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How To Wash Metal Cleats

How To Wash Metal Cleats


How To Wash Metal Cleats: Metal cleats are an essential piece of equipment for athletes who rely on traction and stability in sports like baseball, softball, football, and soccer. Over time, these cleats can accumulate dirt, mud, and grime from the field, affecting both their performance and longevity. Properly cleaning and maintaining your metal cleats is crucial to ensure they remain in peak condition and continue to provide the grip you need on the field.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the art of washing metal cleats, offering you step-by-step instructions and valuable tips to keep your cleats clean and functional. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a parent helping a young athlete, understanding the best practices for cleat care is essential.

We will cover various cleaning methods, including both basic and more advanced techniques, depending on the level of dirt and wear your cleats have endured. You’ll learn how to remove stubborn stains, prevent rust and corrosion, and maintain the structural integrity of your metal cleats.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to ensure that your metal cleats not only look clean but also perform at their best on the field, helping you excel in your chosen sport. So, let’s get started on the journey to cleaner, longer-lasting, and more effective metal cleats.

How To Wash Metal Cleats

Can I wash metal cleats in washing machine?

Can You Put Baseball Cleats In The Washing Machine? Only use as much water as needed to remove the dirt. Never fully submerge your cleats in water or put them in the washing machine as this could cause damage to the inside and/or upper.

Washing metal cleats in a washing machine is generally not recommended, as it can potentially damage both the cleats and the washing machine itself. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid machine-washing metal cleats:

Damage to Cleats: Metal cleats can have sharp edges and spikes that may snag or damage the interior of your washing machine, including the drum and the agitator. This can lead to costly repairs.

Damage to the Machine: The impact of metal cleats inside the washing machine can cause dents, chips, or scratches to the machine’s drum, resulting in reduced performance and the need for repairs or replacement.

Water and Dirt Buildup: The design of most cleats can trap water, mud, and dirt inside them. Machine-washing may not effectively remove all the debris, potentially leaving your cleats still dirty and possibly causing blockages in your washing machine’s drainage system.

Quality of Cleaning: Washing machines are designed for washing fabric items, not hard, solid objects like cleats. Hand cleaning allows for more precise removal of dirt and mud from the crevices of the cleats.

Start by removing excess dirt and mud with a brush or hose, then use a mild detergent and a scrubbing brush to clean the remaining dirt. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry. This method is safer for your cleats and your washing machine and helps ensure that your cleats remain in good condition for longer.

How do you wash and clean cleats?

Scrub With a Mild Cleaning Solution

Bring the soccer cleats to a sink or bathtub and remove the laces from the shoes. Using the mild cleaning solution, brush the soles of the shoes with a gentle cleaning brush. Then, use a washcloth to scrub away any dirt or stains from the uppers of the shoes.

Cleaning and maintaining cleats is essential for their longevity and optimal performance. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash and clean cleats:

Remove Excess Dirt: After each use, tap or gently knock your cleats together to remove loose dirt, mud, or grass. Use a soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush to clean the grooves and crevices.

Pre-Soak: If your cleats are caked with mud, soak them in warm, soapy water for about 10-15 minutes to help loosen the dirt. Use a mild detergent or dish soap.

Scrubbing: With the soapy water and a brush or sponge, scrub the cleats thoroughly, paying attention to the soleplate and any grooves or studs. For stubborn stains or dirt, you can use an old toothbrush or a specific cleat cleaning brush.

Rinse: Rinse the cleats under a gentle stream of lukewarm water, ensuring that all soap and dirt are completely washed away.

Dry Properly: After rinsing, pat the cleats dry with a clean towel or cloth. Remove the insoles if possible and let them air dry separately. Avoid exposing cleats to direct heat sources like radiators or direct sunlight, as this can damage the materials.

Re-lace and Store: Once the cleats are completely dry, re-lace them if necessary and store them in a cool, dry place away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight.

Optional Deodorizing: If your cleats develop an odor, you can sprinkle baking soda or use specialized deodorizers designed for athletic shoes to keep them smelling fresh.

How do you clean cleats quickly?

Knock the cleats together, sole on sole or use a popsicle stick, screwdriver or putty knife. Head for the sink. Create a mixture of mild laundry detergent and water then start scrubbing out the stains with a washcloth. Dip the washcloth in warm water then rinse the cleats off, removing all of the soap and suds.

Cleaning cleats quickly can be done with a few simple steps to remove surface dirt and grime. Here’s a quick method to clean cleats:

Remove Loose Dirt: Use your hands or a stiff brush to knock off and remove any loose dirt, mud, or grass from the surface of the cleats. This initial step helps prevent dirt from embedding deeper.

