How to Wash Work Boots in Washing Machine?

By Sophie Williams
Updated: November 25, 2023
How to wash work boots in washing machine?

Work boots are an essential part of many jobs, from construction to farming and beyond. They take a lot of wear and tear, and as a result, they can quickly become dirty and smelly. Cleaning boots by hand can be time-consuming and often doesn’t produce the best results.

However, did you know that washing work boots in a washing machine seems like a risky move? But with the right technique and some precautionary measures, it’s possible to get your work boots clean and fresh with a washing machine. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to safely and effectively wash your work boots in a washing machine.

Why Wash Your Work Boots in a Washing Machine?

There are several reasons why washing your work boots in a washing machine can be a good idea. Firstly, it’s a convenient and quick solution, particularly for those who have to wear their work boots on a daily basis.

Secondly, machine washing can be more thorough and effective in removing dirt and grime than hand washing. Thirdly, it can help to eliminate unpleasant odors that can develop over time, which is particularly important if you work in environments that are prone to smells and bacteria.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to machine-cleaning work boots. The harsh cycle of the washing machine can cause the boots to lose their shape or become damaged, particularly if they are made from delicate materials. In addition, some manufacturers may not recommend machine washing, and doing so can void the warranty or cause other issues.

How to wash work boots in a washing machine?

boots washing machine

When it comes to keeping our work boots clean and odor-free, washing them by hand can be a time-consuming chore. However, throwing them in the washer might sound risky. As a result, you must strictly follow the instructions below to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

To wash boots in the washer, you will need the following things:

• A good branded washing machine

• Liquid detergent

• Baking soda

• Toothbrush and damp cloth

 • Zippered washing bag

Step 1: Review the instructions and care label

It would be best if you read the washing directions that come with your boots. It will reveal whether or not work boots are permitted to put in a washing machine. Labels indicate how to wash shoes based on their material. You’ll have to find another way to clean the boots if machine washing them is not an option.

Step 2: Take off your shoes’ laces

Remove any removable components, such as the shoelace, and store them somewhere else to be cleaned separately before cleaning the boots. We suggest placing the shoelaces in ziplock mesh bags to prevent them from tangling in the washing machine ladder. 

Step 3: Scrub the dirt from the outside with a brush

Scrub off the top if there is any obvious dirt. A brush is useful for removing dirt from the boots. To remove particularly challenging stains, think about soaking the boots in warm, flowing water and wiping them down with a cloth. The washing machine’s performance will enhance by this method. Use a damp cloth and clean the inside also. 

Step 4: Using baking soda

Putting baking soda on your boots the night before washing them is one technique. Baking soda will thoroughly wash the boots from the inside out due to their chemical interaction.

Step 5: Get the washing machine ready

To get the washer ready, keep the temperature below 30 degrees to avoid color fading or spilling. This step is essential when washing PU or PVC because the covering might get harmed if the temperature increases too much.

Step 6: Include any cleaning agents or detergent

Add the liquid detergent to wash after prepping the machine. The machine should be cold by this time. The washer should get run for the next 40 to 45 minutes. Now put the shoes inside.

Step 7: The drying process

Once complete, remove the items from the washer and place them outside in the sunlight to dry. Insert some crumpled-up newspaper into the boots and keep the boots somewhere warm. The paper will help maintain the shape of the boots and speed up the process of evaporating excess water. 

Step 8: Conditioning the boots

If you have leather boots, proceed to the next step. Use a good quality leather conditioner. Try to avoid using petroleum conditioner on your leather shoes to preserve the quality of the material. Apply the conditioner to the boots’ interior and exterior with a cloth, then give it some time to absorb. Remove any extra conditioner. 

The procedure for hand washing work boots

Before we move on to our main topic, let’s take a quick look at how to wash your boots by hand. Follow this quick guide if you’d prefer to use your hands instead of any other method.

1. Remove the surface dirt and debris from the boot, including any mud, dirt, or grime, before washing it. For this job, use a damp towel or a moistened wipe. Brushing off any dirt or debris from the boots’ soles is a good idea before cleaning them.

2. Warm water and a soft brush should get used to hand-clean work boots. You can include detergent or soap. Ensure the water is warm to loosen stubborn dirt and grease from your shoes.

3. Rinse your boots and other shoes thoroughly outside after cleaning.

4. Following a quick dry with a clean cloth, allow them to air dry for about 15 minutes before re-putting them on. It eliminates any remaining water and natural oils the boots may have gathered over time.

Consequently, you can easily clean your work boots with your hands without causing any harm to the boots.

Suede steel toe boots: how to clean them?

