How do I Clean Plastic Mountaineering Boots?

How do I Clean Plastic Mountaineering Boots?
Plastic mountaineering boots have made great strides in the last 20 years. They have always been popular because they keep your feet drier than their leather counterparts, but cold weather made the older models stiff which meant choosing between dry boots or stiff boots on your climb. Technology has made that choice moot. Today's plastic mountaineering boots combine the durability and easy clean-up of plastic with the flexibility only attributed to leather boots in the past. Plastic mountaineering boots are no longer a matter of convenience, they are a top choice among climbers. Clean your plastic boots after every climb to keep them in top condition.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bucket
  • Nylon brush
  • 2 tsp. liquid dish soap
  • Sink
  • Towel
Step 1
Remove the inner linings and laces from your plastic mountaineering boots.
Step 2
Remove any dried mud from the sides and bottoms of your plastic mountaineering boots with a nylon brush.
Step 3
Fill a bucket with warm water. Dip your nylon brush in the water and brush the outer parts of your plastic mountaineering boots gently until they are clean. Empty the bucket and fill it with clean water.
Step 4
Add one tsp. of liquid dish soap to the bucket. Swirl a rag in the bucket to mix the soap, wring the rag out until it is damp and thoroughly clean the inside of the boot with the rag. Rinse the rag with clean water, wring it out and wipe down the inside of the boot again. Allow the plastic mountaineering boot to dry completely. Empty the bucket and refill with clean water and another tsp. of liquid dish soap.
Step 5
Dunk the boot liners and boot laces into the bucket to mix the soap and water, and agitate them with your hands gently to clean them. Let them soak for five minutes. Run cold water over the bucket until the water runs out clean, while gently agitating the laces and liners with your hands. Gently hand wring the liners and laces and lay them out flat on a towel to dry. When the plastic mountaineering boots, liners and laces are dry, replace the liners and re-lace the boots.

Tips & Warnings

Step outside before brushing the dried mud off your boots.
To speed the drying time of your boots, fill the insides with crumpled balls of newspaper. Remove the newspaper as the boot dries, and replace it with new crumpled sheets of newspaper. Continue replacing the newspaper until the boot is dry.
Do not dry your boots in front of the fire. It can melt the rubber and plastic on your boots.

Article Written By Elizabeth Grace

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Elizabeth Grace is a freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Pepperdine University, and has 15 years of experience developing marketing campaigns for universities and multinational corporations.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.