6 Ways to Clean/Wash Steel Toe Boots Easily

Steel toe boots are a must for all the workplaces like constructions, warehouse, etc. The steel toe caps protect the toes from any major injuries resulting from falling of heavy loads, sharp objects and also injuries from tripping over.

But the steel toe boots need special care and maintenance. There are different ways to treat different types of steel toe boots based on the material of the boots and also the types of stains and dirt on the boots.


In general, you can wash your steel toe boots simply by using a soap-water solution and a clean microfiber cloth. Also, to clean grease stains from the boots, you can use talcum powder, to clean water-based stains you can use lime juice or tartar cream and to clean suede boots you can use sodium bicarbonate.

Today in this article, I am going to tell in details about all the possible ways to wash your steel toe boots. Also, I will be telling about different ways to clean your leather, nubuck and suede steel toe boots.

Let’s get started:

1.) Washing the Entire (Inside and Outside) of Leather Steel Toe Boots

Things required:

      • Good quality mild detergent
      • Any mild shampoo
      • Baking soda
      • Lint free cloth
      • Socks
      • Plastic bag of large size with a zip

Cleaning the Boots

Steps to follow:

1.) First of all don’t ever forget to take out the insoles from the boots as they need to be washed separately very gently.

2.) Cleaning the insoles with mild detergent kills the germs and takes away the odor because the odor causing bacteria mostly remains in the insoles.

3.) Now make a soap-water solution with the mild shampoo and warm water.

4.) Take the soft lint free cloth and suing the soap-water solution clean the inside of the boots thoroughly.

5.) Fill the inside of the boots with water to wash away the soap-water solution.

6.) Now using the cloth and soap-water solution; clean the outside of the boots. Move your fingers in gentle circular motions while cleaning the leather fibers.

7.) Using a blow dryer, dry the inside and outside of the boots thoroughly. When the boots are dry with the dryer, put them outside to soak up the rays of the sun.

8.) To take away the smell, add 2 table spoons of baking soda in each sock and put them in each separately. Keep them overnight.

9.) The baking soda will take away all the smell from the boots and freshen it completely.

2.) Cleaning Stained Steel Toe Boots

If your boots are stained with grease or are stained with water-based dirt, there are different ways to treat them:

Grease stains Steel toe boots

a.) Cleaning Grease stains using talcum powder:

Steps to follow:

1.) Using a microfiber cloth, blot the oil in the boots. Try to take out as much stain as you can; using the microfiber cloth. Do NOT go very harsh or else you will end up uprooting the fibers from the material of the boots.

2.) Take a talcum powder and sprinkle powder all over the grease stained area.

3.) Let the sprinkled powder remain on the boot overnight.

4.) Once again take the microfiber cloth and rub off the powder from the boots. In the process, you will rub off all the remaining stains from the boots.

b.) Cleaning Water-based dirt stains using lime juice or tartar cream:

Water-Based Dirt Stains

Steps to follow:

1.) You need either lime juice or tartar cream for this process.

2.) Take the lime juice or tartar cream and spread it over the stained part.

3.) Now using the soft lint free cloth, rub in gentle circular motions over the spot.

4.) Again take a lint free cloth and take off the lime juice or tartar cream.

5.) Air-dry the boots completely and you will be good to go.

3.) Washing Suede Steel Toe Boots

Washing Suede Steel Toe BootsThings required:

      • Special scrub shoe brush
      • Sodium bicarbonate
      • Rag

Steps to follow:

1.) Using the special scrub shoe brush very carefully rub the stained areas of the boots.

2.) Pour some drops of sodium bicarbonate over the stained parts and leave overnight.

3.) Use the rag to rub off the sodium bicarbonate and in the process, the stains are gonna go too!

4.) Sun-dry the boots.

5.) Condition them.

4.) Washing Nubuck Steel Toe Boots

Washing Nubuck Steel Toe BootsThings required:

      • Soap water solution
      • Tooth brush
      • Lint free cloth

Steps to follow:

1.) Using the tooth brush, rub off the dirt from the nubuck shoes.

2.) Take the bowl containing soap water solution and dip the cloth inside it.

3.) Use the cloth to clean the outer of the shoes.

4.) Take off the insoles and wash them with mild soap separately.

5.) Again clean the inside of the boots using the soap water solution and the rag.

6.) Air-dry the boots and let them dry completely.

