HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WELLIES THIS WINTER
The winter weather calls for a sturdy pair of wellington boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Most of us own a pair of wellies and wear them knowing that they’ll come back wet and muddy, making the idea of cleaning them seem like a sisyphean task. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure easy cleaning which will help to keep your boots in top condition, prolonging their lifespan.
Here at Barbour, we know that after a relaxing winter walk in the country or a stroll along the beach with the dog, cleaning your wellingtons is probably the last thing you want to do. Taking the time to show your wellies some TLC will save you a lot of time in the long run. Read our guide below to discover our top tips on how to clean wellies, including our range of Barbour wellington accessories specially designed to make the process much smoother.
Cleaning Outside Wellies
Cleaning the outside of your boots should be done regularly to keep them in good condition. Thorough cleaning should be done weekly or fortnightly, but wiping them down after every use is a must. Not only will this ensure longevity, but it will also help to keep you looking your best with a stylish pair of wellies.
To remove white film known as ‘blooming', you can apply a few drops of olive oil to a dry cloth and rub it onto the boot in a circular motion. This is an easy at-home method that can remove the film gently without damaging the boot. Take care not to get oil on the sole of the boot, as this will make it slippery.
To remove dried mud, create a solution of one teaspoon of dish soap with two cups of warm water. Use a soft-medium bristled brush to scrub off the mud, or an old toothbrush if you need to get in between the treads of the sole.
Once the mud is removed, wipe with a cloth and some warm water and allow the boots to air dry. Do not dry them in direct sunlight, as this can cause damage to the rubber, resulting in peeling or cracking.
It is important to remove the mud as soon as possible, as dried mud and dirt will draw the moisture from your boots which will make them peel and reduce their lifespan. If the mud refuses to budge during cleaning, soak a rag with the above solution and let it sit for 30 minutes before returning to clean.
Cleaning Inside Wellies
Cleaning the inside of your wellingtons is just as important as cleaning the outside when it comes to ensuring that your wellies are kept in optimum, long-lasting condition. It’s imperative that you take extra-care of wellingtons that are made of rubber as without proper care they can be prone to cracking and peeling.
Long Wellington Boots
To wade through puddles and mud terrains many of us opt for long boots, such as the Barbour Bede or Barbour Cirrus wellies. Whilst these boots are strong and durable to keep water and dirt out, this can also make the interior harder to access and clean. Cleaning the inside of your wellingtons helps to keep harmful bacteria away, and prolongs longevity of the boot. Here is our simple five-step process for the best way to clean your wellies:
Firstly, create a cleaning solution consisting of 2 cups of hot water, with one teaspoon of non-bio laundry detergent or dishwashing soap.
Get a rag or soft bristled brush and wipe down the inside of the wellies as much as you can.
Rinse off the solution with another rag soaked in clean water.
Create a secondary solution with a 50:50 ratio of water and white vinegar. Lightly spray the inside of the boot to kill any odours and prevent bacteria.
Finally, air dry the boots upside down. You can also stuff the boots with newspapers to absorb any extra moisture, just make sure to regularly change the newspaper until the boots are completely dry.
Ankle Length Wellies
Shorter wellies such as the Barbour Nimbus are easier to clean inside. The same process as above can be followed. Though if your wellies have come into contact with contaminated flood water, you can take care to add an extra step of sterilising the interior of your boots with a tougher disinfectant spray.
When the boots are dry, you may wish to add some baking soda to the inside and leave overnight to freshen them up, tipping it out before wearing the boots again. Baking soda has mild antibacterial properties and is able to neutralise acids while absorbing moisture to reduce odours and prevent bacterial growth.
It is important to note that you should never clean rubber wellies with a bleach solution, as this will react with the natural rubber and cause damage to the boots. With regular use, it may be best to clean the inside of your boots at least once a fortnight.
Boots such as the Barbour Speyside contain a luxurious faux fur lining, but can be cleaned in the same way as above. Just ensure that the lining is not soaked, and take care to gently scrub away any debris with a dampened soft cloth or soft bristled brush.
Accessories & Care Kits
To further care for your wellington boots, it is worth investing in accessories such as the wellington bag. Not only does this help to protect your wellies from scuff marks and direct sunlight, but also helps to protect your car or suitcase from muddy boots in between use until they can be cleaned. With a waterproof base and shoulder strap, the Barbour Wellington bag is the perfect accessory for keeping your wellies close by and ready for their next adventure.
Socks made specifically for use with wellies can help to prolong the life of your boots. The Barbour Fleece Wellington Socks are an ideal option in the cold winter months. The durable fleece is designed to stay warm and acts as an insulator, protecting your feet from the frosty weather.
If you prefer a thinner sock, the Wellington Knee Sock is a suitable option. Made from soft wool to keep your feet warm, it provides enough thickness to create a comfortable fit inside your wellies.
Wearing wellington socks is not only practical for warmth and comfort, but they also absorb excess moisture from the inside of your boots - making the task of keeping them clean much easier. The socks can be machine washed to keep bacteria and odours away, and ensure bacteria is not re-entering the wellies.
A dog toy may seem like an unusual choice to care for your wellies, but dog walkers are frequently associated with wearing wellington boots due to their practicality. It’s a well known fact that younger dogs and puppies enjoy chewing on shoes, much to the dismay of their owners. Instead of chewing on your brand new wellies, you can get them their own wellington boot toy to teeth on. Make sure to store your own pair away in a wellington bag for extra protection! Even if they don’t cause any problems by chewing on your shoes, why not treat them to a special squeaking toy with this fun take on an iconic Barbour classic?
Keep adventuring with Barbour
Now that your boots are cleaned and ready to explore again, it may be time to invest in some more on-trend outdoor gear such as jackets, hats, or even flasks to combat colder temperatures. Discover what Barbour has to offer for both you and your four legged friends online.