How to clean snowboarding boots is one of the most useful skills you need to learn as a snowboarder. Whether cruising down snowy slopes, boarding through crunchy pow, or just leisurely shredding the gnar, your boots will get dirty. And boots that don’t get enough care from their users usually don’t last long.
Here, I’ll describe all the steps you need to follow to get your nice snowboarding boots spotlessly clean — fast.
A Summary of the Cleaning Process for Snowboard Boots
To clean your snowboarding boots and leave them sparkling, all you have to do is remove the liners and leave them to dry. Then, use a clean sponge to clean dirt off the exterior of the boot as well as the interior.
From there, use a dry towel to absorb excess moisture and put your snowboard boots somewhere to dry. And if there are odors and stains, find an effective way to handle that.
Now, that’s the short version of how to get your snowboarding boots clean and tidy easily at home. And here comes the long version of the boot cleaning process….
The Items You Need to Clean Your Snowboard Boots
You need the following items to do a thorough clean:
- Clean sponges
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Freshening spray e.g. Febreze
- Baking soda
- Old toothbrush
- White vinegar
- Dry cloth (soft is best)
- Dry towel or paper towels
- A cleaning tub
You now have at your disposal everything you need to give your snowboarding boots the kind of care they deserve. And now, let’s start from the beginning…
Step #1: First, Remove the Comfort Liners
You most likely have boots with removable comfort liners and insoles. Remove these liners and let them air out or dry out in the sun.
Sunning liners is a simple yet critical step. That’s because it helps immensely in terms of decimating that colony of bacteria that’d called the inside your boots home.
If the liner isn’t removable, that’s OK. But cleaning a non-removable liner can be pretty challenging. Plus, knowing you can always replace your liners anytime you like is a freedom-packed feeling.
To remove the liners, first get the buckles or whatever closure system the boot uses loose. Loosening the closure system widens the boot so you can get the liner out without issues. Next, hold the liner with your hand and yank it out of the boot.
Step #2: Clean Your Snowboard Boot Liners
You chose a pair of snowboard boots with removable waterproof liners. So, your liners will never get wet, right? Wrong! When you’re riding that board hard even the coldest days, your feet will sweat. And wet feet make liners wet.
Wet liners provide a conducive environment for growth of bacteria some of which produce awful odors. That’s why there’s always a snowboarder asking how do I remove odors from my snowboard boots?
So, how do you clean snowboard boot liners and combat bad smells as well? And, can you machine wash snowboard liners? I’ll answer the second question first and then the first one after that.
Some manufacturers recommend machine-washing dirty, smelly liners. If that’s the case for you, there’s really no harm tossing that dirty pair in the washing machine.
However, lots of snowboarders prefer using their own hands to clean their liners. And when it comes to fitted snowboard liners, machine-washing them is a bad idea.
That’s because machine-cleaning and machine-drying fitted snowboard liners tends to cause shrinking. And shrinking isn’t desirable if you paid hundreds of dollar to a boot fitter. So, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings before committing your liners to either hand-washing or machine-washing.
How to Clean Snowboard Liners
Pour enough cold water into a tub. Then, add a squirt or two of a safe detergent to the water. Next, put your snowboard boot liners into the cold soapy water.
Let the boot liners (also inserts) stay soaked in the soapy solution for about 15 minutes. During the soaking period, agitate the soapy water with your hands to kind of quicken the cleaning process.
Next, remove the liners and pour out the dirty soapy water. Then, add clean cold water into the tub and give your liners a thorough rinse or two.
Once the liners are properly rinsed, take them out of the water and place them somewhere to dry. You can also use dry paper towels or a dry towel to wipe off excess water to hasten drying.
Placing your liners on a dry towel on a flat hard surface is a good idea. Make sure to have your liners sitting on their soles, which means have them standing upright on the surface.
Alternatively, hang your snowboard boot liners on a cloths line either indoors or outdoors to dry.
Can You Wash Snowboard Boot Liners with Warm Water?
No, you shouldn’t because that’s not a good idea. Washing or rinsing snowboard liners in warm water tends to cause shrinking. Especially in heat-moldable liners. And you certainly don’t want that to happen to your snowboard liners.
And if you wash your liners in water that’s too hot, you risk having the glued-together areas loosening up. That’s the same reason you shouldn’t hang your liners where direct sunlight strikes at them directly.
