Best Ways to Clean Leather Boots: A Comprehensive Guide

Best Ways to Clean Leather Boots A Comprehensive Guide

Leather boots are not only stylish but also durable and versatile footwear options that can elevate any outfit. However, to keep your leather boots looking their best and ensure their longevity, regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best ways to clean leather boots, providing you with effective techniques and tips to maintain their appearance and condition.

Gather the necessary tools

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to assemble the right tools. You’ll need the following items:

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clean, lint-free cloths
  • Leather cleaner (specifically designed for boots)
  • Leather conditioner
  • Water repellent spray (optional, but recommended)

Remove dirt and debris

Start by removing loose dirt and debris from the surface of your leather boots. Use a soft-bristled brush or a clean cloth to gently brush away any dirt, dust, or mud. Ensure that you reach into crevices and seams, as these areas tend to accumulate grime.

Test a small area

Before applying any cleaning product to your entire boot, it’s advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This test will help ensure that the cleaner doesn’t discolor or damage your boots. Wait for the tested area to dry and observe any adverse effects before proceeding.

Clean the boots

Apply a tiny amount of leather cleaning on a clean cloth or sponge and gently wipe it in circular motions over the surface of the boot. Take care not to saturate the leather too much.  Focus on stained or soiled areas and work the cleaner into the leather. Once you’ve covered the entire boot, wipe away the excess cleaner with a clean cloth.

Remove stubborn stains

For tougher stains like ink, grease, or salt, you may need to use specialized leather stain removers. Follow the product instructions carefully, as different stains may require different treatments. Apply the stain remover sparingly to the affected area, gently rub it in, and then wipe away the residue.

Allow the boots to dry

Allow your boots to air dry naturally after cleaning. Avoid using direct heat sources, such as heaters or hair dryers, as they can cause the leather to become brittle or crack. Place your boots in a well-ventilated area at room temperature, and be patient as they dry.

Condition the leather

Once your boots are dry, it’s crucial to restore moisture and suppleness to the leather. Apply a leather conditioner using a clean cloth or applicator brush, ensuring even coverage. Conditioning helps prevent the leather from drying out, cracking, or developing wrinkles. Apply the product as directed, and allow enough time for drying.

Protect with water repellent

To further safeguard your leather boots from water damage and stains, consider applying a water repellent spray. These sprays create a protective barrier on the leather’s surface, preventing moisture from seeping in. Remember to choose a spray designed specifically for leather and follow the instructions provided.

Store your boots properly

To maintain the condition of your leather boots, proper storage is crucial. Keep them away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry location. Consider using boot trees or stuffing them with acid-free tissue paper to help retain their shape. Regularly clean and condition your boots, even during extended periods of storage.

Remove scuff marks

Scuff marks can detract from the appearance of your leather boots. To remove them, try using a pencil eraser or a soft cloth dipped in a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice. Gently rub the scuff marks in a circular motion until they disappear. Once done, wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove any residue and follow up with leather conditioner to restore moisture.

Polish the boots

Polishing your leather boots not only adds a beautiful shine but also provides an extra layer of protection. Begin by selecting a high-quality leather polish in the colour of your boots. Using a soft cloth, apply a small amount of polish in circular motions, covering the entire boot. Pay special attention to areas that may have lost their luster. Allow the polish to dry, and then use a clean cloth to buff the boots until they shine.

Treat salt stains

Salt stains are a common issue during winter months when roads and sidewalks are often treated with salt. To treat salt stains on your leather boots, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a bowl. Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and gently wipe away the salt stains. Rinse the cloth with clean water and remove any residue. Allow the boots to air dry, and then apply leather conditioner to prevent drying and cracking.


Cleaning leather boots not only keeps them looking great but also prolongs their lifespan. By following the steps outlined above and adopting a regular maintenance routine, you can enjoy your leather boots for years to come. Remember to be gentle, use appropriate products, and give your boots the care they deserve. With proper cleaning and maintenance, your leather boots will continue to enhance your style and withstand the test of time. Remember, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and consider the specific type of leather you’re working with when cleaning your boots. Regular maintenance and proper care will help your leather boots maintain their beauty and durability over time.