Cleaning your soccer cleats might not be the chore most soccer players look forward to, but did you know that cleaning your cleats may extend their lifespan considerably? I know when I was in college the last thing I wanted to do was to clean my cleats after a grueling game. I was tired, hungry, and thirsty, but I wanted to take care of the boots that had gotten me through 90 minutes, so more often than not, I would rest up, and then clean my boots that same day.
Whether your cleats cost under $100 or more than $200, you owe it to yourself to take care of them, price doesn’t matter. I’ve got boots I’ve bought for about $50 and I take care of them like they were my only pair of boots, and that’s how you have to view it. If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you, and the thing is, it’s not like cleaning your cleats is a long laborious process, the most it should take you is 45 minutes max. That’s not a lot of time to invest.
Before I get started, there are some things you’ll need to have before you’re ready to begin cleaning your cleats. Those items are:
- Paper towels (or a regular towel)
- Stud cleaning tool (I used Kleat cleaner)
- Soapy water
- Tooth brush or one of those scrubbing utensils for doing the dishes (make sure if you use a toothbrush that it is a soft bristle brush)
That’s it! I’ll be cleaning a pair of 2013 Puma King SL.
Cleaning your boots involves a number of steps, but if you do all the steps, then you should have a pair of clean pair of boots by the time you’re done. The first step involves getting all the dirt from in between the studs on the soleplate. I found that the Kleat Cleaner is the best tool to use because of the way it’s shaped. It’s triangular so it gets in all the small grooves and contours of the studs. What ever you do, don’t use a stick. It can fracture and do permanent damage to your boots.
I would recommend that when you come to cleaning the side of the soleplate that you slow down a little so you don’t accidentally mark the upper material. What ever you do, don’t use the cleaning tool to try and clean the upper material. It’s tempting to do so because you can do it quickly, but you can cause serious damage. In other words, do not do what’s pictured in the below image.
Remember, the idea with this step is to make sure that the soleplate and studs are free of any debri, dirt, and grass. They don’t have to be absolutely sparkling clean, but they do need to be in shape to where the debris is gone and they’re relatively dirt free. The image below are what the bottom of my cleats looked like after I cleaned the studs and soleplate. Yours should look something similar.
Once you’re done with cleaning the bottom of your cleats, it’s time to work on the upper material. I selected a toothbrush to use with some warm soapy water. Remember, you can use a dish washing utensil too, such as a scrubber, but make sure the material isn’t too harsh.
You’re now going to clean both the upper material and the soleplate of your boots. However, I would recommend that you start with the upper so you’re not washing the upper of the cleats with dirty water. Take the brush and make sure it has suds and water (but not too much), and gently brush away the dirt and any stains or material. Start at the center and work your way out making sure to also brush the stitching if there are any. Between every few cleanings with the brush make sure to rinse the brush in the soapy water so it’s clean. For tougher stains such as grass you may want to rub a little more vigorously to make sure the bristles can clean effectively.
With the top of the boots still damp, you can now take the brush to the soleplate and studs. There shouldn’t be too much dirt left over and this should go fairly quickly. Be sure to get the brush in the tiny crevices such as the studs themselves.
Great! You’ve made it this far, you’re really close to getting a clean pair of soccer cleats! With the soleplate and the upper material still damp, take some paper towels and blot away the excess dirt and water. That’s it for step 3 – How easy was that? I did one boot at a time and here’s a couple of comparison shots.
Firstly, the boot on the bottom of the image has been cleaned with the Kleat Cleaner and the toothbrush and soapy water and everything has been wiped away. The boot on the top is yet to be cleaned.
Another couple of images which detail the outer material. As like the image above, the boot on the bottom has been cleaned and the boot on the top hasn’t.
What a difference! To clean this pair of soccer cleats took me no more than 45 minutes. As a soccer player you expect the boots that you wear on the field to take care of you. It is your responsibility to make sure that these cleats are clean and ready to take care of you. I promise you that if you clean your boots after every training session and game that you will extend their lifespan. For something that only takes you 45 minutes and with regularly accessible items, why wouldn’t you?
For those wondering, the Kleat Cleaner is available at soccer.com and costs a very minimal $3.59. I’ve had mine for years (the Kleat Cleaner you see in one of the images above is the original one I bought).
Here’s a couple of pictures I took after the cleaning steps outlined above. Yours should turn out just as nice if you’ve followed the three steps. If you have any questions about cleaning your boots or about this three step cleat cleaning guide, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Happy cleaning!