Step #3: Clean the Interior of Your Snowboard Boots
Now, pour some warm water into a tub. Next, put one cup of white vinegar and one cup of your preferred detergent into the water. Then, stir the water until you end up with a well-mixed soapy solution.
The white vinegar you put in the water serves as an effective cleaner as well as a disinfectant. But it’s not like white vinegar is the best disinfectant there is. As a cleaner, white vinegar works great.
But as a bacteria killer, it’s not so great. Still, white vinegar takes care of some bacteria, some of which could be the odor-causing type. This cleaner should be able to reduce the odors inside significantly. But if odors still remain after cleaning your boots, you must devise a means to eliminate them.
Sponge off the Dirt Inside Your Boots
Next, take a sponge and start wiping off any dirt that might be inside the boots. You also want to wash the boot laces at this point as well as insoles if you use them. Soak the insoles and sponge them until they become clean and then put them somewhere to dry. Wash the laces and dry them as well.
The next thing to do is to use clean water to rinse the inside of your boots completely. Make sure to remove every trace of soap from the interiors. You can use a dry towel or even paper towels to wipe the interiors of your boots.
Once you’re satisfied that the interior of your boots is clean, proceed to clean the exterior and outsoles. But before you start cleaning the upper and the outsoles, remove any stains on your boots.
Step #4: Handle Any Dirt Stains on Your Snowboard Boots
If there’s no dirt stains and other kinds of stains on your snowboarding boots, that can’t be good. It means you’re not shreddin’ the gnar enough. Or you bought snowboard boots that are too knarley and you’re always hesitating to ride your snowboard in them.
If you’re always out there on the snow trying to learn a different steez, you’re going to get stains. But stains of any kind are a nasty reality that doesn’t do much good to your snowboard boots.
So, how do you clean dirt-stained snowboard boots? Before you clean the boots, make sure to address every unsightly spot on the upper, liner, and outsoles.
So, how do you tackle stains on your snowboard stains? Prepare a thin-ish paste by mixing a half teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of baking soda. To make this not-so-thick stain-removing paste, mix these two ingredients with a little warm water.
Next, take the old toothbrush I mentioned in the requirements list and use it to work on the stains. Simply dip the toothbrush in the paste and get some on the brushes. Then, using the brush, scrub away any stains and scuffs you spot. It works like magic.
Check the soles of your snowboard boots. I bet there are some ugly stains there as well. Don’t worry, use the same brush to work on the affected areas. Rubber outsoles tend to attract all kinds of dirt stains like a magnet.
Step #5: How to Clean the Outside of Your Snowboard Boots
At this point, you want to start taking care of your boot’s upper and outsoles. So, take a clean sponge and start cleaning dirt off the upper.
You took care of every nasty stain in the previous section, right? Now, focus on removing loose dirt and debris from the upper and outsoles.
Once you’re done, grab some paper towels or a dry clean towel and wipe off excess water and moisture. That simple trick noticeably speeds up the drying process.
Finally, find a suitable place and leave your boots there to dry. You can dry them in the sun, or you can leave them on some surface indoors to dry. Wait until the boots, liners, and laces dry completely before using or storage.
Step #6: Deodorize Your Boots, Liners, and Insoles
In most cases, simply cleaning the interiors and the liners should remove odors completely. However, that’s not always the case, and you may still notice bad smells.
To eradicate any lingering odors, spray some Febreze into the liners, the interiors, and onto the insoles. You can also or use isopropyl alcohol to deodorize your boots.
But if neither isopropyl alcohol or Febreeze is available, you can concoct something similar using vinegar and water. Simply mix one part of water with one part of vinegar (1:1) and voila’! a naturally made odor remo0ver.
How to Remove Dirt and Stains from Snowboard Boots: Final Word
As you’ve already learned, cleaning dirty and stained snowboarding boots can be done easily and inexpensively at home. You can handle the cleaning process without needing to buy anything.
Avoid tossing your liners in the washing machine unless the manufacturer says you can do that. Almost always wash your liners and boots by hand.
Avoid warm or hot water when soaking heat-moldable liners as that shrinks them. It also opens up sections held together by glue. And when drying your liners, leave them sitting upright and don’t dry them in direct sunlight.
Remove stains, too, and enhance the general appearance of your cleaned snowboarding boots.
Anything you feel I left out in this snowboard boot cleaning guide? Let me know in the comments.