How to Clean Leather Boots: The Right Way

How to Clean Leather Boots: The Right Way

If you constantly face the problem of stained leather boots, you might think it's unlike when you clean suede shoes or suede boots. But don't fret! It's time for you to learn how to clean your leather boots.

Knowing the best way to clean leather boots is essential, especially when you understand how leather boots are made. Most boots use commercial leather, which needs special care to restore their shine, making them good as new.

Stick with us to transform your boots and keep them looking brand new.

The Best Way Clean Leather Shoes and Boots: Overview

  • To give you a brief idea on how to revive your leather boots, start by taking off the laces and cleaning or replacing them if needed.
  • Brush off any dry mud or dirt from your boots. Prepare a mixture of warm water and dish soap and use a soft cloth to scrub your boots clean.
  • After washing, rinse off the soap with a fresh, damp cloth. Pat your boots dry with an old towel and let them dry slowly, away from direct sunlight or heat. Once they're dry, warm them slightly before you condition them.
  • Conditioning the leather makes your boots shine and protects them from stains. Apply a leather conditioner, boot oil, or wax as per the directions given on the product.
  • Let the boots sit for about 15 minutes, then buff them with a clean cloth until they shine.
  • This guide should help you keep your leather footwear looking brand new and free of salt stains and scuff marks.

Remember, a good leather cleaner and saddle soap are also useful tools in your boot cleaning routine.

Things You Need to Get Start with Your Leather Boots Cleaning

Leather boots cleaning kit

To get started with cleaning your leather boots, you will need the following items:

  • A brush: This is used to dust off any dry mud or dirt on your boots.
  • White vinegar: It helps to erase tough stains on your boots.
  • Mink oil: Mink oil is great for conditioning the leather and making your boots shine.
  • Baking soda: This can be used to remove any unpleasant smells.
  • Cloth to wipe: You'll need this to clean your boots after applying the mixture of water and dish soap and also after the application of mink oil.
  • Leather soaps: These soaps are specifically made to clean leather. They can help in removing stains and maintaining the shine of your boots.
  • Leather spray: You can use this spray to add a protective layer to your boots.

How to Clean Leather Boots: Step-by-Step Guide

Now let's learn how to clean leather boots in a more detailed way. Follow the steps below to effectively clean and protect your leather footwear.

Step 1: Remove the Laces

First, take off the laces from your boots. This step makes sure no dirt hides under them. If the laces are dirty, clean them with warm, soapy water. If they're damaged, it might be a good idea to replace them with new ones. This way, your boots will look even neater. It's a small step, but it can make a big difference.

Step 2: Brush Off Dirt and Mud

Next is to remove any dirt or dried mud from your boots. For this step, use a brush. Be gentle but thorough. Make sure to clean every part of the boots, not forgetting the soles. Brushing not only gets rid of the dirt but also helps to smooth out the leather. This step prepares your boots for the next stages of cleaning.

Step 3: Prepare Your Cleaning Mixture

To make a cleaning mixture, mix some warm water with mild dish soap. Mix it well until you see bubbles form on the surface. This mixture will help get rid of dirt and stains without being too harsh on your leather boots. Your leather soap can also be used in place of dish soap, if you have one available.

Step 4: Scrub Your Boots

Now it's time to clean your work boots. Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water mixture and gently scrub your boots using small circular motions. This ensures that the dust and dirt that can seep into leather gets removed without causing any damage. 

If your boots get wet, use another damp cloth to wipe off the excess water. Repeat this process until you're assured all the dirt is gone.

If stains persist, blot the stain with a cloth dipped in a small amount of vinegar. Be sure to apply a small amount, as using too much can cause the leather to dry out. Keep repeating this process until your boots look as good as new!

Step 5: Rinsing

For this process, use a damp cloth to gently wipe off the soapy mixture from your boots. Make sure you clean every area, especially the nooks and corners where soap may be trapped. You don't want to leave any soap on the leather as it can dry and crack over time.

Once you've thoroughly rinsed the boots, use a dry cloth to pat them gently. This will remove any remaining moisture and prepare the leather for the next step. Remember, always handle leather in small, manageable areas to ensure it's thoroughly cleaned.

Step 6: Warm the Boots

Before you condition your leather boots, it is essential to warm them up a little. This process opens up the leather pores, allowing for better absorption of the shoe oil or conditioner. This will keep your leather boots soft, supple and free of cracks.

To warm them up, you can place a hairdryer on low and blow some air inside the boots for about a minute. Be careful not to overheat your leather as it may cause damage.

Step 7: Condition Your Boots

Finally, it's time to apply some shoe conditioner or oil. You can also use boot wax if you prefer. To start, apply the leather conditioner with a clean cloth using small circular motions. This method ensures that the conditioner penetrates the leather effectively. Mink oil is a good option because it seeps into the leather, helping your pair of leather boots absorb the oil. 

Spend some time working on this, it's important that the conditioner gets into every part of the boots. After you have finished applying it, leave the boots for a while. This allows them to fully absorb the oil, keeping them shiny and in good shape.

Useful Tips When Cleaning Your Leather Boots and Shoes

leather boots maintenance and care

To further help you with the cleaning process, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

  • Dealing with Stains on Leather Shoes: You might come across stubborn stains on your leather shoes more often than not. Using a mixture of vinegar and water can help erase these stains. Just ensure to blot and not rub the stain to prevent it from spreading.
  • Clean the Inside of Your Leather Boots: The inside of your boots can accumulate sweat and dirt over time, leading to a foul smell. You can tackle this by sprinkling some baking soda inside your boots. Leave it in overnight and then shake it out the next morning. Baking soda absorbs the bad odor, leaving your boots smelling fresh.
  • Wipe Down Your Boots: After every wear, it's essential to wipe down your boots with a dry cloth to remove any surface dirt or dust. This practice helps keep your boots clean and prolongs their lifespan.
  • Dirt Can Seep into Leather and Dry It Out: Be mindful that dirt can seep into leather over time, causing it to dry out and crack. Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent this. Also, conditioning your boots regularly with mink oil or a leather conditioner can help keep the leather soft and prevent it from drying out.
  • Keep Your Boots in Shape: To keep your boots in shape, consider using shoe trees or stuffing them with newspaper when you're not wearing them. This helps to maintain their shape and prevents creases from forming.
  • Regular Maintenance: Cleaning your boots isn't a one-and-done situation. Regular maintenance is required to keep your boots looking their best. Remember, a well-cared-for pair of boots can last you many years.

Key Takeaways

Leather boots require a special kind of care to ensure they remain in top condition. Stains from leather shoes can be an eyesore, but with the right tools and techniques, they can be managed effectively. To clean and care for leather, it's essential to use gentle, leather-friendly cleaning solutions and conditioner.

Regular cleaning not only removes dirt, but also helps to maintain the flexibility of the leather, preventing it from drying out and cracking. With these simple steps, your favorite leather boots will continue to look as good as new, providing you with comfort and style for many years to come.

Make sure to check out our selection of shoe-cleaning products here at Stone and Clark for all your leather boot care needs.

Visit our Amazon store today and get your hands on the best leather boot care products.

12PC Leather Shoe Shine & Care Kit for Men & Women

3.5 oz Mink Oil Leather Care Kit with Applicator

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