing.  Will these parts survive if you put the boots in the washer? It will depend on the type of your work boots.

Nubuck or Suede work boots

Nubuck boots are pretty common, and they are easily available on the market. Suede is another popular material used to make boots, and it is often considered an alternative to leather. Yes, they are stylish, but you can not clean them in the same fashion.

Suede boots can get dirty very easily. Before the dirt sets in, you can get it out with a pencil eraser or something like that. If a protectant is used to seal the boots, you can clean them more easily.

You can not use any type of product to clean suede boots. Before you choose a product, you must know whether it is a suitable product to clean suede work boots. Do not use soap water, because soap water can not clean Nubuck or suede.

For all work boots

Apart from the types of work boots mentioned above, there are some other types. How can you wash your work boot if they are made from other materials? Now we will discuss how to wash work boots made of other types of materials such as delicate leather.

If you have leather work boots, here is very important information for you: heat can warm leather. That is why you have to avoid using very hot water to clean work boots made from leather. To learn how to wash work boots, you mainly have to learn how to wash leather boots.

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If you boots are wet, do not use a heat gun to dry them. Remember, putting your leather boots in a dryer is not the smartest idea. Do not get cute when choosing a cleaning solution. You must read the instructions carefully and follow them step by step. Otherwise the solutions may damage your leather boots.

Suede and Nubuck are more delicate in nature, and you have to be more careful when cleaning work boots made of these materials. You can use a good conditioner to take care of your stiff-looking leather work boots. But the conditioner must be of the proper type.

Condition your work boots at least once every month. Your work boots will last longer if you can do it. Conditioning your boots may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it can really make your boots last longer.

Before you condition your boots, do not forget to clean them. You treat the leather in other ways, because there are multiple ways to treat the leather. You have to figure out what works for you. The instructions provided with your shoes can be helpful in this regard.

Storage is another important thing to consider. It is more important than most people think. As your boots age, they can lose their shape for another reason. When you sweat, the leather comes in contact with your sweating, and that gradually damages the leather.

You can deal with this issue by putting a cedar shoe tree in your work boots. If you put it regularly in the boots, they may last a few more years.

Waterproofing is not permanent

For the maximum comfort and longevity of your leather work boots, you can maintain the waterproofing condition of the leather. There are different types of waterproofing agents such as protective sprays, mink oils and beeswax. They are easily available on the market. But are they effective enough?

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Well, if you want to protect your boots from the elements, mink oil and beeswax products are reasonably effective. They can even provide protection against water. You have to make it a habit to waterproof your boots. If you want to know how to wash work boots, you must also know how to waterproof them.

To know if your boots are still repellant, you can mix them with water and spray them smoothly. Treat the boot again when the water does not bead up. To strip the waterproof coat, you can use leather soap once a year.

A thick coat of wax can be reapplied then. But you must pay attention to the heels and toes. To make sure that the beeswax is absorbed into the leather, let it sit overnight. In the morning, use a piece of clean cloth to remove the excess wax.

That means, waterproofing is pretty effective, but it is not permanent. After a time, waterproofing no longer works. And when it happens, you have to strip the waterproof coat and reapply another coat.


If you are a regular worker, you will not be able to keep your work boots clean all the time. Your dirty boots in fact indicate that you are a busy worker. However, do not wait until your work boots look really dirty. Make it a habit to clean your boots, because it is a part of hygiene.

Knowing how to wash work boots is not enough. This task can seem like a chore, and you may not enjoy doing it. However, if you want your work boots to last longer, you have to find time to take care of them.