How to Clean Climbing Shoes: A Must Read Before You Wash


How to Clean Climbing Shoes featured image

Climbing shoes are an essential piece of equipment for any climber. They provide the necessary grip and stability to allow climbers to ascend rocks and boulders.

As a result, climbers must take care of their climbing shoes to ensure they can perform at their best (and to ensure they are not stinking every time you use them).

In this article, we will be discussing how to clean climbing shoes.

Here are the steps on how to clean climbing shoes if you’re in a hurry:

  1. Remove loose dirt and debris
  2. Fill bucket with warm water and detergent
  3. Soak for 20mins
  4. Scrub them until clean
  5. Rinse
  6. Let them dry for 20mins
  7. Now they are clean!

How To Clean Climbing Shoes And Bouldering Shoes

How To Clean Climbing Shoes And Bouldering Shoes

Climbing shoes can take a beating. From being dragged through mud and dirt to constantly being exposed to the elements, it’s no wonder they can start to smell pretty rank after a while. But don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to clean your climbing shoes and smell fresh again.

Step 1: Remove Loose Dirt and Debris

The first step is removing loose dirt and debris from your shoes. A soft brush or toothbrush can help with this. Just be gentle, so you don’t damage the material and ruin your climbing shoes even more.

Step 2: Fill a Bucket/Sink with Warm Water and Some Detergent

Next, you’ll need to fill a bucket or sink with warm water and mild detergent. Again, it’s essential to use a gentle detergent that won’t damage your shoes’ materials. Once your bucket/sink is filled, go ahead and drop your shoes in.

Step 3: Let Them Soak for a While

Let your shoes soak in the bucket/sink for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the detergent to work its way in and break up any tough dirt and grime.

Please don’t leave them in there too long, or you could risk damaging your climbing shoes!

Step 4: Scrub Them Clean

After they’ve soaked for a while, it’s time to scrub them clean. First, use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub the shoes, paying close attention to any areas that seem particularly dirty. This will require some elbow grease, but if you’re an avid climber, this shouldn’t be a problem!

Step 5: Rinse Them Off Thoroughly

Once you’ve scrubbed them clean, it’s time to rinse the shoes off. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly to remove all the soap and dirt. You don’t want soap residue left on the shoes as it can cause irritation or even skin infections.

Step 6: Let Them Air Dry

Once you’ve rinsed them off, it’s time to let them air dry. The best way to do this is to stuff them with newspaper and let them sit overnight. This will help absorb any moisture and speed up the drying process.

And that’s it!

How To Machine Wash and Clean Rock Climbing Shoes And Bouldering Shoes

How To Machine Wash climbing shoes

Machine washing your climbing shoes is generally considered the best way to clean them and the easiest method. You can either wash your shoes in a mesh bag or not, but using a mesh bag will help protect your shoes from getting damaged in the washing machine.

Step 1: Brush Off Dust Beforehand

Use a soft-bristled brush to remove as much of the dirt and grime from your shoes as possible before machine washing them. This will help prevent your washing machine from getting too dirty.

Step 2: Put Your Shoes In A Mesh Bag

If you have a mesh bag, put your shoes in it before machine washing them. This will help protect your shoes from getting damaged in the washing machine.

Step 3: Set Your Washing Machine To A Delicate Cycle

Set your washing machine to a delicate cycle and use cold water. Hot water can damage the materials of your shoes and cause them to shrink.

Step 4: Add Some Washing Detergent (DONT USE BLEACH)

Add some gentle washing detergent to your machine. Avoid using bleach as it can damage the materials of your shoes.

Step 5: Let Your Shoes Air Dry

Once your shoes are done washing, let them air dry. Please do not put them in the dryer, as this can damage the materials of your shoes.

Climbing shoes are essential for any climber, and keeping them clean is important, so they last longer and perform better. These simple steps will help you keep your shoes clean and look like new ones.

The Reason Why Your Climbing and Bouldering Shoes Might Smell

clean smelling climbing shoes

Climbing and bouldering shoes can start to smell bad for various reasons. Sweat, dirt, and bacteria can all contribute to the development of foul odors in climbing shoes.

