Expert Advice

How Do I Clean Leather Boots?

How Do I Clean Leather Boots?

Oct 21, 2019

Leather boots are an investment. Once you purchase a pair, make your footwear last as long as possible with the following tips.

Protect Your Boots

To ensure they last many years, protect those leather boots as soon as you bring them home from the store. For instant protection from the weather, apply a water-repellent coating.

Banish Scuffs and Scratches

While your inclination may be to scrub your boots with a rag to buff out the scuff, resist the urge! Instead, try this gentler method:

You’ll need:

  • Three soft cloths
  • Clean water
  • Baking soda

Dip one cloth in clean water, and then dip it in baking soda. Rub that cloth over the scuff marks, gently. Now, with a clean, damp cloth, wipe any residue off your boots. Buff the leather dry with another soft cloth.

Clean Dirty, Wet Boots

Have you been slogging through mud or snow? Try this method to ensure your boots get clean and dry.

  • Stuff boots with newspaper and let them thoroughly dry out before you get to work cleaning them. The newspaper helps the leather retain its shape while drying out.
  • Gently wipe away dirt, either with a soft-bristle brush or cloth.
  • Apply a leather boot cleaner (whether a liquid or a saddle soap), and rub into the leather using a circular motion when cleaning to avoid scratches or scuffs. Get in the crevices, pull out the tongue, remove shoelaces to
  • Polish the dry boots, buffing to a sheen.

Remove Grease from Boots

You’ll Need:

  • Soft cloths
  • Baking soda or cornstarch

Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on grease spot, and gently rub with a soft cloth. Let sit for several hours to absorb grease, and then wipe off with a cloth.

General Leather Footwear Care Tips

  • After each wear, clean gently with a brush or rag. Every so often, remove the shoelaces and clean and condition the entire boot. Removing the laces helps you reach all the crevices.
  • Don’t wear your boots every day. Try wearing them every few days and allow them to completely dry out in between wears. This also lets them to better conform to your foot shape.
  • Buff boots often to keep them looking new and unscuffed.
  • Always use a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching or scuffing boots.
  • You can use an old T-shirt as your soft cloth. Don’t use an oversaturated cloth; make sure it’s just damp, so wring out excess liquid.
  • When using leather cleaners, including liquid leather cleaner or saddle soap, apply a small amount to a dampened cloth, and create a light lather on the cloth before applying to the leather boot.
  • For a DIY leather conditioner, mix 2 parts linseed oil to 1 part vinegar. Apply to boot, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then buff with a soft, clean cloth.

At Hibbett|City Gear, we carry the Sof Sole Boot Care Kit, which comes with Boot Cleaner and Boot Shield (waterproofer), along with a brush/scuff eraser. Also, check out our full selection of shoe care products, both in stores and online.

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