How to Clean Football Cleats

Learning how to clean football cleats and have them smelling fresh is essential for a comfortable feel in the field. Football can be a tough game, and nothing takes the bulk of its hit than your cleats. Whether it is a game day or practice, they get bad on the field. When you first purchase a pair of cleats, it is flawless but does not take long before getting mud, dirt, and grass. Your body can recover from bruises and bumps, but your cleats will need a thorough cleaning to get rid of the dirt.

Cleaning Instructions

With a little hard work and mild cleaning detergent, scuffed and dirt-caked cleats can look new within a few minutes.

How to clean football cleats soles

Knock off excess dirt

Once you leave the field, take off your cleats because hard surfaces like pavements, concrete, and sidewalks destroy cleats. Hit them against each other to remove excess mud, dirt, and grass as much as possible.

Dry clean excess dirt from the soles

Using a dry scrub or old toothbrush, scrub the remaining grime on the bottom of the cleats to loosen any clumps of mud or grass between the spikes and on the sole.

  • Consider exchanging brushes when dealing with the sides closer to the upper part of the shoe. A toothbrush is easy to control and focus on due to its rough bristles that loosen the dirt.
  • Avoid using sticks to remove dirt and grass because it might scratch the soles and damage your cleats.

Mix your cleaning solution

The cleaning solution should be a mixture of small cleaning detergent and warm water. Solutions like hand soap or dish soap work quite well. Fill a bucket or container with about a tablespoon of soap, two cups of water, and mix using the toothbrush until it begins to look sudsy.

  • A small amount of detergent is enough, especially if you are cleaning leather cleats. You can apply the soap using the toothbrush or washcloth if you are using hand soap.

How to clean football cleats using soapy solution

After mixing the solution, use a brush to clean the soles. Use soap and water to scrub the soles. Run the brush under a clean water tap when filled with grass and dirt. Deep it into the soapy water again before you proceed to scrub.

  • You can use a smaller toothbrush to wet your cleats on the upper sides of the shoes, and that will allow you to proceed to clean the sides of the soles.

Wipe the soles clean

Dip a paper towel in the soapy solution and rub the soles to get rid of the remaining bits of grass and dirt. The paper towel allows you to use your finger to get to the areas between spikes. By doing that, you are can gather all the remaining dirt.

How to clean football cleats upper portion

Remove and clean the laces

Unlace your shoes, dip the laces in the soapy solution, and let them stay for about 10 minutes. Use the toothbrush and your fingers to remove the accumulated dirt.

  • After scrubbing, run the laces under tap water, and lay them on a towel to dry.
  • You can lay them in sunlight, but remember their coloring might fade due to sunlight.

How to clean football cleats tops using a toothbrush

Dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in the solution and scrub the top of the shoes. Begin scrubbing the middle area, followed by the area near the laces and down to the shoe sides. That will help flow off the dirty water.

  • Remember to scrub the cleats’ tongue and, with the laces removed, get to every area of the tongue.
  • While one hand scrubs the sides, you can insert the other hand in the cleat for a better hold.
  • An effective and alternative way of cleaning the upper parts of the cleat is using an eraser sponge.

Clean the tops of the cleats with an eraser sponge

Dip the sponge in the soapy solution; squeeze it until most of the water is gone, and Scrub the cleat’s top areas.

  • Remember to rub the tongue area because it is easy to access without the laces.

Dry off the cleats

Using a dry rag or paper towel, dry them off and remove any soapy water or dirt that might be remaining. Make sure you dry every part and fill the inside with the newspaper to draw the remaining water inside the cleat.

Relace the cleats

Once the laces and cleats are completely dry, replace them, put them on to make any necessary changes for a loose or tight fit.

To clean white cleats, you can use bleach wipes, although they cannot stay pristine and if the cushion is wet, dry it using a newspaper or sheet. Depending on the cleats material, you can decide to use a washing machine to eliminate the black shooting marks. Ensure you clean the insoles also to eliminate bad smells. After cleaning, please place them in a pillowcase and then in a washing machine using cold water and laundry detergent.

Multiple pairs

In case you are training or playing every day, it is wise to invest in an extra pair of cleats. Besides, dirty cleats weaken fast, and having an extra pair will guarantee your security in the field. Also, you will have enough time to clean and dry the dirty one.

How to clean football cleats using hot water

 A quick way to break in your cleats is soaking them in warm or hot water with your feet inside. Most professional players use this trick to soften the material and reforms around the shape of their foot. However, this process weakens the upper material and the stitches.

How to preserve football cleats studs

Clean the studs depending on the material of your cleat. If the cleat is leather made, use specific leather cleaners without a brush and minimal water exposure. For artificial or synthetic materials, apply some soap on a wet cloth and clean your studs.

Off Field Trips

Avoid walking on concrete while wearing your cleats because you might damage the studs and minimize their effectiveness. Most likely, you will fall because they do not offer any grip on concrete. If you need to walk across pavements, ensure you take off your cleats first. Avoid wearing cleats like flip-flops because you might damage the heel and minimize your cleats’ overall functioning. Besides, it is important to take off your cleats in between games.


Although the cleats’ outer part gets the most mud, dirt, and grime, the inside is subject to more sweat and heat. Those conditions are prone to bacteria growth, and therefore, it is necessary to disinfect the inside more often. Allow the inside to dry before the next use completely, and your comfort is totally guaranteed.

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