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Cleaning Industrial Shoes

Keeping Your Industrial Shoes in Top Condition: A Guide to Proper Care and Maintenance

Industrial and safety shoes protect your feet from injuries in hazardous work environments. But did you know that they, too, require care and protection? For these safety shoes to protect your feet from harm efficiently, you must give them proper care. Maintenance is also essential in extending their lifespan, allowing you more years of using these shoes in the workplace. 

This guide shows you how to look after your safety shoes so they can take care of your feet at work!

What is the Lifespan of Safety Shoes?

The average lifespan of industrial safety shoes varies widely, depending on the manufacturer and materials. When you buy safety shoes, you can check the manual for the manufacturer's recommendation on how long those shoes will last. 

Despite their expected lifespan, the actual lifespan of the shoes might vary according to the frequency of usage and the work environment. Some industrial shoes are subjected to more wear and tear due to exposure to extreme work conditions than others. 

Cleaning Industrial Shoes

The following is a detailed guide on how to properly care for and maintain your safety shoes to keep them in top condition.

Step 1: Remove dirt and debris.

Before doing anything else, remove any debris or dirt on the shoes. Do this regularly after every use to prevent dirt or mud from sticking to the shoe, making it more difficult to clean. Look at the treads on the shoe since this is where most dirt and debris get stuck. Some hard objects stuck on the tread can puncture the material, causing damage and leaks over time.

Step 2: Use a shoe cleaner.

You need to use a shoe cleaner to clean and maintain your industrial shoes. Choose a cleaner designed specifically for the shoe material. For example, you should use a leather cleaner if you wear leather industrial shoes. This step is vital to ensure that you not only effectively care for the shoes but also prevent damage to the material.

When applying a leather cleaner, use a clean cloth to apply the product to the shoes and wipe off any excess substance. 

Industrial shoes cleaner

Step 3: Apply mink oil.

Using mink oil is beneficial, especially for leather shoes. It provides a protective layer for the leather material on the safety shoes. Again, remove any excess oil after application. Depending on the material, you can use other products for different types of safety shoes.

Step 4: Air dry your shoes.

After cleaning and applying a protective oil, you should leave your shoes to air dry in a cool and moisture-free room. Do not place your shoes directly under sunlight or use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. Both steps can damage the shoes, resulting in a cracked surface.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Safety Shoes

When taking care of your safety shoes, you should avoid these things to prevent damage when cleaning:

  • DO NOT use alcohol-based cleaning products, especially when cleaning leather shoes. 
  • DO NOT use a nail polish remover on tough stains as it can strip the color off the shoes. 
  • DO NOT force dry your shoes; leave them to dry naturally. 
  • DO NOT place shoes under direct sunlight. 

How to Extend the Lifespan of Industrial Shoes

Proper care and maintenance help extend the lifespan of industrial safety shoes.

  • If you can afford it, invest in two pairs of safety shoes so you can rotate their wear. This is beneficial when working under extreme conditions that impact the durability and protective capabilities of your shoes.
  • Always clean your shoes after every use. The accumulation of dirt, debris, and other substances can make your shoes vulnerable to damage.
  • Use suitable cleaning materials. Invest in the best quality cleaning products designed for the specific type of shoes you wear.
  • Pick the right shoes. Some shoes are designed to protect your toes against falling debris, and others are built to protect them against harsh surfaces. The right shoes will provide adequate protection for your feet and will be able to withstand the harsh work environment. 
Lifespan of industrial safety shoes.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Safety Shoes?

Industrial work shoes are expensive due to the quality of materials and manufacture, and are designed to withstand extreme conditions. But even though they are built for toughness, they don’t last forever. 

Risks are involved when your industrial shoes are not in the top condition. They could make you more prone to injuries as they cannot provide your feet the protection they are designed to offer. Hence, you should know the tell-tale signs to replace your safety shoes.

  1. Signs of Leaking

When you work in an environment where you are exposed to water or hazardous chemicals, leaks are a no-no in your safety shoes. If you see signs of leaking, you need to replace them. 

Water resistance is a crucial feature of a good safety shoe. If the material cannot resist water and moisture, it can expose the worker’s feet to harmful chemicals and substances. When the shoes leak substantially, it's time to replace them.

  1. Wear and Tear

Is the material on the safety shoes peeling off? Is the heel plate bare? Is the metatarsal guard starting to show? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s a tell-tale sign that you need a new pair of safety shoes. When any part of the shoe is compromised or not in the best condition, it won’t be able to protect your feet from impact or hazards in the workplace. 

  1. Discomfort or Pain

Do your feet hurt or feel uncomfortable when wearing the shoes? If so, it's a sure sign that you need to replace them. Worn-out insoles cause pain and discomfort. The discomfort could lead to blistering if your work requires you to stand or walk for an extended period. It is best to replace them to protect your feet from pain or injury.

  1. Failure to Meet Safety Standards

Safety standards in hazardous work environments constantly evolve to ensure adequate protection for workers in various industries. As new threats emerge, older safety shoes might not comply with current standards. It is crucial to stay informed about these safety standards so you can choose the best shoes that offer the highest protection. 

  1. Loss of Traction

Slipping and falling are among the most common causes of workplace injuries. Over time, shoes lose traction as the slip-resistant material deteriorates. When this happens, you need to replace your shoes to prevent injuries. 

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