One of the best ways to prevent your shoes from smelling is to allow them to dry completely between uses. So if you’re using your shoes multiple days in a row, make sure to give them a good airing out between uses. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your shoes to help absorb moisture and odors.

If your shoes are already starting to smell, there are a few things you can do to try to get rid of the odor. First, soaking your shoes in a mixture of water and vinegar can help kill any bacteria that might be causing the smell. 

You can also try putting your shoes in the freezer overnight, which can help eliminate the bacteria that cause odors.

Climbing shoes are essential for any climber, and keeping them clean is important, so they last longer and perform better. Following these simple steps will help you keep your shoes clean and free of foul odors.

9 Ways To Prevent Your Climbing Shoes From Smelling

preventing climbing shoes from smelling in the first place

1. Wash Your Feet!

One of the best ways to prevent your climbing shoes from smelling is to wash your feet regularly. Sweat and bacteria can cause your shoes to smell bad, so keeping your feet clean is essential. Soaking your feet regularly will help keep your shoes from smelling bad.

2. Dry Shoes Smell Less and are Cleaner

Another way to prevent your shoes from smelling is to ensure they are dry. Wet shoes are more likely to develop bad odors than dry shoes. Allowing your shoes to dry completely between uses will help keep them from smelling bad.

3. Dry Them In The Sun If You Can

If you can, try to dry your shoes in the sun. The sunlight will help kill any bacteria causing the foul odor.

4. Baking Soda is a Good Friend

Baking soda can help absorb moisture and odors, so it’s a good idea to sprinkle some in your shoes when you’re not wearing them.

5. Use a Deodorizer or Foot Powder

There are a variety of deodorizers and foot powders on the market that can help prevent your shoes from smelling bad. These products can help absorb sweat and keep your feet dry, which will help keep your shoes from smelling.

6. Don’t Wear the Same Shoes Two Days in a Row

If you can, try not to wear the same shoes twice a row. This will allow your shoes to air out and dry thoroughly between uses.

7. Alternate Your Shoes

If you have more than one pair of shoes, alternate between them. This will give each pair of shoes a chance to dry completely between uses.

8. Wash Your Shoes Regularly

Washing your shoes regularly will help remove any sweat, dirt, and bacteria causing the foul odor. Be sure to use a gentle detergent and let your shoes air dry to prevent damage.

9. Store Your Shoes Properly

When you’re not using your shoes, store them in a cool, dry place. Moisture and humidity can cause your shoes to develop nasty odors, so it’s essential to keep them stored in a dry environment.

Conclusion

Climbing shoes are an investment; like any other gear, they must be taken care of properly to last as long as possible. Following the simple tips we’ve outlined in this article on how to clean climbing and bouldering shoes, you can keep your shoes smelling fresh and looking good for years to come. 

And if you take steps to prevent your climbing shoes from smelling in the first place, you won’t have to worry about them!

FAQ’s How to Clean Climbing Shoes

Can you wash climbing shoes?

You can wash your climbing shoes, but you should be careful not to damage them. Avoid using harsh detergents or putting them in the washing machine. Instead, hand wash your shoes using a gentle detergent and let them air dry.

Can I soak my climbing shoes in water?

You can soak your climbing shoes in water, but you should be careful not to damage them. Avoid using hot water, as this can damage the materials of your shoes. Instead, soak your shoes in cold or lukewarm water.

Can you use soap on climbing shoes?

Yes, you can use soap on climbing shoes. Just be sure to use a gentle detergent and avoid harsh chemicals.

Can I use dish soap to clean hiking boots?

Yes, you can use dish soap to clean hiking boots.

Can you put climbing shoes in the dryer?

You should not put your climbing shoes in the dryer, as this can damage them. Instead, let your shoes air dry in a cool, dry place.

When should I clean my climbing shoes?

You should clean your climbing shoes regularly to prevent them from developing foul odors. Be sure to wash your shoes after each use and store them in a cool, dry place when you’re not using them.

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