So, you’re gearing up to bust out those boarding boots after what feels like the longest spring, summer and fall seasons in history. Chances are good they’re pretty grimy. Just like with your boards, it’s all about how you store your boots. Properly cleaning and storing away your boots will lengthen their lifespan and help you powder hounds get after all the pow. Follow these tips to protect one of the more vital investments in your boarding career– your boots.
Don’t Just Throw Those Boots in a Closet – Clean and Protect Them
Clean Your Boots!
Cleaning your boots requires minimal supplies and can be done almost anywhere – your kitchen sink or table, garage, or outside on your driveway or patio area. Just about all the supplies you will need, you already have around your house too:
- A clean cloth or a soft sponge
- Spray water bottle
- Toothbrush (optional for gritty, hard to reach spots)
- Mild dish soap
- Bucket or sink filled with hot water
Start by removing the liners and insoles from your boots. Whether you ski or ride, moisture develops inside your boots as you use them. This moisture can cause your boots to stink and mold. Using a spray bottle, spray both liners and insoles with slightly warm water to get them damp. Then, with a sponge dipped in mild soap, wipe the insoles from top to bottom, as well as the inside of your liners. Rinse by wiping everything down with clean water and clearing away any excess soap. Try to avoid repeated rubbing in one area on both the insoles and liners as this can damage them.
TIP: NEVER put your liners or insoles in the washer or dryer! This will destroy them.
Allow liners and insoles to air dry completely – at least a day – before putting them back into your boots. If your boots are extremely wet, you can use a boot dryer (they’re awesome, trust us).
Next, clean both the inside and outside of your shells with a damp cloth and mild soap and water. Dawn dish soap is highly recommended- it’s mild enough that it won’t degrade the plastic shell but it still kills all the germs throwing a party in your boots and can cut through the grime that manmade snow tends to leave behind.
TIP: Use a toothbrush to clean any extra dirt and grim from these hard-to-reach areas.
You might be thinking, “. . . but my boots don’t stink.” The thing is, they probably do have some kind of funk, especially after storage between seasons. Odds are this is a result of putting boots away still damp – another reminder to make sure your boots are COMPLETELY dry before storage. To keep your boots smelling fresh, you can spray them with a quick shot of Febreze down each boot prior to storage. If you still notice an odor that cleaning and drying doesn’t remove, here are a few other tips and tricks you can try:
- Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda inside your boots to absorb any remaining musty odor and leave the baking soda inside the boots overnight. Either shake out your boots or vacuum, using an upholstery attachment to remove the baking soda.
- Fabric Softener Sheets: Tuck 1-2 fabric softener dryer sheets inside each boot and let sit overnight before storing away. To keep boots fresh regularly, you can also do this after each day on the mountain.
- Try using either a charcoal-based liner or an anti-microbial insert to combat the smell.
Always lace up your boots when not in use, especially during the offseason. If you leave them hanging open, the shell material may begin to take on a different shape and your boots will not fit as comfortably next season. Lace your boots snug enough to keep them in proper shape, but do not over-tighten! This can stretch the material while in storage, and again, change the shape and fit of the boots. End of season is also a great time to inspect snowboard boot laces and replace if they’re worn.
Often times, boots get kicked into a dark corner or stashed in the garage, along with snowboards at the end of the season. As with skis and snowboards, your boots should also be stored in a climate-controllable and dry place, like a closet, laundry room, or finished basement. They should NEVER be stored in a garage, unfinished basement, crawl space, or attic. Any environment that is damp or exposed to heat can harm your boots. Snowboard boots should be stored standing upright. It is also a good idea to put a plastic grocery bag loosely over your boots to allow for air circulation and keep out any dust that may acquire during the off season.
TIP: DO NOT store boots in a boot bag or closed storage container long term. Bags especially may be dirty from your boots being carried in them all season and can trap moisture in. Same with closed storage containers. This type of storage results in mold and bacteria, causing that nasty odor mentioned previously.
Taking a bit of time and care and following these tips will not only provide proper hygiene and significantly save the life span of your boots, but it will also will keep your boots fresh and ready to go when the snow starts to fly and the lifts start to turn next season.