One doesn’t have to clean their roller skate boots all the time. However, for the few times that one has to do it, it might be confusing to decide how to clean it. No worries anymore, based on several years of experience using various types of skate we have compiled a summary of some of the safest and best ways of cleaning roller skate boots.
Also Read: Best Rollerskates You Can Buy Today
If you are wondering how to clean roller skate boots, first consider the materials used. Leather boots should be cleaned with a damp cloth in combination with a leather conditioner. Avoid a wet cloth that damages leather. Vinyl boots can be cleaned with a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust followed by airing.
In case you want to learn more about the best ways of freshening your skate boots, read below for more information from experts. We are going to outline the factors to be considered when cleaning various types of boots.
Factors to Consider When Cleaning Roller Skate Boots
- Type of Material
Skate boots are usually made of either leather or vinyl. Leather comes in various types which include pigmented smooth leather, suede, aniline leather, nubuck, and waxed leather. Leather skate boots require more maintenance than vinyl ones.
- The Weather
When the weather is wet, it is highly advisable to clean your boots (especially leather) more regularly as compared to when the weather is just dry.
- Frequency of Wearing the Skate Boots
Depending on how frequently you wear your skate boots, you need to do a thorough cleaning every 3 to 6 weeks.
How to Clean Roller Skate Boots
Below are the procedures of cleaning specific types of roller skate boots depending on the material they are made of:
How to Clean Leather Skate Boots
Leather skate boots require more maintenance than vinyl ones. When properly taken care of, they remain comfortable and can last for long up to several years. Leather usually shows scars and scratches more easily than other materials.
- Brush off dirt and debris using a soft shoe brush. Do not rub very hard as that could damage the leather.
- Remove the laces and clean them separately either by tying with a mesh and putting in a washing machine or hand-washing them.
- Dip a cloth in water. Rub it on some mild soap like Otter Wax Saddle Soap. Wring the cloth out. Avoid a wet cloth since lots of water damages leather.
- Gently rub on the skate boot surface along the grain of the leather to remove dirt.
- Wipe the boot surface with a clean damp cloth to remove excess soap from the leather.
- Check your roller skate wheels too for debris and if dirty, remove them and clean with warm soapy water and if damaged replace them.
- Dry the skate boots by placing them in a cool dry room. Avoid exposing the boots to a heater directly or direct sunlight as that could cause cracking, shrinking, or discoloration.
- You may also consider applying a leather conditioner on your boot using a soft cloth to protect them from elements such as water, snow, mud etc. A Silicone Shoe Saver is also recommended to waterproof the inside of the boots.
How to Clean Suede Roller Skate Boots
It is very crucial to wipe suede boots with a damp cloth both inside and outside. This should be followed by allowing them to dry naturally in a cool and dry environment.
If the suede boots become wet but not dirty, do not be tempted to place them near a heating source to dry them faster. This is because the heat will damage the skate boots prematurely by aging the suede material.
- You need to make sure the skate boots are dry. If the boots are not dry, dry them naturally as advised earlier since suede is a form of leather and very sensitive to water thus should be cleaned when dry. If you splashed your boots with dirty water, please follow Procedure B below.
- Obtain a suede brush which can be bought together with a suede cleaning kit like this one. Suede is made of soft grain and thus requires a special brush.
- Brush the boots in a gentle manner to remove the dirt that has accumulated on the surface. Avoid going back and forth but rather brush repeatedly in one direction which will leave the boots looking newer.
- You can brush vigorously in all directions to remove the scuff marks using the suede brush. This helps lift the suede’s grain which had been pressed down during the rigorous skating sprees.
- If you encounter stubborn marks on the boot you can use an eraser like the one that comes with this kit or even a pencil eraser. You just need to apply a little bit of pressure and increase if the marks are tougher.
- Finally, you need to protect your suede skate boots from elements by spraying with a suede protector (comes with the cleaning kit recommended above) to leave a coat on them. This will also prevent more stains and marks.
