How to Clean Climbing Shoes Effectively in 7 Best Steps- 2022

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Shoes?

First, let’s talk about why it’s so important to clean your shoes. The most important reason is for your own safety.

As you rock climb, the dirt in the grooves on the bottom of your shoes will gradually accumulate, causing them to lose their grip.

Cleaning your climbing shoes on a regular basis can help keep you from slipping while climbing.

Furthermore, it is more sanitary.

Rock climbing is a high-intensity activity, which means your feet will sweat. This sweat will begin to accumulate in your shoes, giving them a foul odour and even putting you at risk of fungus infection.

As a result, they are not only more important to keep clean, but also more difficult.

Follow the instructions below to properly clean your climbing shoes and avoid unnecessary accidents and odours. I’ve compiled the simplest and quickest guide to keeping your climbing shoes clean.

How to clean climbing shoes

There are two ways to wash your shoes: by hand or by washing machine(not recommend). However, hand washing your shoes is always my favourite because it provides the user with various advantages while cleaning the shoes.

For one thing, hand cleaning the shoes gives the user entire control over what he does to the shoes. He can be very gentle so as not to physically or figuratively ruin the shoes.

To clean your climbing shoes and get rid of stench and dirt, follow the detailed steps below. This guide will not only help you keep your shoes clean,

but it will also help you get rid of odours and make your shoes last longer.

How to clean climbing shoes by hand

How to clean climbing shoes

Follow 7 Steps for clean climbing shoes

1: A Tub or Sink With Water

Fill the tub or sink with warm water. Don’t use hot or boiling water because it will damage your shoes and destroy the rubber on the sole,

and cold water won’t work so well! So Water temperature should be around 30 to 35°C; this temperature is enough to remove any dirt, dust, or debris.

2: Mild Detergent

Sweat and dirt can be removed with a mild detergent. If you don’t use any detergent,

it will be hard to remove residues and sweat because the water itself doesn’t get deep enough into the cracks and niches of your shoes.

Harsh chemicals and strong detergent will damage the soles and upper liner of your shoes

so don’t use this also strong chemicals can also cause the leather to wear out faster or even cause it to be damaged.

3: Turn Shoes Upside Down and Pad Them to Remove Debris and Small Rocks

First Brush the dust from the shoe with the small brush BEFORE allowing the shoes to get wet. Bytransforming the shoes into mud and paste,

You avoid introducing small particles of chalk and dust into the shoes.Brush the shoes gently with your fingers,

then blow some air over them with your lips to remove any dust particles.

Then, flip the shoes upside down and lightly pad the toe box to ensure that little crumbles of chalk, rocks, and stone fall out on the bottom opening.

Begin by rinsing your shoes and gently brushing the footbed and inside of the uppers.

4: Gently Scrub Outside of Shoes

Wet the shoes a little, then scrub the outside with the small brush. Include the upper, tongue, and sole of the shoe.

The brush is ideal for removing stains that would otherwise be difficult to remove.

But don’t be too harsh with the brush; your goal isn’t to remove the soles or damage the material, but to clean the shoes!

Cleaning the sole is also important; soak the shoes in lukewarm water to loosen the dirt and make it easier to remove.

Make sure to completely submerge and soak them; this will remove germs and bacteria that cause bad smells.

5: Clean Inside

Scrub the inside of your shoes gently with your small brush. However, wash the scrub before cleaning the inside,

as it will be dirty from the previous scrubbing! It’s critical to clean the hard-to-reach areas in the toe box and upper of the shoe,

and if you can’t reach a corner, clean and rub the area with your fingers.

After cleaning the shoes, dunk them into warm soapy water several times to remove any brown or coloured water.

The loosened dirt particles will be removed by the soapy water! At first, you’ll be surprised/disgusted by how brown the water is.

Continue to scrub the inside and outside of the shoe gently until the water runs clear.

6: Rinse your Rock Climbing Shoes Lukewarm Fresh Water

Drain and thoroughly rinse your sink or tub before filling it with lukewarm fresh water.

Place your rock climbing or bouldering shoes in the tub and wiggle them around, up and down, sideways, and around.

Swish them around a little to allow water to enter any openings and holes and completely remove any soap remnants.

Repeat at least 2-3 times, or until no soap or dirty water comes out of the shoes.

7: Completely Dry

Never put them in the dryer machine and never expose them to direct sunlight. This will inevitably cause glue to melt,

shoes to become misshapen, and rubber to degrade. Climbing shoes’ natural enemies are direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

So shake the shoes to remove any remaining water. Then, wick and wipe the shoes with a clean towel, soaking in as much moisture as possible.

I discovered that the best way to dry climbing shoes is to open the laces and velcro as far as possible and then place them somewhere in a warm room with a light breeze.

To speed up the drying process, stuff them with newspaper or a clean paper towel. In the winter, place them near a radiator but not directly on top of it.

Allow the shoes to dry completely before wearing them, and do not wear them until they are completely dry.

Your shoes will be dry and ready to climb back into after a few hours.

You could use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process; just make sure it’s on a low heat setting and keep it away from your shoes.

You’re not trying to heat up your shoes here, just provide some extra airflow.

How to wash climbing shoes in washing machine

I will not recommend machine wash your climbing shoes. For one, you have no control over the washing process,

and it might damage the physical structure of the shoes. Although some synthetic shoes have the possibility of being machine washed,

1. Remove dust before wet

This is the same as when washing your climbing shoes by hands. Brush the dust from the shoe with a tiny brush BEFORE allowing the shoes to become wet.

This prevents small particles of chalk and dust from becoming embedded in the shoes by turning them into mud and paste…

Gently brush over the shoes and blow some air over them with your lips to remove any dust and dirt particles

2. Remove debris and little rocks by padding and turn shoes upside down

To remove debris and small rocks, turn your shoes inside out and pad them.

Then, flip the shoes over and softly pad the toe box to ensure that no small bits of chalk, gravel, or stone fall into the bottom opening.

3. Select gentle washing cycle mode

Select a Gentle Washing Cycle in your washing machine.Use the synthetics or delicates mode if your washing machine has one.

Synthetic climbing shoes can be washed, but don’t use a machine that spins faster than 1000 rpm.When the temperature is 30-40 °C (85-100 °F), I find that 500-800 rpm works great.

4. Use detergent

You should only use a very light detergent, just as you would for hand washing. Synthetic detergent is effective in killing odours and germs.

I can’t emphasise this enough: don’t wash leather shoes in the machine! If possible —, use a synthetic or sensitive cycle in the machine washer!

5. Lukewarm fresh water

Fresh Lukewarm Water on Shoes as with hand washing, when the washing machine has done, give the shoes another round of cold water rinsing — Sometimes a machine can leave residues!

6. Dry them completely

NEVER use a hot drier to dry your climbing shoes; it will ruin the grippy soles and harm the rubber! You must dry them by hand and with air! Shake the shoes to get rid of any remaining water.

Then, wick and wipe the shoes with a clean towel, soaking in as much moisture as possible.

I discovered that the easiest method to dry climbing shoes is to open the laces and velcro as far as possible and then place them somewhere in a warm room with a light breeze.

To speed up the drying process, stuff them with newspaper or a clean paper towel.Don’t Allow them to sit in direct sunshine; UV rays will destroy the material.

In the winter, place them near a radiator but not immediately on top of it. Allow the shoes to dry fully before wearing them, and do not wear them until they are completely dry!

it is still not highly recommended. So I prefer use your hand for clean your climbing shoes which mentioned above.

Can you wash climbing shoes?

A most asked common question which we get is ‘can you wash climbing shoes?’

Surprisingly, there is a lot of contradictory information available on this topic. Even the producers of climbing shoes won’t agree on an answer.

Some companies, such as Evolv, do not recommend washing climbing shoes at all because it can degrade the bond that keeps the shoe’s structural integrity.

