If you went to the doctor with a foot or ankle issue, and you didn’t end up in a hard cast made of plaster or fiberglass and instead received a walking boot (orthopedic boot), walking cast boot, or what some call an air cast, this quick article will help you learn how to clean, sanitize and freshen your overall walking boot from everyday wear and dirt, the interior sock of the walking boot as well as how to keep the exterior of the foot walking cast clean.
The great news for you is that your foot is not in a hard, immobile, fiberglass or plaster, especially if your injury happened in the summer when it is hot and sticky, and yucky out and I am sharing my tips so you can use the DIY To Learn How Clean a walking boot that you are living in right now!
When it comes to mishaps in life or injuries, often half the battle is just having a way to freshen up what we are stuck in for longer periods of time, and these methods are what I used as I was in a walking boot a few times so I am sharing what I learned so you can regain a bit of the normal you, even while something abnormal is going on with your body!
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Other Names Your Walking Boot Could Be Referred To As
I am sure if you are looking for solutions as to how to clean that air cast on your foot you want to know if you have struck upon the right article, well you have!
There is a brand name of the cast, and Aircast is an actual company and many refer to it as such but that is a brand not the product, just knowledge to tuck away as I was coached on this by the doctor even though his PA was the one referring to it incorrectly (ha!)
So, Aircast is the brand and they create these awesome orthopedic medical devices, walking braces, ankle braces, that keep you out of the hard shell casts,
Here are other names I have heard the device on my foot referred to, and do remember the walking boot is not a hard cast made of plaster or fiberglass as those are rigid, unable to be taken off, nor can they be cleaned, which is the beauty of wearing a boot instead of a hard shell cast!
- air cast
- air casts
- walking boots
- boot for walking
- boot cast
- walking brace
- low top walking cast
- removable foot cast
- inflatable walking boot
- removable walking boot
- high top walking cast
- orthopedic boot
- ankle walking cast
- short leg walking cast
- air cam walker
- CAM boot (controlled ankle motion walking boot)
Whatever you call them, I was in one, because I over-exercised and over-worked my foot and I cleaned my foot air cast a lot for the months I was in it!
Just like that, a trip to the doctor and the unimaginable had happened! I ended up in what many refer to as a walking boot.
Why You Might Appreciate This Post About Your Walking Boot
No matter how you ended up in that foot aircast or ankle aircast, you will be wearing it a lot, it is about to become your 24//7 frenemy!
- Unlike a shoe, that I could take off, and change to match my outfits, the aircast stays on round the clock. Which translates to one dirty aircast.
- You’ll learn what I did to freshen my aircast boot (because I biked on vacay, and traveled a lot even with the boot cast on!
- I’ll share a few tips about the cast liner sock
- I’ll share how to clean up the exterior of the aircast walking boot to wear in your home and bed
While an air cast is a bit different from a walking boot, most use the words interchangeably without knowing.
And while I am sure in the world of being a doctor, there are other things to worry about other than to advise us how to keep these things clean, I think the manufacture should at least provide an overview of how to clean it.
Since mine is that tough plastic, I treated it like a Little Tikes toy and scrubbed it because I didn’t want the grime and crappy germs in my house from trudging around all day in it!
Personally when my one air cast got switched to the kind that had the inflatable in it, I had more trouble with that than worrying about cleaning and ruining a boot, so this is just what I did!
Equipment Needed To Freshen and Clean Your Air Cast
You might be wondering if I have lost my mind in saying that you need to freshen and clean your air cast, but give it a week of nonstop wear and see how dirty that broken foot air cast, walking cast really gets and you’ll understand!
But, wearing these air cast boots (whatever you want to call them) outside, then coming inside is an absolute NO unless you know how to clean and maintain them.
Where You Go 24/7 So Does Your Boot Walking Cast
Consider that my air cast goes with me, and it will go everywhere you go, each day, it is part of you and me!
Now consider the end of the day, when you get home, you are still in that walking boot, and so is everything that I/you walked on all day long in that boot.
