How To Disinfect Work Boots? Keep You Boots And Feet Safe

It is crucial to practice proper hygiene always, whether you’re at home or outside. Wearing clean clothes, washing hands before eating, coughing with the mouth covered- no doubt anyone will appreciate the fact that you care about yourself as well as the people around you!

But, the main problem that arises is when you need to take off your work boots upon entering someone’s house. You get that, right?

It’s not surprising that a stinky smell comes out of your boots whenever you take them off. When you’re exposed to warm and humid conditions, your feet start to sweat, inviting bacteria to come over and have a good time. Bacteria then spread from your feet throughout the inside of your boots, which is why the boots smell.

But hey, no worries, because this guide will tell you how to disinfect work boots so that you can always keep them smell-free!

When Should I Disinfect My Work Boots?

It is important to disinfect your work boots every now and then. Doing so will kill the bacteria dwelling inside the boots and eliminate bad odor. Here’s when you should be disinfecting your precious boots.

If You Own A Secondhand Pair

It’s understandable if you purchase a secondhand pair of work boots considering the high price tag.

But, the problem is, someone else has worn it before, and there’s no way you can tell if that person had feet condition. If you wear them like that, your feet might get infected. So, whenever you buy not just work boots but any pair of secondhand shoes, make sure to disinfect them before wearing them.

If You Have Foot Infection

One of the most common infections that occur in the foot is the Athlete’s foot. It occurs when a person’s feet become sweaty inside socks and tight-fitting shoes. The damp environment facilitates the growth of the fungus, which results in itching, scaling, and burning.

This type of infection is contagious and can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams. If you’ve had an Athlete’s foot and treated it, the fungus might still be present inside your work boots, and wearing them can cause the infection to come back again. So, it is always a good idea to sanitize your work boots before wearing them.

When Your Boots Start To Smell

If you’ve noticed an unpleasant smell every time you come home and take off your work boots, it’s a sign of microorganisms dwelling inside the boots. Luckily, they can be killed if you disinfect the boots properly.

How To Disinfect Work Boots?

Disinfecting work boots isn’t a difficult task at all! By using the right methods, it is possible to keep your boots sanitized without damaging them. Below are some of the methods you can try at home.  

How To Disinfect Work Boots?

Method 1: Using Isopropyl Alcohol

Prepare The Solution

Isopropyl alcohol works great when it comes to disinfecting work boots. Take a clean spray bottle and fill it with 70 or 80 percent isopropyl alcohol and 30 or 20 percent water. Shake the bottle well.

Spray The Solution To Your Work Boots

Take your work boots and remove any socks from the inside. Spray the solution inside the boots until the insole is fully wet. When you’re done, let it dry naturally. It might take a few hours or a day depending on the amount of solution you have applied as well as the weather condition.

Wipe Off The Solution

 Once the boots are dry, it’s time to do some dry-cleaning. Take a clean cloth and humidify it with the solution. Use it to wipe the inside to remove any remaining microorganisms. Repeat the steps once for a thorough sanitizing.

Method 2: Using White Vinegar

Prepare The Solution

Take a clean spray bottle and pour one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. Shake the bottle well.

Spray The Solution To Your Work Boots

Spray the solution inside your boots until the insole gets wet. Let them dry naturally in a warm environment.

Method 3: Using Cold Temperature

Seal Your Work Boots

Put the work boots inside a large Ziploc bag and seal the bag tightly. This prevents the boots from getting into contact with extreme temperatures directly.

Place The Bag Inside The Freezer

Make some space in the freezer for storing the large bag. Place the bag and leave it for about four hours. Bacteria can’t survive in freezing temperatures, so all the bacteria present in your boots will be killed.

Thaw The Boots

Take out the bag and thaw the boots properly before wearing them. Your work boots should now be free from bacteria and fungus!

Some Precautions To Keep In Mind When Disinfecting Work Boots

When working with isopropyl alcohol, you will need to be careful because poor handling can cause dangerous situations to arise.

  • Isopropyl alcohol is a flammable liquid. When you’re handling it, make sure to stay away from any heat source as it can spark a fire.
  • Isopropyl alcohol can cause irritation, such as redness and itching when it comes into contact with the skin. It is recommended you always wear protective clothing, gloves, and safety goggles when handling the alcohol.
  • When inhaled, isopropyl alcohol can cause headaches, dizziness, and unconsciousness. So, always work in a room with the windows open or outside in the garden.
  • Store the alcohol container in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Make sure to keep it far away from ignition sources.

Tips For Keeping Your Boots Bacteria And Smell-Free

Besides disinfecting your work boots, here are some tips you can follow for your well-being.

  • Always keep your feet clean in order to prevent unpleasant odor. It is recommended you wash your feet thoroughly with antibacterial soap at least once a day after getting involved in physical activities.
  • Cotton socks can absorb moisture more readily and cause your feet to become damp. It is recommended you wear woolen or bamboo socks with your work boots.
  • During the winter season, your work boots can get wet which will cause microorganisms to grow inside. It is recommended you always keep your wet boots near the heater or other areas where they will dry quickly.
  • If you have another pair of work boots, wear them instead of wearing the same pair every day. Doing so will allow you to clean and disinfect the boots alternately.
  • If you’re dealing with stubborn foot odor or severe feet irritation, it is recommended you visit a doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Throw My Work Boots Into The Washing Machine?

Work boots can be cleaned with a mild detergent and normal-temperature water in the washing machine. However, doing so will only remove the dirt from the boots and not disinfect them.

Can I Use Lysol Wipes On My Leather Work Boots?

Lysol wipes and other disinfectant wipes should not be used in footwear because they can damage the surface material. If you use such wipes in your leather work boots, the alcohol present in them will compromise the leather’s topcoat and cause the material to wear out and lose color.

Will The Bacteria And Fungus Grow Again?

Bacteria and fungus may start inhabiting again because of sweaty feet and dampness inside the boots. It all depends on how long you’re doing your work and the environment you’re working in.

A good idea is to have another pair of work boots in handy so that you can wear them to work while disinfecting the other one.

How Do I Deodorize My Work Boots?

A quick and effective way of eliminating unpleasant odor is by using baking soda. Baking soda is generally known to absorb moisture, which causes bacteria to be removed. All you need to do is pour some baking soda in two small bags and place them inside each work boot. Let them stay for 24 hours.

It’s not a good idea to sprinkle baking soda directly on leather or suede boots because it can damage the material.


As you know, personal hygiene is very important if you want to prevent yourself from falling sick. Just like how you take care of your clothing and utensils, you also need to take care of your work boots.

It is worth noting that the above methods aren’t a once-and-for-all solution to keeping microorganisms at bay because you can’t tell when they come back again! You will need to follow your desired method regularly, along with the tips to keep both your feet and footwear happy!

Now that you know how to disinfect work boots, we hope you’ll be able to take them off with confidence!

Hey, I've been working with as a podiatric specialist. You will get all the suggestions to remove your foot-related problems such as sciatica, bunions, mallet or hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, etc. Thus, you will find the most authentic information to battle your foot condition and which type of boot and shoes to wear to relieve your agony and eliminate or reduce the problem for a healthy lifestyle.

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