Can You Wash Walking Boots In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Walking Boots In The Washing Machine

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

No, it is not recommended to wash walking boots in the washing machine. Walking boots are typically made of durable materials and require special care to maintain their quality and performance.

Walking boots are more than just footwear; they’re companions for outdoor adventures, providing comfort and support on rugged terrains. The thought of tossing them into the washing machine might seem appealing for a quick clean, but it’s important to consider the intricacies of these boots and the potential impact of machine washing. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why washing walking boots in the machine is discouraged, delve into alternative cleaning methods, and offer insights to help you preserve the durability and functionality of your trusted outdoor companions.

The Case Against Machine Washing Walking Boots:

Walking boots are designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor environments. They are constructed using durable materials that can handle the challenges of rocky trails, wet conditions, and various terrains. However, the washing machine’s mechanical agitation, water pressure, and the use of detergents can compromise the integrity of these materials and the overall performance of the boots. The adhesive components, stitching, and protective coatings of walking boots deserve specialized care to ensure they remain in optimal condition.

Dos and don’ts of When Washing Walking Boots


  • Regular Inspection: After each outdoor adventure, inspect your walking boots for dirt, mud, and debris. Prompt cleaning prevents these elements from causing lasting damage.
  • Hand Cleaning: Opt for manual cleaning by hand to ensure gentle and precise care of your walking boots.
  • Use Suitable Cleaning Agents: Choose cleaning agents that are specifically designed for outdoor gear, as they are formulated to clean effectively without damaging the materials.
  • Gentle Brushing: Use a soft-bristle brush to remove loose dirt and debris from the surface of the boots. This helps prevent abrasive particles from causing wear.


  • Avoid Machine Washing: Refrain from using the washing machine for cleaning walking boots. The mechanical action and detergents can weaken materials and compromise the boots’ performance.
  • Say No to Harsh Brushes: Avoid using abrasive brushes or scrubbing pads that can damage the boots’ finishes and coatings.
  • Skip Harsh Detergents: Do not use harsh detergents or bleach, as they can break down materials, affect color, and compromise waterproofing.
  • Don’t Expose to Direct Heat: Avoid exposing wet boots to direct sunlight or heat sources, as excessive heat can damage materials and adhesives.

Alternative Cleaning Methods for Walking Boots:

  1. Hand Cleaning: The most recommended method for cleaning walking boots is by hand. Here’s how:
    • Remove the laces and insoles from the boots.
    • Create a solution of warm water and a suitable outdoor gear cleaner.
    • Dip a soft brush or cloth into the solution and gently scrub the boots, paying attention to areas with dirt and stains.
    • Rinse the boots thoroughly with clean water to remove any cleaning solution residue.
    • Gently blot the boots with a clean towel to remove excess moisture.
    • Allow the boots to air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  2. Use a Soft Brush: A soft-bristle brush is effective for cleaning the outsoles and removing mud and debris from the treads.
  3. Apply Waterproofing Treatment: After cleaning, consider applying a suitable waterproofing treatment to maintain the boots’ water resistance.
  4. Spot Cleaning: For specific stains, use a specialized stain remover or a mixture of mild detergent and water to gently clean the affected area.
  5. Professional Cleaning: If you’re unsure about cleaning your walking boots, consider seeking professional cleaning services that specialize in outdoor gear maintenance.

Final Words:

Walking boots are your companions in outdoor exploration, and they deserve meticulous care to ensure they continue to serve you well. By avoiding machine washing and adopting alternative cleaning methods, you protect the durability, waterproofing, and overall performance of your walking boots. Hand cleaning, using suitable cleaning agents, and gentle brushing are essential steps in maintaining the quality of your gear. Remember, investing time in their care today means you’ll have reliable partners for countless adventures in the future.


Can I wash walking boots in the washing machine?

Answer: No, it’s not recommended to wash walking boots in the washing machine due to potential damage to materials and components.

What are the risks of machine washing walking boots?

Answer: The mechanical action and detergents can weaken materials, compromise waterproofing, and affect the boots’ overall performance.

Can I use regular detergent for cleaning walking boots?

Answer: Choose cleaning agents specifically designed for outdoor gear to ensure effective cleaning without compromising materials.

Are there specific cleaning instructions from the manufacturer for walking boots?

Answer: Yes, manufacturers often provide guidelines for cleaning and maintaining walking boots. Following these instructions is crucial for proper care.

How often should I clean my walking boots?

Answer: After each outdoor adventure, inspect your boots for dirt and debris. Clean them as needed to prevent lasting damage and maintain their performance.

We deserve a share, right?

Hi there!

I hope you’re having fun reading this article! I appreciate your feedback and would love to hear your ideas about how to make it better. If you have any ideas, you can send an email to with the URL of the article.

Thank you for taking the time to give me feedback on my writing. We really value your suggestions!

Fact Checked By Wash Theory Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts