How to Clean Soccer Cleats

How to Clean Soccer Cleats

Keeping your soccer cleats clean can feel like a weekly chore. But, it doesn’t have to be when you know how to clean them properly.

Why should you clean them in the first place? Not only does regular cleaning help prolong the lifespan of your cleats, but it can help with better traction and performance on the field. This is really true.

Before & After Soccer Cleats

Dirty cleats can cause you to slip and fall, and could even lead to random soccer injuries.

Fortunately, cleaning your soccer cleats is a simple process that can be done with just a few household items.

Before we get started, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Let them air dry indoors at room temperature.
  • Don’t put your cleats in a washing machine or dryer.
  • Don’t put your cleats under direct sunlight to dry them.
  • Don’t put them in your soccer bag when they are wet.

In this article, we’ll go over the steps (or just skip ahead to the video) you need to take to keep your soccer cleats in tip-top condition!

Materials Needed to Clean Soccer Cleats

Before you get started with cleaning your soccer cleats, make sure you have the following materials:

  1. (2) Dry rags or old pieces of clothing
  2. Newspaper
  3. A soft brush (an old toothbrush will work)
  4. Warm water
  5. Dish soap or laundry detergent

It’s important to note that you should avoid using scorching hot water when cleaning your cleats. Depending on the material of your cleats, this can cause cracking.

Additionally, we advise against submerging your cleats in water as this can cause damage to the inner part of your cleats.

Similar article: Click here if you are looking to stretch your cleats.

Prepare Your Cleats to Be Cleaned

What Are Soccer Cleats

Before you start cleaning your soccer cleats, it’s important to do some pre-cleaning. This will help make the cleaning process easier and more effective.

We’ll cover two important pre-cleaning steps: removing excess dirt and unlacing the cleats.

Remove Excess Dirt from Cleats

By removing excess dirt, you can avoid the debris from getting ground into the fabric of the cleats. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Take off your cleats and hold them (outside or over a trash bin) sole to sole
  2. Hit the cleats against each other to remove as much dirt and mud as possible.
  3. If there’s still dirt and mud on the soles, use a soft-bristled brush or a cleat-specific cleaning tool to scrub the bottoms of the cleats.

Unlace the Cleats

The next step in pre-cleaning your soccer cleats is to unlace them. This will make it easier to clean the entire shoe, including the tongue and the laces. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove the laces from the cleats.
  2. If the laces are dirty, you can wash them separately in a washing machine or by hand.
  3. Set the laces aside to dry while you clean the cleats.

Simple stuff! Now we are ready to bring some life back into your cleats.

How to Clean Your Soccer Cleats

In this section, we’ll lay out the steps necessary to safely clean your soccer cleats.

Mix the Warm Water and Soap

Mix warm water with a couple of drops of liquid laundry detergent. Swirl the soap around so it makes a mild amount of bubbles.

Dip the brush and towel into the soapy water.

Scrub the Cleats

Using the soapy rag, scrub the top areas of the cleats thoroughly, paying special attention to the dirtiest areas. Use circular motions to scrub the cleats.

Use the brush to get into all the nooks and crannies.

You may need to apply more soap and water to the rag and brush as you go along.

Rinse the Cleats

Put a new, clean rag under a little bit of water and rinse the shoes clean. Try to remove all the dirt and debris off the outer layer of the cleat.

Once the cleats are clean, use a clean towel to dry them off. Avoid using a hair dryer or other heat source to dry the cleats, as this can cause damage to the materials.

Tips for Drying Soccer Cleats


After cleaning your soccer cleats, it’s important to dry them properly to prevent damage and mold growth. Here are some steps to follow:

Remove Excess Water

Use a clean towel or cloth to remove as much water as possible from the surface of your cleats. Be gentle and avoid rubbing the material too hard, as this can cause damage.

Stuff the Cleats with Newspaper

Stuffing your cleats with newspaper can help absorb moisture and speed up the drying process. Crumple up some newspaper and stuff it into the toe box and heel area of each cleat.

Make sure to change the newspaper every few hours to ensure maximum absorption.

Air Dry the Cleats

Place your cleats in a well-ventilated area and let them air dry. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or using a heat source, such as a hair dryer or radiator, as this can cause the material to warp or crack.

Depending on the humidity and temperature, it may take several hours or even overnight for your cleats to dry completely.

Remember to store your cleats in a cool, dry place to prevent mold growth and prolong their lifespan.

Post-Cleaning Care of Soccer Cleats

How to Lace Soccer Cleats

After cleaning your soccer cleats, it is important to take care of them properly to ensure they last as long as possible.

Re-Lace the Cleats

Once your soccer cleats are clean and dry, it is important to re-lace them properly to ensure a secure fit. We’ve covered some effective ways to tie your soccer cleats.

Store the Cleats Properly

When not in use, it is important to store your soccer cleats properly to prevent them from becoming damaged.

Avoid storing them in a plastic bag or airtight container, as this can trap moisture and lead to mold or mildew growth.

The best thing is to let them air dry outside your soccer bag after each training session and game.

Can I use Magic Eraser?

If you’re wondering whether a Magic Eraser is safe to use on your soccer cleats, the answer is yes, but with caution.

If you’ve used a Magic Eraser in the past, you understand its magic (pun intended). It can remove almost any skids or marks from walls.

However, it’s important to note that they are abrasive and can damage delicate materials like leather or suede if used too aggressively.

We recommend testing on a small section of your cleat first. Look for any damage or discoloration. If it passes the test, you can use the Magic Eraser to gently scrub away dirt, grass stains, and scuff marks from the surface of your cleats.

Here are some tips for cleaning your soccer cleats with a Magic Eraser:

  • Prep your cleats (see above) for cleaning first.
  • Apply warm water to the sponge.
  • Use gentle pressure and a circular motion to scrub the dirt

Buy a Soccer Cleat Cleaning Kit

If you’re serious about keeping your soccer cleats clean and in good condition, investing in a soccer cleat cleaning kit is a smart move.

These kits typically include everything you need to clean your cleats thoroughly and effectively, and they’re often more affordable than buying the products separately.

Here is one we recommend…

Our Top Choice
The Boot Buddy - Shoe Cleaner & Boot Brush
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Cleaning your soccer cleats is an important part of maintaining their performance and longevity.

By following the steps outlined above, you can effectively remove dirt, mud, and other debris from your cleats without damaging the materials.

With regular cleaning and proper care, your soccer cleats can continue to provide you with the support and traction you need on the field. And, you’ll look good doing it!

Common Questions

Can I Put Soccer Cleats in the Washing Machine?

From personal experience, we would not recommend it! Some cleats are made with delicate materials and putting them in the washer could cause them to lose their shape, shrink and crack.

How do you get the smell out of dirty cleats?

Baking Soda can get the smell out of dirty cleats. Put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda overnight and it should absorb the odors. Dryer sheets are also effective when left in the cleats overnight.

How often should I clean my soccer cleats?

You should clear the dirt from the bottom of your cleats after every game or practice. This will help you get the best traction possible. As far as washing cleats, you should do it periodically throughout the year. Once or twice per season is manageable for a busy player.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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