Yes, now you see why we have clean that thing from the dirt, bacteria, and germ gunk outside!
Each of the following items is optional depending on what you need cast boots from the top to the bottom and inside.
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Plastic Bag
- Trash Bag
- Antibacterial Spray
- Rubbing Alcohol
- a small sitting stool
- vacuum crevice tool
- mesh zippered bag for laundry > these are my favorite ones as they are large!
My job today is not to decipher what you call the splint upon your foot/ankle, but rather to help you keep it clean.
So call it an air cast or a walking boot, my info will still help you do just that!
Ingredients For The Walking Boots Perfect Storm: Necessity Vs. Bacteria
The world is always beneath your feet and that includes:
Basically, consider every public restroom you were in while wearing your air cast that day and you’ll already know where I am headed with this discussion.
At the end of each day, your foot has to remain in this blessed cast, and you are about to bring back that perfect storm, right onto the floors of your home, the carpets, and your bed and sheets!
Sexy huh? Not happening in my house.
The last thing you want to do is to trail all that crap into your home and bed, while you continue to obey the orders of your doctor so that you can get back to life fast as the medical ankle boot is supposed to do that!
How To Clean And Refresh Your Walking Boot & The Cast Liner Sock
Allow me to define the pieces for you.
The cast liner sock (also called a Non-Sterile Stockinette) is not part of the aircast, but it is an item you are sure to receive and will rely on!
This piece is worn inside the medical boot, and it can be washed, generally, a cotton-like material that is very thin and used inside the boot to protect against chafing and rubbing.
It looks like a sock but it does not have toe covers (at least mine never did) and if you want to see what these look like here is a great example >> a roll of non-sterile stockinettes.
On the exterior of the boot for walking, you will also find velcro closure straps.
While the interior has a cushiony liner and an insole, and a toe cover flap, which generally attaches to the plastic aircast mold via more velcro!
The Unofficial Air Cast (walking boot) Cleaning Instructions I Made Up
Now I am being honest, I have no idea if these ideas are good or bad for the boot, but also being honest, I didn’t care.
Are there other ways to clean this medical foot cast, ankle cast, and calf isolator?
Maybe, but this is the style I used and I will share with you my how to clean walking boot cast method.
Step 1: Let’s Clean The Cast Liner Sock
Sit Down, prop your foot as you were told how and get to work!
You will find that no matter the season, your cast liner sock will pick up the biggest part of the foot perspiration.
If you are cringing, we all sweat through our feet, so it’s not a shameful thing to talk about and that cushion that is wrapping your foot, can chafe and rub as you walk, so using a cast liner is a great idea, but it also mounds the layers and well, you will sweat!
To get that perspiration out of the liner is easy, and all you need to do is wash the cast liner sock and allow it to dry.
You’ll place the cast liner sock in a lingerie bag, on a gentle cycle, or you can wash it by hand with Woolite or something of the like, and then allow it to line dry!
Now is when it would be good to have a roll of that aforementioned Stockinette on hand, so you can cut a fresh one and use it while the other dries.
I also suggest adding some of these to the batch of laundry as it will smell better longer!
Step 2: Freshening the Walking AirCast Liner
The interior lining is a beast that holds funky smells which appear from use, sweat, and the like!
You won’t be able to avoid it, but you can conquer it if you want to, this became more of a once-weekly routine, rather than a daily clean your liner routine unless I spilled something on myself (which did happen) or stepped in something outside and it hit the liner.
Again, you will need a larger mesh zippered bag, and you will want to put it into a lingerie bag because it can snag other items as it has velcro on the bottom to keep it fastened to the plastic molded medical boot.
Place it on the delicate cycle in the mesh zippered bags, add in some scent boosters, and detergent, then when the cycle is complete hang it to dry, do not put it in the dryer!
Usually, my husband would toss the liner for the walking boot cast and the stockinettes in the laundry while I was showering.