Scarpa, on the other hand, believes that washing your shoes is totally acceptable. They even promote it. The salt and other substances in human sweat, according to the Italian shoemaker, decrease the flexibility and strength of the shoe’s material.

They claim that a good clean every now and then may do wonders for your shoes.
Washing climbing shoes carefully (and correctly) on a regular basis, in my opinion, will have little affect on their performance or lifespan.

I’ve washed a lot of shoes, both leather and synthetic, and I’ve never had any problems as a result of a thorough cleaning.

Cleaning climbing shoes with Alcohol

People recommend using rubbing alcohol to clean climbing shoes, which I do not recommend.

Alcohol can degrade adhesives, causing the glue that holds your shoes together to dissolve. So don’t use it.

How to clean climbing shoes dirty soles

When doing climbing activities, a dirty sole can cause a slippery foothold.

If not taken care of, dirt accumulation can significantly reduce the grip of the shoes.

In this case, washing the dirty sole can go a long way toward preventing slippery footholds and maintaining the effectiveness of the grip.

Again, washing the sole entails taking a watch and gently scrubbing it to remove dirt. After that, let them air dry.

A little water and a good scrub with an old tooth brush can also work wonders for your soles.

I recommend sticking to water because it will clean 99 percent of dirt shoes perfectly.

Wipe your shoes off before starting your climb to prevent an excessive buildup of dirt and thus give your shoes extra traction.

I guarantee you’ll notice a big difference if you do it with a cloth, your pant leg, or a swipe of your hand.

Cleaning your rubber not only helps with grip, but it can also help extend the life of your shoes.

Scrubbing your soles can help reduce wear caused by dirt grinding on your shoes if you climb outside a lot.

This means fewer dirt-covered holds for all in the gym. It’s a win-win situation!

The Reason Why Climbing Shoes Smelling

Bacteria that thrive on dead skin cells are one of the main reasons why climbing shoes stink so bad.

Dead skin will fall off and be left inside your shoe as you wear your shoes. As you sweat more, the situation worsens.

By removing as much dead skin as possible, you should be able to eliminate the majority of the odour.

It’s time to tend to those gnarly toes.Get yourself a pumice stone, an exfoliation kit, or a file from the woodshop.

Scrub all of the rough areas of your foot’s skin. The more dead skin you remove, the less will fall away naturally and end up in your climbing shoes.

Remember that dry skin sheds more, so keep those feet moisturised.

How do I stop my climbing shoes from smelling

Do you want to know how to get out the smell from your climbing shoes?

Don’t be concerned. You’re not the only one who feels this way.

It’s no surprise that our shoes develop foul odours quickly because we’re so active in them

Climbing is physically demanding sport! 
All of the sweat and dead skin cells that get 
trapped inside your shoes build up over time, 
resulting in unpleasant odours that may seem impossible to remove, but don’t give up. 
You can use some simple techniques to both prevent and treat the problem of stinky climbing

There are many mathods but I mentioned best methods which are best for smelling out from your shoes.

Mathod 1
1.Deep Cleaning Your Shoes
(i).When your shoes become particularly stinky, soak them in soapy water. Each shoe contains 14.8 mL of any regular laundry detergent.
Submerge the shoes for up to 24 hours in a bucket or container filled with lukewarm water.
To be safe, avoid washing your climbing shoes in the machine. Use only cold or lukewarm water and a gentle cycle when washing.
(ii) Scrub the shoes with a brush and thoroughly rinse them.
Scrub your shoes inside and out with a bristled cleaning brush or an old toothbrush to remove odours and dirt.
Rinse the shoes in cold water until the soap suds have disappeared and the water is clear.
It’s worth noting that when you wash your shoes this way, they may lose some of their colour, especially after several washes.
(iii) Before storing your shoes, let them air dry completely. Wet shoes should be hung up or left out in the open in a well-ventilated area.
Allow them to air dry completely before storing them to avoid re-developing odours.
Allow your shoes to air dry outside if the weather is warm and dry. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as this can cause some shoe materials to warp.

