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Top tips for cleaning and storing your work boots

After a hard day’s work, it’s easy to shove your dirty work boots to the back of your locker or toss them into the boot of your car. You tell yourself that you’ll clean them in the morning or when you get home and never actually get round to doing it!

We’re all guilty of neglecting our work boots from time to time – but occupational footwear can be expensive. With that said, you need to appreciate the importance of cleaning your boots thoroughly before storing them correctly. After all, maintaining them can help to keep them in shape, increase their service life, and also enhance comfort.

That’s why, today, we thought we’d offer a few suggestions on how to care for your work boots and make them last as long as possible.

How to clean mucky work boots

Nobody enjoys washing their muddy boots at the end of their shift, but we promise you that your feet (and boss) will thank you for it.

Taking the time to give your footwear a quick scrub before placing them in your locker and heading home will save you a job in the morning and prevent dirt and bacteria from building up. Plus, you want to leave them to dry naturally, and washing them the night before will give them ample time to dry out, ready to be worn the next day. 

When it comes to cleaning dirty boots, you can either:

  • wash them by hand using soap, lukewarm water, and a brush or
  • use a manual or automatic boot washing station

Although washing your boots in the sink will allow you to dislodge any particles and debris from the soles, and brush off any dirt from the sides and uppers, boot washing stations tend to be the most popular option.

For starters, they do the hard work for you and speed everything up – allowing multiple staff members to thoroughly sanitize their footwear on entry and exit.

Manual boot washers come with a water-fed handheld boot brush that allows you to give your boots a good scrub all over, whereas automatic boot washers simply require you to push the button. This causes the brushes to rotate and gets to work on mechanically removing debris.

If you want to make boot cleaning easier with a boot washing station (or two), get in touch with Stainless Steel Manufacturing & Equipment.

How to properly store your footwear

Now you know how to clean your boots correctly, it’s time to think about where you’ll keep them when they aren’t firmly on your feet.

In most cases, work boots are perfectly fine to be locked away inside your locker in the changing rooms, providing they have been cleaned beforehand. Not only will it save you the hassle of remembering to pick them up on your way out of the door every morning but it’s also more hygienic.

Whether you decide to leave your work boots at work or take them home with you at the end of your shift, it’s a good idea to use boot forms (also known as boot shapers). Inserting these into your boots will give them the support they need to stand upright and, in turn, prevent them from bending or becoming damaged.

And if your work boots are still wet after cleaning them, make sure you undo the laces fully and stuff them with paper to allow them to dry completely. 

Oh, and never store your work boots in plastic bags! This can lead to the formation of mould and will result in you having to replace them after a short period of time.

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