Football cleats go through a lot during games and practices, getting covered in mud, grass stains, and who knows what else.
But fear not because we’ve got you covered when cleaning those trusty cleats.
In this article, we’ll share some handy tips and tricks on keeping your football cleats pristine and performing at their best so you can stay focused on the game and leave the cleaning worries behind. So, let’s get those cleats sparkling clean!
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Preparation for Cleaning
After a long and intense game or practice session, it is essential to properly clean your football cleats to maintain their performance and prolong their lifespan. To make the cleaning process easier and more effective, you can follow a few steps to prepare your cleats for cleaning.
Remove excess dirt and debris.
Before delving into the cleaning process, removing any excess dirt and debris from your cleats is essential. This can be done by tapping your cleats together or using a small brush to remove loose dirt or grass clippings. Doing this ensures that the cleaning process is more efficient and that any potential damage caused by grinding dirt is minimized.
Unlace the cleats
To thoroughly clean every part of your football cleats, it is crucial to unlace them before starting the cleaning process. This allows you to clean the laces separately and ensures that every nook and cranny of the cleats is adequately cleaned. Simply untie the laces and pull them out of the eyelets, setting them aside for later cleaning.
Prepare cleaning supplies
Before diving into the actual cleaning, gathering all the necessary cleaning supplies is essential. This includes a soft cloth, a soft brush, mild detergent or soap, warm water, a firm brush for the outsoles, baking soda for deodorizing, and newspaper for drying. Having all these supplies ready beforehand will make cleaning much smoother and more efficient.
Cleaning the Upper
The upper part of your football cleats is made of different materials such as synthetic leather, mesh, or knitted fabric. To properly clean the upper and remove any dirt or stains, follow these steps:
Wipe the upper with a cloth
Start by wiping the entire upper with a soft cloth slightly dampened with warm water. This will help remove any loose dirt or debris clinging to the surface. Make sure to wipe the upper exterior and interior parts to ensure a thorough cleaning.
Use a soft brush for scrubbing.
For tougher stains and areas that require deeper cleaning, use a soft brush to scrub the affected areas gently. Be careful not to be too harsh or aggressive, as this can damage the delicate materials of the upper. Gently scrub in circular motions until the stains or dirt are removed.
Apply a mild detergent solution.
If stubborn stains are difficult to remove with water alone, you can create a mild detergent solution by mixing a small amount of mild detergent or soap with warm water. Dip the soft brush into the solution and gently scrub the stained areas. Avoid using excessive amounts of detergent as this can damage the materials of the cleats. Once the stains are removed, rinse the upper with clean water to remove any residue from the detergent.
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Cleaning the Outsole
The outsole of your football cleats endures the most wear and tear, constantly coming into contact with the ground and various surfaces. To effectively clean the outsole and maintain its grip, follow these steps:
Remove dirt and grass
Using a firm brush, vigorously brush the outsole to remove any mud, dirt, or grass stuck on the cleats. Pay special attention to the areas between the studs or blades, as these tend to accumulate a lot of debris during gameplay.
Scrub with a firm brush
To further clean the outsole, use a firm brush to scrub the surface thoroughly. This helps to remove any stubborn dirt or grass stains that were not removed by brushing alone. Make sure to scrub all the grooves and crevices of the outsole to ensure a thorough cleaning.
Rinse with water
After scrubbing the outsole, rinse it with clean water to remove any remaining dirt or residue. This can be done by running water over the outsole or using a damp cloth to wipe away the dirt. Remove any soap or detergent residue to prevent any slippery surfaces during play.
Cleaning the Insole
The insole of your football cleats plays a crucial role in providing comfort and support during gameplay. To keep them clean and fresh, follow these steps for effectively cleaning the insoles:
Remove the insole
Carefully remove the insole from your football cleats. Depending on the design, this can usually be done by peeling back a small flap or simply pulling the insole out from the heel of the cleat. Removing the insole ensures that every part of the cleats is thoroughly cleaned.
Hand wash or machine wash
Once the insoles are removed, you can either hand wash or machine wash them, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. If hand washing, gently scrub them with mild detergent and warm water. If machine washing, place them in a mesh laundry bag to protect them and wash them on a gentle cycle. Avoid using harsh cleaners or bleach, as this can damage the materials of the insoles.
Air dry thoroughly
After cleaning the insoles, allowing them to air dry entirely is crucial before placing them back into the cleats. Avoid using direct heat sources such as hairdryers, as this can cause the insoles to shrink or deform. Instead, please place them in a well-ventilated area, allowing them to air dry naturally. Once scorched, you can reinsert them into your football cleats.