- If the skate boot got splashed with dirty water, you first need to lightly wet the entire boot using the suede brush. Avoid dipping the boots in water since water tends to discolor suede but when applied properly, it removes stains.
- Use a dry soft cloth or sponge to soak or absorb the excess water. Dab the skating boots gently until the suede leather is evenly wet and does not show signs of visible water stains.
- Insert some dry papers and shoe trees in the boot especially if the amount of water was large. The dry papers will absorb the water from the inside of the boot. Shoe trees will help the boots to retain their original shape. Avoid colored papers since the ink can soak in the shoes.
- Leave the boots to dry naturally at least for a day/night by placing them in a well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight or heat. The water will evaporate.
- Once the boots are dry, rub them vigorously with the suede brush in all directions to shake the grain to the original orientation.
For wet suede boots, just remove the laces or detach the velcro, open the boots and leave them to air dry. This will prevent the growth of organisms that like wet and hot environments. It will, in turn, keep off any type of bad odor.
If you have already pulled apart your roller skates, it will be an ideal opportunity to remove the insole and check whether the plates are still securely attached to the skate boots. If they happen to be loose, please tighten them so that you can continue skating comfortably and safely.
Cleaning Acrylic Boots
- Ensure the boots are free from debris and dirt by brushing them off with a soft brush.
- Remove the laces
- Choose a good suede cleaner such as Angelus Easy Cleaner which I normally use. The good thing is that it comes as a kit with both a quality Cleaning Brush and Microfiber Towel.
- Poor some Angelus Easy Cleaner in a basin.
- Dip the bristle brush and tap off any excess cleaner
- Gently rub the suede boots with the brush in circular motions.
- Dip again and reapply if necessary
- You can rinse off the brush with water, let it dry and then rub the a
lmost dry boots again.
- Use paper towels to clean the plates
- Leave them to dry in a cool dry place away from direct heat or sunlight
- Once dry, I usually spray with Angelus Water and Stain Repellant which is optional but gives my boots that nice look and protects them from the elements. Spray at least twice for maximum protection.
- Tie the laces and have fun on the road.
Most types of roller skate boots, it is highly advisable to avoid exposing them to lots of water since water damages leather and other materials. It is thus highly advisable to only do skating in dry places and avoid skating when it is raining or outdoors during the rainy season.
Before cleaning any type of skate boots, one should ensure that they know the material used to make them so that they can choose the correct procedure. Cleaning dry dirt is relatively easy for most skating boots since it involved brushing off or rubbing the dirt and the stains. Most manufacturers provide special instructions on how to clean the boots and therefore it is highly advisable you go through the manual.
However, some special dirt such as oil or unknown dirt requires professional cleaning. This is because sometimes it goes all the way to requiring the use of special tools or materials such as nail brush or even cornstarch. For example, cornstarch is usually applied on an oil stain on a boot overnight and brushed off in the morning. If not used appropriately, these can damage your expensive boots. Wear your helmet and enjoy your skating.
2 thoughts on “How to Clean Roller Skate Boots (And Leave Them Shining)”
Could slippery wheels be a sign of dirt? I have 93a Juice Martini wheels and they were great, and then during practice today I was sliding all over the place. The grips are still intact, and I have no other explanation for the slideyness. I’ve been airing out my gear in the sun after practice, so maybe the heat is doing something? (This happened to my old wheels as well, they were Radar Bullets). If anyone has any advice, please help me out!
Thank you for stopping by. I’m not sure its dirt causing the sliding thing you’re experiencing. In my understanding (and experience), dirty bearings almost always seize up on you, causing you to bail. But if you’re suddenly sliding all over the park or wherever it is you skate after having dried your gear out in the sun, the only explanation that pops into my mind is that heat is the culprit here. The oil on the bearings kinda melt and the bearings have a hard time rolling. It is like they suddenly become excessively lubed thanks to the heat from the heat. And yes, I expect the issue to stop after a session or two. If it doesn’t, Id just clean my bearings, dry them out, and lube them. Let me know how it goes, Alce.
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