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  • Writer's pictureRugby Gear

Can Rugby Boots go in the washing machine?

Title: How to Clean Rugby Boots: A Comprehensive Guide


Rugby boots are an essential piece of equipment for players, providing traction, support, and stability on the field. Over time, these boots can accumulate dirt, mud, and sweat, making them less effective and, frankly, unpleasant to wear. Many rugby enthusiasts wonder whether it's safe to toss their beloved boots into the washing machine. In this article, we'll explore whether rugby boots can go in the washing machine and offer the best alternative methods for cleaning and maintaining them.

Can You Wash Rugby Boots in the Machine?

In most cases, it is not recommended to put rugby boots in the washing machine. Rugby boots are constructed with a combination of materials, including leather, synthetic materials, and various adhesives, which can be damaged by the harsh conditions inside a washing machine. The spinning, agitation, and exposure to water and detergents can lead to the deterioration of the boots, affecting their performance and longevity.

Cleaning Rugby Boots: The Best Practices

1. Manual Cleaning: The most effective way to clean rugby boots is by hand. Here's a step-by-step guide:

a. Remove Loose Dirt: Before you start, tap your boots together or use a brush to

remove any loose dirt, grass, or mud.

b. Wipe Down: Dampen a cloth or sponge with lukewarm water and gently wipe down

the surface of the boots to remove surface stains and grime. Avoid using hot water, as it

can damage the materials.

c. Cleaning Solution: For stubborn stains, you can create a mild cleaning solution by

mixing a small amount of mild dish soap with water. Apply this solution sparingly to the

stained areas and scrub gently with a soft brush or cloth.

d. Rinse Thoroughly: Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off any soap residue from the

boots. Ensure you thoroughly rinse and remove all soap.

e. Dry Naturally: Allow the boots to air dry naturally at room temperature. Avoid using

direct heat sources like radiators or hairdryers, as excessive heat can cause the materials

to crack or warp.

2. Laces: Don't forget to remove the laces from your rugby boots before cleaning. You can wash laces separately by hand or in a mesh bag in the washing machine.

3. Insoles: Remove and clean the insoles separately to prevent odors and bacterial growth. Let them air dry completely before placing them back into the boots.

4. Studs and Cleats: If your boots have detachable studs or cleats, remove them for cleaning. Clean them with a brush, paying attention to any crevices where dirt can accumulate.

5. Odor Control: To combat unpleasant odors, sprinkle baking soda or use specialized boot deodorizers inside your rugby boots when they are not in use.

6. Maintenance: Regularly check for loose stitching, detached soles, or other signs of wear and tear. Promptly address any issues to prolong the lifespan of your rugby boots.


While rugby boots should not be washed in the machine due to potential damage, following proper cleaning techniques and maintenance practices will keep them in excellent condition. By regularly cleaning, drying, and inspecting your rugby boots, you'll ensure they provide the necessary support and performance on the field while extending their lifespan. Taking care of your boots not only enhances your gameplay but also represents a valuable investment in your rugby equipment.


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