How To Clean Leather Boots and Shoes

Leather boots are the epitome of class and durability when it comes to footwear, hence their immense popularity. The maintenance part of the boots can be a hurdle to many; as such, they need a guide on how to clean leather shoes.

Cleaning is an essential part of the maintenance regime, and it helps in many ways, like boosting their appearance. It also improves their life, especially if you have a leather repair kit containing essentials like soap, dye, and a leather sewing needle.

Most able leather shoe owners may leave the cleaning part to professionals, who may charge hefty fees. In this case, it is prudent to know how to clean leather boots to save you from the costs.

Below is a guide that highlights the steps to follow when cleaning your boots.

Step By Step Guide Of Cleaning Leather Shoes

When cleaning your leather footwear, the following are some of the items you may need.

  • Shoe brush
  • Rug
  • Shoe polish or shoe wax
  • Leather conditioner
  • Leather dye
  • Suede cleaner

how to clean leather shoes

Removing Dust From Leather Shoes

Dust accumulation is among the problems you deal with if you have leather shoes. Dust can come about due to walking in dusty areas or leaving the shoes for long without wear. Outlined are the steps to follow in cleaning dusty shoes.

  • Start by removing the laces if they are present. Removal of the laces gives you access to the tongue, which can accumulate a lot of dirt.
  • Brush the shoes lightly using a soft-bristled brush to remove light dust. If there is too much of it, you can use a dump rug to clear it as a brush may disperse the particles.
  • After removing the dust, you lightly brush it again using the soft-bristled brush. You then apply shoe polish or wax using the brush. Brush using even strokes all around the shoe. For boots, do not forget the shaft.
  • Once you have entirely polished it, you can make a quick swipe using a dry rug.
  • You can put it back the laces and brush it lightly once more. You then put it out in the sun for a few minutes for the shoe polish or wax to settle in and give it its shine.

Cleaning Muddy Leather Shoes

Mud on shoes is one occurrence many fear as it is tough to get rid of. Follow the steps below to clean your muddy shoes.

  • Unlace the shoes
  • Use a damp rug to remove the mud. If the mud is dry and flaking, you can gently tap the shoes on a hard surface to remove the flakes.
  • Using the wet rug and some little soap, wipe the boot with a concentration on muddy spots, which can be an eyesore and get in the way of preceding steps.
  • Let the shoe dry for a while before applying some shoe polish or wax using a shoe brush.
  • When polishing it, you can put back the laces and make a quick swipe with the brush.
  • Put the shoe out for it to air in the sun for the polish to settle in.
  • You can also use a leather conditioner to maintain the integrity of your leather shoes.

How To Clean Leather Suede Boots

Suede boots are the description of class due to its velvety surface, which draws attention to your style. Cleaning suede needs precision to preserve its surface and maintain its radiance. The steps below guide you on how to clean leather suede boots.

  • Unlace the shoes is it has laces and start by cleaning them with soapy water.
  • Focusing on the shoe, use a suede brush to remove grit and dirt. Optionally, you can use a toothbrush or nail brush.
  • When brushing, brush following the leather grain for uniformity. For stubborn stains, you can put more pressure to get rid of them.
  • To get the uniformity right, you can use an eraser to settle the suede grain.
  • For stubborn stains, white vinegar is the best option. Mix it with water in the ratio of 1:2 and apply it on the shoe’s surface with the suede brush. Target the stains and brush them off gently.

When done, wipe the shoes gently with a wet rug.

  • Finally, you can apply a suede cleaner. Look for a cleaner that matches the color of the shoe.
  • Later on, you can lace the shoes and air them.

how to clean suede leather shoes

How To Clean Leather Boots Inside

The inside of the leather boots is another crucial area to pay attention to. You need to clean it if there is dirt or if they are stinking. Leather footwear is expensive to purchase, and throwing them is not an option when they become stinky.

Below is how to go clean the inside of leather boots.

Remove the laces and innersole and outstretch the tongue to give you proper access to the shoe’s interior.

Mix some baby shampoo and water. Use little baby shampoo to avoid getting a soapy mess in the shoe.

Start by cleaning the inner sole, where you use a hard bristle brush to clear off the dirt buildup. Use the shampoo mixture to clean as it will get rid of the odors. Rinse with clean water and leave it to dry.

Now you focus on the shoe, where you use your soft-bristled brush to work on the interior. Brush it evenly to create a consistent foam, which will help kill the bad odors.

Rinse the inside with clean, warm water, and leave it to dry. It should be completely dry before you use them to prevent them from stinking.

Once dry, you can apply a leather conditioner to preserve the leather structure.

One way you can prevent your shoes from stinking is by using shoe fresheners or powder.

How To Get Oil Out Of Leather Boots

Oil spots on leather shoes are an eyesore, and they affect the aesthetic value of your shoes. Follow the steps below if you want to remove oil or grease spots from your boots.

Dust the shoe and remove any residual dirt to identify the areas with oil spots.

Sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch on the spots and let it rest overnight. Baking soda and cornstarch have oil absorbent properties and will absorb the oil from the leather surface.

You can wipe off the cornstarch and clean the shoe with a dump rug. Follow up by conditioning the shoe.

How To Condition Leather Boots

A leather boot conditioner is one of the must-have utilities if you own leather boots. It helps maintain the pristine condition by keeping up its shine and prevents it from creasing.

Conditioning precedes the application of shoe polish or wax, and you need a rag or cloth to apply it to your boots. Put a generous amount of the conditioner and rub it gently all over the shoe and put it outside to air.

You then complete the maintenance by polishing it.

Dying Leather Boots

Leather may fade over time due to exposure to environmental elements. If you want to rejuvenate its look, you apply the leather dye. The application process is easy, where you start by cleaning the shoe and letting it dry.

Once it is free of moisture, you can apply your preferred dye using the provided cloth. Apply it evenly, concentrating on the faded spots to completely conceal them. Let the boots dry; then, you can apply some conditioner then polish it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Household Items Can I Use To Clean Leather Boots?

There are several household items that you can improvise and use to clean your leather boots. Some of them include vinegar, which removes tough stains. Cornstarch and baking powder can remove oil or grease spots

In the case of bloodstains, hydrogen peroxide can do the trick to remove the spots.

Can I Wash My Leather Boots?

You can wash your leather boots, but you need to exercise a lot of care to pull it entirely. You need to have soap, clean water, and a rug and ensure that the boots do not stay in water for long to prevent them from shriveling or developing creases.

Also, make sure you air them adequately as moist shoes can stink.

Can You Clean Leather Boots With Soap And Water?

Soap and water are necessities when it comes to washing your leather boots. However, use little soap as too much can affect the quality of the material. There are leather detergents in the market that are friendly to your shoes and won’t damage them.

You May Like: The Best Product for Waterproofing Leather Boots

How Often Should You Clean Leather Boots?

If you want your leather boots to be in the best shape, you need to clean your boots as regularly as you use them. If you use them daily, you need to clean them each day to look great in your overall outfit.

How To Clean & Condition Leather Boots and Shoes YouTube

Final Word

Leather boots are excellent footwear that guarantees your comfort, durability, and class. They can serve you for long without signs of wear and tear, provided you maintain them properly. This article looks at the cleanliness aspect of maintenance, which improves the look of the shoes and boosts their life.

Follow the highlighted guideline on how to clean leather boots for them to serve you perfectly.


I am an Architect Engineer by profession with great interest in web and content creation. I have used leather products for a long time, which has increased my enthusiasm, knowledge, and understanding of leather. I am here to shed light on the leather and guide you on choosing the best leather products.

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