How To Wash Climbing Shoes (Step By Step Guide)

How To Wash Climbing Shoes

The shoes that have to take in the most abuse are probably climbing shoes. Yet, they continue being a solid barrier between the ground you walk and you. It is essential to maintain and clean your climbing shoes on a daily basis to keep them in the best condition position.

They get exposed to environmental toxins and a tremendous amount of dirt and dust. They even carry the sweat collected inside, which can develop fungus in your feet. All of these factors can lead to your climbing shoes failing you at a rough time and endanger you.

We can help you keep your climbing shoes spotless. There are two primary ways you can clean your shoes—by hand and by machine. A detailed guide below in this article will help you choose the proper cleaning process for your climbing shoes.


Hand Washing Climbing Shoes

Hand Washing Climbing Shoes

Here is a hand-washing method for climbing shoes that you can follow:

Things You’ll Need

  1. A bucket
  2. Mild soap or detergent
  3. Toothbrush with soft bristles
  4. Lukewarm water


Fill The Bucket With Water


Lukewarm water will help loosen dirt and grime that has stuck onto the shoes. Therefore, take a bucket with lukewarm water. Make sure you do not use hot water, and it can easily damage the rubber sole material of the shoe. At the same time, cold water does not work with tough dirt or even sweat stuck in the shoes. So, lukewarm is the way!


Add Mild Detergent To The Lukewarm Water

Add Mild Detergent To The Lukewarm Water

Now choose a type of mild detergent and add a small amount to the bucket of lukewarm water. Please try to avoid harsh chemicals as they can easily ruin the padding, laces, uppers, and even the shoe’s sole.


Brush Away The Dirt

Take a toothbrush with soft bristles and start removing the dust and debris on the shoes before you place them into the water. If you suspect that some particles inside, turn the shoes upside down and tap gently to allow the dirt to sprinkle out.


Scrub The Upper, Tongue, and Sole

Scrub The Upper, Tongue, and Sole

Begin to brush the outside of the shoe, including the tongue, sole, and upper area. The brush will help remove the stubborn stains. However, don’t put a lot of pressure while scrubbing as that can lead to tearing in the materials.

Always remember to clean the insole of the shoe! Ensure you have completely submerged the shoes inside the bucket, or else you might still be left with germs after cleaning.


Clean The Inside

Take the toothbrush and make gentle brushing moves inside of the shoe as well. Ensure that you brush off the hard-to-reach places as well. Try using your fingers to rub areas where the brush is unable to reach. Make gentle swish movements with the help of soapy water to loosen the particles.


Rinse The Shoes

Once you have completed the first cycle of cleaning the shoes, make sure to drain out the dirty soapy water. Refill the bucket with fresh, clean water and rinse the shoes thoroughly. Make sure to use your hands in this process to give them a good wash. Keep repeating this step till you notice clear water.


Thoroughly Dry

Once you have cleaned the shoes thoroughly, it is time to dry them! Take the shoes out and shake all the residue water. Use a clean towel to soak up any remaining moisture. According to our experience, the best method is to let them dry out naturally under sunlight. Please note that wearing the shoes without completely drying them can cause blisters, fungus, and more.


Machine Washing Climbing Shoes

Machine Washing Climbing Shoes

We only recommend this method of cleaning the climbing shoes that have synthetic materials. If your shoes are made of rubber or leather, please avoid washing them in the washing machine.

  • Soak the shoes beforehand to remove the scuff marks easily;
  • Use lukewarm water to wash your climbing shoes for better results;
  • Select the gentle cycle in the washing machine;
  • Take mild detergent and add to the wash water. We don’t recommend bleach;
  • Do not place your shoes in a hot dryer as that can damage the shoes and potentially break down the sole material. It is always safer to opt for air drying indoors or outdoors. Follow the same process for drying as mentioned in the hand-washing section.


A Few Tips To Keep The Shoes Smelling Good

  • If you’re worried about the foul odor in your shoes, you can mix some baking soda in the wash water to help stabilize the smell.
  • You can air-dry the shoes to naturally remove foul odor from the shoes and make them fresh for your feet again.
  • Another trick is to use a deodorizing powder once the shoes dry out. Ensure that you do not use the powder when the shoes are wet or damp, as that can lead to cakey residue behind that is extremely hard to remove.


Take Away

If you are a climber, you probably cannot go without your climbing shoes. However, washing them and maintaining them can sometimes become a tedious task. No worries, as we have got you covered with the simple steps and methods to clean your shoes in this article. I hope you find the information presented here helpful. Happy climbing!


Also Read:

Best Shoes For Warehouse Work

Best Shoes for Insanity

Best Shoes for Ankle Support

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