How to Clean Baseball Cleats: A Comprehensive Guide

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HomeBlogsChris Sloan's blogHow to Clean Baseball Cleats: A Comprehensive Guide
How to Clean Baseball Cleats: A Comprehensive Guide
Chris Sloan

Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Playing baseball means getting dirty. The sweat, the dirt, the grass stains, and the mud - they're all part of the game we love. But when the game's over and you're walking off the field with dirty baseball cleats, the last thing you want to do is leave them that way.

How to clean baseball cleats? It might sound like a tedious task, but it's necessary to maintain the life of your cleats and to keep you game ready. In this guide, we'll answer your burning questions and provide step-by-step instructions to ensure your cleats are in the best possible condition for your next game.

Preliminary Steps

Before beginning the cleaning process, remove as much excess dirt and grass from your cleats as possible. The more you can remove before you start the deep clean, the easier your task will be. Bang the cleats together to knock off larger chunks of dirt and use an old toothbrush or a scrubbing brush to get into the crevices and spaces between the spikes.

If you have metal cleats, be careful not to damage the spikes during this process. Once you've knocked off as much dirt as possible, you're ready to start the thorough cleaning.

Cleaning Baseball Cleats: The Basics

Cleaning baseball cleats starts with a basic cleaning process. First, remove the laces and insoles from your cleats if possible. These can be cleaned separately. Next, dampen a cloth with warm water and mild detergent. Wipe down the entire cleat, paying special attention to any particularly dirty areas.

Next, use your scrubbing brush or old toothbrush to get into any hard-to-reach areas. If there are stubborn stains on your cleats, consider using a stain remover or laundry detergent. Once you've scrubbed every area, rinse the cleats with warm water to remove all soap residue.

Read more on how to choose baseball cleats here.

Can You Put Baseball Cleats in the Washing Machine?

One of the common questions about cleaning baseball cleats is whether you can put them in the washing machine. The answer depends on the material of your cleats.

If your cleats are made from synthetic materials, it's usually safe to put them in the washing machine. Use a delicate cycle, cold water, and a small amount of laundry detergent. However, if your cleats are made of leather, avoid the washing machine as it could damage the material.

Regardless, it's always best to check with the manufacturer's instructions for your specific cleats.

Washing Laces and Insoles

After removing your laces and insoles, they can be cleaned separately. The laces can be hand-washed using warm water and soap, then left to air dry. To clean the insoles, use a scrubbing brush or old toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

Drying Your Cleats

Once your cleats are clean, it's essential to dry them properly. Never put cleats in a dryer, as this can warp them. Instead, place them in an area with good airflow to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the cleats to crack or fade.

Looking for a way to dry your cleats faster? Try using a hair dryer, but be sure it's on the cool setting as you want to prevent overheating the cleats while they are in the drying.

Taking Care of Metal Cleats

Metal cleats require a bit more care than their plastic counterparts. It's crucial not to submerge metal cleats in water or put them in the washing machine, as this could cause them to rust. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe them down after each game, and use an old toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt from the spikes.

Preventing and Removing Odors

It's not just dirt that can be a problem when it comes to baseball cleats. Sweat and moisture can lead to unpleasant odors. Regular cleaning can help prevent these smells, but if they're already there, you can try sprinkling baking soda inside the shoes and letting it sit overnight to absorb the existing odors.

Keeping Cleats Game Ready

Manny Machado Cleats (33867367695)

Regularly cleaning your baseball cleats is only part of the maintenance process. To keep your cleats game ready, it's also important to store them properly. Never store cleats while they're still damp or dirty. Instead, ensure they're completely clean and dry before storing them away for your next game.


Taking the time to clean your baseball cleats after each game will not only keep them looking their best but can also extend their life and performance. With these tips and tricks, you'll be ready to step back onto the field with confidence, knowing your cleats are as ready for the game as you are.

Don't forget to check back on our site for more tips and advice on how to maintain your baseball gear and keep it game ready.


Can I put my baseball cleats in the washing machine?

While it's possible to put baseball cleats in the washing machine, it's not always the best method. Repeated machine washing can damage the materials of the cleats, particularly leather ones, and may shorten their lifespan. It's often better to manually clean your baseball cleats, though some may be machine washable - always check the manufacturer's recommendations.

How can I clean my baseball cleats at home?

Cleaning your baseball cleats at home can be a straightforward process. First, knock off any excess dirt or mud from the soles. Then, use warm water and a mild detergent to clean the surface of the shoes. Use an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush to get into the hard-to-reach spots, especially between the cleats. Rinse them thoroughly and let them air dry.

What's the best way to get my cleats white again after they've been stained?

If your white cleats have become stained, a gentle stain remover can work wonders. Apply the stain remover to the affected areas and gently scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry. Avoid using bleach on your cleats as it can damage the material.

How should I care for my metal baseball cleats to avoid damage and ensure longevity?

Metal baseball cleats require some extra care. After each use, remove excess dirt and debris from the spikes. You can use a stiff brush and warm water for this task. Avoid exposing metal cleats to extreme temperatures and always allow them to air dry naturally to prevent rusting. Never use a hair dryer or place them in direct sunlight to speed up drying.

How can I clean the bottom of my baseball cleats effectively?

To clean the bottom of your baseball cleats, use a stiff brush to remove dirt and grass from the soles and spikes. If dirt is hard to remove, you can soak the cleats in warm water for a few minutes to loosen it up. An old toothbrush can also be used for hard-to-reach areas. After cleaning, shake off any excess water and let them air dry.

Can I use a washing machine for cleaning my metal baseball cleats?

While some baseball cleats can be cleaned in the washing machine, it's not generally recommended for metal ones. The agitation can potentially damage the metal spikes or the drum of your washing machine. Instead, use a brush and soapy water for a gentle, effective clean.

How can I clean and maintain my white metal softball cleats to keep them in top condition?

To clean your white metal softball cleats, start by removing excess dirt. Then, create a cleaning solution of warm water and mild detergent. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the cleats, paying particular attention to any stained areas. Rinse off the soap under warm water and let them air dry. To keep them in top condition, try to clean them after each game to prevent dirt and stains from setting in.

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About Chris Sloan

Chris Sloan is a former baseball league commissioner and travel baseball coach who has made significant contributions to the sport. In 2018, he founded selectbaseballteams.com, a website that helps parents find youth and travel baseball teams in their local areas. Since its launch, the website has experienced impressive growth, offering a wealth of resources including teams, news, tournaments, and organizations. Chris's unwavering passion for baseball and his innovative approach to connecting parents with quality baseball programs have earned him a respected reputation in the baseball community, solidifying his legacy as a leading figure in the world of youth and travel baseball.

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