Wipe with Damp Cloth or Paper Towel: Dampen a cloth, paper towel, or disposable wipe with water and gently wipe down the cleats. This will help remove surface-level dirt and mud quickly.

Focus on Outsoles: Pay particular attention to the outsoles and the studs or spikes on the bottom of the cleats. These areas tend to collect the most dirt and should be wiped thoroughly.

Clean Laces Separately: If your cleats have laces, you can quickly wipe them down or remove and wash them separately if they are particularly dirty.

Air Dry: Allow the cleats to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using direct heat sources like hairdryers or radiators, as excessive heat can damage the materials.

Optional Deodorizing: If your cleats develop an odor, you can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside them or use a specialized shoe deodorizer to help freshen them up.

While this quick cleaning method won’t provide the same level of deep cleaning as a more thorough process, it can help keep your cleats presentable and relatively clean between games or practices.

Is it safe to wash cleats?

DO NOT put your cleats into a washing machine or dryer. DO NOT use direct sunlight, hair dryers or place them next to a radiator/vent to dry. ALWAYS allow them to air dry indoors at room temperature. NEVER store them wet.

Washing cleats can be safe if done correctly, but there are important considerations to keep in mind:

Materials: The safety of washing cleats depends on the materials used in their construction. Most modern soccer, football, or baseball cleats are designed with synthetic uppers and leather elements. Leather can be more sensitive to water and should be treated with care to prevent damage or distortion.

Removable Insoles: Many cleats have removable insoles. Taking these out before washing helps preserve their shape and prevent moisture from getting trapped inside the shoes.

Hand Washing: When cleaning cleats, it’s best to hand wash them using a mild detergent or soap and lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage adhesives and materials.

Gentle Scrubbing: Use a soft-bristle brush, sponge, or cloth to gently scrub the cleats. Avoid abrasive scrubbers that can scratch the surface.

Drying: After washing, allow the cleats to air dry naturally. Avoid using direct heat sources like hairdryers or radiators, as excessive heat can damage materials and adhesives.

Leather Care: If your cleats have leather components, consider applying a leather conditioner or specific leather care product to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking.

Laces: Remove and wash laces separately. They can be hand-washed or placed in a laundry bag to prevent tangling.

Deodorize: To prevent odors, consider using specialized shoe deodorizers or placing baking soda inside the cleats.

How To Wash Metal Cleats

What are the essential tools and materials needed to clean metal cleats effectively?

Cleaning metal cleats effectively requires the right tools and materials to ensure thorough cleaning without damaging the footwear. Here’s a list of essential items you’ll need:

Soft Bristle Brush: A soft-bristle brush, such as a toothbrush or a shoe brush, is essential for removing loose dirt and debris from the cleats’ surface and crevices without scratching the metal.

Water and Soap: Mild soap and warm water serve as the primary cleaning solution. Choose a gentle, pH-balanced soap to avoid damaging the cleats. Avoid using harsh detergents or chemicals.

Old Toothbrush: An old toothbrush is useful for reaching tight spaces and corners, allowing for thorough cleaning of the cleats’ intricate parts.

Microfiber Cloth or Sponge: A microfiber cloth or sponge helps to gently scrub and wipe the cleats clean. It’s important to use a soft material to prevent scratches.

Stiff Bristle Brush (Optional): For more stubborn dirt and stains, a slightly stiffer brush can be used. Ensure it’s not too abrasive to avoid scratching the metal.

Rust Remover (If Needed): In cases where rust has formed on the metal components, a rust remover or rust converter may be necessary. Follow the product’s instructions carefully.

Waterproofing Spray (Optional): After cleaning, you can apply a waterproofing spray specifically designed for sports footwear to protect the cleats from moisture and extend their lifespan.

Drying Rack or Towel: After cleaning, allow the cleats to air dry naturally. A drying rack or a clean towel can help with this process.

Replacement Cleats: Depending on the wear and tear, you may also need replacement cleats or spikes. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement intervals.

What is the recommended frequency for cleaning metal cleats to maintain their performance?

The recommended frequency for cleaning metal cleats to maintain their performance depends on how often you use them and the conditions you encounter. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

After Every Use: It’s a good practice to do a quick cleaning of your metal cleats after every use. Remove loose dirt and debris with a soft brush or cloth. This routine maintenance prevents dirt from accumulating and potentially damaging the cleats over time.

Regular Deep Cleaning: In addition to quick cleanings, perform a more thorough cleaning after several uses or when your cleats are visibly dirty. This can involve washing with soap and water, as mentioned in our cleaning guide. It’s especially important after muddy or wet conditions.

Special Attention: Pay special attention to your cleats if you’ve played on particularly harsh terrain or in adverse weather conditions. Cleats used in wet, muddy, or sandy conditions may require more frequent cleaning to prevent rust and maintain performance.

