Taking care of your duty gear is as important for a security guard as a police officer or other LEO as for a soldier in the field. Most of us have some kind of uniform, and more often than not, that kit contains a pair (or several pairs) of duty boots of some kind. Some are insulated, some aren’t, some are for summer use, others are for muddy spring or fall use, and so on. Common for all of them is that they usually end up smelling like the blind end of a dog, which isn’t a good thing.

Since boots are one of the most important pieces of duty gear you own, we thought it prudent to let you know how to get that maturing cheese scent out of them. Not once and for all… but for a while, at least.

Keep it simple

Even though we subject our boots to a lot of punishment, people seem to be exceptionally skittish when it comes to cleaning them. Wading through mud and snow and road salt and oil spills is fine, but using bleach inside them?? God forbid.

Look, they handle all the things you subject them to every day, and with your smelly feet inside them – yet you balk at using a little disinfectant inside them? Well, you shouldn’t. They can handle it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Here’s what you do:


1: Remove any insoles that are loose. Most boots have them, and you’ll deal with those separately.

2: Get your shower going, and put the shower head on a massage setting, if you’ve got one of those things. This will help get some circulation in the water. Fill your boots up, and leave the water in there.

3: Get some normal detergent – use the one you’d use for stains, or whites, and pour a teaspoon in each boot. Add some more water to mix it in good, and leave for a few minutes.

4: Get your hands in there, and clean out the boots.

5: Rinse, rinse, rinse. Until the water is clean and clear and without soap suds. Put away to dry.


The soles in your boots will have a lot of the funk in them. That’s just the way it is. They’ll also have a lot of bacteria, crap you’ve picked up from the floor, maybe some fungus spores and mold, even. They need to be disinfected, and that’s why we have bleach.

Fill your sink with warm water (not to warm to put your hands in, but almost), and add a cap ful or two of bleach. Put the insoles in there, and let them soak for a while. Get some latex gloves and hand wash those bad boys in the solution. This’ll get rid of everything that might be living in them. Guaranteed.


Remember that any time you use soap on leather, you’ll dry it out, so once your boots are dry, you have to replace the natural oils in the leather of your boots. If you don’t they’ll crack, they’ll leak and they’ll be useless in no time at all.

Use a good leather care product, and don’t hold back, either. Leave the boots for a couple of hours, and shine them with a good shoe shine kit. That’ll make sure they look good, stay soft and stay waterproof.

Questions or comments? Did we miss something or you’ve got a better idea? Let us know in the comments!

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