How to Wash Climbing Shoes

How to wash climbing shoes

Climbing shoes, especially those used for indoor climbing or climbing in wet conditions, can become dirty and smelly over time. Learning how to wash climbing shoes is an important part of keeping your climbing gear in good condition. Not only do dirty shoes smell bad, but they can also harbor bacteria and fungus that can cause health issues. Here is a guide on how to properly clean climbing shoes.

Step 1: Gather materials

Before you begin cleaning your climbing shoes, gather all the materials you will need. This includes a bucket or sink, mild detergent, a brush (an old toothbrush works well), a towel or cloth, and a sunny spot to dry the shoes.

Step 2: Remove the laces

Remove the laces from your climbing shoes, this will make it easier to clean the inside of the shoe and the laces separately.

Step 3: Clean the exterior

Using a brush, gently scrub the exterior of the shoes to remove any dirt, grime, or chalk. If the shoes are particularly dirty, you can use a mild detergent to help break down the dirt and grime. Be sure to rinse the shoes thoroughly to remove all traces of detergent.

How to wash climbing shoes

Step 4: Clean the interior

Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. Immerse the shoes in the water and use the brush to gently scrub the inside of the shoes, paying special attention to the toe box and heel area. Be sure to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated inside the shoe. Rinse the shoes thoroughly to remove all traces of detergent.

Step 5: Clean the laces

If the laces are dirty, you can wash them in the same bucket or sink you used to clean the shoes. Use the brush to scrub the laces and remove any dirt or grime. Rinse the laces thoroughly and set them aside to dry.

Step 6: Dry the shoes

Once you have finished cleaning the shoes and laces, it’s important to dry them thoroughly before storing them. If possible, stuff the shoes with newspaper or a towel to help absorb any excess moisture. Place the shoes in a sunny spot to dry them completely. Avoid using a mechanical dryer or hair dryer as this amount of heat can deform the shoes. Be sure to dry the shoes completely before storing them to prevent bacteria or fungus growth.

Step 7: Disinfect the shoes

After cleaning and drying the shoes, you can use an antimicrobial spray or powder to disinfect the shoes and kill any bacteria or fungus that may be present. This is especially important if you have had any fungal or bacterial infections in your feet.

Cleaning climbing shoes can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s an important step in maintaining them. By following these steps, you can ensure that your climbing shoes are clean, fresh-smelling, and in good condition.

Some additional tips:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach when cleaning your climbing shoes, as these can damage the materials and weaken the structure of the shoe.
  • If you’re cleaning climbing shoes that have leather uppers, use a leather cleaner and conditioner to keep the leather supple and prevent it from cracking.
  • If you’re cleaning climbing shoes that have synthetic uppers, use a mild detergent and avoid using any products that contain solvents or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the synthetic materials.

In summary, cleaning climbing shoes is an important step in maintaining them. Knowing how to wash climbing shoes will greatly improve your ability to prolong their life.