The winter season is a great time for your child to get outside and play in the snow. The only catch is that their rain boots can end up smelling pretty bad if you don't take them off between uses, so here's how to clean those stinky wellies.
Remove the lining.
Once you’ve removed the lining, take a look at the inside of the boot. If there is any padding or material that can be washed, do so now. If not, go ahead with your usual cleaning routine and then let them dry out before using them again.
If you want to remove the inner sole from your child's wellies or rain boots, use a knife or seam ripper to cut around it in order to lift it off easily without damaging anything else on the inside of their shoes.
Wash the lining.
Wash the lining separately from the outside of the wellies. Use cold water and a gentle detergent. Rinse well, then dry flat in the shade.
Sprinkle baking soda inside each boot.
Sprinkle a little baking soda inside each boot and leave it overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odours and leave your boots smelling fresh in the morning.
Baking soda is great because it's natural, inexpensive, and safe to use on children's toys. If you have smelly rain boots or other dirty shoes that need cleaning, sprinkle some baking soda inside them before you store them away until next season.
Wipe down the outside off the boots with a damp cloth.
With a damp cloth, wipe down the outside of your child's wellies. Pour a little water on a soft cloth or sponge, and then wipe it all over the surface of the boots. Be sure to use as little pressure as possible when cleaning so you don't cause scratches on your child's mud boots. Once you've finished cleaning, make sure to dry them off before storing them away for next time.
Place newspaper or towels inside boots to absorb odours overnight.
If your kids' wellies or rain boots are especially stinky, you may want to use several layers of newspaper or towels in the boot overnight. This will allow the material to absorb the moisture and odour from inside the boot and keep it from seeping out while you're sleeping. The next morning, just remove all of this paper or towel so that it doesn't get mouldy or mildewed inside your child's shoes.
Dry boots in a low heat setting until completely dry.
The next step is to allow the boots to dry thoroughly. You can do this with a warm clothes dryer, but we don't recommend it. It's not safe for your kids’ wellies and can lead to them getting damaged. Instead, give them ample time (at least 24 hours) to air-dry by themselves.
If you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing regularly, you may want to take extra precautions to ensure that your kids' feet stay warm and dry all winter long. In those cases, make sure that the boots are completely dried before doing any kind of heating or drying at home. Natural ones like a radiator or heater work best because they won't damage the shoes as other methods might.
If you have no choice but to use an electric appliance due to a simple lack of space available outdoors because there's snow everywhere else. Make sure both sides were exposed equally during the drying process so one side doesn't end up being hotter than another which would cause discolouration when applied again later on in future years when reusing the same pair out there again (ex: wetting down before applying heat).
A big part of taking care of your kid's rain boots is ensuring that they get a chance to dry out after use. The experts we spoke with emphasized the importance of making sure that the boot is completely dry before you put it away or wear it again. This helps to prevent mildew from growing inside the boot, which can cause an unpleasant smell and ruin the materials inside.