best ways to clean leather work boots

Best Ways To Clean Leather Work Boots At Home

Are you unsure how to clean work boots? You will want to at some time. After all, they can become caked with dirt, dust, oil, and other stuff until they are instructed to stay outside or until you do something with them on!

Also, cleaning the leather on a regular basis is beneficial.

However, it is not as straightforward as hosing them down, which would be detrimental to their health. Rather than that, how to wash work boots inside and out requires some care to avoid damaging them.

It’s not difficult, but keep in mind that your work boots are a significant investment in your comfort and safety. Maintain a healthy relationship with them, and they will maintain a healthy relationship with you.

Best Way To Clean Leather Work Boots: The Outside

The outside of the boot is the first stage in how to clean work boots. There are several distinct approaches.

For a quick clean, a moderately moist brush or cloth will effectively remove dust and some filth. Additionally, it is a good idea to use an old toothbrush to clean the welt, as it will be easier to reach.

However, for very filthy boots, you’re going to need a bit more cleaning force. That is why a leather cleaning product is necessary.

Prior to applying a leather cleaning product, attempt to remove as much caked-on filth and grime as possible. This will simplify the procedure.

Leather cleaning chemicals should not be petroleum-based, since they might cause the leather to deteriorate. Rather than that, a leather cleanser based on plant oils or, better yet, saddle soap should be used.

Liquid spray leather cleaners are used in the same manner as another type of cleaning solution. Apply the spray and wipe or brush away any remaining dirt or grime until the leather is completely clean.

If the muck is caked on, you may choose to spray it on and let it soak for a minute or two. Saddle soap is a gentle natural soap that has been infused with leather conditioning substances such as beeswax or lanolin. It is packaged in a soft, waxy puck that resembles a shoe polish tin.

You use it by dampening a lightly moist (and clean!) brush or towel and working up a frothy lather on the saddle soap’s surface using a circular motion.

Then, using the brush or cloth, apply it in a circular motion. Apply more lather as required to the boot surface. With a clean towel, wipe away the lather. As with leather cleaners, many applications may be necessary to completely clean your boots.

Wipe away any residual lather or cleanser after they are clean. The benefit of saddle soap is that it nourishes and hydrates the leather in addition to washing it, making it an excellent solution for boot maintenance.

Allow your work boots to air dry, since heating them can cause the leather to dehydrate and crack.

Best Way To Clean Leather Work Boots: Insoles And Insides

Naturally, you’ll want to pay close attention to your insoles and footbed as well, since this step in how to clean work boots will keep them from developing…say let’s a deep, musty odor.

It’s acceptable to enjoy Limburger cheese. After all, it is not acceptable for your boots to broadcast how you smell.

How is this accomplished? Easily, but cautiously. Given that this stage will require at least overnight air drying, it’s recommended to complete this step prior to a day off or weekend to ensure proper drying.

To begin, remove the insoles. They may be machine washed with a light detergent or – preferable – hand washed with a gentle, low-pH shampoo. In any scenario, allow drying naturally.

A moist towel and a low-pH shampoo should be used to clean the interior of the boot. After the fragrance has subsided, dab away any shampoo residue with a towel soaked just with water. Wipe away as much wetness as possible with a dry towel.

After cleaning the interior, air dry using a boot tree or any other way of holding your work boots upside down. Again, air drying is critical, since exposing the internal stitching to heat might be damaging.

With your boots, use deodorant sprays or powder. Daily application takes mere seconds and can help reduce salt and acid buildup caused by perspiration, dead skin, and smells.

After cleaning the inside and exterior, it’s time to condition the leather.

The Best Way to Clean Suede Leather Boots

Suede is a kind of leather that is derived from the animal’s underbelly, giving it a soft, “napped” feel. You must use extreme caution while cleaning suede, and you cannot allow the boots to become damp, since this can destroy the leather.

A few droplets of water will not ruin the boot, and many shoe manufacturers now provide water-resistant suede, but you must still exercise caution. The following are some guidelines for cleaning suede boots.

Brush the dirt away

I propose investing in a specific suede cleaning brush to expedite the procedure. Gently remove dirt and grime with the brush. Avoid aggressive scrubbing, since this might damage the suede.

Wrap a bath towel around the boot

GentlyUsing a soft bath towel, carefully cleaning the residual dirt from the boot is recommended.

Remove spots using an eraser

If your boots have stains, use a professional suede eraser to remove them. In a pinch, a pencil eraser will suffice.

Utilize tiny quantities of white vinegar

If the markings persist, you might try a solution of water and vinegar. Take care, especially with darker boots, to avoid smudging the color.

A small amount of the diluted solution should be applied to a cloth and gently rubbed into the area.

Conditioning Your Leather Work Boots

After cleaning, it is critical to condition leather work boots using Nick’s Leather Oil or another natural leather conditioner.

