How to Clean Your Football Boots

How to Clean Your Football Boots

Here’s our simple guide to cleaning your football boots.

How to Wash Your Football Boots

How To Wash Your Football Boots

1. After playing, loosen your laces to allow easy removal of your boots (Don’t kick them off at the heel!).

2. Remove loose dirt by knocking your boots together, then brush your football boots with a stiff brush.

Do not use a wire brush as this will damage them, instead try and use a brush with bristles made from a natural material.

3. Wipe the football boots with a damp cloth to remove smaller particles of dirt.

Do not use a cleaning agent to clean your football boots.

4. If the football boots have been used in wet conditions, you can use an old toothbrush to remove dirt that has been trapped in small grooves.

5. Stuff the football boots with newspaper to maintain shape and to help extract any moisture. If the boots are very wet, you may need to replace the newspaper daily.

6. Allow the football boots to dry in a natural heat.

Warning: Drying the boots with heat can cause the football boots to become stiff and the adhesives can deteriorate. Stiff boots are far more likely to rip and are weak. Deteriorated adhesives can make joints weak, such as the join between the upper and the sole plate. Additionally, heat drying your football boots can cause your soleplate to warp.

7. Once dry, grease the studs, ‘Vaseline’ is good for this. This will prevent rusting if the boots are screw-in, it will also help prevent soil from sticking to the studs.

8. If the boots are leather, they can be polished to retain their colour.

9. After allowing the polish to work in, typically 24 hours, the boot should be protected by a Dubbin or natural leather oil. Dubbin or oil, helps keep the football boot waterproof and the leather supple.

Warning: When cleaning football boots with synthetic material, do not use a Dubbin or oil. See – How to Wash Synthetic Football Boots

10. If changing or cleaning studs, add a slight lubricant to the stud thread to prevent any rusting if moisture gets in. Ensure the stud is tight, but not too tight to damage the thread. (Too much lubricant will reduce the friction and prevent the stud from properly tightening).

Have you got a tip for cleaning your football boots? If so, drop a mention of it below.


88 Comments

    • I use Kelme dubin its about £5 a pot but you wont beat it ,It comes with a small sponge, My sons boots have lasted about games using kelme dubin after every game You wont beat it

  • David,

    I’m not sure about vaseline, but I personally use mink oil. It’s really easy to find, and it waterproofs the leather and also makes it more supple.

    However, some websites say that mink oil can ruin the football boot by becoming rancid, but so far I haven’t had any problems. If you have a specialty soccer store close by, you could try Chelsea Leather Food instead, I’ve heard really good things about it.

  • this has nothing to do with caring for boots but i really would mind some input – i was going to buy a pair of football boots for hardground – i didnt know whether it would be better to buy moulded blades or or moulded studs – is any one beter than the other or is it up to personal preference ! thanks

  • oh but cleaning them – give up!! The material is impossible to clean. Also the fact i’ve never washd mine may have improved the life span as they ahven been dunkde in water.

  • Has anyone noticed a distinct smell of cat pee after cleaning the new synthetic boots. We only clean them with water and then allow them to dry out naturally and still the smell persists, so much so that they have to be relegated to the garage.

    • really need some help

      bought some F50’s a while back – the black and yellow ones with synthetic upper – havent a clue what to clean them with articles say dont use oils, dubbin, nourishment, detergent or polish – what’s left????

      Dont want them falling apart after a month

      Any help or product would be appreciated?

    • I have the same distinct smell of cat pee on my son’s Nike Vapor IV shoes. It happend after he played several games in heavy rain. We left the shoes to dry by themselves, but soon noticed the nasty smell.

      Have you found a cure?

      • It’s nothing to do with you or how you clean them. It’s a defect present in Nike football boots. Send them back to Nike if you can and they will replace them. I remember seein this complaint of watchdog and it happened to ALOT of people.

  • I have both sewn and glued 1/4″wide strips of black elastic underneath the tongues. After lacing, slip the elastic over toe and under sole.

  • just wondering if anyone knows how to get rid of the smell of mould from my boots. I Played football washed them on the day after, but i forgot and left my boots in my bag for approximatly a week. Now my leather boots absolutly stink, i have cleaned them out again etc but they stink of mould. Anyone have any ideas for leather boots

  • i have just got a bear of nike vapors the new ones the red gold and black how can i clean them in case thay get markt

  • Please Help…. I’ve recently brought a new pair of vapours & trained in them day after, then i hit the ball akwardly & it left a black mark off the ball at the back of the boot….. Does anyone know how to get it of?…. I would really appriciate it if anyone knows how get it off… Thanks

  • hi can any one help me ,got my son some screw in reeboks of ebay,
    went to replace the studs witch were all different makes and sizes
    2 stapped off,do you now were i can get some replacement threads.
    thanks neil m

  • I’m looking to buy the new nike Vapours V the black, white with the orange ticks. How would i keep them clean and looking brand new after every game? I have read all the comments, but what is the golden rule to keep that type and material of boots in excellent condition? Thanks

    • hi! i just bought the nike mercurial vappor 9 but i have problem wearing them…because they cause blisters….can i wash them with hotwater?????to break em in

    • After every use get a hot damp cloth and wipe the boots all over, apart from underneath. If they are really muddy then id use a wet colth and rub gently till the mud comes off. Then for the bottom of the boots get a old tooth brush and soapy water and scrub away.. once they have dryed rub in some chelsea dubbin with a clean cloth all over the leather parts of the boots. Then youll be good.

