How to Clean Leather Boots and Shoes

How to clean leather boots will depend on the type of stain on the surface. Leather is easier than suede to clean, and you can often clean leather boots at home with items around the house. We’re going to explore how to clean boots to remove different stains easily without damaging the leather.

How to Clean Leather Boots and Shoes

clean leather shoes

 The first step is to prep your shoes for cleaning, and these steps should be taken before zeroing in on the individual stains. 

  1. Start by removing the laces and cleaning them if they are dirty
  1. Clean mud off and any dirt or dust that may have accumulated
  1. The best ways to clean leather boots are with cleaners such as a homemade boot cleaner with dish soap. A DIY leather boot cleaner is easy to make with mild soap and warm water. You can also clean boots with vinegar in certain parts, such as the sole, but don’t put it directly on the leather.
  1. Clean old leather boots by wiping the surface and cleaning off the soap residue with a damp cloth afterward. Don’t worry about washing leather boots by scrubbing, because you may damage the leather that way.
  1. Leave the leather boots to air dry and then apply a layer of leather conditioner.

If you are a leather shoe lover, this article is a must-read for you: How to repair scratched leather shoes

Oil or Grease Stains on Leather Boots

clean boots with vinegar

For those with a grease or oil stain on the leather shoe, you can clean leather boots affected by applying cornstarch or baking soda on the area. Gently buff it into the leather with a damp cloth and leave it overnight. Wipe off the powder the next day to remove stains from the leather shoes.

Remove a Water Stain

For stubborn water stains, try using mild dish soap and warm water on a soft cloth. Press the solution into the water stain spot gently, but make sure you don’t apply too much pressure or scrub the leather. Then wipe off the solution and pat the area dry with another cloth and leave the leather shoes to air dry.

Buff Out Scuffs

Use Toothpaste to clean your leather shoes

Toothpaste is a miracle cure to remove not only rust but also scrapes and scuffs and your leather shoes. You can buff out the marks with toothpaste by applying it on a soft microfiber cloth and gently rubbing it into the leather. We would suggest not using too much at once and applying it little by little and increase the amount as needed.

For Stubborn Stains on Leather Shoes

how to clean leather boots

You may come across some stains that don’t respond to brushing, baking soda, or the usual mild soap and warm water formula. In this case, you may need a concoction that is a tad more acidic. This is when lemon juice in your house will come in handy.

Mix equal parts of lemon juice with the soap or incorporate cream of tartar. However, this formula shouldn’t be used on darker leather and only be applied to lighter beige or white leathers because of its slight bleaching effect. If used on dark leathers, you will end up with a light spot on your shoes that will look worse than before.

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