Keep Your Boots Clean

When was the last time you looked at the bottom of your chore boots? My guess is there’s a lot of dirt, manure, and other crud that’s been there awhile, providing the perfect home for bacteria. As you walk from place-to-place, you’re spreading that bacteria which can make your animals, and even humans, sick. Keeping your footwear clean is a key component of biosecurity around your farm. 

Julie Smith is an extension dairy specialist at the University of Vermont. She says it’s virtually impossible to disinfect the surface of your boots if there’s a lot of organic materials on them. Even after going through a disinfectant wash, any leftover debris can still carry harmful bacteria so the key is to scrub them squeaky clean.

"Some people have a place that has a hose with a boot bucket and a brush that they can really scrub off that dirt first," says Smith. "Some people have used modified bucket filling stations so it’s like the bottom of a shower stall so you have a place where you can step in there, you can hose your boots off, scrub them down, just get that dirt off first."

After scrubbing, soak them in a clean disinfectant solution, but Smith says you can’t step in and immediately step out for the disinfectant to work.

"Disinfectants in general do not act instantaneously. They take time. So for many disinfectants that time on the label is 10-minutes, some will say 20-minutes if you’re using a lower dilution," says Smith. "So, it’s important to recognize the time involved for the disinfectant to have its full activity."

If your boots develop holes or cracks, it’s time to replace them with a new pair. 

Find more tips for keeping your chore boots properly cleaned and disinfected.

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