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How to wash cleats effectively in 4 steps

If you have kids that play sports, you know how dirty and smelly cleats can get after a game or practice. But keeping them clean is essential, not only for their longevity but also for your kids’ confident performance on the field. Knowing how to properly wash your cleats can help them stay in good condition and perform at their best. Whether you or your kids play soccer, baseball, football, lacrosse or any other sport that requires cleats, the following 4 steps will guide you through a simple cleat-cleaning process for your family.

Can you wash cleats in the washing machine?

Washing your family’s cleats in a washing machine is generally not recommended, especially if they have metal components like some football and baseball cleats, as they can damage both the shoes and the washer. However, if the care tag on the cleat and the appliance owner’s manual allow it, you may consider washing them on the delicate cycle.

Select Whirlpool® washers offer a delicate cycle that can be used to wash certain athletic gear. Remember to always read the care label of your kids’ cleats to ensure the best cleaning method.

How to clean dirty cleats

Dirty cleats can be a hassle, but cleaning them doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and techniques, you can get your family’s cleats looking like new again. First, you’ll want to remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface. Then, you can move on to tackling tougher stains and discoloration.

Follow the simple steps below to ensure your family’s cleats are clean and ready for their next game.

  • Dish soap or mild detergent

  • Warm water

  • Cleaning wipes (optional)

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Newspaper
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Step 1: Remove dirt and debris

Manually remove dried mud, dirt and debris from the cleats by lightly hitting them together or using a tool to get in between the studs. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean dirt from the top side.

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Step 2: Remove shoelaces

Take the laces out of the shoes. If desired, place them in a mesh bag and wash them separately in the washing machine on a delicate cycle. Stuff the toes of the cleats with newspaper to prevent excess water from leaking in and to help them hold their shape.

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Step 3: Create cleaning solution

Mix 2 cups of warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of mild dish soap to create a cleaning solution. Dip the brush into the solution and gently brush the cleats, paying attention to any particularly dirty areas.

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Step 4: Rinse and air dry

Rinse off any soap or excess debris from the soccer cleats with warm water. Use cleaning wipes or wet paper towel to remove any remaining dirt if necessary. Air dry the cleats, avoiding direct sunlight and high heat. Do not put them in the dryer.

Tip: how to get the smell out of cleats

If you’re struggling with bad odors coming from your kids’ cleats, here’s how to wash smelly cleats:

  • Soak the cleats in warm water and a mild detergent solution for about an hour. Rinse thoroughly and press with a towel to remove excess water.

  • Use a gentle brush to remove dirt and grime from the soles, studs and seams. Alternatively, use a damp cloth to wipe away any loose dirt and debris.

  • Ball up old newspaper and stuff it in the toes of the cleats to help them keep their form as they dry.

  • Leave them for 24 hours in a well-ventilated area. This will allow any remaining odors to dissipate.

  • After 24 hours, remove the newspaper before wearing the cleats again.
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Can you put cleats in the dryer?

It is not recommended to put cleats in the dryer as the high heat can cause damage, depending on the material. Instead, air dry them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

How to dry cleats

To dry cleats, remove the laces and stuff the shoes with newspaper, paper towels or a dry cloth to help them hold their shape and absorb moisture. Place them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources and let them air dry completely.

Explore Whirlpool® washers and dryers

Whether you’re washing athletic gear or cleaning your family’s bedding, Whirlpool® washers and dryers offer a range of options to fit your needs. With various features on select top loading and front loading models, such as the Load & Go Dispenser and Advanced Moisture Sensing, Whirlpool brand laundry appliances help keep laundry day running smoothly.

Discover additional laundry tips from Whirlpool brand

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