Again, avoid petroleum-based treatments and go for natural chemicals that nourish and protect the leather.

Allow sufficient time for your boots to dry completely before applying.

By wiping the leather down with your nourishing compound, work the conditioner into the leather. Take care to remove any excess, but give it a thorough cleaning.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to use an old toothbrush to hit the welt around the boot’s edge, since this important area requires just as much attention as the remainder of the boot.

Leather oil, such as Nick’s Leather Oil, helps to hydrate the leather, preventing it from drying out and cracking, while also acting as a water-resistant barrier to keep moisture out.

Additionally, you may polish it to add shine to your leather work boots if needed. This critical procedure also helps protect leather boots from damage caused by the sun and other factors, ensuring that your boots remain in good working condition for years to come.

Maintain a healthy relationship with your boots, and they will maintain a healthy relationship with you.

What is the Best Way to Polish Leather Boots?

Now that your boots are clean and odor-free, give them a nice shine. Polishing also aids in the removal of scratches and scuff marks. Remove the laces from the boot and ensure that it has been cleaned lately.

Get a towel and some shoe polish

Wrap a clean cloth over your finger and dab the cloth with shoe polish.

Apply the polish on the boot

Gently dab the polish around the various areas of the boot with the cloth. You may also use a toothbrush, which works better in nooks and crannies.

Distribute the polish

Rub the polish in with the cloth. Assemble the polish evenly on the boot.


Buff the boot’s surface well with a brush or another rag. Allow the polish to dry and admire your gleaming boots!

How to Maintain Leather Work Boots

Cleaning is one thing; but, if you want your boots to endure, you must care for them. Here are some strategies for preventing your leather from prematurely deteriorating. If properly cared for, leather boots may endure an extremely long period.

Store your leather boots in a dry place

Avoid exposing your boots to excessive heat or moisture. Store them away from central air and heating in your home.

Use leather conditioner

Preventing the leather from cracking requires maintaining an appropriate degree of moisture in the material. Utilizing a specialist leather conditioner can significantly aid in this process.

Use water-resistant wax

Numerous firms provide solutions that may be used to coat your boots to help them resist moisture and water. Bear in mind that this barrier will not persist indefinitely and will be ineffective if your boots become wet.

Some products for DIY leather work boot washing

Numerous specialist equipment is available to clean a boot, but who says you have to break the budget to obtain them? Most likely, you already have everything you need to recondition your boots around the house.

To create a comprehensive DIY work boot cleanup kit, ensure you have the following items on hand:

Saddle soap

Not only does saddle soap effectively remove mud and difficult dirt from boots, it also refills the moisture in the leather, making them an invaluable item in your pack.

Dish soap

A mild dishwashing solution works wonders for cleaning the exterior of leather booths. If you run out of saddle soap, avoid using a strong cleaning; otherwise, you will cause more harm.

Cornstarch or Talcum powder

Similar to how sand absorbs oil, both talcum powder and cornstarch work great in removing recent or residual oil stains from your boots without leaving a trace.


In comparison to water, vinegar, namely white vinegar, is a lifesaver. It makes a fantastic DIY cleaning and does an excellent job of leaving no trace or causing harm to the material of your boots.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, a common home commodity, has more applications outside of the kitchen than we’d like to admit, and this is especially true when it comes to boots, since it works wonders on both the inside and exterior of the boot.

Mink oil

Since the 1950s, mink oil has been utilized on leather items. Although it originated as a Native American skin conditioner, mink oil has become the go-to substance for conditioning, protecting, and maintaining all types of leather.

Shaving cream

Shaving cream has the ability to disintegrate oily surfaces, making it an ideal instrument for fast removing various sorts of stains, as well as accumulated shoe polish.


WD-40 has a plethora of applications, and aside from deterring wasps from nesting under your windows, you can also use it to waterproof your work boots.

Hair conditioner

Hair conditioner, like mink oil, has more wax than most luxury boot conditioning treatments, making it an excellent method to hydrate and preserve the leather on your boots.

FAQ’s On Best Ways To Clean Leather Work Boots

Do various types of work boots require different cleaning methods?

Numerous notable brands, like Ariat, Wolverine, Red Wing, Danner, and Justin, provide their own tailored cleaning kits; nonetheless, the foundations remain the same. It’s entirely up to you whether to use them or pursue the do-it-yourself path.

Is it worth the time and effort required to clean work boots?

We understand that cleaning your work boots on sometimes might be a bother when juggling a full day’s labor, but consider this: your boots take care of you; shouldn’t you also take care of them?

Unless you enjoy replacing your work boots every couple of months or so, cleaning them frequently will allow you to extend the life of the ones you already own and continue stomping through even the messiest conditions.

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