Learn How To Clean Soccer Cleats That Stink Properly

Do you want to learn how to clean soccer cleats that stink? Worry not! I have covered everything in this article.

As an industry expert with a wealth of personal and professional experience, I am eager to share a comprehensive guide on a topic that many soccer enthusiasts grapple with – how to clean soccer cleats that stink. This battle with stubborn odors is one that every player faces at some point, and I understand the struggle.

From evaluating the condition of your cleats, understanding diverse cleaning methods, executing the correct technique, to maintaining a smell-free pair, this guide will prepare you well to keep your soccer cleats in pristine and fresh-smelling condition. Remember, it is not just about having visually clean cleats, but also keeping them free from odor-causing bacteria that can affect their longevity, comfort, and even your health.

Evaluation of Soccer Cleats’ Condition

Identify the Extent of the Smell

The first step to tackle stinky soccer cleats is to determine the extent of the odor. Simply give your cleats a good sniff test. Keep a keen sense of smell to identify whether the odor is mild or strong. Knowing the intensity of the smell will help in figuring out the kind of cleaning that will be required.

Assess Presence of Mold and Dirt

Examine the cleats meticulously for signs of mold growth. Dark or greenish patches may suggest mold infestation, which needs thorough cleaning. Dirt accumulation, especially within the cleats’ seams, can also contribute to the unpleasant stench. Look out for solid particles trapped in the cleat surfaces since these are the places where bacteria thrive.

Determine the Cleats’ Material

Different materials demand different cleaning methods. Knowing your cleats’ material composition is crucial. Cleats are typically made of synthetic materials, leather, or a blend of both. Leather cleats require more delicate handling to prevent the material from cracking or warping.

Disassemble the Cleats

If your soccer cleats come with removable parts, such as interchangeable studs, ensure you carefully disassemble these parts before starting the cleaning process. Avoid using force that might end up damaging the cleat parts. Store them safely to prevent misplacement.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Method and Product

Depending on the cleats’ condition, choose the appropriate cleaning method. A mild stench can be effectively removed by using warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush. However, for severe odors or mold growth, you might need specialized sports gear cleaners. Leather cleats should be cleaned with products specifically designed for leather care to maintain their quality and durability.

Clean the Cleats

Once you’ve gathered all the cleaning essentials, start scrubbing the dirt off the cleats. Don’t forget to clean the small corners and seams. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel.

Deodorize and Dry the Cleats

After cleaning, the next step is to deodorize your cleats to remove any lingering smell. You can use a sports gear deodorizer, or you can fill the cleats with crumpled newspapers, as they serve as excellent odor absorbers. Finally, allow your cleats to dry naturally, preferably in a well-ventilated space. Avoid direct sunlight, as it might affect the cleats’ material, especially if they are made of leather. Putting them near a heater or in a tumble dryer can also warp their shape and compromise their fit.

A pair of soccer cleats being cleaned and deodorized.

Photo by jeshoots on Unsplash

Cleaning Methods and Detox Solutions

Understanding Cleaning Methods for Soccer Cleats

When it comes to maintaining your soccer cleats, keeping them clean and odor-free is paramount. Especially after practicing in muddy pitches or during wet weather, your cleats might not smell the best. To get started with, you must understand that there are several methods suitable for cleaning soccer cleats, depending on how dirty they are.

Homemade Cleaners and Deodorizers

For everyday cleaning purpose, making use of common household items can be an easy and economical solution. Here’s how you can do it. Firstly, you’ll need one tablespoon baking soda, one cup of white vinegar, and a little bit of mild detergent. Add these ingredients to a basin of warm water and stir until everything is well combined. Remove the laces and insoles from your cleats, then gently scrub the external parts with a soft bristle brush dipped in your homemade cleaning solution. For the interiors, invert your footwear and immerse them in the same solution for about 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, rinse under running water and let them air dry.

Using Sports Gear Cleaners

There are also commercially available sports gear cleaners suitable for soccer cleats. These products contain special detergents and deodorizers that effectively remove dirt and odors. To use, simply follow the instructions on the bottle. Typically, you will need to apply the cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes, and then use a brush to scrub off the dirt. Rinse your cleats after cleaning and allow them to air dry.

Choosing the Right Sports Gear Cleaner

When purchasing a sports gear cleaner, it’s essential to select one that is suitable for your equipment. Specifically, for soccer cleats, look for a cleaner that is safe for all types of materials (including synthetic, leather, and canvas), does not discolor or degrade the material, and, of course, effectively eliminates odor. Some brands offer natural, biodegradable cleaners that are safe for the environment and free of harsh chemicals, and these can be a good choice if you prefer using eco-friendly products.

Keep in mind that while cleaning and maintenance are crucial for extending the lifespan of your soccer cleats, their odor can also be a sign of bacterial growth, which could lead to infections. Therefore, always thoroughly clean and dry your soccer cleats after each use to keep them fresh and safe to wear.