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Cleaning the Laces
Cleaning the laces of your football cleats is often overlooked but is an essential part of the cleaning process. Follow these steps to ensure your laces are thoroughly cleaned:
Remove the laces
To clean the laces separately, untie them and remove them from the eyelets of your cleats. This lets you clean each lace individually and ensures that every part of your cleats is appropriately maintained.
Soak in warm, soapy water.
Fill a bowl or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent or soap. Place the laces in the soapy water and allow them to soak for a few minutes. This will help to loosen any dirt or stains on the laces.
Rinse and air-dry.
After soaking, remove the laces from the soapy water and rinse them under clean water to remove any remaining detergent. Gently squeeze out any excess water and then hang the laces to air dry. Make sure they are scorched before re-lacing your football cleats.
Drying the Cleats
Properly drying your football cleats is crucial to prevent potential damage and keep them in top condition. Follow these steps to ensure your cleats dry thoroughly:
Remove excess water
After cleaning your football cleats, gently shake off any excess water and wipe them with a clean cloth to remove any remaining moisture. This helps speed up the drying process and prevents potential water damage to the materials.
Stuff with newspaper
To aid in the drying process, stuff your cleats with crumpled newspaper. The newspaper helps to absorb moisture and allows the cleats to dry from the inside out. Make sure to change the newspaper regularly as it becomes damp.
Allow to air dry.
Finally, place your football cleats in a well-ventilated area, allowing them to air dry naturally. Avoid using direct heat sources such as heaters or placing them in direct sunlight, as this can cause the materials to warp or degrade. Depending on their thickness and the ambient humidity, it may take a few hours or even overnight for the cleats to fully dry.
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Deodorizing the Cleats
Football cleats can sometimes develop an unpleasant odor due to sweat and bacteria buildup. To keep your cleats smelling fresh and clean, follow these steps for deodorizing:
Sprinkle baking soda
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside your football cleats, focusing on the insole area where most bacteria accumulate. Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties and will help neutralize unpleasant smells.
Let sit overnight
Allow the baking soda to sit inside your cleats overnight. This gives it ample time to absorb any odors, leaving your cleats smelling fresh and clean in the morning.
Brush off excess
After letting the baking soda sit, brush off any excess residue from your cleats. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any remaining powder. Your cleats should be odor-free and ready for your next game or practice session.
Maintaining the Cleats
Regularly maintaining your football cleats is essential to ensure they continue to perform at their best and last for a long time. Follow these tips to keep your cleats in top condition:
Store in a dry place
After cleaning and drying your football cleats, store them in a cool and dry place. Avoid leaving them in damp or humid areas, as this can cause mold or mildew to develop. It is also essential to keep them away from direct sunlight, as UV rays can cause the materials to fade or deteriorate.
Regularly clean after use
To prevent dirt and debris from accumulating on your cleats, make it a habit to clean them after each game or practice session. This helps to maintain their performance and prolong their lifespan. Removing dirt and moisture promptly prevents any potential damage and ensures your cleats are always ready for action.
Inspect for damage
Regularly inspect your football cleats for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Look out for loose stitches, peeling surfaces, or worn-out soles. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure your cleats remain safe and durable. If you notice any significant damage, repairing or replacing them may be necessary.
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In addition to the comprehensive cleaning process described above, here are a few extra tips to help you maintain your football cleats:
Avoid using hot water
When cleaning your cleats, avoid using hot water, as it can cause the materials to warp or shrink. Stick to warm or cool water for a safer cleaning process.
Avoid using harsh chemicals.
Harsh chemicals such as bleach or strong detergents can damage the materials of your cleats. Stick to mild detergents or soaps specifically designed for cleaning footwear.
Do not machine-dry.
Never machine dry your football cleats, as the excessive heat can cause them to deform or shrink. Air drying is the safest and most effective way to dry your cleats.
Properly cleaning your football cleats is essential to maintain their performance, prolong their lifespan, and ensure they are always in top condition.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively remove dirt and stains from the upper, outsole, insole, and laces of your cleats.
Additionally, drying, deodorizing, and regular maintenance will keep them in optimum shape for the next game or practice session.
Remember to use the proper cleaning supplies, avoid harsh chemicals, and inspect your cleats regularly for any signs of damage.
By adopting these cleaning habits, you can ensure that your football cleats serve you well and help you perform at your best on the field.