  • I have recently brought the pink nike vapours and have got a few black marks on them. Any ideas on how to get rid of them? Want to get rid of them asap

  • a few days ago i bought some nike vapor IV’s in orange and ive used them once and they’ve already been scratched is there anyway to prevent or get rid of it ?

  • Some tips to keeping you boots clean and extending their life.
    1 knock most of the large lumps off after a game,
    2 when you get home take them out of the bag,
    3 clean the mud off using a nail brush and a old tooth brush,
    4 Dry the water off using a kitchen towel,leave them to dry further
    5, now apply some dubbing any type, into the whole upper of the boot
    6, clean out your boot bag as most players for get to do this and end up putting their clean boots in a dirty boot bag.
    For removing scuff from synthetic boots i put a small ammount of cif on the boots and leave it to stand for a few min the rub it off using a cloth.
    hope this helps

  • I have Adi Nova (same boots as Xavi Alonso in 09/10 season) and i use dubben on my boots, after 24 hrs i wipe off the excess and stuff them with news paper, i then put them in my cubord, so dust dosnt stick to the dubben :D…

  • Scratches? You want to get rid of scratches on football boots? Easy, don’t play! Boots are supposed to get scratched, that’s the idea. They save your foot from being scratched to hell. If you’ve got no scratch marks it means you’re not playing competitively enough and need to “get in” more. Think of them as old war wounds… You want to show them off, not cover them up!

    • wow you must rely on  people liking u and must show off heaps. WHy because u have scratches on ur boots?????? This guy obviously cares for the stuff he likes and is helping others to aswell. Dont be a tosser and respect people for caring for their stuff instead of showing off their scratches

  • i have got some new puma boots in gold . iv only played in them about 5 times but the gold on the leather at the front of the boot is fading. any ideas why? and how to stop it? can gold dubbing?

  • i have some nike murcurial flash boots and everytime i get black marks on them, and now im starting to get pink and yellow marks, does anyone know how to get rid of these marks as they are doing my head in as i only bought them recently? so please can anyone find the best way 🙂

  • For players with black leather boots (copas or kings etc), once they are cleaned and dry I have always used good old Kiwi black shoe polish. Better than Dubbin (which apparently can seal the leather and not allow it to ‘breath’) and nourishes and waterproofs just the same as Dubbin.

    Polish at least twice inbetween each game.

    And they look brand spankin new every week!

  • i bought some adidas f 50 adizeros (the synthetic ones) about 3 months ago and have played / trained with them well over 40 times now. iv’e played in all sorts of conditions rain, muddy ect. everytime after i train i loosen the laces and take out the insoles to let the shoe breath. the next day i get a bucket of soapy water and clean upper and studs with a cleaning brush, then rinse with clean damp towel. finally i dry with clean dry towel following with polishing upper and lubricating sole/studs so dirt dosent stick. i must say my cleats are in really good condition. but im geting little scuffs and scraches on them from fouls and stepping. some little red smears and some are black. how do i get those off?

  • You guys with synthetic boots and the scuffs and smears of colour that you want to remove – your prolly well out of luck.

    The colour is part of the upper and i think its literally smeared over the boot from the colouring itself within the upper (prolly cos of how soft it is).

    If you tried to remove the scuffs you will end up taking off the colour and discolouring the boot,

    I’d leave well alone and treat them as scars of battle!

    Recommend leather boots all day long over these synthetic upper stuff – if only the leather protects the bones in your feet much better…..metatarsal injury anybody???

  • i got a pair of nike tiempo’s for christmas but im not sure how to protect them cause they are kangeroo leather. do i jut treat them the same as normal leather?

  • For those of you talking about marks, one really effective way to get them off is nail polish remover…dab some cotton in it and rub at the spot…this should only be done on synthetic as it can ruin leather: Vapours, some AdiZeros, some parts of adipures and so on

  • i have an adi Questra IV with apple green stripes and black colors on it since it has been exposed to water,the boots are smelly,VERY dirty and dirty… 🙂 help pls

  • I was taught to remove the studs and laces after each use. This allows the boot to dry quickly. I’m well past playing age now but my boots never rotted and lasted many seasons

  • i have half leather half synthetic boots. how to i care for both substances if a product for leather is bad for synthetic material and vice versa? 

  • I have the new adidas nitrocharge 1.0 and at the back they this mesh and when dirt gets in it its really hard to get the dirt out can someone plz help me thanks.

  • i did not understand point no. 7. what type of grease or vaseline can be used ? where will i find this in bangladesh , a country of south asia.

  • a little amount of white vinegar could help to remove any type of smell….after applying it, let it dry itself naturally

  • I just got a pair of mercurial vapor ix neptune blue colorway last week and then I noticed that the mud is penetrating through the perferation(holes in the insole) it’s so hard clean do you have any suggestion on cleaning it thanks

  • I thought my son had walked where a cat had sprayed because the odor is on the outside of the shoe. I have tried washing them with bleach, and spraying them with Woolite pet odor removal carpet spray and then washing them with detergent and bleach. I even tried some hunter product to neutralize all odors. Nothing works! I think it is a manufacturers problem. Nike in this case!

  • My son has just got the new CR boots. Very expensive but impossible to clean. When totally clean the back sparkly boots dry looking muddy? Any suggestions ?

  • my son has new cr7 boots. Theyve lost their sparkle immediately but how can we clean them? everytime they dry, they look muddy again. Just want them looking clean again.

  • You all must be playing on the Taj Mahal of pitches if youre complaining about marks on your boots instead of muck. I understand wanting to take good cre of your gear so it will last, but keep in mind boots are “equipment”, and sporting equipment will always display signs of wear and tear (unless your sitting on the bench)

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