If you’re concerned that your climbing shoes will become misshapen after being washed, stuff them with old newspapers to keep them in shape.

Method 2
Prevent Odours
(i)To get rid of dead skin cells, wash your feet before going climbing. Wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water in the shower or bath.
Scrub your feet thoroughly with a pumice or a rough sponge to remove all of the dead skin cells that cause bad odours.
Because certain types of odory bacteria feed on dead skin cells, keeping your feet clean reduces the accumulation of these cells inside your climbing shoes.
(ii) To kill bacteria, spray an antiseptic spray inside your shoes.
Grab a can of antiseptic spray, similar to what the staff at your local climbing gym uses on shoes, and generously spray.
it inside both shoes to inhibit the growth of stinky bacteria.
Disinfectant spray is another name for antiseptic spray.
Disinfectant spray is most likely available from your favourite cleaning supply company.
For the best results, do this both before and after you climb.
(iii) Apply climbing chalk to your feet to absorb sweat while climbing. Apply some chalk to the soles of your feet before putting on your shoes.
The chalk absorbs sweat, preventing stinky shoes.Remember that the insides of your shoes will be chalked.
To avoid making a mess elsewhere, turn your shoes upside down and knock out the excess chalk after climbing.
(iv)If desired, wear socks while climbing to create an odour barrier.
Socks act as a barrier between your skin and your shoes, absorbing sweat and preventing odours, but they make climbing more difficult.
Do this only if you are comfortable climbing in socks. Socks make it difficult to feel foot holds on a climbing wall or rocks,

so this isn’t a practical option if you want to perform at your best.

Mathod 3
Airing Out
(i) Instead of putting your shoes inside your bag, clip them to the outside.
When you carry or store your shoes inside your gear bag, the moist conditions and lack of air circulation foster the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
To avoid this, hang your climbing shoes on the outside of your bag before and after climbs to allow them to air out.
When it comes to stinky shoes, the main culprits are trapped moisture and bacteria growth.

(ii) Allow your shoes to dry after climbing to avoid bacteria growth. 

Place your climbing shoes out in the open, somewhere dry, and allow them to completely dry 
before storing them in closet or elsewhere. 
When doing this, keep them out of direct 
sunlight to avoid warping any of the materials. 
To absorb sweat and moisture faster, stuff 
crumpled newspapers inside your shoes.
(iii) Place your shoes in the freezer overnight to prevent bacteria from growing.
Place your shoes in a plastic bag after climbing to keep them separate from the food in your freezer.
To prevent bacteria from growing, seal the bag and store the shoes in the freezer until the next day.
If you have a climb planned for the next day, remove your shoes from the freezer ahead of time to allow them to thaw and warm up.
(iv) To absorb odours, put activated charcoal inserts in your shoes.
Purchase a set of charcoal shoe inserts, such as bamboo charcoal bags. When you’re not wearing your shoes,
put 1 bag inside each of them to keep them from stinking up the place.
Charcoal air purifying bags are another name for activated charcoal inserts.
Look for banana-shaped shoe inserts made with charcoal and other odor-fighting ingredients online.
Another option is to put activated charcoal sticks inside thin socks. The socks should then be stuffed inside your shoes for storage.
(v) In a pinch, stuff dryer sheets into your shoes to deodorise them.
Take a handful of scented dryer sheets and stuff one into each of your shoes. This can help to reduce odours and freshen up your shoes between climbs.
Keep in mind that, unlike charcoal, dryer sheets do not actually absorb odours. They simply help to mask odours, making them less noticeable.
(vi) Deodorize shoes between climbs with baking soda and water. Fill each of your climbing shoes with 9.6g baking soda.
Add enough lukewarm water to make a paste of the baking soda and scrub it all over the inside of each shoe.
After scrubbing your shoes, thoroughly rinse them to remove all of the baking soda.
If you don’t rinse out the baking soda, the insides of your shoes will become slimy and slippery.
You are not required to try all of the methods.
If you’re sceptical of some of these methods, 
don’t feel obligated to try them. 
Simply try the ones that sound like they’d be the most beneficial. 

would strongly recommend using lukewarm water with detergent and washing your feet before climbing.

