For clean boots and dry socks

The boot cleaner was hooked but not needed during the Nov. 17 open house at the new Albany police headquarters.

This was one of the items that caught my attention at the new Albany Police Department building during the open house last week. It's a boot cleaner, as you can see, but not just any kind of thing that scrubs your shoes.

It's a Greelyman, the contractor model of boot cleaners made by Greely Manufacturing in Olympia, Wash. At $589, as listed on its website, it's the top of the line of boot brushes and cleaners the company sells.

What makes it different is that when you stick your boot between the brushes you can activate a mechanism that will shoot jets of water at the bottom and sides of the sole -- but only an inch and a half up from the bottom, so your socks and your pant legs have a reasonable chance of staying dry.

Another good point: The thing is made in America. It's also "guaranteed for the life of the product." (I always wonder if that phrase means "only until it falls apart," but from the looks of it this item will probably hold up a good long time.)

"Does it take you more than 30 seconds to clean boots that are absolutely caked with cement, dirt, dog crap, or mud?" the company asks on its website. "Our boot cleaner is so good it's the 'go to' boot cleaner used by coal miners all around the world. Now those guys get dirty."

Albany cops may not often go into coal mines, but they do go wherever they have to when the occasion demands. This includes places off the beaten path and away from paved roads. And around here in the winter, there's a good possibility that it involves mud, not to mention another of the substances to which the Greely website refers. So I'm glad Albany officers will have a Greelyman to make sure the floors of their new station will keep looking their gleaming best. (hh)


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