How to Clean Baseball Cleats

By Joshua Smothers

Baseball players, and the parents of young baseball players, know that the cleats worn for the sport do not stay clean for very long. Expect mud, dirt and grass stains to cake the cleats over the course of a season, especially on the days when a doubleheader is played during rain. With a few household products and tools, you can clean your cleats on a regular basis to maintain their appearance.

Clean your dirty cleats immediately after a game, if possible. The longer the cleats sit, the tougher it can be to clean them.

Hose down the cleats with a garden hose. Getting the upper part of the shoe even wetter is not a problem. They are most likely dirty and wet to begin with, so a little more water is not going to damage the shoes.

Remove patches of mud or dirt on the cleats themselves with a wire brush, which can be purchased at a hardware store. This helps clear the cleats, especially if they are made of metal, of any debris that water or your fingers could not remove.

Let the cleats air-dry completely when possible. Placing them near a dehumidifier works also. However, placing them near a radiator or in the drier can warp the shoes, especially if they are made of leather.

Spray 409 onto the cleats if they are metal and if you are still not satisfied with results from the garden hose or wire brush. A container of 409 can be purchased at your hardware or grocery store. Let the cleaning solution cover the metal cleats for 30 seconds, then wipe off with a soft cloth.

Keep a putty knife in your bag or nearby during games. Running the blade down the shoe can temporarily clean the cleats of any caked mud on a rainy day.

About the Author

Joshua Smothers works at the Gannett Des Moines Design Studio, designing sports pages and special sections for four Midwest newspapers. He previously served as a designer, copy editor and reporter for "The Des Moines Register." Smothers graduated from Wartburg College in 2003 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and public relations.

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