How to dry climbing shoes?

After climbing, the simplest technique is to air dry the shoes. Even the sweatiest climbing shoes can dry fast if they are kept outside in the open air.

Furthermore, the bacteria’s breeding site will be destroyed in the process. Using newspaper to stuff the shoes can also help speed up the process.

How to clean climbing shoes La Sportiva?

I’ve heard folks say the washing machine was fantastic, and I’ve also heard people claim it ruined their shoes.

The safest option is to hand wash in a basin with warm water and a tablespoon of dishwashing soap. Then shake out as much water as you can, hand-dry the rest with an old towel, and finish drying with old newspaper.

You’ll have to change the newspaper a few times. If you use heat or bright sunlight to dry them, the shoes will shrink.

Allow them to air dry completely, which will take 1-3 days depending on your local humidity.

How do you clean rock-climbing shoes, without ruining them?

There are a few things you can do to keep your climbing shoes in good shape. If they’re particularly filthy, soak them in water.

In many cases, a little soap and water solution applied with an old toothbrush to the cracks and soles is sufficient. Allow them to air dry whenever possible.

You can also wear them while they’re still damp to ensure that they don’t shrink on you. When they’re very dirty, I’ll throw them in the wash with cold water and little or no detergent.

When I’m done, I remove the laces and hang them to dry.They can shrink if you put them in the dryer. Before placing the shoes in the laundry, double-check that the soles aren’t loose.

If they are, gorilla glue can be used to secure loose soles. I hope this information is useful.

Is it okay to wash climbing shoes in a washing machine?

Washing climbing shoes in a washing machine: Not recommended

You can take a chance if you know your shoes are made entirely of synthetic materials (not leather).

Use cold/warm water, a low spin setting, and a mild detergent (aka no bleach) Put the shoes in a pillowcase to keep the rubber from scratching the machine’s walls, and make sure the laces/velcro are undone or very loose so water can get in.

Shoes stretching, stitching/glue coming loose due to strong spin or heat are all concerns. Hand-washing climbing shoes is recommended.

You can wash your shoes in the sink with a light detergent*, and you can rinse them with your hands or a brush. As your shoes dry, stuff them with newspaper.

*If the shoe is made of synthetics, you can typically get away with using a stronger hand soap and/or rubbing it more vigorously.

Last but not least, never put your climbing shoes in the dryer (the high heat is asking for trouble with the glue and other materials).

How do you clean white shoes in 5 minutes?

I hope you’re all doing well; nonetheless, the simplest approach to clean your shoes in 5 minutes is to do the following:

Tissue paper may be used to clean your shoes in 5 minutes. Tissue paper is readily accessible in the market and is very convenient to carry around. It is also very inexpensive.

When you’re on a train or in the metro, and you’re wearing your prized white sneaker, and someone just steps on it and it gets soiled, it’s because the train is overcrowded.

So, to clean your shoes instantly, you just need one thing: white chalk. Yes, you read that correctly, you should always carry white chalk and tissue paper whenever you wear white shoes.

To clean your white shoes with white chalk, simply take some chalk in your palm and start putting it where you detect a stain, then gently remove the chalk powder with a tissue paper and you’re good to go.

I hope you found these suggestions useful.

What are some tips for cleaning smelly sneakers?

A nice spray of shoe deodorant from a can.

I’m not into sneakers because I don’t own any, but if it works for all-leather, alloy-capped work shoes after a 10–16 hour full-tilt shift in a busy commercial kitchen in the middle of the hottest summer we’ve had in a decade or five, I’m sure it’ll work for those.

I’m not sure if it’s accessible where you are, but in Germany, every drugstore and full-service supermarket stocks a (or several) brand-name variety(s) plus, more often than not, a store brand.

