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Cleaning your football boots may not be one of your top priorities, but it's essential if you want to keep them in good condition for as long as possible.
Here are some tips on looking after your boots. It'll stop you from getting a telling-off from your coach for turning up with dirty ones.
It's the easiest solution and definitely the quickest, but you really need to avoid washing your boots in the shower after a match. Not only will your coach tell you off for blocking the shower with mud, you won't be doing your boots any good at all. If you completely soak them, you run the risk of damaging the material that keeps them in shape, which means they won't support your feet as well as they should. Then there's also the fact that it will encourage mould and mildew, which can't always be seen, to grow inside your boots.
This is THE best solution when it comes to taking proper care of your boots.
1. Start by brushing them to get rid of the worst of any mud stuck to the soles and uppers.
2. Then use a cloth or sponge and some soapy water to remove all traces of mud and dirt.
My little tip: use Marseille soap (your mum will almost certainly have some!!) as it's the most effective, non-aggressive product you can use on leather, synthetics and fabrics.
3. Give your football boots some tender, loving care: after you've washed them don't forget to buff them up. This will make sure they last longer. Football boot manufacturers always buff their boots up before packaging them to remove any imperfections and marks (traces of glue, etc.) and to deliver a perfect product. To keep them in perfect condition, put a little water on an old toothbrush and give the laces, seams and little nooks and crannies a good scrub before rubbing the whole boot with a dry cloth.
Never put your boots in a plastic bag at the bottom of your kitbag and leave them there. You have to let them breathe. Take them out when you get home, remove the insole, and leave everything in a dry place. It's very important to leave your boots out in the open, but not in direct sunlight or beneath a radiator as this could make them harden and crack.
And if you want to avoid any complaints at home about smelly boots, sprinkle talcum powder or baking soda inside them and on the insole.
All this advice also applies to leather football boots.
The only difference is that when they're dry, leather boots need a little nourishing to keep them strong and flexible.
Leather is a natural material, so you'll need natural products to condition it, such as grease, beeswax or aloe vera. Use a soft dry cloth to apply them, rubbing in a circular motion to ensure the product penetrates the surface.
You now have all the information you need to take proper care of your boots, which are your main working tool. Cleaning your boots doesn't need to be a chore. It should be a post-match ritual, a special moment.