7.) Apply a good conditioner to give them the required nourishment and shine.

8.) Do not forget to spray the boots for a waterproof coating.

5.) Using soap-water solution to clean your steel toe boots:

You can also just clean your steel toe boots using a simple soap-water solution and a piece of microfiber cloth.

Steps to follow:

1.) Take a bowl and mix a few drops of dish wash or a mild shampoo in water.

2.) Now take the microfiber cloth and dip it in the bowl.

3.) Using the microfiber cloth rub off the dirt from the boots, working in small circular motions until the entire boot is done.

4.) Now take another clean and wet microfiber cloth and clean the entire soap residue from over the boots.

5.) Use the hair dryer to dry your boots or you can just dry them under the fan.

6.) Washing steel toe boots in the washer:

This is a debatable point whether it is safe to wash your work boots in the washer or not. We will tell you all about it in the section below.

Can you put steel toe boots in the washer?

You can definitely wash your steel toe boots in the dryer if you want to skip all the hard work that is worth the steel toe boots. But, you need to be careful of what fabric your boots are made like if they are made of suede, you should never wash them in the washing machine.

But if your boots are made of leather or other machine washable materials, you can wash your steel toe boots in the washer.

Just be sure that you have turned off the auto dry clean option. This is because wet steel toe boots would be even heavier and when they will dry-spin the machine, it will create violent vibration havoc within the machine and your washing machine would be damaged permanently.

How to Clean the Inside of boots?

Cleaning the inside of the boots isn’t an easy job. You need to be very careful especially with the amount of water you are using. 

Excess water can ruin the material inside your boots!

So, let’s get started with our cleaning process:

1.) First of all take out the laces from the boots

2.) Next, take off the insoles and keep them separately

3.) Prepare of bucket of warm water and mix mild detergent in it

4.) Put the laces and insoles in it and rub thoroughly with your hands

5.) Transfer them in a bucket of clean water and then take them out

6.) Dry them in the sun

7.) Now make a soap water solution with a mild shampoo

8.) Take a lint free cloth and dip it in the soap-water solution

9.) Use the cloth to rub the inside of the boots off dirt. Do not forget to clean the back of the tongue

10.) Now take another cloth and dip it in clean water

11.) Clear the inside of the boots with the clean cloth to take off any soapy residue

12.) Do not forget to lean the uppers in the same way

13.) Keep the boots under the fan by turning the tongue towards the back. This will allow the inside of the boots to dry thoroughly and quickly

And we are done!

How to wash steel toe boots in the washer?

I know using the washing machine to wash your steel toe boots seem to be much easier than all other ways. 

Therefore, let’s learn about the correct procedure to wash your steel toe boots in the washer:

1.) At first read the care label instruction of the boots:

In every boot you will see a care label instruction where it is mentioned whether the material of the boots is machine-washable or not.

If the label says there not, then please follow any other above mentioned ways to wash your boots. But if the label says, they are machine-washable, proceed with the steps below.

2.) Preparing the boots to put them in the washer:

Preparing the boots means taking out the insoles and the laces to wash them separately and cleaning the surface dirt of the boots.

To do this, take a clean rag and rub on the boots to remove the surface dirt. You can also use a soft bristled toothbrush for doing the same.

3.) Taking the necessary precautions:

This step is very important and is crucial for both your boots and the washing machine and will save both from damage.

Take a pillowcase or a soft cotton cloth and use it as a bag to pack the steel toe boots inside it. This will prevent the boots from getting scattered inside the machine and hitting hard on the walls of the machine.

4.) Preparing the machine for the wash:

For preparing the washing machine for the wash, you need to change the settings of the machine.

5.) Drying the steel toe boots:

Take out the wet boots from the machine and let all water get drenched from inside the boots by turning the boots upside down. Now use a dry towel to wrap the boots.

This will soak all the water from the boots. Then put the boots under the fan or use a hair dryer to dry the boots.

Before we say Good Bye:

Remember to use the specific way only for a particular stain or a particular material.

A leather boot and a suede boot can’t be handled with the same product or by the same process or else you will end up ruining your entire boot.

For example, if you try to use too much water for cleaning your suede boots, they are going to say you good bye forever at once!

Pro tips:

That’s all guys for today!

We will back within a blink with our next piece of writing. Till then take care and…

Keep walking!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

Related Posts: