How to Clean Scuffed Up Rain Boots

by M.H. Dyer
Rubber or vinyl boots keep your feet dry while helping them stay in style.

Rubber or vinyl boots keep your feet dry while helping them stay in style.

Rain boots might be plain, functional galoshes with no purpose other than keeping your feet dry, or they can be expensive, stylish rubber or vinyl boots that add flair to your wardrobe. Either way, your boots look better when they're bright and clean. Scuff marks, usually from accidentally rubbing against a dark surface, are unsightly, extremely noticeable and difficult to remove. Clean away the scuff marks so your boots will be ready for the next rainstorm.

Combine water with a small amount of chlorine-free scouring powder or baking powder to make a mild abrasive paste.

Dip a moist sponge or soft cloth in the paste. Scrub the scuffed area gently until the mark is no longer visible.

Remove the paste with a clean, damp sponge, and then dry the boots with a soft cloth.

Treat rubber rain boots with rubber conditioner after every cleaning to keep the boots supple and prevent cracking. Apply the conditioner to the boots with a soft cloth, and use a clean cloth to remove the excess. Let the boots dry overnight before wearing.

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Items you will need

  • Chlorine-free scouring powder or baking soda
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Rubber conditioner


  • Rinse rubber or vinyl rain boots each time you wear them to protect the rubber or vinyl from salt, soil, mud and other substances that shorten the life of the boots.
  • Wash lightly soiled boots with warm water and mild soap, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Never place rubber or vinyl rain boots in direct sunlight; the sun weakens the material and makes the surface of the boots brittle and stiff.
  • Store rain boots in a closet or another protected, insulated location during the off season. Boots stored outdoors or in a garage, shed or patio may shrink and crack from cold weather and temperature changes.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

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