how to clean snowboard boots

How To Clean Snowboard Boots [3 Super Secret Hacks]

by Fraser

Have you been too busy snowboarding to notice the rapidly deteriorating state of your boots?

Me too!

Unfortunately, the filth will soon become impossible to ignore.

If you’ve reached that fateful point, here’s my tips on how to clean your snowboard boots. 

The Short Answer

To effectively clean your snowboard boots, start by removing the liners and insoles for better access. Using a gentle soap and a soft cloth or brush, thoroughly clean both the exterior and interior.

  • To tackle foot odors, adding a specialized boot deodorizer can be a game-changer. For particularly stubborn odors, a helpful tip is to place your boots in the freezer for 48 hours, as the cold can neutralize the smell.

    Of course, that’s just an overview. I’ll revealed the lesser known tricks of the trade below.

    Alternatively, head straight to smelly snowboard boot fixes for fast solutions (that don’t require any cleaning)!

    Parts of Snowboard Boots That Need Cleaning

    Before diving into the cleaning process, we need to recap the anatomy of the snowboard boot

    Why? Because each part is made from different materials, some of which can be damaged by certain cleaning products. 

    1. Outside Parts That Need Cleaning

    • Outer Shell – This is the outermost part made of synthetic material or rubber to allow flexing. 
    • Laces or BOAs – This is the closure system that enables you to tighten or loosen the boots. 
    • Outsole – The bottom of the boot. 

    2. Inside Parts That Need Cleaning

    • Liner – The removable inside of the boot made from fleece and foam lining to provide comfort and insulation. 
    • Insole -This is the removable footbed where your foot rests. 
    Now let’s look at what you’ll need to clean your snowboard boots. 

    Supplies Needed To Clean Your Snowboard Boots

    Cleaning your snowboard boots is easily done using everyday household items. You don’t necessarily need all of these – unless you’re doing a deep clean. 

    1. White vinegar – Vinegar is acidic and helps loosen stains and dirt on your boot, making it easy to remove upon scrubbing. 
    2. Baking soda – This natural deodorizer removes moisture and foul odor from your boots.
    3. Detergent – Detergents are suitable for removing salt stains from snow.
    4. Hydrogen peroxide – The purpose of hydrogen peroxide is to kill germs. Snow moisture allows microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus, and yeast to grow in the boots. Gross!
    5. Sponge – Use this for wiping out dirt. 
    6. Soft brush, such as an old toothbrush – This will be needed for scrubbing stains. 
    7. Cold water – Needed to dissolve detergents and wash the boots. 
    8. A tab, sink, or basin – Large enough to hold around 5 liters (1.3 gallons) of water.
    9. A dry paper towel or soft cloth – Required for drying the boots. 
    10. Deodorant spray – For freshening the boots. 

    How To Clean Snowboard Boots Thoroughly

    For a complete, thorough clean, follow each of the below steps. 

    You can obviously skip a few steps for a quicker clean… or just clean the outer shell for example.

    1. Wash the Outer Shell

    Before washing the outside, remove the laces or the BOA, the liner, and the insole.

    Proceed as follows: 

    1. Pour around 5 liters (1.3 gallons) of cold water into a tub, sink, or basin and add a mild detergent such as dish soap. Stir the water to mix the detergent evenly. 
    2. Dip the sponge in water and wring it to remove excess water. 
    3. Wipe the outer shell and the sole till all the dirt comes out. 
    4. Replace the soapy water with clean water and use the sponge to rinse the soap off the boots. 
    5. Use a paper towel or a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture and leave the boots to air dry. Avoid artificial heat because it can destroy the glue that keeps the shell intact. 

    Hack #1: Removing Stubborn Stains

    If you’re seriously shredding the gnar, your boots will have some pretty stubborn stains!

    These can be hard to wash off with detergents, especially if they’re dark colors. Here’s a handy remedy for this:

    1. Prepare a thin paste using a spoonful of baking soda and half a spoon of hydrogen peroxide with warm water. 
    2. Dip your soft brush or toothbrush in the paste and scrub the stains on the outer shell and sole. The colors disappear in no time, and you can then rinse the boots with clean water and dry them. 

    Hack #2: Attacking Mold

    Moisture and damp conditions can cause mold to grow on your boots. This can get pretty nasty! 

    To remove it: 

    1. Mix around 500 ml (2 cups) of white vinegar and 500 ml (2 cups) of water. 
    2. Use a brush to scrub the mold, and it’ll break down nicely. 
    3. Rinse and dry

    2. Clean The Inside Of Your Snowboard Boots

    You must remove the liner, insole, and laces to reach all the dirt inside your boot. 

    Once you’re ready, follow these steps:

    1. Pour water into a tub, sink, or basin and mix 250 ml (1 cup) of white vinegar and 250 ml (1 cup) of utensil detergent to form a soapy solution. 
    2. Soak the insole and the laces for 15 minutes. 
    3. While the insole and laces are soaking, sponge the inside of your boot, rinse to remove soap, and dry them with a dry cloth or paper towel. 
    4. After 15 minutes, sponge the insole and the laces until they are clean, rinse them and leave them to air dry. 

    Can You Wash Snowboard Boot Liners?

    Although the outer shell protects the liner from moisture and dirt, it still gets dirty!

    When snowboarding at high speed, your feet sweat, making the liner moist. A moist environment provides a good breeding ground for microorganisms that produce a terrible odor. Yuck.

    So can you wash snowboard boot liners?

    You can wash your snowboard liners to remove dirt and bad smell. However, you cannot use hot water because it may cause the liner to shrink. You should also avoid using the washing machine for the same reason. Hand-wash the liners to avoid disaster. 

    how to wash snowboard liners

    To wash your snowboarding boot liners, follow these steps:

    1. Pour water into the tub, sink, or basin and mix it with detergent and hydrogen peroxide. 
    2. Soak the liners for 15 minutes and use your hands to wash them. 
    3. Use a paper towel to absorb excess water and put them upright on the sole to dry. 

    Hack #3: Tackling Smells

    Before washing the liners, try sprinkling them with some baking soda. Leaving them like this for about 30 minutes will drastically improve any bad smells. 

    How To Stop Snowboard Boots From Smelling

    If your boots still smell after thoroughly washing them… get yourself over to this article immediately!

    Bonus Hack: A quick and little known hack is to put your boots in a freezer for 48 hours. The cold temperature kills all of the bacteria that were producing a lousy odor. Just be sure to fully defrost them before you put them on your feet!

    Final Thoughts

    Cleaning your snowboard boots is cheap and easy (although admittedly… it is a little bit boring). 

    Nonetheless, no excuses!

    Clean your snowboard boots at least thrice this winter. It’ll keep them healthy and they’ll serve you much longer. 

    If you’ve got any other hacks, I’d love to hear them. Drop them in the comments below!

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