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Removing the Stress of Cleaning Mud from Boots and Shoes

Every day doesn’t have to be about zombie outbreaks, broken governments, and how to not die. That can get stressful. So for today, how about we talk about something that will make your life a little easier: how to clean muddy boots correctly.

Now that the snow is gone and rain is here to coat the dirt in a wet layer of muck, we have to go back to worrying about clean shoes. While most commonly an issue with trails and hikers, it can affect everyone. Instead of spraying them with a hose and hoping that works, there are things you can do that make cleaning your shoes and boots much easier. Here are seven things you should keep in mind, thanks to Lisa Jhung.

  1. Don’t use the washing/drying machine. This just soaks and tosses around the shoes, deforming them. This is doubly true for leather boots.
  2. Clean while hiking. You can use a small puddle, stream, or snow pile to help reduce the excess of mud on your shoes and boots. This will make cleaning them proper a bit easier. If there’s no liquid, scraping the bottom of your shoes on rocks is a common trick.
  3. Dry mud cleans easier. Handling fresh, wet mud is a pain. As much as you may want to clean them immediately, it will be much easier to remove the mud clumps after it dries out completely.
  4. Small brushes do wonders. Take a small scrub brush or even a toothbrush you don’t use. Using a combo of soap and water, you can scrub off the hard to reach crevices that make be harboring mud.
  5. Avoid sunlight. Much like how a dryer will warp shoes, the immense heat of direct sunlight can also play a bad role in boots and shoes. When you’re leaving them outside to dry, keep them in the shade.
  6. Stuff the inside with newspaper. The inside of shoes and boots can be hard to dry out due to their insulating nature. If you stuff the insides with newspaper, it will draw the moisture out.
  7. Wipe with a scrap cloth. You don’t want to use your nice towels to clean a muddy boot. Once you’ve removed the dry chunks, all you need is a light rinse in the sink with a scrap cloth to wipe things down.

Next time you go hiking or camping, we hope you have a bit less stress cleaning up after.

If you’re in the market for new boots, check out our guide on choosing the best boots to suit your needs.

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