I’ve also used a hairdryer to rapidly dry it on cooler settings and this way I could get it back on for bed.
During the time my foot aircast was off, my leg was propped and resting, just so you know how I managed this!
You’ll also want to use this time to vacuum the bed of the sole out if necessary using the crevice tool, rather than wiping it, I found this to be fast and effective.
Step 3: The Exterior of The Air Cast
Get the filth off the bottom, that is what drags across your floors and carpet and the tread of the walking cast picks up so much yucky stuff.
Use an antibacterial wipe to clean the treads and the velcro straps in case anything splashed on them.
If you have the boot off, allow yourself a minute, and place it on a rag or paper towel or vent to dry faster.
Once it is dry, put it back on, and you can maneuver it anywhere in your home without the grime and bacteria!
Consider that anything you walked on is with you in this boot and that boot has to go in your bed and your home!
Yes, I am being a little over-the-top but, it is to make a point. Bacteria and dirt travel and get locked in those grooves.
Other Substituition For Cleaning Your Walking Boot
For Days when you keep running in and out of the house this is going to be your BFF!
I found that on days that I was not working, I was running errands and that meant a lot of in and out of the house!
There was not enough time to stop and clean my walking boot each time and the kids and the cat just kept running about and kept me on the move, so I had to find a way to NOT have to clean that boot on every trip in and out of the house until we were ready to stay IN!
My alternative is a stock of boot covers.
As soon as I got into the house, I use the elasticized bands to stretch the boot cover and I go on my way.
Then at the end of the day, when I am IN for the rest of the night, I wipe that boot down and use my steps 1-3 above to keep that boot clean!
Other Solutions You’ll Love To Quickly Clean Your Walking Boot
First, at every entrance, I have somewhere to sit and I have placed a small throw rug.
I planned this all out ahead of leaving, set it up once, and use it over and over.
A planned way to take care of incoming boots!
Second, I have either paper towels or a dry cloth. After you wipe the boot off, no matter what you use, you MUST DRY It or you will slip and well, you get where I am going. Albeit a bit tedious, this regime works.
Third, just put a container of disinfecting wipes at your entrance, and use them to clean the boot. I thoroughly wipe the BOTTOM of the boot, between the tread and the sides.
Don’t forget the front part where your toes are because that part generally takes on everything outdoors first.
Last, dry your boot, as mentioned above, so you do not slip.
Then, toss the wipe into the trash and WASH your hands, since you’ve touched
all that funk.
Now you are ready to go!
Air Cast FAQs
Will the Cushioned Liner of the Air Cast Smell?
Yes. After a while, it surely will as your foot does sweat, but if you use my cleaning tips above, you can fight that odor!
Plus you can order additional liners, be sure to ask your doctor.
Is there a way to style my ugly walking boot?
Yes, there is! It’s called an Air Cast Walking Boot Cover!
Also, you might have seen in the picture above, that my boot was covered with a pretty design.
I got a bunch of these because I prefer to style the boot if I have to wear it.
Those covers are machine washable and I use different ones each day they help to keep the boot exterior clean so I don’t have to worry about all the velcro closures getting so dirty each day!
There are a lot of choices for walking boot/air cast covers, buy whatever design you like best, even solid colors!
Do I Really Need To Clean The Boot Air Cast?
Yes And No!
I’ve got to be honest, this is truly a personal hygiene thing and how you prefer to maintain yourself and your home.
If you have to use a walking boot cast/air boot cast for any length of time, I would bet you will want to clean it. Anything that you walk on will carry into your bed, and onto your floors.
Those that can afford a second walking boot or air cast could use alternatively use that instead of caring for the one you wear daily (but that could be a decision driven by insurance and not you)
The cast liner sock, as well as the cast liner, will develop a funky sweat smell that might bother you, after being worn for a while, so you’ll have to consider that.
As for the exterior of the boot, life happens, rain, snow, puddles, gum, gasoline, anything under the pavement you walk on, is stuff that will stick to your boot, so do you want that in your bed or your home?
