Newly cleaned boots

Step Out in Style: How to Care for Your Boots

Leather, suede, and sheepskin boots look pristine and refined when they are brand new, but they can easily become dirty and stained if not taken care of properly. You can maintain or restore their beautiful, original condition with a few easy steps, and they will remain a key component of your wardrobe for years to come.

Leather

Pre-care

  • Know your leather. Drop a bit of leather cleaner on the surface of your boots. If the drop lingers on the surface, your leather is finished. If it absorbs immediately, the leather is unfinished.
  • For finished boots, apply boot polish with a piece of cloth or a foam applicator.  For unfinished boots, apply and rub in boot oil with a piece of cloth.

Cleaning

  • Use a soft brush daily to remove dirt from your boots. Carefully use a blunt object to scrape off any mud, but avoid scratching the leather.
  • To remove stains, mix together moisturizing soap and water, gently rub the stain off your boots, and pat dry. You can also use baby wipes as an alternative.
  • For salt stains, wet a cloth with a vinegar and water solution and dab the salt stains. When the stains are gone, wipe the leather with water and allow it to dry.

Suede

Pre-care

  • Spray boots with a waterproofing spray in a well-ventilated area. Allow to dry for at least eight hours.

Cleaning

  • Brush off dirt with a suede brush. Be sure to only brush in one direction to minimize roughening the nap. Use a suede eraser to remove any remaining dirt. Again, only erase in one direction.
  • To eliminate water stains, use a dry cloth to soak up as much of the water as as possible. Then, allow the boots to dry for several hours in a well-ventilated area. Brush the affected areas with a suede brush to bring back the original appearance.

Sheepskin

Pre-care

  • Spray boots with a sheepskin cleaner and conditioner and let dry for twenty four hours.

Cleaning

  • Gently scrub boots with a damp sponge. Fill boots with paper to accelerate the drying process and help keep their shape, then let dry for twenty four hours.
  • Use a suede cleaner or homemade mixture of vinegar and water to remove stains. Be sure to apply the cleaner all over the boot, otherwise you could end up with water marks.
  • For salt stains, brush the surface with a suede brush. Then, use a pencil eraser to rub out the stain.
  • To clean the woolen interior, turn the boots upside down and brush out debris with a wide-toothed comb.