Image of soccer cleats being cleaned

Cleaning Procedure and Techniques

Cleaning Solution Application

To start the cleaning process, you need to prepare your cleaning solution. This can be a mixture of warm water, mild detergent, and a spoonful of baking soda. The baking soda helps kill the bacteria that cause the bad smell. It is best to use a gentle detergent, not bleach or tough stain removers, because these can damage the cleats.

To apply the cleaning solution, firstly, you should remove any loose dirt from your cleats with a dry brush. Then, dampen a soft cloth in the solution and gently wipe the entire cleats, paying special attention to the crevices and hard-to-reach spots. Ensure not to over saturate the cleats as too much water can damage the material, but be certain that you have reached every corner and crevice.

For the optimal results, let the cleats sit with the cleaning solution on them for about 15 to 20 minutes. This allows the solution to penetrate deep into the material and work effectively on the smelly bacteria.

Scrubbing Without Damage

After your soccer cleats have sat in the cleaning solution for the recommended time, it’s time to scrub them. Use a soft brush or old toothbrush for this step to avoid causing damage. Gently scrub the entire shoe, focusing on the parts that have the most dirt or smell.

Proper Drying Technique

Once you’ve scrubbed your soccer cleats, it’s time to dry them. Rinse them under cold water to remove any detergent or dirt residue. Then, use a dry towel to blot off as much water as possible. For a thorough dry, stuff the cleats with newspaper or paper towels to absorb the internal moisture. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources to dry the cleats, as these can cause the material to crack. It’s best to let them air dry in a well-ventilated indoor space to prevent smelly bacteria from returning.

Reassembling Removable Parts

If there are any removable parts like insoles or studs in your soccer cleats, you should also clean, dry, and reassemble them following the same steps. Be careful when you put them back into the cleats. Ensure that they are completely dry and in their proper positions.

Remember, regular cleaning and proper maintenance can prolong the life of your soccer cleats and keep them free from unpleasant smells. After all, nothing quite pairs with the sweet smell of victory like a clean pair of cleats!

Image of soccer cleats being cleaned with a brush and solution

Maintaining Cleats for Odor Prevention

Step 1: Drying Out the Soccer Cleats

Immediately after using your soccer cleats, remove the insoles and place the shoes in a well-ventilated area where they can dry out completely. Moisture trapped within the cleat is one of the main culprits for unpleasant odors, so this step cannot be overlooked. Avoid exposing the shoes to direct sunlight or heat sources, as these can damage the materials.

Step 2: Using Odor-Absorbing Solutions

Once the cleats are dry, there are several products you can use to tackle any remaining odors. One option is to use odor-absorbing sprays specifically designed for athletic shoes, which work by neutralizing the bacteria causing the smell. Alternatively, you can place an odor-absorbing sachet, such as those filled with bamboo charcoal or baking soda, inside each cleat. These will both absorb any lingering odors and help to prevent new ones from developing.

Step 3: Regular Cleaning of Soccer Cleats

Regular cleaning is crucial in maintaining odor-free cleats. Loose dirt on the outsole can be brushed off with a dry brush, while a solution of warm water and mild soap can be used to clean the insoles and inside of the shoe. Be sure to scrub gently to avoid damaging the material. Again, it’s essential to let them dry completely before using them.

Step 4: Long-Term Prevention Methods

For a more long-term solution, consider investing in a boot dryer. These devices not only dry your cleats quickly after use — serving the added benefit of preventing the growth of odor-causing bacteria — but some also feature an ozone generator that works to eliminate lingering smells.

Another preventive measure is to always wear fresh socks when stepping into your cleats. Bacteria on the skin’s surface transferred to the inside of the shoe is a significant contributor to unpleasant shoe odors.

Step 5: Maintaining a Schedule

Consistency is key in preventing soccer cleats from developing a bad smell. By establishing a regular cleaning schedule and sticking to it, you can go a long way in preserving the freshness of your shoes. Ideally, the soccer cleats should be cleaned, dried, and treated with an odor-absorbing solution after every use.

Remember, each pair of cleats is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Don’t give up if a solution doesn’t work immediately – you may need to try different tactics before finding what is most effective for your specific pair of soccer cleats. With persistence and consistent care, you should be able to keep your soccer cleats smelling fresh, no matter how much time you spend on the pitch.

Image of soccer cleats being cleaned and dried

In the pursuit of sporting excellence, soccer players often overlook the maintenance and hygiene of their cleats, allowing foul odors to become a perturbing issue. However, having tackled everything you need to know about deodorizing and cleaning your soccer cleats, from identification to solution application, cleaning techniques, and even long-term preventive measures, you are now equipped to handle this issue with ease. Armed with this knowledge, I am confident that you can extend the lifespan of your cleats, boost your comfort during games, and put an end to the era of stinky footwear. Now, the ball is in your court to maintain your gear just as meticulously as you maintain your skills. Happy cleaning!