All of this leads to the personal choice of cleaning and maintaining the medical walking boot/shoe or not.
So We’ve Learned How To Clean A Walking Boot Be Sure To Come Back And Tell Me How Yours Turned Out!
Do you have any tips I missed? I want to hear.
Consider this, whatever you step on in the real world, will transition into your home.
To date, and we have had more than our share of aircasts in this house, not one aircast boot came cleaning instructions given to me, I made them up and they worked for my boot.
I don’t know why the doctors or the manufacturers wouldn’t suggest some tips like this, however, I do recommend that you clean your aircast due to the dirt, germs, and bacteria you can lug around.
Do note, I am not a doctor, nor the manufacturer, and cleaning your air cast is a choice only you can make and you might harm it if you wash it with too much agitation or you might harm the other clothes with the velcro straps (ripping, etc).
Since my family (kids) have had many types of different casts, I was definitely grateful not to have a fiberglass cast as I had the ability to cleanse this one and a bit of freedom when I took it off to clean, a breath from being locked in, so cleaning it was not a big deal!
Make Sure To Come Back and Tell Me How Cleaning Your Walking Boot (air cast) Turned Out
- Rubbing alcohol
- Sanitizing wipes
- small carpet
- small stool
- rags or towels
- trash bag
- mesh laundry bag
- vacuum (optional)
- Hanging line to hang insert
Let's Clean The Cast Liner Sock
- Sit Down, prop your foot as you were told how and get to work!
- No matter the season, your cast liner sock will pick up the biggest part of the foot perspiration.
- To get that perspiration out of the liner is easy, and all you need to do is wash the cast liner sock and allow it to dry.
- You'll place the cast liner sock in a lingerie bag, on a gentle cycle, or you can wash it by hand with Woolite or something of the like, and then allow it to line dry!
- Now is when it would be good to have a roll of that aforementioned Stockinette on hand, so you can cut a fresh one and use it while the other dries.
- I also suggest adding some of these to the batch of laundry as it will smell better longer!
Freshening the Walking AirCast Liner
- The interior lining is a beast that holds funky smells which appear from use, sweat, and the like!
- You won't be able to avoid it, but you can conquer it if you want to, this became more of a once-weekly routine, rather than a daily clean your liner routine unless I spilled something on myself (which did happen) or stepped in something outside and it hit the liner.
- Again, you will need a larger mesh zippered bag, and you will want to put it into a lingerie bag because it can snag other items as it has velcro on the bottom to keep it fastened to the plastic molded medical boot.
- Place it on the delicate cycle in the mesh zippered bags, add in some scent boosters, and detergent, then when the cycle is complete hang it to dry, do not put it in the dryer!
- Usually, my husband would toss the liner for the walking boot cast and the stockinettes in the laundry while I was showering.
- I've also used a hairdryer to rapidly dry it on cooler settings and this way I could get it back on for bed.
- During the time my foot aircast was off, my leg was propped and resting, just so you know how I managed this!
- You'll also want to use this time to vacuum the bed of the sole out if necessary using the crevice tool, rather than wiping it, I found this to be fast and effective.
The Exterior of The Air Cast
- Get the filth off the bottom, that is what drags across your floors and carpet and the tread of the walking cast picks up so much yucky stuff.
- Use an antibacterial wipe to clean the treads and the velcro straps in case anything splashed on them.
- If you have the boot off, allow yourself a minute, and place it on a rag or paper towel or vent to dry faster.
- Once it is dry, put it back on, and you can maneuver it anywhere in your home without the grime and bacteria!
- Consider that anything you walked on is with you in this boot and that boot has to go in your bed and your home!
- Yes, I am being a little over-the-top but, it is to make a point. Bacteria and dirt travel and get locked in those grooves.
Whether you’ve been placed in a boot after cast, or are in an ankle boot, or foot boot, you get the idea, whatever kind of aircast you are in, I hope these tips help you and that you heal quickly! ~ Dana XO
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