Keep your rubber boots smelling fresh with regular cleaning.

How to Clean the Insides of Rubber Boots

by Melissa King

A pair of heavy-duty rubber boots comes in handy on rainy or snowy days. Exposure to wet weather, though, can cause moisture to build up inside your boots, causing mold and mildew to develop and give off an unpleasant odor. If your rubber boots aren't smelling as fresh as you'd like, you can clean the insides with a spray of diluted vinegar. Vinegar will sanitize the boots, and its strong smell fades as it dries.

Crumple up several sheets of newspaper and stuff your boots with them if they're soaking wet. The newspaper absorbs moisture inside the boots. This prevents the boots from getting moldy.

Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 1/2 tap water and 1/2 white vinegar. Stir or shake well to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Mist the insides of both boots a few times with the water-vinegar mixture.

Wipe the insides of the boots with a towel to dry. Pay particular attention to the heel and toe areas. If these areas still have an odor after wiping the boots, spray and wipe them again.

Allow the boots to dry in a cool spot for 24 to 48 hours.

Items you will need

  • Newspaper
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Towel


  • Always wear socks with your rubber boots. Socks protect your boots by absorbing sweat and odor from your feet.
  • Store your boots upright in a dry, dark location, such as an indoor closet. Extreme temperatures and bright light can damage boots. Don't store boots outdoors, because temperature fluctuations can damage rubber.
  • To clean the outsides of your boots, fill a spray bottle with water and add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Spray the boots with the soapy water, and then wipe them clean with a towel. Use a scrub brush to remove stubborn, stuck-on debris.
  • Treat your boots regularly with rubber conditioner to prevent cracking and drying.


  • Do not leave wet socks in your boots. This may cause mildew to develop.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

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