Best Boot Scrubbers

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

11 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
103 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best boot scrubbers

Last Updated October 2019

Anyone who has ever worked outside — hunters, farmers, soldiers — knows that boots can easily get caked with dirt and mud. Sometimes it happens in a matter of seconds after you step out the door.

Unless you want to track mud, dirt, leaves, and other debris into your house and all over your floor, you need some way to clean off your boots before you come inside. This includes the depths of your boot tread, where debris tends to really stick. A boot scrubber is a simple, low-tech solution to an ancient problem.

Basically, a boot scrubber is a U-shaped device with hard bristles on the bottom and both sides that will clean the sides of your boots and the tread when you pull or push your boot through it.  They wide, low, and heavy, but because you’re passing your boots through them, they tend to move around. Therefore, most have flanges on them so they can be bolted to the floor or a large piece of wood.

Because boot scrubbers are a low-tech item, there aren’t a lot of considerations to ponder when you’re getting them, but there are a few. Read on to learn more.

Boot scrubbers are easier to use and more efficient at scraping mud and dirt off your boots than trying to do it on the edge of the steps or the flower bed borders.

Key considerations

Mounting holes

Unless a boot scrubber is bolted down to something, it will move all over the place when you’re using it. Trying to step on one side of it with one foot while cleaning the boot on your other foot is awkward at best. It’s easy to take a tumble trying to do it that way.  Most boot scrubbers include flanges somewhere on them so they can be bolted down to the floor or to a large piece of plywood, either through pre-existing holes in the flanges or via a separate mounting bracket.

Weather resistance

Boot scrubbers are an outdoor tool for cleaning your boots. Putting the scrubber inside just means you’re bringing the mud inside, too.

Because your boot scrubber will be staying outside, you need to make sure it is weather resistant. Depending on where you live, it may need to be able to stand up to rain and snow, sub-zero temperatures, and/or blistering days over 100°F. Most folks will agree it’s better to spend a little extra for a good scrubber that will last than to spend less money several different times because you have to replace a product that keeps breaking down.

A good boot scrubber should be resistant to mold, rust, and mildew, too. Any wood in the construction needs to be treated to prevent rotting, drying, splitting, and splintering.

EXPERT TIP

Keep boot scrubbers 10 to 15 feet away from the door so mud doesn’t build up around the entrances to your house.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Size

Boot scrubbers are pretty much one-size-fits-all products. Different manufacturers will construct their scrubbers to different widths, but they are all close to the same size. If your foot is unusually large or small, keep the receipt, and test the scrubber with your boots as soon as you get it.

Brush angle

Angled brushes will reach into all the cracks and crevices on your boots. Bristles that all come straight out from the sides or the bottom will do the job, but bristles that come out from the scrubber at multiple angles will do an even better job.

Side brush height

The side brush bristles should reach at least the top of the boot sole where it meets the leather. That crease is easily filled with dirt and mud that can be hard to remove. The side brushes should reach above and below that crease to clean everything in it. Then, the bristles should reach another inch or two above that, for a total of three inches from the bottom of the boot. Mud and dirt above that point will be on the top of the boot and can be cleaned off with a handheld boot brush.

Bottom brush reach

The bristles that clean the bottom of the boot should be able to reach into the tread on your boots. They must be stiff enough to scrub away the dirt and muck jammed in there. Your weight while walking around will have compressed the mud firmly into the depths of the tread. The bottom bristles have to be stiff and strong enough to overcome that compression. Cheap plastic won’t be enough.

Scrapers

The bristles that clean the bottom of the boot should be able to reach into the tread on your boots. They must be stiff enough to scrub away the dirt and muck jammed in there. Your weight while walking around will have compressed the mud firmly into the depths of the tread. The bottom bristles have to be stiff and strong enough to overcome that compression. Cheap plastic won’t be enough.

Materials

Boot scrubbers need to be tough and durable. Most are built from metals such as chrome-plated steel, treated hardwoods, polypropylene or brass wire bristles, powder-coated iron, and high-density plastic. In turn, this makes them heavy. Even if they’re not bolted down, their sheer weight still poses a danger to bare feet and toes. Keep them out of the way of foot traffic when they’re not being used.

Color

Boot scrubbers aren’t known for having a wide variety of colors available to choose from. Black, tan, and dark brown are the main color choices. The bristles are usually black but may occasionally be a dark or royal blue.

DID YOU KNOW?

Washing leather boots with a hose isn’t good for them. Leather boots that are repeatedly soaked with water will begin to crack and fray.

DID YOU KNOW?

The mounting flanges for some boot scrubbers are on the inside of the framework.

Boot scrubber prices

Inexpensive: Low-priced boot scrubbers start around $10 and go up to about $17. These boot scrubbers are either injection molded with rubberized plastic bristles or are mats made of coiled wire with coconut fiber bristles.

Mid-range: The mid-range prices run from $18 to just under $30. These boot scrubbers are made from hardwood with metal plates on the outside. Metal flanges for bolting the scrubber to the floor or a sheet of wood are common.

Expensive: Prices at the high end jump from $30 to $80 or more. Boot scrubbers at the top of this price range tend to be chrome-plated or powder-coated tempered steel with rugged bristles. The flanges have pre-existing holes. Bolts for securing them are often included in the package. These scrubbers will have a useful lifespan measured in years or decades.

Tips

  • Bolt your boot scrubber to the floor so it won’t move around when you’re pushing and pulling your boots through it. The ideal location is in the garage or by the back door. Put it off to the side where people won’t trip over it when it’s not in use.

  • A good scrubber should be tight around your boot to maximize the action of the bristles in removing mud and dirt. If your boots move too easily through the bristles, they won’t be doing a good job of cleaning.

  • The side bristles should reach two or three inches up the sides of your boots in order to clean them correctly. Bristles that are only an inch or so high will result in partial cleaning.

  • Clean one boot at a time, pushing and pulling it lengthwise back and forth through the bristles until the mud and debris are gone. Then, do the same thing with the other boot.

  • Boot scrubbers will create a pile of mud and dirt around them as they clean your boots.  Be sure to sweep it up on a regular basis, or a mountain of dirt will build up around them.

Other products we considered

The FOOTMATTERS Ninamar Natural Coir Boot Scrubber Door Mat is a low-priced wire mat covered with bristles made from coconut fibers that reach almost two inches high on the sides of your boots. It has a band of fibers across the front to clean the gunk off the toes of your boots, too.

We also like the Deluxe Scrusher, the Original Boot and Shoe Cleaner. It is a pricier boot scrubber that will clean large boots, standing over seven inches high on powder-coated steel flanges that include built-in mounting holes. It comes with rubber tips over the flanges for those who want to use it without bolts.

After cleaning your boots with a boot scrubber and handheld brush, apply boot polish and mink oil to fill in any scrapes and repel water.

FAQ

Q. Could a boot scrubber harm my footwear?

A. Anything strong enough to get mud and dirt off your boots has the potential to scratch them. It doesn’t mean that it will, but it has happened from time to time. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Q. Can boot scrubbers be used without bolting them to the floor?

A. Yes. Bolt them to a wide piece of plywood, which you can stand on to hold the scrubber in place.

Q. How often should a boot scrubber be cleaned?

A. Clean your boot scrubber at least once a week during the winter months. During the dry summer months, you may not need to do this as often. Simply wash it off with a hose in the yard. You could use soap, but it isn’t necessary.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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