How to Clean Smelly Soccer Cleats for a Cleaner Look

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Are you wondering, “How to clean smelly soccer cleats?” If your favourite pair of soccer cleats has become a breeding ground for unpleasant odours, fear not – we’ve got you covered!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through practical and effective steps to eliminate those stubborn smells and restore your soccer cleats to their fresh, game-ready state. Say goodbye to unpleasant odours and hello to a revitalized pair of cleats that look clean and fresh.

Discover the best techniques and tips to keep your soccer cleats in top-notch condition, ensuring you stay ahead on the field with confidence and comfort. Let’s dive into the ultimate solution for banishing smelly soccer cleats once and for all!

how to clean smelly soccer cleats

Introduction: Clean Smelly Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats are essential for optimal performance on the field, but they often face a common nuisance: odour. Smelly soccer cleats not only affect your comfort but also your confidence. Understanding how to clean them effectively is crucial for every soccer player.

Importance of Clean Soccer Cleats

Cleaning your soccer cleats makes them perform better and keeps them in good condition for longer. Moreover, regularly cleaning your cleats prevents bacterial growth, reducing the risk of foot infections.

Common Causes of Smelly Soccer Cleats

Smelly soccer cleats can result from various factors, including sweat, dirt, and bacteria accumulation. Additionally, wearing wet cleats or storing them in a damp environment exacerbates the issue.

Materials Needed

Before embarking on the cleaning process, gather the following materials:

  • Mild detergent
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Newspaper or silica gel packs


To prepare your soccer cleats for cleaning:

  1. Remove Insoles and Laces: Take out the insoles and laces from your cleats to ensure a thorough cleaning.
  2. Remove all loose dirt or debris from your cleats with a soft-bristled brush.

Cleaning Methods

Washing with Mild Detergent

Using a small amount of mild detergent, fill a basin with warm water. Scrub your soccer cleats gently with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in soapy water. Ensure they are thoroughly rinsed with clean water and allowed to air dry.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Sprinkle baking soda inside your cleats to absorb odours. Water and white vinegar can be mixed in equal parts for stubborn odours and applied to the inner surface of your cleats. Let it sit for a few hours before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Freezing Method

Place your smelly soccer cleats in a sealed plastic bag and freeze them overnight. The extreme cold helps kill odor-causing bacteria. Thaw them at room temperature and air-dry them afterwards.

Drying Techniques


After cleaning, place your soccer cleats in a well-ventilated area to air dry naturally. It is recommended not to expose the materials to direct sunlight or heat sources because they can cause damage.

Using Newspaper or Silica Gel Packs

Stuff newspaper or silica gel packs inside your cleats to absorb moisture and speed up drying. Replace them as needed until your cleats are completely dry.


To keep your soccer cleats smelling fresh:

  • Use specialized sprays or powders designed to eliminate odours.
  • Try natural remedies like placing tea bags or citrus peels inside your cleats overnight.

Preventive Measures

Establish a regular cleaning routine to prevent odours from recurring. Store your soccer cleats in a cool, dry place to inhibit bacterial growth.

Maintenance Tips

It is important to treat stains promptly to prevent them from setting. Avoid machine washing your cleats, which can damage the materials and affect their performance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • You shouldn’t use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your soccer cleats, as they can damage the materials.
  • Ensure thorough drying to prevent mould and mildew growth inside your cleats.

Alternative Solutions

Consider using odour-absorbing inserts or investing in UV light sanitization devices for a more thorough cleaning experience.

Environmental Impact

Opt for eco-friendly cleaning options to minimize your carbon footprint and reduce environmental pollution.

Safety Concerns

Exercise caution when handling cleaning agents to avoid skin irritation or allergic reactions. Follow manufacturer instructions for safe usage.


Different cleaning methods yield varying results depending on the severity of the odour and the materials of your soccer cleats. Experiment with other techniques to find the most effective solution for your needs.

Conclusion: Clean Smelly Soccer Cleats

Maintaining clean and odour-free soccer cleats is essential for players’ comfort and confidence. Following these cleaning tips and techniques ensures that your cleats stay fresh and functional for many games.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I clean my soccer cleats?

It’s recommended to clean your soccer cleats after every few uses, especially if they become visibly dirty or start to smell.

Does bleach work for cleaning smelly soccer cleats?

There is no need to use bleach on your soccer cleats since bleach may damage their materials. Stick to mild detergents and natural cleaning solutions.

Are there any home remedies for smelly soccer cleats?

You can use baking soda, vinegar, or natural deodorizers like tea bags or citrus peels to eliminate odours.

Can I put my soccer cleats in the washing machine?

The materials in your cleats can be damaged, and machine washing negatively affects performance. Hand washing is a safer option.

How long does it take for smelly soccer cleats to dry?

Several factors, such as humidity and your cleat’s material, can influence drying time. On average, it may take 24-48 hours for them to dry completely.

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