They all work fine, however some are scented with industrial odours that are quite unpleasant (at least to me).

How to clean chalk off climbing shoes?

One of the simplest phases of the process is cleaning the chalk out of your climbing shoes. Simply clean around the insides of your shoes with a damp, wet towel. This will aid in the collection of any dust, powder, or chalk that may be present.

FAQ’s On How to Clean Climbing Shoes

Do you need to clean climbing shoes?

DISCLAIMER IN THE HEADER NOTICE: WASHING YOUR CLIMBING SHOES IS NOT RECOMMENDED! Washing your climbing shoes, whether synthetic or leather, can cause the adhesive to delaminate and the materials to break down faster.

How do you clean climbing shoes with vinegar?

White vinegar is an excellent disinfectant as well as a deodorizer. Before washing your climbing shoes, soak them in a basin of vinegar for around half an hour.

Water can be used to dilute the vinegar. The vinegar treatment will make a significant impact and will also assist to keep the odour from returning for a longer period of time.

How do you clean the inside of your shoes?

You can wash your dishes using organic dish soap. Or Crepe, or Jason M’s, or whatever you want to call it. I have yet to find a soap that outperforms another. A soft brush, such as a worn-out Crepe brush, is ideal for this job.

Does rubbing alcohol get smell out of shoes?

Use rubbing alcohol to dry your shoes – rubbing alcohol absorbs moisture and allows the shoes to dry out.

Use vinegar and water – fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray it on the shoe’s interior as well as the outsole. Allow them to air dry for at least half an hour.

Does water ruin climbing shoes?

No, it will not ruin them; it will only fade them a bit, and possibly cause them to shrink if left in the sun.

Climbing shoes, in my experience, tend to be quite sticky when wet – I’ve never had a problem with a foot slipping in a wet shoe.

How do you clean climbing shoes with baking soda?

Baking soda is an effective way to remove the odour from your stinky climbing shoes.

Scrub inside each shoe with about 2 teaspoons of powder and lukewarm water.

Remember to rinse out as much baking soda as possible from your shoe after using this method,

or the inside of your shoe may become slimy and slippery the next time you climb.

Can you put your climbing shoes in the washing machine?

I will not recommend machine wash your climbing shoes. For one, you have no control over the washing process,

and it might damage the physical structure of the shoes. Washing can also affect the shoe’s shape, heel tension, and custom.

Although some synthetic shoes have the possibility of being machine washed,

it is still not highly recommended. So I prefer use your hand for clean your climbing shoes which mentioned above.

Does putting your shoes in the freezer stop them from smelling?

Put them in the freezer or outside: While this may appear to be an unusual method,

freezing your shoes is a highly effective way to kill the bacteriathat cause shoe odours. Allow the powder to settle in your shoes overnight.

Then take them out of the freezer and let them thaw for a few minutes before wearing.

If you live in an area where the temperature regularly falls below freezing at night,

putting the shoes in a paper bag and leaving them outside for the night is also a good idea!

Does foot powder ruin shoes?

Talc is used in foot powders to absorb moisture, and they often have scent and deodorant properties to mask odours.

A light dusting of medicated foot powder in the shoes before and after wearing them can help keep them dry and prevent fungal growth.

How do you permanently get rid of stinky feet?

These suggestions can assist you in reducing foot odour.

  • Keep your feet neat and clean.
  • Keep your toenails short by clipping them frequently and cleaning them on a regular basis.
  • Wash your feet once or twice day with mild soap and scrub brush.
  • Remove the hard, dead skin from your feet with a foot file
  • You should have two pairs of shoes that you alternate every other day
  • Select socks that absorb moisture rather than retaining it on your feet
  • In hot weather, wear open-toed sandals and go barefoot indoors when possible to keep your feet dry.
  • Shoes that are too tight or that retain moisture should be avoided.
  • On a daily basis, apply an antifungal foot spray or medicated foot powder to your feet.



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