Lynn asked: How do I clean and remove odors from snowboarding boots? My son’s snowboarding boots stink big time. I have no idea how to remove the odor. We have tried baking soda and other store bought odor removers, but none have worked.
Whether it’s snow boots, work boots or plain, old winter boots, the odor can become overbearing and needs to be removed. Snow boots are exposed to a lot of moisture during the winter season which can lead to bacteria growth. To remove the odor, we have to remove the bacteria. Here’s how to accomplish this.
Cleaning the Boots
You Will Need:
- Warm water
- Laundry soap or detergent
- Soft cloths
- White vinegar
Steps to Clean the Boots:
- Begin by removing the inserts if possible.
- Allow them to dry. Air alone will kill some of the bacteria that is growing in the moisture.
- Fill a sink or tub with warm water.
- Add one cup of white vinegar to the water.
- Add a small amount of laundry detergent and agitate the water to mix.
- Place the inserts in the water and wash them thoroughly.
- If the odors are strong, allow them to soak in the water for 30 minutes. The vinegar in the water will kill the odor-causing bacteria.
- While the inserts are soaking, moisten a sponge or soft cloth with the soapy water.
- Use it to wipe the outside and inside of the boots. Rinse by wiping with plain water.
- Set the boots to the side and allow them to dry.
- Remove the inserts from the water and drain.
- Refill the sink or tub with clean water and rinse the inserts.
- Repeat the rinse process until all of the soap is removed. If a vinegar smell lingers, do not worry, it will dissipate as they dry.
- Squeeze the inserts well to remove the excess water.
- Reshape and lay on a dry towel.
- Allow them to air dry completely.
You Will Need:
- A spray (choose one):
- Equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle
- Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle
- Febreeze or other freshening spray
- Baking soda
- Coffee grounds
- Old pantyhose or socks
Steps to Remove Odors:
- Once the boots have been washed and dried, the odor should be gone or at least lessened.
- If an odor remains after the boots are completely dry, spray them with a freshening spray such as Febreeze.
- Allow them to dry again before use.
- To combat odors between wearings, fill an old sock or pantyhose with baking soda, fresh coffee grounds or both.
- Tie the end of the socks or pantyhose to make pouch.
- Place the pouch in the boots to absorb odors when not in use.
Can snow boots go in the washing machine?
In general, it’s never a good idea to put shoes in the washing machine as the excess water exposure can loosen the glue in the soles or other parts of the shoe. Snow boots are made to withstand a great amount of water, but full submersion and washing is more than they are intended to combat. Washing is also not recommended for the sheepskin liner that many boots have as it will cause the sheepskin to lose its natural oils and mat, leaving it coarse and flat.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Other odor absorbers that can be placed in the socks or pantyhose include activated charcoal (available at pet stores), newspaper or plain paper.
- Allow the boots to dry completely between wearings. Moisture that remains in the boots will provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Sof-Sole makes a shoe spray has been effective for removing odors from snow boots. It is available online.
- Some have found freezing the inserts and/or boots helps to kill the odor causing bacteria. Sprinkling them with baking soda first and sealing in a plastic bag increases the effectiveness of removing the odors.