Cleaning suede steel toe boots requires special care to avoid damaging the delicate suede material. Follow these steps to effectively clean your boots:

  1. Brush off any dirt or debris with an old toothbrush or suede eraser. Do not use water or liquid cleaners yet.
  2. For stubborn stains, use a suede cleaner designed for suede materials. Apply a small amount to a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the area in a circular motion.
  3. After removing the stains, use a suede protector spray to prevent future staining and water damage.
  4. Allow the boots to air-dry completely before wearing them again. Do not use heat to dry them, as it can damage the suede.
  5. Once the boots are dry, use a suede brush to restore the nap of the suede and maintain its texture and appearance.

Note: Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your suede steel toe boots to avoid damaging them. 

The best way to clean your steel toe boots

wash boots

A pair of steel toe boots are designed to protect your feet in demanding work environments, but they can quickly become dirty and smelly with regular use. It’s important to clean them regularly to maintain their durability and comfort. Various stain types call for various cleaning techniques. Wash steel toe boots by using these techniques

To remove grease stain: 

1. Use a piece of microfiber cloth to remove oil from the boots, 

2. Apply talcum powder liberally to the grease-stained area and pat dry.

3. After covering the boots with talc, leave them alone all night.

4. Use a microfiber cloth to rub over the boots to remove the talc.

Wash the water-based filth stain:

1. Rub lime juice all over the water-based stain.

2. Using a soft cloth and some lime juice, gently rub the discoloration.

3. After making sure there aren’t any stains, wipe up the lime juice with a clean cloth.

4.  keep your boots on a shelf to dry your shoes naturally.

You should not put toe boots in the washer because they might get clean, but the washer will damage their shape.

Note: Remember to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before cleaning your steel toe boots, as some materials may require specific cleaning methods.

Why not wash your leather work boots in a washing machine?

Many of you might need clarification on whether you can wash leather boots in a washer. That’s the answer: “No.” You should avoid using a machine to clean leather because it is a natural fiber that responds differently when damp. 

The machine is not the best place to put leather boots. The natural components of leather, as well as the seams, expand when it gets wet. They become more supple and weaker mechanically when enlarged.

However, if you want to wash the leather work boots in the machine, you can do so by following the directions above; you can also apply them to the lather. 

Why is it important to keep the work boots in good condition?


An excellent purchase would be a good pair of work boots. If properly maintained, good boots will last for many years. They could be fixed or solved. An informal pair of suede boots or footwear can do the same. A high-quality pair of boots should last a long time if you treat them with some degree of care, and using them will improve your working life.

To prolong their usefulness, wash them often and take good care of them. They are simple to wash on your own or with professional assistance. Learn how to clean your leather boots without damaging the leather. 

Frequently asked question

1. How do I get the odor out of my boots?

To get rid of the boots’ smell, soak and scrub the entire boot in a bucket of warm water, one cup of white vinegar, and a little bit of laundry detergent, and wash them thoroughly in clear water. After cleaning your shoes, hang them up to dry after squeezing out any excess water. When your boots are dry, place the shoes in a clean rag.

2. How to wash your boots inside and out?

The inside of your boots should get cleaned just as thoroughly as their exterior. You can either hand-wash them with a soft, low-pH shampoo or put your shoes in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Both instances involve air drying.
The inside of the boots should be dusted or sprayed with antibacterial boot powder or spray. Use a cloth that has simply been wet with water to remove any remaining shampoo after the smell has faded.

3. How to wash the soles?

If necessary, lightly clean with an old brush or nylon brush while using warm water and a light cleanser or detergent; avoid soaking the area. Keep your shoes out overnight to air dry. You should take your insoles out of your shoes every night to allow the air to dry them on all sides. If you sweat a lot, this is necessary.

Bottom Line

Hence, we have demonstrated in this post how simple it is to wash your shoes in the washer. We anticipate everything runs smoothly as long as you follow all the instructions properly. Cleaning the work boots in a washing machine is tricky. Yet we made an effort to assist. 

Please allow me to reiterate that you should use a brush to remove any external filth. Put them through a 40-minute wash cycle in cold water with detergent. To dry the boots after washing, pat them. Handle leather work boots with extra caution. Or else you wash them by hand.

Carefully maintaining your work boots is necessary. Your legs will find it simpler to perform in the field, and boots will prevent fungus or germs from growing on your feet. In terms of personal hygiene, it is essential.

Read Next?

Looking for more recommendations to help you get more outside? Check out our more blogs –
How to Stop Stones Getting in Walking Boots
How to Keep Feet Cool in Work Boots

4.6/5 - (5 votes)
Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams is popularly known as a dynamic and creative footwear specialist, and she sharpened her skills and developed a strong foundation at College for Creative Studies, especially in design principles, boot and shoe materials, and boot construction techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *