How to Clean Leather Boots

Leather boots are a timeless classic, but like any item of clothing, they require regular maintenance and cleaning in order to keep them looking their best. Regularly cleaning your leather boots not only makes them look great, but it also helps to protect the material and prolong their life. How you clean your boots will depend on the type of leather they’re made from, but there are a few tips and tricks to help you get the job done.

How to Clean Leather Boots 

Leather boots are a fashionable and practical choice for all kinds of occasions, from the office to the outdoors. But over time, dirt and grime can build up on your leather boots and make them look dull and worn out. Thankfully, it’s easy to learn how to take care of your leather boots and keep them looking their best. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to clean leather boots.

How Should You Prepare the Leather Boots Before Cleaning Them? 

Before you start cleaning your leather boots, it is important to prepare them for the process. This will help ensure that the boots are cleaned properly and safely. The first step in preparing leather boots for cleaning is to remove any dirt or debris from the boot’s surface using a soft brush or cloth. 

You should also make sure to remove laces and any other items that may be in the way of cleaning. Next, use a leather cleaner specifically designed for leather boots to remove any dirt or grime from the surface. After this step is complete, allow the boots to air dry completely before continuing with the cleaning process. This will help ensure the leather stays clean and free from damage.

Once the boots are completely dry, it is time to apply a leather conditioner to them. This will help keep the leather soft and supple and also helps protect it from damage caused by sun exposure or water. Be sure to use a product designed specifically for leather boots, as other products may contain chemicals that are too harsh for the leather and can cause discoloration or other damage.

After applying the conditioner, allow it to set in for at least an hour before beginning the cleaning process. This will help ensure that the conditioner penetrates deep into the leather and provides maximum protection. 

You Will Need

  • Mild soap
  • Soft cloth or brush
  • Water
  • Leather conditioner
  • Sponge

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Clean Leather Boots

Step 1: Inspect Your Leather Boot

Before you start the cleaning process, check your leather boot for any existing damage that may be present. If there are any cracks or holes in the leather, consider having them repaired before you proceed with cleaning your boots. 

Use a soft cloth to wipe off any dirt or other debris from the surface of your leather boot. You can also use a specialized cleaning brush specifically designed for leather to help remove any dirt buildup from the surface.

Use a Specialized Cleaning Brush

Step 2: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Mix one part mild liquid soap with four parts warm water. You can use this to make a cleaning solution for your leather boots. If you have any specialized leather cleaner, it is best to use that instead of the soap and water mixture. Apply the cleaning solution to a soft cloth and then use the cloth to rub and scrub the leather boot gently.

Step 3: Clean Off Excess Soap

Once you’ve finished cleaning your leather boots with the cleaning solution, rinse off any remaining soap from the surface of your leather boots. Use a damp cloth to remove any excess soap from the boot. Be sure to be careful when wiping off the excess soap, as the leather can become damaged if it is not handled properly.

Step 4: Condition the Leather Boot

Leather boots must be conditioned to maintain their quality and look shiny and new. Use a leather conditioner specifically designed for boots and apply it evenly over the surface of the leather boot. Make sure to follow the instructions on the conditioner to get the best results.

Step 5: Allow The Leather To Dry

Once you have finished conditioning your leather boots, allow them time to dry before wearing or storing them. Make sure that you place them in a cool and well-ventilated area to ensure that they dry properly. Once your leather boots have had time to dry, you can use a soft cloth or brush to buff the boot’s surface. This will help bring out the natural shine in your leather boots and help protect them from damage.

Step 6: Store Your Leather Boot Properly

When you are finished cleaning and conditioning your leather boots, make sure that you store them properly. Storing them away from direct sunlight and in an area with low moisture levels will help keep the leather looking new for longer.

Step 7: Clean Off Stains On Your Leather Boot

Find Any Stains on Your Leather Boot

If you find any stains on your leather boot, use a specialized cleaner specifically designed for removing stains from leather. Follow the instructions on the bottle and make sure to test in a small area before using it over the entire surface of your boot.

Step 8: Protect Your Leather Boot

To help protect your leather boot from future damage, consider using a specialized waterproof spray or wax that is designed specifically for leather boots. This will help keep your leather boot looking amazing and protect it from water and dirt.

You Can Check It Out to Care for Oiled Leather Boots

How Long Should You Allow the Cleaner to Sit on the Leather? 

The amount of time you need to allow the cleaner to sit on the leather will depend on how dirty or soiled the leather is. In general, it’s best to let it sit for at least five minutes before wiping it away, but if your boots are especially grimy and caked with dirt, you may want to allow the cleaner to sit for up to 15 minutes. In either case, always read and follow the instructions on your cleaning product for the best results. 

After the cleaner has had an appropriate amount of time to sit on the leather, use a clean cloth to rub away any remaining dirt or grime gently. Finally, rinse with cold water and then buff dry with a clean cloth. Regular cleaning and maintenance will make your leather boots look great for years to come.

If you are unsure of the best way to clean your leather boots, it’s always a good idea to consult an expert. An experienced professional can help determine the best approach and products for cleaning your boots without damaging them in any way. With their advice, you’ll be able to keep your boots looking their best for years to come.

Clean Your Leather Boots

How Often Should You Clean Your Leather Boots and Condition Them? 

Leather boots should be cleaned and conditioned every three to six months, depending on the climate, how often you wear them, and what type of leather they are made from. If your boots get wet or exposed to salt water or other elements regularly, you may need to clean and condition them more frequently.

It’s important to use a mild leather cleaner and conditioner to avoid damaging the leather. You should also use a cloth or brush specifically made for cleaning leather boots.

Once your boots are clean, it’s important to apply a waterproofing treatment such as beeswax, silicone-based waxes, or natural oils that are designed for leather goods. This will help keep your boots looking good and protect them from the elements. Finally, you should let your leather boots dry naturally, away from direct heat or sunlight. This will help keep them in their best condition for years to come.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to extend the life of your leather boots and keep them looking great. And when it comes time to replace your boots, be sure to choose a high-quality pair that is well-made and constructed from genuine leather.

Tips for How to Clean Leather Boots  

  1. Start by removing dirt or mud from the leather boots with a damp cloth. Do not submerge the leather in water, as this can cause damage to the material and leave them looking duller than before.
  2. Use a natural cleaner, such as saddle soap or mild detergent mixed with warm water, to clean off any remaining dirt or mud. Do not use harsh soaps, as these can degrade the leather over time.
  3. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to help protect the boots and keep them looking their best. Be sure to use a product specifically designed for leather boots, as other products may cause damage.
  4. Allow the boots to dry naturally. Do not use a heat source such as a hairdryer or direct sunlight, as this can cause the leather to become brittle and cracked.
  5. Finally, store your leather boots in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight when they’re not being worn. This will help keep them looking their best for years to come.
Apply a Leather Conditioner

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Easiest Way to Clean Leather Boots?

It depends on the type of leather boots you have and how dirty they are. However, here are some tips that may help you clean your boots:

– Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply it to the dirt and grime on the boots. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a cloth or brush.

– Pour white vinegar onto a cloth and wet it. Wring out the excess vinegar, then wring it again on the boots. Use the cloth to scrub the dirt and grime off.

– If the boots are really dirty, you can use a leat

Is It Ok to Wipe Leather With Water?

Yes, it is generally acceptable to wipe leather with water. Wiping leather with water helps to clean and refresh the surface, and can help to reduce the appearance of dust and dirt. Be sure to use a mild soap and warm water, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the leather.

Does Vinegar Damage Leather?

There is some debate surrounding the effects of vinegar on leather, with some claiming that it can damage the skin and fibers of the leather while others claim that it has no significant impact. While there is no definitive answer as to the effects of vinegar on leather, it is generally recommended that you avoid using vinegar on leather products if possible. If you do decide to use vinegar on your leather items, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use a mild variety if possible to minimize any potential damage.

Can I Clean Leather With Soap and Water?

Leather can be cleaned with soap and water, but it is important to use a leather cleaner designed specifically for cleaning leather. Many leather cleaners are available online or in retail stores, and they can be used to clean both soft and hard leather surfaces. It is important to test a small area of the leather first to make sure the cleaner is safe for use and that the color does not fade or turn into a sticky mess. Once the area is clean, use a cloth or sponge to apply the cleaner to the surface of the leather, working in circular motions until the surface is completely clean. Allow the leather to dry completely before using any other products or clothes on it.


Cleaning your leather boots regularly is an important part of maintaining their appearance and ensuring they last for years to come. The exact cleaning method you use will depend on the type of leather, but you should always start by brushing off any dirt or dust. 

Then, use a damp cloth or sponge to scrub away any remaining debris lightly.  Use a mild soap and warm water or a specialized leather cleaner and conditioner for tougher stains. Finally, allow your boots to dry naturally away from heat sources before polishing them with quality leather cream or wax.

I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to clean leather boots. Make sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

You Can Check It Out to Fix Gouges in Leather Boots

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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