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How To Clean Rain Boots

How To Clean Rain Boots

Rain boots may be used for relatively rugged conditions, particularly as protection for the feet from the rain, melting snow, and mud, but these also require proper and regular maintenance. Otherwise, the rubber and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials used will be subjected to premature wear and tear, such as cracking, warping, and tearing at the seams.

Fortunately, rain boots are very easy to maintain Your first step is to clean them in the right manner and we have reliable information on this matter.

Clean Rain Boots Exterior

Your rain boots will inevitably get dirty from mud, sand, gravel, melting snow, and other debris, from their regular use. You must then properly clean them, either on a regular basis or when necessary. You may, for example, clean them once a week or every other day depending on your usage – the former if you’re using them in the city, the latter when these are used for farming or gardening work.

The good news: Wellington boots of any size and style can be easily cleaned with household items. The steps in cleaning them are easy, too:

  • Clean the soles using a soft-bristled scrubbing brush for the larger grooves and an old toothbrush for the smaller grooves. Be careful about wearing down the rubber material since the grooves are important for effective traction. Use a pressure hose, if needed, on stubborn mud since the pressurized water can blast it out of the grooves.
  • Clean the surface of the boots, specifically their shafts down to the toe areas. Dip a clean rag into warm water and squeeze out the excess moisture. Start cleaning from the top of the boots to their bottom to remove dirt, grass and mud.
  • Mix a liter of warm water with a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Soak another clean rag in it. Rub the boots’ exteriors with circular motions starting from the top to the bottom.
  • Clean the zippers, if there are any, by using a clean rag or an old toothbrush. Use downward brushing motions to remove the accumulated dirt.

In case of caked-on mud, don’t fret because there’s a solution.

  • Mix a teaspoon of baking soda and one-half cup of warm water.
  • Rub the paste onto the caked-on mud using a rag.
  • Let the paste sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off.

Don’t be alarmed by the white film, known as blooming, that develops on your rubber rain boots.  This is normal because natural rubber develops a white film from rubber particles rising to the surface. This can be easily removed by using commercial boot buffers or applying olive oil before wiping with a dry cloth.

Scuff marks can also be minimized, if not erased. First, use a pencil eraser. Second, place a dab of non-gel toothpaste onto the scuff marks and rub it with your fingertip before rinsing and drying.

Cleaning the Interior

Don’t just stop with the boots’ exteriors! They also need interior cleaning to reduce the risk, if not prevent, the growth of bacteria and the appearance of bad smells.

  • Mix hot water and dishwashing liquid similar to the one used in cleaning the exterior. Dip a clean rag into it and run it over the interior as many times as necessary. Wash off the excess moisture by using another clean and dry rag.
  • Remove unwanted smells in your rain boots by misting them with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and white water. Focus on the toe and heel areas since these are most likely to get smelly. Just let your rain boots become dry in a cool and dry place for the next 1-2 days. The vinegary smell will not stay around to haunt your dreams, so to speak.

But prevention is always part of maintenance. With rain boots, we suggest always wearing socks for many reasons. You will feel more comfortable with your socks on, thanks to the added cushion and warmth, and your socks will absorb moisture and odor from your feet.  You will also reduce your risk of foot fungi.

Be sure to remove your wet socks from your boots after use. Otherwise, the wet socks will result in the growth of mold and mildew, which you want to avoid happening because of the health risks.

Drying the Rain Boots

Your rain boots can also be soaked in water despite your best intentions. Here are a few tips to safely and effectively dry them.

  • Never place rain boots under direct sunlight or in the dryer to dry them. Both methods will result in premature wear and tear to the rubber, such as cracked surfaces and faded colors.
  • Always place rain boots for drying in a cool and dry place.
  • Soak up excess moisture by placing crumpled-up old newspapers into the interiors. Remove the sodden newspapers after a few hours and replace with dry ones, if they are still damp.

Store your rain boots in the proper manner, too. This includes keeping them in a cool and dry area away from sources of heat and cold (i.e., sunlight, stove and refrigerator); storing them in an upright position; and using old magazines in helping them keep their shape while in storage.


Keep these tips in mind and your rain boots will last far longer than you expect! This is true whether your rain boots are for work-related purposes or for city errands.

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