Before Storage: If you plan to store your cleats for an extended period, make sure they are clean and dry. This prevents mold, mildew, and rust from forming during storage.

Inspect Regularly: Regularly inspect your cleats for any signs of damage or wear, including loose spikes, torn materials, or corrosion. Address these issues promptly to ensure your cleats continue to perform safely and effectively.

The goal is to keep them clean and well-maintained, ensuring they provide the traction and durability you need for peak performance on the field. A well-cared-for pair of cleats can serve you reliably season after season.

Are there specific tips for preventing rust and corrosion on metal cleats after cleaning?

Indeed, preventing rust and corrosion on metal cleats is crucial for maintaining their performance and extending their lifespan. Here are specific tips to keep your cleats rust-free after cleaning:

Dry Thoroughly: After each use and cleaning, make sure your cleats are completely dry. Moisture is a primary factor in rust formation. Use a towel or let them air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

Apply a Rust Inhibitor: Consider using a rust inhibitor or protectant designed for metal surfaces. These products create a barrier against moisture and oxygen, preventing rust from developing. Apply them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Store Properly: When storing your cleats, ensure they are in a dry and cool environment. Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid area, as moisture can accelerate rusting.

Remove Dirt and Debris: Routinely remove any dirt, mud, or grass that may accumulate in the cleat’s crevices. These materials can trap moisture and lead to corrosion.

Inspect and Maintain: Regularly inspect your cleats for signs of rust or corrosion. If you notice any, address it promptly. Use a rust remover or a wire brush to gently remove the rust, followed by reapplying a rust inhibitor.

Avoid Wet Storage: Never leave your cleats in a wet or damp bag after use. Ensure they are dry before storing them in a sports bag.

Oil the Metal Components: Periodically apply a thin layer of oil or silicone-based lubricant to the metal components of your cleats, such as the spikes. This helps create a protective barrier against moisture and corrosion.

Is it advisable to disassemble or remove the metal spikes before cleaning, and if so, how?

Disassembling or removing the metal spikes from your cleats for cleaning can be beneficial, but it’s not always necessary. Here’s some guidance on when and how to do it:

When to Remove Spikes:

Severe Dirt Buildup: If your cleats have accumulated a significant amount of dirt, mud, or debris in and around the spike holes, it’s a good idea to remove the spikes for thorough cleaning. This ensures you get into all the nooks and crannies.

How to Remove Spikes:

Check for Tool Compatibility: Determine the type of fastening system used for your cleat spikes. Common options include traditional screw-in spikes, compression spikes, or a specialized tool like a cleat wrench.

Gather Tools: Obtain the appropriate tools for your cleats. If it’s a screw-in type, you may need a wrench or a spike key. For compression spikes, a cleat wrench with the compatible adapter is necessary.

Secure the Cleat: Place the cleat firmly in a vise or use a specialized cleat-holding tool to stabilize it. Ensure it’s secure to prevent damage during removal.

Turn Counter-Clockwise: If you’re using a wrench or spike key, insert it into the spike’s fastening hole and turn it counter-clockwise to loosen and remove the spike. Be cautious not to strip the threads.

Clean and Inspect: After removing the spikes, clean them and the spike holes thoroughly using the cleaning methods mentioned earlier. Inspect the spikes for wear and replace any damaged or worn ones.

Reassemble: When the spikes and cleat are clean and dry, reassemble them by screwing the spikes back into their respective holes. Tighten them securely, but avoid over-tightening.

While removing spikes can enhance the cleaning process, it’s not required for routine maintenance. It’s advisable for more extensive cleaning sessions or when you notice significant dirt buildup around the spike holes. Properly maintained spikes and cleats ensure optimal performance and durability on the field.

How To Wash Metal Cleats


Mastering the art of washing metal cleats is a fundamental skill for athletes who depend on these essential pieces of equipment to excel on the field. Clean cleats not only look sharp but also perform at their best, providing the traction and stability needed for success in sports like baseball, softball, football, and soccer.

By following the comprehensive guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your metal cleats remain in top condition. Regular cleaning, whether it’s a quick post-game wipe-down or a thorough deep cleaning after challenging conditions, is essential to maintain their performance and longevity.

Additionally, preventing rust and corrosion, which are common issues with metal cleats, is crucial. Proper drying, the use of rust inhibitors, and meticulous storage can help safeguard your cleats against the corrosive effects of moisture.

Remember to inspect your cleats regularly for any signs of wear, damage, or rust, and address these issues promptly to ensure they continue to serve you reliably.

Incorporating these cleaning and maintenance practices into your routine will not only extend the lifespan of your metal cleats but also boost your confidence and performance on the field. So, keep your cleats clean, stay at the top of your game, and pursue victory with confidence.


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