How to Clean Leather Work Boots

So you have been working hard out in the field, and your leather work boots are starting to show it… they’re looking a bit worse for wear?

We feel ya! But no worries, we have got the perfect guide on how to clean leather work boots so you can get back to your toughest jobs feeling and looking your best.

Here is a quick guide! To clean leather work boots, you’ll need a damp cloth, a leather cleaner, and a soft brush. Begin by wiping off any dirt or debris with a damp fabric. Next, apply the leather cleaner to the shoes and rub it in with the soft brush. Allow this chemical to sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with the rag. To restore their shine, buff the boots with a dry cloth.

Things you’ll need

Cleaning leather work boots are an important part of maintaining their longevity and keeping them looking their best. To get the job done right, there are a few essential supplies you’ll need. 

  • Soft and dry cloth 
  • Warm water
  • Mild leather cleaner
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Leather conditioner
  • Cleaning rags
  • Toothbrush
  • Boot trees (optional)

How to prepare your boots for cleaning?

Preparing your footwear for cleaning is a crucial step for ensuring a thorough and effective rinsing process. You will learn how to properly prepare your boots for sponging in this section.

1. Remove laces

Start by taking off the laces from your boots. It will be easier to clean the entire shoe this way.

2. Brush off dirt and debris

Using a soft brush, brush off any dirt and debris that may be on the surface of the shoe. Be sure to focus on the seams and hard-to-reach areas.

3. Pre-treat stains

Before you begin the cleaning process, use a pre-treatment solution to treat any stains or marks. You will be able to remove any difficult or stubborn stains this way.

4. Wipe down with a damp cloth

Next, utilize a damp cloth to clean the whole boot. Doing so will help get rid of any dirt or debris that is left.

5. Allow drying

Before you begin the sponging process, let the boots completely dry. Then the cleaning will be thorough and effective.

How do you clean leather work boots? (Step by Step Guide)

polishing work boot

After gathering the necessary supplies and getting your leather work boots ready for cleaning, it’s time to begin the rinsing process. Here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning leather work boots.

1. Start by removing any dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the boots. Use a soft and dry cloth to gently wipe them off.

2. Once the surface of the shoes is clean, create a cleaning solution with warm water and mild leather cleaner. Dip a soft bristle brush into the solution and gently scrub the boots to remove any dirt or grime that was not removed by the dry cloth.

3. Once the boots have been thoroughly scrubbed, use a few neat rags to remove any excess cleaner or water.

4. Apply a leather conditioner to the boots with a soft cloth. This helps to protect and nourish the leather and make it more resilient.

5. For any hard-to-reach areas, such as the seams, use a toothbrush to scrub them clean.

6. Once you are finished cleaning your footwear, use a clean rag to buff them to a shine.

7. The final step is to use boot trees (optional) while drying the shoes.

How to remove the stain from your work boots?

Stains on work boots can be unsightly and embarrassing. Removing them can be a difficult task, but with the right supplies and technique, it is possible to get your footwear looking like new again.

1. Start by inspecting the stain and identifying what it is. Depending on the type of stain, the cleaning process may be different.

2. Prepare a cleaning solution. If the stain is organic, mix a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. For tougher stains, like oil or grease, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of white vinegar or water.

3. Apply the cleaning solution to the stained area and use a soft brush or cloth to scrub the stain. If the stain is still visible, try using a stronger solution by adding ammonia or vinegar to the mix.

4. Rinse the boots thoroughly with warm water after scrubbing.

5. Allow the shoes to dry completely before applying a leather conditioner or waterproofing product to protect the material.

6. If the stain is still present, try a stain remover specifically designed for removing stains from leather. Follow the instructions on the product before applying it to the boots.

7. Buff the boots until the stain is gone and they look like new with a clean cloth.

Importance of Conditioning and Protecting you leather work boots

cleaning work boot

Conditioning and protecting your leather work boots is crucial in keeping them looking sharp, sleek, and lasting a lifetime. Leather is a strong material, but it requires special care to retain its shape and color. Here are the benefits of applying both of these measures to your footwear:

1. Protect from Water Damage

Adding a waterproof treatment or wax to your work boots will help protect them from water and other liquids. It will also help to seal the material and prevent it from cracking or splitting.

2. Resist Dirt and Debris

Regularly treating your shoes with a dirt-resistant coating will keep them looking spiffy and spotless. By forming a shield, this protective layer will prevent dirt and other particles from entering the shoe’s grooves and crevices.

3. Prevent Stains

Employing a protective coating on your work boots will help to prevent stains from seeping into the material. This will also help to keep the leather looking fresh and new.

4. Maintain Shape

Conditioning the shoes will help preserve their structure and keep the leather looking smooth and polished. It will also fill any cracks or crevices, preventing any further damage and ensuring the boots stay in their original form.

5. Enhance Colour

Regularly conditioning these leather footwear will bring out their natural colors and keep them looking vibrant. 

Therefore, maintaining and extending the life of your boots requires proper care.


Over To You!

To wrap it up, cleaning your leather work boots does not have to be a daunting task. Keeping them looking great and extending their lifespan is easy with the right supplies and techniques. The key is to keep your boots clean and conditioned, regardless of whether you use a commercial leather cleaner, a homemade solution, or a combination of both.

Regularly wiping them down with a damp cloth and conditioning them with a leather conditioner will help keep them looking great. Not only will your shoes look better, but they will also last longer and help protect your feet in hazardous working environments.

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