How to Make a Boot Dip to Prevent Infectious Diseases

Posted by Michalina Hunter on May 18, 2022

boot dip

Boot dips can reduce the spread of infectious diseases among farm livestock. Avian Influenza, for example, can be transmitted from bird to bird by feces, dust, and dander. Humans can facilitate the spread of the virus by unintentionally tracking these materials from farm to farm on their shoes.

A boot dip is a disinfectant foot bath used to kill disease-causing organisms on footwear, used to prevent the spread of livestock diseases. A boot dip may be a good idea for you and your staff to use before you enter your brooder or chicken coop as a way to prevent diseases from migrating birds from entering your barn.  Boot dips can also be used for other types of livestock production areas to prevent infectious diseases. To be safe, all visitors who visit your farm production areas should be asked to clean their shoes, or change into a clean pair.


  • Two bins (big enough for standing in)
  • Strong-bristled brushes and/or screwdriver to dislodge dirt
  • Water
  • Soap (optional)
  • Disinfectant solution (Eg Virkon S, bleach, or other disinfectant product)
  • Tarp or a clean surface to put the bins on

Preparing the Boot Dips

  • Washing Bin: Fill one bin with clean water (and optional soap) for washing off dirt and manure from boots.
  • Disinfection Bin: Fill another bin with water and your chosen disinfectant product to kill diseases. Follow the instructions on the product label. If using bleach, it should be diluted to 1% active sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient in bleach). For example, dilute a bleach solution which is 4% active sodium hypochlorite using three parts water to one part bleach. (Alternately, the disinfectant solution can be sprayed onto boots.)

Cleaning Step

Before cleaning, use a strong-bristled brush, screwdriver, or other pointy implement to remove all visible debris, mud, and manure from boots. This helps keep the washing and disinfecting bins cleaner and more effective.

Washing Step

Step into the washing bin and use the brush to scrub boots thoroughly on all surfaces.

Disinfection Step

Step into the disinfectant bin for 5-10 seconds. Wait for the required time as recommended by manufacturer before proceeding.

Leather or cloth shoes may be damaged by prologued exposure to disinfectants- a final rinse with water is advised after the waiting period.

Reuse and Disposal

The disinfectant solution can be saved for future use, if indicated on the product label. Use a lid and store out of sunlight.

Boot dips should only be used as long as the solution is relatively clean- dirt in the water will neutralize the disinfectant.

Dispose of the solution safely away form water sources. Take note of label instructions for disposal of your chosen disinfectant.

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