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  • March 07, 2024 3 min read


    Gumboots, also known as wellies or rain boots, are essential footwear for various outdoor activities, providing protection against rain, mud, and other elements. To ensure their longevity and functionality, proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into effective ways to clean your gumboots and share valuable tips on caring for your rubber footwear.

    When it comes to caring for rubber items like gumboots, choosing coconut oil over silicone lubricant is a sensible and cost-effective decision. Silicone lubricants, often marketed as rubber conditioners, can be an unnecessary expensive upsell and may also contain unnecessary additives. In contrast, coconut oil is a natural and budget-friendly alternative that not only effectively lubricates but also helps prevent rubber from drying out and cracking. The simplicity of coconut oil provides a compelling argument against the need for specialized rubber conditioners, offering a more economical and environmentally friendly solution for maintaining the longevity of your rubber goods.

    Cleaning Your Gumboots

    Basic Cleaning Routine

    1. Remove Excess Dirt: Start by knocking off any loose dirt or mud. Use a brush or tap the boots together to dislodge larger particles. This prevents excessive debris from entering your home and makes the subsequent cleaning process more manageable.

    2. Rinse with Water: Rinse the gumboots with a hose or under running water to remove remaining dirt. Pay special attention to seams and grooves where mud might accumulate. Avoid using high-pressure water, as it may damage the material or compromise its waterproofing.

    Deep Cleaning Methods

    1. Mild Soap and Water: For stubborn stains, use a mixture of mild soap and water. Apply the solution with a soft sponge or brush and scrub gently. Ensure that the soap used is gentle to avoid degrading the rubber material. Rinse thoroughly and let the boots air dry.

    2. Vinegar Solution: White vinegar is an effective natural cleaner. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, then apply the solution to the stains. Scrub the boots with a soft brush or cloth, rinse thoroughly, and air dry. Vinegar helps eliminate odors and disinfect the boots.

    3. Baking Soda Paste: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply the paste to the stained areas and gently scrub with a brush. Baking soda's abrasive nature aids in removing tough stains without causing damage. Rinse and let the boots dry completely.

    Caring for Your Rubber Gumboots

    Storage Tips

    1. Proper Drying: After cleaning, ensure your gumboots are thoroughly dried before storing them. Leaving boots damp can lead to mold and unpleasant odors. Invert the boots or use boot shapers to maintain their shape during drying.

    2. Avoid Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause rubber to deteriorate. Store your gumboots in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and premature aging.

    Odor Control

    1. Use Deodorizers: Combat odors by placing deodorizing agents inside your gumboots. Charcoal sachets, baking soda pouches, or cedar shoe inserts can help absorb moisture and eliminate unpleasant smells.

    2. Rotate Usage: Give your gumboots time to air out by rotating them with other footwear. This prevents moisture buildup and reduces the likelihood of bacterial growth that causes odors.

    Repair and Maintenance

    1. Patch Small Tears: Inspect your gumboots regularly for any small tears or punctures. Use a rubber repair kit to patch up minor damages promptly. This prevents further deterioration and ensures continued waterproofing.

    2. Store with Care: Avoid piling heavy objects on top of your gumboots during storage, as this can cause deformation. Store them upright or hang them to maintain their shape and structural integrity.

    Seasonal Preparations

    1. Apply Coconut Oil: Before storing your gumboots for an extended period, apply coconut oil to the surface. This prevents the rubber from drying out and cracking during storage. 

    2. Inspect Before Use: Before each season, inspect your gumboots for any signs of wear, damage, or deterioration. Address any issues promptly to ensure they provide optimal protection in challenging weather conditions.


    In conclusion, cleaning and caring for your rubber gumboots is not only essential for maintaining their aesthetic appeal but also crucial for ensuring their durability and functionality. By following a regular cleaning routine, adopting proper storage practices, controlling odors, and addressing minor repairs, you can extend the lifespan of your gumboots and enjoy reliable protection in various outdoor activities. Embrace these tips and make the most out of your rubber gumboots, keeping your feet dry and stylish in every adventure.