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How to clean cleats (cleated shoes)

Person tying his laces of his white cleats

Want to know how to clean soccer cleats? Or football, biking and golf cleats for that matter? Here are some cool cleaning tips that will get them looking like new in no time!

Prepping to clean cleats

Think of your cleats as part of your athletic equipment that needs attention before and after you are on the grass. Soccer cleats look completely flawless when they’re first bought, but it doesn’t take long for them to get covered in dirt, mud and grass. With these tips and tools, you are all set. Create a cleaning kit with the following:

  1. Mild cleaning solution
  2. Popsicle stick
  3. Soft natural cleaning brush for the tops
  4. Universal nylon brush with stiffer bristles for the bottoms
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Bucket or bowl of clean warm water
  7. Dry soft dish towel or reusable kitchen sponge cloth
  8. Shoe polish for black leather shoes
  9. Leather shoe conditioner

Make sure you only wear your cleats on the grassy field and not on cement or pavement. Remove them before you leave the field and use a popsicle stick to loosen and remove the mud and dirt buildup on the bottoms. Change into your non-cleat shoes and transport your muddy cleats in a plastic bag for the ride home.

How to wash soccer cleats

Separate your cleaning routine into four sections:

  1. The laces
  2. The top of the shoe
  3. The bottom of the shoe and the actual cleats
  4. The inside of the shoe

Washing the laces

How to wash cleats starts by first removing the laces.

  1. Place the laces in a pillowcase to clean them separately in the washer and dryer.
  2. DO NOT put the cleated leather shoes in the washing machine or dryer as it may cause disfiguring of the shoe.
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Cleaning the top of the shoe

Mix the dish soap and water in a bowl, and grab your cleaning brush, toothbrush and soft towel.

  1. Use the cleaning brush dipped in the warm water to gently scrub the tops of the cleats to remove the stains, mud and dirt.
  2. Use the toothbrush to clean the seams and hard-to-reach areas on the cleat.
  3. Do not dunk the whole cleat in the water as they are leather (or synthetic) and need a careful touch.
  4. Use leather shoe conditioner to help lengthen their usefulness after you clean and dry your cleats.

Taking care of the bottom of the shoe and cleats

When cleaning the cleats on the bottom of the shoe with the hard bristle brush, make sure all the caked-on mud and dirt is gone.

  1. Use your towel to dry them off and set them aside to dry. Stuff with clean paper to absorb any moisture residue.
  2. DO NOT place them in the sun to dry as the hot sun may dry out and warp the shape of your beloved cleats.
  3. If your cleats have removable studs, check for any wear and tear, and replace as needed.

The insole

If you are able to remove the insole, this is your final step when learning how to clean cleats inside and out.

  1. Remove the insole and wash along with the laces (add to the pillowcase) on the delicate cycle in cold water. Completely dry them prior to placing the insoles back into the cleats.
  2. To eliminate any odors, sources suggest stuffing your cleats with tea bags or fabric softener sheets overnight. If the odor persists, use shoe deodorizing spray on a regular basis.

We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to clean cleats. Don’t forget to check out our other cleaning tips related to shoes, such as how to wash and dry your shoes and how to clean white leather shoes.

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