Maintaining your work boots is generally not a difficult task. When you properly maintain your boots, you extend their life cycle and improve performance and also comfort. Basically, not all the work boots are the same but they require regular care and maintenance to keep a strong barrier between your feet and the earth below. Below is a quick rundown of techniques and strategies to increase the lifespan of your work boot:
Cleaning your work boots
It is important to learn how to properly clean your work boots to ensure that they possibly last long. Cleaning typically involves minimum effort if it is made with quality materials. Before cleaning, you are required to remove the insoles. Even though some insoles can be washed by a machine, it is still important to verify the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions before you attempt to do so. Removing the shoelace is typically not necessary but it will allow you to carry out a more thorough cleaning on the surface of the work boots. It will be easy to brush away the dust and dirt, striving to remove large clumps although you don’t have to remove all the dirt.
- Mix some water and a specified boot cleaner in a bowl or use mild dish washing soap to softly scrub away all the dust, dirt and debris from the outside of the boots. You need to keep on scrubbing until you nearly remove all the dirt other than mold. It is advisable to avoid detergents and soap bars because they normally contain surfactants which can dry out the boots or brighteners which may leave some residues.
- Softly scrub away the mold, but if after the first cleansing it does not scrape off, you can resoak the brush and scrub it on the second time.
- Set the work boots in the water to loosen caked mud but don’t leave the upper part of the boot sit in water.
- Remove and rinse them to get rid of any residual soap using a moderate stream of water from a faucet or hose.
Drying your work boots
Ensure that you allow your work boots to air dry at room temperature after setting them out, in an upside down position, on the floor or counter. Be cautious not to place the boots near a radiator, in a path of a heat source, or on a sunny windowsill because it may weaken the adhesives that are used in footwear and turn the leather weak.
Conditioning your work boots
In case your work boots are made of other specialty leather or Nubuck, you need to look for product which is purposely designed for that type of leather and acquire a bottle of leather conditioner.
How to condition your boots
- Pour a little amount of conditioner on a soft rag and ensure that it is thoroughly moist, however, not dripping wet. Once the rag is moist, use it to rub that conditioner on to the boot and make sure that you rub it into the seams and also on the surface.
- Make sure that you wipe off the excess conditioner using a clean and soft rag but don’t allow the conditioner to sit on the boots for too long because too much of it can make the boots to become too soft.
Waterproofing your work boots
This is important to protect your boots from wet conditions. You need to select a water based waterproofing product because they work excellently for most leather and other assorted materials. Oil based products are normally intended for a full grain leather; however, they can darken making the leather too soft when used on standard hiking boots.
- Ensure that your boots are clean but not so dry. Basically, they need to be slightly damp when you apply the water based proofing product since dampness aids the product to percolate deeper into the boot’s fibers.
- Apply the product. Application normally varies based on the type of waterproofing purchased. After applying your water proofing product, wipe it over the boot using a cloth; paying attention to the seams and joints because water normally tends to leak in these areas.
- You can also thoroughly spray your boots with the waterproofing product and cover the exterior of the boots; nevertheless, you should also pay attention to the seams.
- Using a clean and soft cloth, remove the excess conditioner although at this point there will not be much to remove.
- You should identify the type of leather your work boots are made of. Basically, there is a difference between spilt leather, suede, full grain leather, and nubuck leather. Once you know your leather type, look for products that are specifically designed for it.
- Use specialized leather products since they are known to work better compared to standard oils and soaps.