Caring for Work Boots | WD-40

Caring for Work Boots

Caring for Work Boots

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Extreme weather, on the job hardships, and working in wet and muddy conditions can leave your boots beat up and looking worse for wear. Keep them in good shape and performing well by giving your boots a thorough cleaning every now and again. Not only will they last longer, but the professional appearance of a boots in good condition can benefit you in unexpected ways. Follow the steps below to show some gratitude to your feet and your boots will be set to tackle the challenges of the day.  


First things first, remove the laces of the boots before diving into a thorough cleaning job. If needed you can put the laces in the washing machine or simply use a bowl of soapy water to soak and remove stains.

Next, take a moderately firm bristle brush and remove any excess mud or dirt stuck on the boots. With the bulk of mud now gone, use warm soapy water and a microfiber cloth to begin work on dirt or stains that have set in. Rub the boot in a circular motion and apply pressure to clean the exterior material. With a fresh cloth and clean water,  remove the soapy solution. Dry the boot thoroughly with a towel, another cloth, or paper towels.

Stubborn Stains

Once dry, certain stubborn stains may remain on the material. Common candidates include oils, sap, dried mud, adhesive residue, and manure. For leather work boots use WD-40® Multi-Use Product to restore your boots to good condition. Spray the formula directly onto areas with stains, grease, or other grime and let the product sit for several minutes. Avoid spraying the bottom of the shoe as the surface could become slippery (wash away with soap and water if needed). Take caution with boots that special coatings or other exterior finishes as these may be freed up as well.

Once the formula has sat for a time, use a soft cloth to rub and work away remaining stains. Repeat this process with stubborn marks until you are satisfied with the result and have clean, presentable boots to wear.

Cleaning the Interior

Once the outside of your boots are looking good, it’s time to take on the inside. Beyond appearances, bacteria and odor can become problems that need to be addressed. The environments for many people using work boots in rigorous situations are often wet, cold, hot, or filled with variable conditions…not to mention the sweat from hard labor.

Remove the insole of the boot. Dampen a microfiber towel with soapy water and rub the insole and the linings of the boots’ interior until foam appears. With another cloth, rub the material again to remove the foam and repeat until the wetness and foam are gone. Dry boots in an open place and do not rush with excessive heat by placing directly next to a stove, fire, or other area of extreme heat. Once dry, replace the insole and add a shoe deodorizer.  Good House Keeping offers a list of six preferred deodorizers if you need a recommendation. Re-lace your boots and you’re ready to go.


Pro-Tip: To add extra water resistance to leather work boots, apply a coating of WD-40 Specialist® Silicone and keep your boots dry in rain, snow, and moderately wet conditions.

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