How to Clean Football Boots

Product Care

Keep your beloved football boots in top condition with these cleaning instructions.

Last updated: 13 September 2023
3 min read
Time Required
15 min
Estimated Cost


  • Mild laundry detergent


  • Gentle cleaning brush
  • Tool, such as a putty knife or screwdriver (optional)
  • Small bowl
  • Flannel

It doesn't take long for a new pair of football boots to get muddy on the pitch. To show up on game day with fresh-looking boots and help extend the life of your favourite pair, it's important to know how to clean football boots at home.

(Related: The Best Nike Football Boots to Match Your Playing Style)

How to Clean Football Boots

  1. 1.Remove Debris

    To best remedy muddy football boots, clean after the match or training that left them looking worse for wear. This means removing piled-on grass and dirt as soon as you can.

    To remove debris from the soles, knock the boots together sole to sole or use a tool, like a small wooden stick, putty knife or screwdriver. To wipe dirt from the uppers, use a gentle cleaning brush (a clean, spare toothbrush works, too).

  2. 2.Scrub With a Mild Cleaning Solution

    Next, create a mixture of mild laundry detergent and warm water in a small bowl. Bring the football boots to a sink or bath and remove the laces from the shoes. Using the mild cleaning solution, brush the soles of the shoes with a gentle cleaning brush.

    Then, use a flannel to scrub away any dirt or stains from the uppers of the shoes.

  3. 3.Rinse

    Rinse off the boots to remove any excess soap or suds.

  4. 4.Wash the Shoelaces

    You can wash shoelaces in the washing machine by placing them in a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag and running a cold, delicate cycle with mild detergent. Or, you can hand-wash by submerging them in a mixture of dish soap and water, then scrubbing them with a gentle brush.

    Make sure not to put shoelaces in the dryer, as the heat can damage the plastic tips on the laces or cause the laces to shrink.

    (Related: 3 Easy Ways to Clean Shoelaces)

  5. 5.Air-dry

    Finally, lay the boots and shoelaces out to dry indoors.

    Tip: It's best to avoid drying football boots with direct sunlight, a hair dryer or in the dryer if you want them to last as long as possible. Excessive heat can cause damage to the boots.

    Make sure they're completely dry before wearing them again or putting them back in your football bag. Storing damp boots in a football bag can lead to bacteria growth and unwanted odours.

    (Related: Smelly Shoes? How to Remove Odour From Shoes)

How to Clean Football Boots

How to Help Protect Football Boots From Damage

To help extend the life of your football boots and avoid damage, avoid wearing them off the pitch. Hard surfaces, like roads and pavements, can damage the boots if they're not meant to be worn on hard surfaces. When you're not on the pitch, change into a pair of Nike slides and store the boots in a football bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Put Football Boots in the Washing Machine?

It's best to hand-wash football boots to avoid damaging them. To hand-wash, scrub them with a mild cleaning solution, such as laundry detergent mixed with warm water, and let them air dry.

Can I Put Football Boots in the Dryer?

Excessive heat can cause damage to football boots, so it's best to air dry them. Avoid putting them in the dryer, using a hair dryer or drying them in direct sunlight.

Words by Emilia Benton

Originally published: 10 August 2022

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