How to clean walking boots that’ve got really muddy   

Muddy boots are a badge of honour for explorers — here's how to stop the great outdoors from exploring your carpets too

Kind strikt de veters van zijn wandelschoenen buiten

Squelching around the mud with your favourite four-legged fluffball is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But squelching, shaking and rolling mud into the new rug in your home? That’s a different story – and definitely not what you meant when you said you wanted to get closer to nature. 

Here’s how to clean hiking boots quickly and efficiently so that you don’t leave a wet, muddy trail from the front door to the bedroom!

How to clean walking boots, step-by-step

If you’re trying to figure out how to clean hiking boots covered in mud, let us help. At first, you might think that your boots are so caked in mud that you’ll never get them clean. But once you know how to clean muddy shoes and boots, they’ll be fresh and cared-for in no time: 

  1. Get rid of as much mud as you can before cleaning. Walking boots will undoubtedly pick up a lot of mud, so before you get on with the task of cleaning them it’s important to remove as much of the excess as you can. Stomp your feet on a hard floor (probably best not to do this on your bathroom tiles though) or wipe them in the grass, or use some strong kitchen towel soaked in water to clean it off.
  2. Remove laces and insoles. If you’ve got really muddy shoes or boots, the best way to clean them is to remove the laces and inners. Set them to the side while you get on with cleaning the outside, without anything in the way.
  3. Take a brush and dip it in soapy warm water. Whether it’s boots or muddy trainers, a soft brush is always best, so you don’t damage the material. Scrub at the dirty areas with a bit of pressure, then use a clean sheet of strong kitchen paper to wipe off leftover water/mud.
  4. Deal with your laces and insoles. Soak your laces in hot soapy water, ring them out, and marvel at how much mud has come out of them. Then, you can scrub the rest away with your brush. Scrub off any excess mud on your insole. If a load of mud has got its way into the inside of your boots, that could be a sign that you need a new pair. 
  5. Apply a specialist waterproofing treatment, after cleaning, before letting them dry.


Plenty The Original One is strong enough for the task of cleaning hiking boots covered in mud. You can even wring it out and re-use to avoid waste.

That’s how to clean leather boots quickly after your walk, but what about how to clean walking boots when the mud’s dried on because you’ve decided to clean them later? Happens to the best of us after a long walk; and it’s easy to sort out: 

How to clean leather boots with dried-on mud

Whether you’re cleaning hiking boots, muddy shoes or muddy trainers, the sooner you act, the better. However, there’s still plenty you can do if the mud and grime has dried on:

  • Once it’s started to harden, wait until the mud has completely dried to start cleaning.
  • Use a sheet of strong kitchen paper to gently brush off chunks of dried mud. You can use a blunt instrument, such as a spoon, to get stubborn deposits off.
  • Wipe off the remaining dry dusty patches and then give your boots a final wipe-down with warm water, like in the method above.
  • If you uncover stubborn stains like salt marks, try removing them with a combination of white vinegar and water. Then, wipe them over with a damp kitchen towel and buff dry with another clean, dry sheet of kitchen towel.

If you love going for a long walk in the country, our easy method for cleaning walking boots will make it easier for you to love the prep for it. And it means you won’t have to think twice when you’re on your next walking about sploshing through that extra muddy path that looks like fun… 

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