Can You Wash Work Boots? Know it Right Here

Written By Mahia

No one’s work boots are going to look spanking new or smell like fresh flowers after a long day of work.

Your feet may remain all fresh, but your work boots are most likely caked with filth.

And that’s when you wonder if work boots are washable.

No worries! I am here to clear up any confusion you may have regarding washing work boots.

So, can you wash work boots?


Yes, you can wash work boots. You can clean your work boots by using a soap-water solution and a microfibre cloth. You can even use detergent to wash them in the washing machine. Cleaning your work boots not only keeps your feet germ-free but also extends the longevity of the boots.

Want to know the cleaning procedure of work boots? Then, read the article all the way through.

Can You Wash Work Boots?

Unlike regular boots, work boots are not appropriate for wearing to a party or casual day. Instead, work boots are worn on construction sites to protect the feet from heavy machinery, sharp or heavy objects falling off.

After undergoing all the strain, work boots tend to become very muddy.

And dirty work boots not only make your feet uncomfortable but also are unhealthy for your feet.

For this reason, cleaning work boots is a must!

But before that, check out to know Are Doc Martens Considered Work Boots.

Cleaning and caring for your work boots will make them appear new and add additional years to the boot’s life. Additionally, bacteria thrive in dirty work boots, which can lead to foot infections.

Most of you believe that washing the work boots can damage them. But the fact is, if you do not clean them, they will wind up in the trash.

Work boots are made up of different types of materials. So, always follow the correct cleaning methods according to your boot type. In this way, you are assuring the safety of the boots.

Before you jump into cleaning your work boots, always read the manufacturer’s label carefully. If it states, the boots are washer friendly, only then wash them in the washer.

How to Clean Leather Work Boots?


Cleaning leather work boots are an easy-peasy job if you know how to do it correctly. Lack of cleaning knowledge can ruin your boots badly.

So, here I am with all the steps of cleaning work boots. Let’s see what they are:

Clean the outside of the work boots

  • Remove the shoelaces, wash them with mild detergent and leave them for drying.
  • Dust off all the dirt from your boots with a damp brush or cloth. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush alternatively.
  • If your boots are filthy, use a leather cleaner. Saddle soap is a good cleaning product because it cleans, nourishes, and moisturizes the leather.
  • With a slightly damp cloth or brush, rub on the surface of the saddle soap until a foamy lather is formed.
  • Now rub the lather on the surface of your boots in a circular motion.Apply more, if needed.
  • Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, wipe the lather away with a fresh cloth.Make sure there is no residue of saddle soap on the boots.
  • Leave the boots in a well-ventilated place for drying.

Check out to know how Are Work Boots Supposed To Fit.

Clean the inside of the work boots

  • Remove the insoles. Wash them with a mild detergent either in the washing machine or by hand.Leave them for drying.
  • Take a few drops of low pH shampoo on a damp cloth, and then rub the inside of the boots.
  • After you are pleased with the cleaning, take a clean damp cloth and blot any shampoo residue on the boots.
  • To remove as much moisture as possible, wipe the inside of the boots with a dry rag.
  • Let the boots sit in an airy place to dry.

Condition the work boots

  • Take a leather conditioner of your choice. Avoid petroleum products as it can impact the quality of the leather.
  • Apply a coat of leather conditioner to your boot’s interior with a cloth. Work the conditioner on the boots so that they can absorb all the goodness of the conditioner.
  • With a clean cloth, wipe away the excess conditioner.
  • If you want a lustrous shine on your boots, then give them a good buff.

Follow our guide to know Can You Wear Vans To Work At Walgreens.

How to Clean Suede Steel Toe Boots?

Will you use the same cleaning method for suede work boots as you would for leather boots?

Not at all!

Suede is a more delicate fabric than leather. Cleaning the suede boots with water will do nothing but ruin your boots. That’s why it’s essential tablespoon to know the correct method of cleaning suede boots.

Here are the steps which you can use to clean suede steel toe boots:

  • With the special scrub shoe brush, brush your suede steel toe boots to eliminate all dirt particles.
  • If your boots are discolored, pour a few drops of sodium bicarbonate over the stain and leave them overnight on the boots.
  • The next day, rub off the sodium carbonate with a clean cloth. The stains are going to vanish too.
  • Dry the boots.
  • Condition the boots with a conditioner that is specially made for suede boots.

Check out our separate post to know Are Military Boots Good for Work.

How to Clean Stained Steel Toe Boots?

Did your work boots get all stained? Don’t worry. You can treat them and vanish the stains in no time.

Just make sure what kind of stains your boots got because each type of stain is treated differently.

Below are the methods you can follow in cleaning stained steel toe boots:

Clean grease stain

  • With a microfiber cloth, blot the oil in the boots as much as possible. Be very gentle while taking out the stain, or you can end up uprooting the boot’s fiber.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of talcum powder on the grease-stained area.
  • Leave the talcum powder on the boots overnight.
  • Use a microfiber cloth and rub off the talcum powder from the boots.

And there you have it, a pair of stain-free boots.

Also, check out our separate post to know Are Work Boots Tax-Deductible.

Clean water-based dirt stain

  • Apply lime juice and spread it over the water-based stain.
  • Take a soft cloth and rub the lime juice over the stain in a circular motion.
  • Once you see there are no spot marks, take off the lime juice with a clean rag.
  • Let the boots sit for air-drying.

How to Clean Smelly Work Boots?

Standing long hours in work boots amidst high temperatures causes the feet to sweat profusely. And sweaty feet equals stinky work boots. Luckily, there are multiple ways to remove the musty stench from your work boots.

Below are the methods by which you can clean your smelly work boots:

 Use baking soda

  • Depending on the size of your work boots, take one-two tablespoons of baking soda. If you have large boots, you may need more baking soda.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda in the heel part of your boots.
  • Give your boots a good shake so that the baking soda can cover up the entire boot’s insole.
  • Leave the boots overnight.
  • The following day, dust off all the baking soda. And your boots are free of foul odor.

Use lemon peels

  • Place small slices of lemon inside your work boots and spread them equally.
  • Leave the lemon slices in the boots overnight.
  • The next day, take out the lemon slices, and you are good to wear the boots.

The lemon will leave the boots with a citrusy smell as well as make them anti-bacterial.

How to Wash Work Boots in The Washing Machine?

If you are operating the washing machine for the first time, you may face difficulties washing the work boots.

Due to the incorrect placement of the boots inside the washer, the washing machine can stop spinning.


That’s why below I have explained the correct procedure of washing work boots in the washing machine:

  • Sprinkle baking soda all over your work boots the night before you wash them.
  • Remove the shoelaces. Wash them separately with liquid detergent and leave them to dry.
  • Before putting the boots in the washer, brush them thoroughly with a toothbrush to remove the excess dirt.
  • Wrap the boots with a pair of towels and place them in the washing machine. Tangling the boots with the towels will prevent them from banging inside the washer.
  • Add the liquid detergent and set your washing machine to cold. Now run the washer for 30-40 minutes.
  • After your boots are cleaned, take them out of the washer and leave them out in the sun for drying.

The Final Recount

Work boots cost a handsome amount, so why damage them by leaving them filthy?

A cleaned pair of work boots has a couple of advantages. Such as it smells pleasant, inhibits bacterial growth, and most importantly, clean work boots look fantastic on the feet.

So what are you holding out for? Take out all your muddy work boots and get on with the cleaning procedure.

Did this article address all of your concerns? If so, then don’t forget to share your experience in the comment box.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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